Today is the day for birthday wishes!! Lenny Lee, one of the bestest bloggers evvvvver, is turning 11!!! He's young, he's cool, and he's lucky to have made it to see this birthday. He brightens my day and he can brighten yours, too.
Let's all give a birthday wishes (and hugs) to Lenny Lee!!!!!!!!!
Time to do that birthday dance!
Happy Birthday, Lenny. I hope you enjoy your special day and have many more to come!
It has come to my attention that life, and the busy-ness thereof, has forced me to make some difficult decisions. The blog, as much as I love it--and all of you--is the first thing that takes a back seat when life starts getting in the way of fun. Boo-hoo.
Because I have very little room for fun (somebody stole my pause button!), I have to go on hiatus. Gasp! Choke! 'S okay. I'll be back. I just don't know when this time around. I've still got loads of stuff to share!!
I'll check in now and again--otherwise I might go completely mad. ;-) So here's my official HIATUS button:
I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to blog about the success of the Suicide Prevention Walk that so many of you wonderful bloggers donated to. Be assured the event was a success and lots of money was raised for the cause! (And I think I pulled calf muscle during the walk...I've hardly been able to walk since Sunday night). At any rate, I did take pictures, but the usb port thing that hooks up to my computer isn't working (grrrrrrrrrrr!). You can check out a few pics and cool video made by Candyland here.
Also, I'm still handing out the contest prizes to those who won. I am still missing the email address for Ann Foxlee!! Please send me your info asap!!! Send me an email to: justine_dell(at)yahoo(dot)com Please and thank you!
That's it, my friends. Until we meet again in this wonderful world called the blogosphere--I'll keep my keys warm. ;-)
Well, not techinically a beta reader--not really a crit partner. But after a conversation with the Great and Powerful Beta of Oz, Sarah, I've decided I do need another set of "writer" eyes to read my stuff.
Sarah is currently the only "writer" who reads my work. The other five or so people who read it are only "readers". Family members and friends who read it just for the fun of it. And sometimes they say something useful, but normally it's like, "Yeah, I love it." Sigh. Gotta love family and friends. ;-)
Anyway, I seriously do need someone else to look over my stuff. Not really for grammar or anything (Sarah is pretty good--actually awesome--at this). I need someone to read and let me know how it flows. The basic stuff, peeps, the basics. Anyone interested?
I'd be happy to return the favor! Oh, and I write romance, so it'd probably help to have someone along those same lines. :o)
I realized I don't know what genres a lot of you write.
So, you tell me. What genre do you write? And why?
I write romance.
I write romance because when I wrote my first book, that's what it ended up being. I hadn't read one before writing one, so let's just say it stunk. Then I engulfed myself in anything and everything romance and I simply fell in love. So romance is where my heart is. I've dabbled in other stuff, but I pretty much stick to my genre.
It's time to announce the winners of my 250th Follower Contest!!
Yesterday, after the Suicide Prevention Walk, I went through all the entries. I wrote down every name (one for each entry they received) and chucked them into a bowl.
Hmm...that was a lot of entries, btw.
Then my daughter, Emily, had the job of pulling out the winners. ;-)
And here they are!
They are listed in the order they were pulled out, which means they are also in the order they will pick their prizes!!!!!
1. Carolyn Abiad
2. Ann Foxlee
3. Alison Stevens
4. Dayana Stockdale
5. Emily White
6. Lenny Lee
7. Melissa Gill
8. Tess Quin
C O N G R A T S ! ! ! ! ! !
Now, if you've got your email account linked to your blog, I will be sending you an email to get the prizes sorted out. If not, drop me one (my email address is listed on my profile page).
We'll go down the line and get these fabulous prizes handed out:
The Butterfly Key (2 of these)
Query Critique From Elana Johnson
3 Chapter Line Edit
Full MS Copy Edit
3 Chapter Justine (me!) and Sarah (beta!) critique
Noah Lukeman's book, The First Five Pages
Super Secret Grab bag....ooooooh.
All the winners will be hearing from me soon! Don't forget to send me an email if your email isn't linked to your blogger profile!
FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! Let's get this party started!
Did you enter my 250th follower contest?!?!
If not--go here!!! You've got 3 days left!! ONLY THREE DAYS!!!!!!
I will be announcing the winners of the contest on MONDAY, OCTOBER 11th.
And this is how prize distribution will work:
Since I can't decide which prizes are better than the others, the winners get to choose what they want. The first place winner will get to chose first, then the second, the third, etc, etc--until we've given out all the prizes.
Now you don't want to miss out on the contest, so go here!!!
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Now it's time to say another HUGE THANK YOU to those who have donated to the Suicide Prevention Walk!!!
Click HERE to donate! *PS...if you do donate, please donate to one of my team members (Emily or Candice). Candyland and I both have met our goal! YAY!! So help my team members meet their goals! (You still get entries for helping my teammates!!!)*
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Okay, now for the rest of the happenings this week!
It's so totally perfect for me, too. Thanks, Alex! I will pass it on to....hmm, wait. I need to think about this. ;-)
2. The publisher has had my short contemporary romance for almost one full month now. My ESP tells me they'll have it for one more before I get a response. I'm just crossing my fingers that it's not a rejection--but I will survive if it is. After going postal. Kidding. :o)
3. I'm in a holding pattern with BTTB. All the queries that can go out, are out. Some fulls and partials are out. This is a simple waiting game. I'm simply waiting to go mad.
4. The edits have been underway for AAG (again). I did some serious cutting to this one (12K to be exact) and now the beta is taking an extra look. Then (finally) I will start to query it.
5. Oh my...I have set myself a HUGE goal. Sometimes I have to have a goal to get stuff done, though. Are you ready for it? It's massive.
I have challenged myself to complete three books I've started before January 1st.
Crazy, right? Yup.
The first book, The Reckoning, is 14K already. I plan for it to end up around 45K. I still don't know "what" it is. LoL.
The second book, Lost and Found, was the book my daughter asked me to write for her. I figured it was about time I got that baby done! It's around 8K and will end up around 25K (it's young MG stuff...not that I will have it published or anything).
The third book. Ah...this one is tricky. I have three other books started. Tell you what, I'm going to give you guys the names and you tell me (based on name alone) which one I should finish. They would all three be contemporary romances of a standard 75-85K length. Here goes:
The Seduction of Mary Jane
Through the Looking Glass
Now, you tell me. Which one should I finish? Er, which one should I try to finish?
Ah--let's see if I can finish this goal. I highly doubt it, but it gives me something to work toward. Something to focus on. Something to do while I'm stressing out about the sellability of my other projects. Is sellability even a word? If not, it should be. ;-)
6. The Suicide Prevention walk is THIS SUNDAY! I'm going to meet Candyland THIS SUNDAY!!! And then I'm going to tell everyone here about it. I'm soooooo excited!
Is that it? For some reason is doesn't feel like it. Did I miss something? I hope not!
Have a rockin' weekend, ya'll!
Oh, wait--I remember now! Does Blogger have a limit of the number of blogs you can follow? I think I've hit my limit. I can't follow anymore blogs! GAH! What am I supposed to do?!?! I'm sorry if you've recently followed me and I can't return the favor. Blogger won't let me. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Wait, no, that requires a ROAR!
Okay, first--this is my first ever book review, so I hope I don't totally suck at it! Okay, here goes:
When Andrew Neudecker offered to give me a copy of his book,The Butterfly Key, I was stoked. I met Andrew on Nathan Bransfords forums and I'd seen (and helped with) his query as well as his synopsis. The theme and plot of this story drew me in. I was very excited to read it.
He wrote The Butterfly Key after his wife suffered a miscarriage. He'd never planned on becoming a writer and he's not actively pursuing writing as a career. He had the idea of the Butterfly Key and he wrote it ... just for his wife.
The dedication of the book is heartwarming. And to be honest, it made me cry. It's obvious how much love Andrew has for his wife and how important writing this book was for him.
The Butterfly Key is a frame story and starts with a family who has recently suffered the loss of miscarriage. The wife is struggling, the children are acting up, and the father decides it time to gather his family around the Christmas tree to tell them story ... to bring them all together again.
As the story starts, you are dropped into the lives of seven people and taken on a journey of their lives. How they find love, how they deal will loss, and the secrets that they hold. Secrets that change their lives, protect the ones they love and show us God's plan.
The most prominent thing about this story that stuck out above anything, was the undying and powerful love the characters feel for each other. It's in every line, on every page, and it's a driving force behind the story.
Here is my favorite passage in the entire book:
"I believe we all have certain paths in life to follow. When someone or something presents us with a choice, we forever alter our paths by the direction we choose, like taking one fork in the road rather than the other. We must make our choices with care, because we may never be able to go back and choose the other fork."
There's so much packed into the one passage, I can't even explain how I feel about it. It also helps you understand the entire book in just a few short words. You might not understand it unless you read book, so just take my word for it. ;-)
It is the symbolism in this book that struck me the most. The powerful message that is entwined in all the pages. Through the words, you learn what it is to truly live, love, sacrifice, and die.
Andrew has done a wonderful job writing a story that will lift spirits and show you the reason God works in mysterious ways. It's eye opening story and it will remain in my heart for years to come. If you'd like to check out the book, go to http://www.thebutterflykey.com/
You can also check out Andrew's guest blog here, and learn more about his publishing journey.
Have you entered my contest, yet? No? Okay--for those of you who missed the last post, I've duplicated it here:
JD's 250th Follower Contest!!!!
HERE ARE THE PRIZES:
1. A copy of Andrew Neudecker's book The Butterfly Key. (I will be giving away two of these!!)
Isn't his book cover AWESOME?!?!?
2. A query critique from Elana Johnson!!Whoa. If you don't know her, she's an author, the creator of querytracker.net, and one of the minds behind the free writeoncon conference this past summer. She IS the awesomeness of awesomeness!
3. A three chapter line edit from Candice at LiveWife. Candice is recently graduated English major, freelance writer, and all around great person.
4. A FULL ms copy edit (grammar/tenses/basic english stuff) from Katie Knish. Katie is a soon-to-be copy editor, and in need of some cred. You help her build a resume and she helps you edit your ms for free! Double-mint-awesome!
5. This is my personal favorite prize (only because I am part of it...lol). The beta, Sarah, and I will be giving you a hard-core, no holds barred, 3 chapter beta critique! Don't be scared though. We're nice! Most of the time. ;-) The cool thing about the dual crit is that Sarah and I have very different strengths when it comes to crits, so you will be getting the best of BOTH worlds (although she is the brains of this outfit). If you would like to know more about how Sarah and I critique--go check out the posts from Beta Week here.
6. A copy of Noah Lukeman's "The First Five Pages--A writers guide to staying out of the rejection pile." Now, this is my copy that I bought used on Amazon (so it's used, but in good shape) and I've pretty much gotten everything I can out of it. So now I shall pass it on!
7. A super-secret grab bag. Ooooohhh-aaaaahhhhh. (Nothing heart-stopping, but it is fun).
Now for the one and only rule (everyone contest has to have at least one rule, right?):
1. You must be a follower of this blog to enter.
Now--how to enter!
1. Leave comment in THIS POST (click the link!). = 1 entry
2. Tweet/FB the contest = 2 entries for each tweet/update
3. Blog about it (or sidebar it)! = 4 entries
4. Old Followers = 2 extra entries
New Follwers = 1 extra entry
5. Donate money to the Suicide Prevention Walk I am participating in! For each $5 you donate, you will gain one extra entry. To learn how to donate go HERE.
It's a SUPER important cause that is near to me, so please donate--even it's only $1.
Donating to me, Candlyland, Candice, or Emily (all linked on the post) gets you entries! Just drop me note if you donate to one of the other three!
Now, tally up your score and leave it in the comments (you don't want to rely on my math skills...trust me) on THIS POST (do NOT leave the comment here--click the red link, peeps!).
Here's an example:
New follower who left a comment and tweeted about it: 4 entries
Old follower who left a comment and blogged about it: 7 entries
Old follower who left comment and donated $10 to the walk: 5 entries
This contest will run until October 10th (the day of the Suicide Prevention Walk).
You've got 4 mores days!!!!!!
Spread the word, donate to save a life, ENTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But I wonder (and this is one of those times I wish I had an agent in my pocket)--is this okay?
What if the plot changed, therefore the query itself changed?
What if most of the plot stayed the same, but some serious verbage was changed and word count upped or downed?
What if you tweaked just few things based on specific agent feedback?
I think I have a story I could do this with. BUT, the query wouldn't change. Well, it's different than the original (uber crappy) version that most the original agents I queried got. So I would probably be OK.
But I don't want to do it. They rejected me--I don't want them to have to do it again.
What about you?
Would you do it? Do you think it's okay? How much of your story/query would have to change before you did it?
You've asked for it, peeps! After last weeks "whose vs who's", several of you admitted problems with "who vs whom."
This week I shall try and tackle this difficult (and admittedly confusing) grammar rule.
First I picked up my trusty Grammar's Girl Quick and Dirty Tips the beta gave me to search for the answer. I'm afraid I didn't get it.
Then I Googled it. Nope. Still didn't get it.
I understand now why so many of you requested this one. The sheriff has hit a wall!! Oh, but don't worry. The Great and Powerful Beta of Oz--aka, Sarah--has come to our rescue!!
Here we go!
The words who and whom are both pronouns.
This is why this rule is confusing: you use one when you are referring to the subject of the clause and you use the other when referring to the object of the clause. Now, I don't know about you, but definitions make my head spin. And the more I read about this topic, the more the room turned in a darned carousal.
Let's make this as painless as possible. So I'm not going to explain the difference between the subjects and objects. Let's face it--who will remember that? Ah...did I use the right version in that last sentence????
Actually, I did.
In all seriousness, though, if you don't know the difference between subjects and objects--learn them. STAT.
Who vs whom is the same difference as I and me, he and him, she and her, etc. Who (like I, he, and she) is the subject. Whom (like me, him, and her) is an object. So, if you can use I, he, and she in the sentence--use who. If you can use me, him, and her--use whom.
The easy way to figure it out? Rewrite your sentence and see if your who/whom still fits. Like this (thank the Beta for the perfect examples):
Who rang the bell?
He rang the bell.
So who is correct, because "he" is the answer. See? Who=He
* * * *
For whom did the bell toll?
It tolled for him.
Whom is correct, because "him" is the answer. Whom=him
* * * *
Again! Again! Again!
* * * *
Who was at the door?
He was at the door.
Whom did you see at the door?
You saw him at the door.
Who got the job?
She got the job.
Whom did you want to get the job?
You wanted him to get the job.
* * * *
Now I finally understand Grammar's Girl quick and dirty tip: remember the "M". If you can use him--the correct word is whom. Both end with m.
Oh, and the beta pointed out this very important thing, too:
This is a rule that's often bent because "whom" sounds weirdly formal. Honestly, unless it's in the prepositional phrases listed below, I don't worry much about it.
Whom is also used in prepositional phrases: To whom it may concern From whom did it come To whom are you sending it With whom are you going
Whoa--I think I got it! How about you guys?? A big thanks goes to the beta!
This is going to faster than normal...cuz I'm having typing issues. Tendinitis is a b****.
All of my books/wips/etc are kind of on hold. The beta is doing an other read through of book #3 (after I did some major cuttage), but I'm not really "doing" anything right now. Except for maybe trying to stay sane ;-). I've got some queries out, but I've done very little work this past week ... or the week before that, really.
Don't worry, though. Things will perk up.
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Did you check out the guest blog from Literary Agent, Scott Eagan? If not, swing back by and take a gander!
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Did you enter my 250th follower contest?!?!
If not--go here!!!
Don't forgot to donate!! Even just $1 makes a difference! Get more entries for my contest, too! Go HERE to donate! *PS...if you do donate, please donate to one of my team members (Emily or Candice). Candyland and I both have met our goal! YAY!! So help my team members meet their goals! (You still get entries for helping my teammates!!!)*
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See how fast that was? And relatively unpainful for me! (Thanks to cutting and pasting...lol)
Have a great weekend everyone! I'm resting these oddly tired limbs!