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Want to Participate in the Easter Hoppin Blog Hop???

As you know, I love blogging and I love bloggers and for this reason, I tend to participate in all sort of book related memes and hops and giveaways. Well, this time I’m excited to tell you about a friend’s bloggy idea. The lovely and talented Danielle and her friend have set up an Easter Blog Hop. I think its fun to meet you guys and give stuff away. I hope if you have a blog and a book you can spare that you’ll consider jumping on board too. Gotta support Danielle, right? Right. So, I’ve ordered some books from Amazon and I’ve copied Danielle’s deets on the hop from her blog and posted them here. You can read all about the hop below and then dash over to her site to sign up with Mr. Linky ;)

I hope you’ll consider participating. It’s a great tool to meet other readers and writers and bloggers. Plus, it’s way fun.

Here’s the info:

Easter Hoppin Blog Hop April 15th -17th

Hosted by Danielle of Lush Book Reviews

What - Easter Hoppin Blog Hop Giveaways
When –  12:01 AM April 15th until 11:59 PM April 17th
Where - All around the blogging world!

These dates were chosen because we did not want to take time away from your family and other things going on easter weekend

How this will work:

~Each blog participating is hosting a giveaway of their own. The spending maximum should be around $20, and your giveaway can be anything you would like. Books, bookmarks , swag, coffees, teas, hand made crafts, anything you would like.

~All blogs participating in the Easter Hoppin Blog Hop Giveaways will be linked up through the linky below. (The Linky is available on one of the sites above, Lush book reviews or Jo Jos Book Corner) Then you can just copy the code from the below linky and add it to your giveaway post. All blogs will be linked together from this automatically on each blog for the Easter Hoppin Blog Hop Giveaways.

~Please keep the steps to enter your giveaway as simple as possible. The long lists of many different things followers can do to earn extra entries tends to scare people off.

~Please help spread the word. Feel free to copy this post, or write a post of your own. The more blogs participating the better! It will mean more visitors and new followers for your blog. We have created a Easter Hoppin button and have added it below for you to paste it everywhere!

~Giveaways can be open to ship anywhere you would like

~If you have any Questions please email Danielle: dhester23 AT yahoo DOT com <– That’s my pal *claps*

~Please create your Easter Hoppin Blog Hop Giveaway post before the giveaway starts. Set it to post at 12:01 AM on Friday April 15th.

Easter Hoppin Blog Hop Sign Up
To sign up please add your name and where you are willing to ship to the linky below
The Last Day to sign up is Tuesday April 12th .


I think that’s all I have for you. Check out her site, think it over, peruse your over stuffed shelves and consider the Hop.

See you guys tomorrow for IMM In My Mailbox!

Time to Hop! Blog Hop I Mean!!!

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books. Memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: Since today is April Fool’s Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?

We never really did much with April Fool’s Day growing up, but two years ago I tormented my kids. I made meatloaf in muffin tins and painstakingly piped green colored mashed potatoes on top, then passed them off as cupcakes. It was awful. The smelled the meatloaf everywhere, but assumed dinner was coming I guess because the only one who looked at the cupcakes before dinner offer suspiciously was my husband. I didn’t catch him, but the kids were choking with laughter AFTER they drank up their drinks and stopped hacking. – I should note that my kids are young and were even younger then.  I’d never get away with that again. It was priceless. They were too cute. I made desert that looked like dinner afterwards but it wasn’t as fun for me because they saw it coming. I cut envelopes in half and used them like sleeves for french fries. I cut up sugar cookie dough in strips and served with strawberry jam in little cups “ketchup”.  The photo is from Fine Furious Life. I didn’t serve mine on silver LOL.

We do something similar most years at dinner, but not as extreme and the kids are normally in on it.

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

Finish What You’ve Started! I Beg You PLEASE!

I am guilty of having an attention span which barely deserves the name. I jump all around. I get ideas. I start the framework for those stories. I go back to my main WIP. I get sidetracked. I think most writers experience this to some degree. Afterall, it takes a very long time to write a complete novel. Then you have to edit and reread it with the edits and that leads to changes. Then beta readers find issues you didn’t and you fix those and the whole process can be daunting to say the least and discouraging in many cases. I know.

I blog everyday and often mention my Adult ADD when it comes to my writing. I hate to miss out on an opportunity so I often stop to lay down tracks for a future work, or a take a break to do a contest or anthology sub or something else I can accomplish in a short time frame.  BUT it occurred to me today that I might be giving the wrong impression or setting others up to get too relaxed. I need to be clear that I really do finish my WIPs. I do. Promise. My poor crit group can attest to this. They might crit something different every few weeks, but when they ask about that one I turned in three months ago – when will they get more? I often say “Oh, that’s done. I finished critting with a few beta readers and subbed it already.”

Here’s the thing. A bazillion people say they are writers and want to be published. Only a portion of those ever finish the manuscript. I met a lady who asked me to beta. I was the first person outside her family to do this. Her family is not composed of writers. I began to make so many suggestions that I stopped after only 2 chapters, gave her some advice that’s helped me, and asked her to go through the whole work and then get back to me. She didn’t. Me being me, I contacted her a while later and she said the manuscript took her SIX YEARS to complete the first time and she just didn’t have it in her to do what was needed to get it up to par. Everyone had already rejected it and her writing career is now over. I was sad.

Please, please please, focus enough that you can finish your WIP. Take it seriously. It’s your dream, don’t be flakey with your own dream! Finish it. If that means leaving another idea alone completely, do it. Do what it takes to finish what you’ve started. You will NEVER-EVER-NEVER be published if all you have to show for your work is a pile of incomplete thoughts.  Square those shoulders, put on your horse blinders and finish your work. I am reading at an unprecedented rate and I need to know there will always be more delicious books to feed my appetite. Please, do it for me?? Won’t you please?

Keep your eyes on the prize and all that.

Run as if to obtain.

Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Me?

As it turns out, I somehow skipped today when scheduling writers for my Writer Wednesday piece. This is not as big a surprise as I think it is. I have an amazing romance author on board next week, but how did I skip today? Who knows. Still, it is Wednesday and I write so I guess I’ll be the writer I introduce today. LOL. Of course, I am the writer featured here everyday, but beggars can’t be choosers and I am most definitely a beggar right now.

Today I will give my very best advice on seeing your name in print and/or eBook.

1. If you are seeking an agent, Do. Your. Research.

  • Be sure you’re sending to someone who’s accepting submissions in your genre.
  • Be careful to follow their submission guidelines perfectly
  • Read other books they represent to see if your style is something they will want
  • Be professional & courteous

2. If you’re submitting to new presses and online presses who accept without an agent Read. Carefully.

  • All the bullets for #1 apply here. Submitting directly to an editor is wonderful. Take it seriously.

3. Consider writing smaller pieces for anthology submissions, many smaller presses have these throughout the year. Getting your work in an anthology is a great experience in the editing and publishing process, gives you a writing credit, and you get a fun book with your name in it.

Other books like Chicken Soup or Writers Digest who accept shorter 2-3K word submissions.

4. Get a writing partner or critique group. Trade pages with as many people as you can. Learn from your own critique. This is so important.Get a writing group or partner. ASAP.

5. Read. If you aren’t keeping up with what is being bought and published, then you are worlds behind.

6. Network. Social media sites like Twitter, Good reads, and Ning networks, are super ways to get to know your future readers and learn from other writers, authors, editors and agents. Plus, these places are filled with people in your shoes. They will advise you, support you, and encourage you. Priceless.

7. If you can make it happen, visit a writers conference. Smaller ones you can drive to are perfect. The opportunity to shake hands with someone you admire or who you  want to pitch to are way higher if there are only 200 people attending. Huge conferences have their own bonuses, but they come with a higher cost. I’m just saying, it’s worth the $100 or whatever if you can go to one nearby. You’ll be so glad, plus, they’ll give you free books and fun swag. Bonus.

If you write YA, attend WriteOnCon online each month and the big conference (also online and FREE) in the summer. I’ll be blogging more about that in the future, but meanwhile check into it. WriteOnCon. Super fabulous. Awesomesauce.

All the networking will really come in handy when you get published and want someone in the biz to give you a quote for your cover. I’m just saying.

8. Be open to guest blogging. It gets your name out there and gives you another opportunity to write. Again, networking is sooo important. Winning.<–nerdy Charlie Sheen joke.

9. Write. Write. Write. It’s all practice. Get ideas down. Write your heart out. Not everyone is called to write. If you’re still reading this post, you’ve got the writing bug. You have it in you to get there. Get started. Every. Word. Counts.

Do it. Make it happen. Its your dream, and no one will do it for you.

Get going!

***If you’re a writer, published or unpublished, and would like to be interviewed here as a featured writer on Writer Wednesday, please let me know. This blog is all about the seasons and stages in our writing journey. If you’re pubbed, we can promote. If you’re unpubbed, consider it an opportunity to stretch yourself. You can write a guest post or be interviewed. It’s a great experience to tell your friends you’re being interviewed on a blog. It feels good and boosts confidence and I love meeting new writerly friends and bookish peeps, so consider and then contact me or tweet me or comment so I can reach you.

I’m looking forward to it!

Ever Take a Vacation From All the Writing? I Did.

Well, my life is a writing frenzy. But sometime a couple weeks back it became a really uncool frenzy. It was just a mad dash of a thing and I wasn’t feeling very happy. I hate not being happy. I said to my hubsy one night, “I’m bummed. I’m feeling like someone sucked my joy, or took my coffee or something.” He shrugged and hugged me. My hubsy is my polar opposites. We are the poster couple for the saying “Opposites attract.” I make life more exciting and eventful for him. He keeps my rooted. Anyway, I asked, “Is this what most people feel like all the time?” He didn’t answer and I hope I was wrong. It was a stinky time. So, I said to myself, “Julie. You’ve done good. You submitted your full YA to agent lady. You edited another YA and submitted it to TMP, you completed and submitted something for a summer anthology. You beta’d all week for fab Jeni-writer-pally. Just Breathe.”  So, I got to the bookmobile that night and they had hoards of awesome. They had Clarity and Entice and Captivate and DemonGlass and Amelia O’Donohue is SO not a Virgin. I gave myself a week off.  “Absolutely no writing for a week.” Well on day 2 a crit partner passed on their turn and I quick wrote a chapter for them to read, BUT that was all I wrote all week. I read all 5 novels in 6 days and I am now ready to revisit writing things. I have another sweet YA in the works, and I need to write 2 sequels to Death By Chocolate, so I have plenty to keep me busy, but I tell ya, I feel better. Reading other people’s words all week really inspired me. I picked up a few fun phrases and noticed that all those hard bound best sellers use plenty of “was doings” and things I chew my nails over. I smiled a lot and I am now ready to tackle the writing!

So, my advice to you…if you’ve lost the “Whee!! Yippee!! Hooray!! I’m writing.” Then, maybe take a Spring Break and get refreshed. It’ll do wonders. Promise.

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