Month: January 2013

Thursday’s Children: 01.31.2013

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I have a feeling I’m going to be in the minority here when I say that I love Valentine’s Day.

I suppose I don’t understand why “it’s contrived” just because it’s designed to allow you to show your affection.  Note that I said allow not force.  Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, not fabricate it.  No one ever said it had to be fake. And I don’t care if you have a hunny-bunny-boo-boo-bear on Valentine’s Day or not; you love somebody.  Show it! Goodness!  It’s a perfect frickin’ excuse to shower everyone you care about with love and affection without looking/feeling like an idiot—though this is a non-issue for me.  I love people flamboyantly.  You’d think the people who need the most help in this department would enjoy the holiday more.

Okay, okay, I know I sound cranky.  And I’m not.  But sometimes it seems to me like people are Valentine’s Day grinches in the name of being grinches—not because they “don’t believe in what it stands for.”  Because really, what kind of person do you have to be to not believe in love?

“It doesn’t stand for love.  It’s a Hallmark holiday that stands for nothing.”

And to me, Christmas doesn’t stand for the birth of Christ, either.  It’s about family, love, giving.  I’m a firm believer that things are what you make of them.

“But it’s so commercialized.”

Well thank god.  How else would I find a four-foot-tall teddy bear holding a rose and a giant box of chocolates, tied to a balloon that says, “I LOVE YOU!” in all caps?

“Well, I don’t need all that.”

Neither do I, but it’s FUN.

“No it’s not.”

Yes, yes it is.  Much like giving/receiving gifts on Christmas, the point of Valentine’s Day isn’t about whether you or anyone else needs them (because chances are, you don’t).  It’s the reaction from the other person.  It’s making the other person feel like a million bucks.  It’s when they open that card and read that horribly-written greeting card love poem and their face lights up (or when that teddy bear I mentioned arrives at their place of employment and they turn fifty shades of red amidst the whistles and catcalls of their coworkers).  It’s a gesture.  It means something.  And it’s the only day of the year on which it’s socially acceptable to make crazy-ass gestures of love, so make one!  I’m sure when whoever is on the receiving end of it gets a dozen roses, a pound of their favorite flavor jelly beans, and the latest season of their TV show obsession on Blu-Ray s/he’s not gonna be all like, “Oh, well, this is nice but since you gave it to me on Valentine’s Day, it’s fake, contrived, and doesn’t mean SHIT.”

No.

Okay, I sound cranky again.  And I’m not! (Maybe a little.)  Just don’t be a grinch, okay?

ANYWAY.

As I’m sure you can guess, I enjoy writing about love.  Forbidden love is my favorite.  Nothing like adding the heart-pounding, brain-skewing, skin-tingling effects of love to “This is so wrong.”  But really, the thing I love about forbidden love is a little cliche, but something I believe in—the idea that love conquers all, transcends rules, social responsibilities, and expectations, and is a magical whirlwind of passion and emotion that pays no heed to anything else.

I could go on about this forever and this post is already too long, so I’m gonna end it here.  BUT, I am going to post a kissing scene for Cupid’s Blind Speed Dating on Monday, which sorta goes hand-in-hand with what we’re talking about, so drop by! 🙂

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One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to Kate Michael and Rhiann Wynn-Nolet for passing the Lovely Blog Award on to me!

Here’s how it works: you thank the person who gave you the award with a linky to their blog.  Then you write seven true things about yourself, and then you give the award to seven others!

Alright, I’d like to make this interesting and write seven things you probably don’t already know about me from Twitter or elsewhere.  Let’s see . . . seven little-known facts about myself . . .

1.  My favorite jelly bean is Juicy Pear flavored.

2.  I dislike winter.

3.  I make a killer swordfish steak.

4.  I’m genderqueer.

5.  I don’t drink alcohol.

6. My belly button is not in the center of my body.

7.  I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.  No, nobody told me it’s a trick and you’re supposed to tie it with your fingers first and then PRETEND you tied it with your tongue.  I actually spent hours figuring out how to do this when I was a kid.

And now, the award goes to: Amanda Kurka, Brooks Benjamin, Lauren Spieller, Helen Jones, Krystal Marquis, Mia Siegert, and Jessica Harvey! 😀

Pitch Contests!

Querying is hard and rejection sucks.   Sometimes,

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BUT, I am an avid follower of awesome agents and authors on Twitter and I’ve learned about some contests coming up, so I thought I’d share.  I think pitch contests make the querying process more fun.

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Really though, they’re an awesome way to do some networking, meet cool new people, and, best case scenario, get some requests and land a super fantastic agent.

Okay, contest number one:

Cupid’s Blind Speed Dating

If you don’t already follow Cupid (@CupidsLC) on Twitter, you should.

For the contest you’ll need a finished manuscript, a great query, and a killer first 250 words of your ms.  You also need to be able to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.  This contest is huge and I’m very certain it’s a ton of work, so if you don’t follow the formatting guidelines and such, you will probably be disqualified.  Here’s the link for the details on Cupid’s blog: http://www.cupidslitconnection.blogspot.com/2013/01/blind-speed-dating-event-information.html

Note, there’s also a second contest on this page.  It’s a kissing scene contest!  And who doesn’t love a good kissing scene? This is kinda contest 1.5 because in order to enter the kissing scene contest, you have to have entered the speed dating contest.

Also note that there is a $10 donation required to enter the speed dating contest.

Okay, contest number two!

A Twitter Pitch Party

There will be a Twitter pitch party on January 25th!  It’ll run from 8AM – 8PM EST.  Remember, the contest is on Twitter so you have to pitch your book in 140 characters or less AND you need to include the hashtag #PitMad, or your entry won’t count.

And, contest number three:

Pitch Madness

In Pitch Madness, you pitch your book in 35 words and follow it up with the first 150 words of your ms.  I know considerably fewer details about this contest, but I’ll tell you when I do!  It will take place in March, but the exact date is TBD.

Finally, contest number four:

Operation Awesome: The Mystery Agents

This is a monthly, single-sentence pitch contest in which the mystery agent’s wishlist and interests are posted, and fifty one-sentence pitches are accepted in the comments.  The agent then picks his/her favorite(s) and requests material.  (I just entered the January contest, fingers crossed!)

Note also that the rules vary in each month.  Some have specific word/character count limits, some don’t, and some aren’t single-sentence pitches at all, but allow you to post the first 200 words of your ms and so forth.  It’s important to check the specifications every time.  Anyway, this contest happens on the 1st of each month.  Here’s the link!

http://operationawesome6.blogspot.com/p/mystery-agents.html

That’s all I have for now.  You can also find out contest info by joining CPseek.com (plus, it’s a great way to find critique partners and fellow writers who are also slogging through the slush, as well as mentor-type authors who are very helpful). I’d also suggest checking out Brenda Drake’s blog (http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/) because she is fantastic and runs contests throughout the year.

I can’t wait ’til I’m agented/published so I can run contests to help other writers become agented and published!

Good luck with your entries!