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Doctors to the Rescue!

1 Feb

Thanks to my daily NaNoWriMo newsletter I learned today that there are Book Doctors to the rescue for those in need of some assistance in getting their book published. Currently, the Book Doctors are running a WriMo-specific Pitchapalooza Contest where any WriMo participant can submit a 200 word pitch to be in the running to win an introduction to an agent or publisher that suits his/her novel. Another “fan favorite” contestant will win a free 1-hour consultation with the Docs worth $250. Not too shabby!

Here’s the low-down:

You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The 25 random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!  Link

This duo of Book Docs also advertises a “free 20-minute consultation (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published [their book]. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.” Not a bad trade-off! Two types of advise rolled into one.

It’s often said that writers are their worst editors because you are so engrossed in your own work that you can’t see the mistakes (sometimes glaring) that sit on the page in front of you. So, get a second set of eyes to take a look at your pitch, your idea, your novel and call the Book Doctors. They may be just what your novel ordered! 

Happy Writing!


Epic Journeys

27 Oct

Epic journeys have become legendary thanks to those who penned the experience. Dante wrote of the epic journey through heaven, hell and purgatory (“Divine Comedy”). Jack Kerouac wrote of his epic journey across the United States (“On The Road”). Even if your epic journey consists of you epic feat of successfully dragging 3 screaming, crying children to the supermarket, then the toy store to quell their tantrums, it’s yours to express in writing.

The reason I’m approaching the subject of epic journeys is because I will be heading on a not so “epic” as it will be “entertaining” journey across the country to my old stomping grounds of San Diego, CA. It’s been a while and I suppose the epic journey will consist more of enjoying my time there, remembering with fondness the time I lived there and forcing myself to get back on the plane to my reality on another coast…but a girl can and will dream of warmer surroundings.

Fall / autumn / aka the seductive neighbor of winter is duly upon us north-easterners. Over the past few days the temps went from open-toe shoe weather to “where’re my wool socks!” weather. Digging for socks in the dark at 7am isn’t my idea of fun and it’s just a chilly reminder colder weather is imminent…

ANYWAY, this seasonally-induced nostalgia for all things warm and snuggly came at the perfect time for in less than one week I will be returning to lovely San Diego, CA where, as of today’s reports, is a perfect 70*F/21*C and sunny…thank the Lord! So, in haste, I make my way on a jet plane to embark on a sunny, perfectly warm journey to my old stomping grounds.

Now, this journey is more of a friendly vacation away with some friends who happen to be relocating there and a fun reuniting with friends still living in San Diego (not exactly the “Divine Comedy” type journey), but still epic in the sense that it’s been over 3 years since I’ve been back and there are a lot of faces and places that have changed and that I can’t wait to reconnect with. Inevitably, there will be stories and misadventures along the way that will inspire some rant or that, so stay tuned & happy writing!!

The cute little devil

23 Oct

A sweet moment with a cute little devil…Happy (almost) Halloween!


Go ahead. Be a Reading Rebel.

5 Oct

I’m 4 days late, but happy belated Banned Book Week!

Go ahead, be a rebel.

I dare you.

Do it.

You know you want to!

The ALA (American Library Association) has recorded hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have the following “outrageous” books removed from libraries and classrooms.

Go ahead & Rock Your World with these literary temptresses if you haven’t already:

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

Also, check out Wikipedia’s list of Books Banned by Gov’ts around the world… here.

When Insults Had Class…

3 Oct
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, cropped...

Image via Wikipedia

My friends and I email each other inspirational quotes from famous and anonymous mouths to help us through a hard time, illuminate great times, make us laugh or just find something to relate to in our lives. We find them in movies, poems, or even real life.

When I checked my inbox this morning and found a friend had shared a poignant and funny list of kick-a** insult quotes, I thought it was great inspiration from real characters on how to get your point across in fiction (even if it’s not a nice one) in the most eloquent way possible.

If you have a ornery character or just need an epic comeback for one of your characters (or yourself), I hope you can find inspiration in these beautiful, yet caustic quotes…haha

When Insults Had Class

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.”
He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” 
“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr 

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill 

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”  Clarence Darrow 

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” –William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway). 

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas 

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain 

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” – Oscar Wilde 

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…. if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill 
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…. if there is one.” –  Winston Churchill, in response.

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop 

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright 

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb 

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson 

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating 

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand 

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker 

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain 

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West 

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go..” – Oscar Wilde 

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts.. . for support rather than illumination. ” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912) 

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder 

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

Dr Seuss vs. Madonna : Can Celebs Write Good Children’s Books??

22 Sep

The Atlantic published a great article online titled Dr. Seuss vs. Madonna: Can Celebrities Write Good Children’s Books? Good question!

Working in the publishing industry, I’m always curious to see what the bestselling books are around the world. In the US, we have a great selection of titles by a slew of authors and a large part of them are marketed like anything else…excessively. When it comes to celebrity authors, the hype is even more exaggerated.

Normally, the titles marketed here are by American celebrities. There’s no way, I thought to myself last year, that Lauren Conrad‘s tween series “LA Candy”, “Sweet Little Lies” or “Sugar and Spice” were of any consequence outside of the realm of teenybopper Americans. Boy was I wrong! Ms. Conrad’s titles sold like hot cakes throughout Europe and the rest of the world and I had to bite my tongue. Apparently, “The Hills” wasn’t banned for its scripted impersonation of reality outside of the US…shocking! OTHER people outside of this country are watching it and swarming bookstores in the Netherlands, Germany and Spain to get a hold of her novels. I don’t really get it, but my friends who are addicted to The Hills/The City/Etc were not surprised at all. Apparently, this seemingly American reality star has made it big abroad and she’s only Lauren Conrad. Included in the article’s list are big shots like Madonna, Tyra Banks and Jimmy Buffet. Surely, they must have outsold Lauren Conrad…

Here’s a slideshow of a few titles that popped out at me from their original list:

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Get the red ink out!

20 Sep
Carrot diversity

Image via Wikipedia

I have an affinity for editing. Well, more like an affinity for utilizing red ink (of any variety – pen, pencil, marker, crayon) to thrash through a piece of writing without apology. Cracking run-on sentences and replacing them with a newly constructed masterpiece or a set of quizzical question marks (“????”) brings me pure joy.

Now, you might think my love of red ink thrashing through someone’s well-thought out masterpiece is sadistic, but I promise you it’s not. The joy I get from editing a paper/contract/story isn’t my nasty attempt to pulverize someone’s writing. On the contrary, I’m throwing my joy into making it the best piece it can be.

I am not an editor by profession, so I use every tool at my disposal when I edit my own writing or anyone else’s. Below are a few websites I’ve found that guide you in the process of editing your novel or short story. Take a look!
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