Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yes, unfortunately, my dearest blog and bloggers and bloggees, I am sad to announce (because CLEARLY, you haven't figured it out already), you have ALL been neglected. I have neither posted nor commented on posts in QUITE an embarrassing amount of time. Its true. I'm a blip bloggity failure.

[hangs head in shame]

This is all cause I'm so dag blasted busy! And prolly cause I have such a dag blasted long commute everyday. And I HAD hoped that my weekend vacay to Utah with Hubbs would give me such much-needed R&R and possibly even a little blog time... BUT...

instead I just feel even more haggard than when I left.

Go figure.

Which goes to say why I don't have any fabulous writing thoughts at the moment. I'm plum out of good ideas... or rather... I'm plum out of the energy to execute said good ideas.

But on the bright side, its autumn in Utah [happy dance!] and I DID manage to get some oh-so-fabuloso fall photos... did I mention I love photography? I love photography!

Oh yeah, AND I got to see my sissies... YAY!

Aren't we cute?! I think so.

ANY-whooo... consider this my lazy-update blog post wherein I merely indulge my photography addiction. I cross-my-heart-hope-to-die to put more writing-ness into my next go.... Until next time, dear bloggos and bloggetts! I hope that it won't be such a long separation this time!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Payin' it Forward!

So FIIIIIIIIINALLY! The workday has ended (woot, woot!!) and I am able to sit down at this here lap top and write a much needed Pay it Forward blog post! Truthfully, I've been feelin' guilty all day, since my phone has been buzzing with comments from so many oh-so-awesome blogging peeps visiting my blog for the first time!

And what do you know? Even with all these awesome visitors, I had no new posts to show for it.


This is me trying to remedy that! I figured since y'all (haha... look at me, I'm turnin' all Texas on you!) are giving me so much blog love, I really need to get my lazy little rear in gear and do my own paying!

The purpose of the Pay it Forward Blogfest, is to introduce us poor struggling wanna-be writers (and, okay, the lucky ones who are already published too!) to 3 new AWESOME bloggers! If you're new to the blogging scene, this blogfest is really quite inspired. I have personally been blown away by the amount of writing support I've found via my blogging buddies, so I think a blog hop specifically designed to meet more cool writing peeps is pure genius!

So without further ado, here is me "paying it forward," as a part of Matthew MacNish and Alex Cavanaugh's Pay it Forward Blogfest!

(1) S.L. Hennessey--this girl, in a word, ROCKS. I met Lauren at the Houston Writer's Guild earlier this year, and we hit it off right away! If you like comic books, nerdy movies, strong female characters and an incredibly supportive friend who's always got-yer-back, this is your girl! Plus, she just signed with her new agent last month (OH YEAH!!) so she'll be on her way to the big leagues soon!

(2) Barbara Kloss--Remember how I was talking about how I was blown away by all the incredible amount of support I found in the online blogging community? Barb is the PERFECT example of this! Her blog is awesome... great writing insights, lots of funny stories, posts and pics, and the best part? She LOVES to comment back! (Admit it, we all love that!) Barb just published her fab novel--Gaia's Secret--and has gotten quite the popular ratings back for it! Go Barb!

(3) M.S. Tucker--Mandy's blog is so insightful. I remember being one of the first followers on her blog, but it was crazy because I remember thinking she had such a confident writing voice... like she'd been bloggin' for years! She is seriously stinkin' hilarious, and if you aren't following her posts, you're totally missing out! Plus, just like Lauren and Barb, Mandy is an incredible source of support for the struggling author. Check her out!

Any-whoooo... those are my peeps this time! Let me tell ya.... it was ridiculously hard to pick JUST three when there are SO many amazing bloggers and writers out there who are both fun to read and an incredible support to me. I'm thinkin' maybe we can do this fest again sometime?

[hint, hint, wink, wink, Alex and Matt!]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Insecure Writers Club

Today is Wednesday, the FIRST Wednesday of October [hooray for fall!] and I have--dear readers--decided to join the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Hi. My name is Julie. And I'm an insecure writer.

Haha! I crack myself up.

ANY-whooo... this fabulous group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, is designed to share and encourage the fears we've had (and overcome!) as writers, as well as offer assistance and guidance to others who may be struggling. And... lets face it. We're ALL struggling, insecure writers!

Which is why I think this group is SO FREAKIN' COOL!!

Not that we're all struggling. I wish we weren't. I wish we were all best sellers. But what IS so freakin' cool that there are SO many of us out there, and therefore SO many peeps with good advice to share! Rock on. Without a doubt, the best thing about being a writer is having writer friends. Hence, I'm super duper excited about this group and hope to meet lots of awesome writers with lots of AWESOME advice! Hopefully I'll be able to share a little brilliance of my own too [fingers crossed].

So without further ado... my insecurity, which was fought. And overcome.

The Audience Scare. [cue scary music].

Just a week or so ago, I ran across a writing contest called Can You Hook a Teen? If this sounds familiar to you, its probably because you entered the contest. Or read about it. Or thought about entering. Or considered how scary it would be to have your work read by ACTUAL teens [gasp], and ran for your freakin' lives!! This last group of people were the smart ones. Haha.

I, however, was NOT in the smartie pants group. I entered.

Now, to be honest, I did not expect to win. It never even crossed my mind. I submitted the 250 words of my ms [which is still posted below, for your viewing pleasure, if you're interested], JUST because it seemed like a fun thing to do! [Hardy, har. Fun. Riiiiiight] I was clearly delusional. A few days went by. I didn't really think about it. Then the winners were announced, and ...[surprise, surprise]... Keepers was not listed as one of the "hooker" manuscripts of the day.

And I felt... disappointment. What?!

"Self," I thought, "how can you possibly be disappointed when you NEVER expected to win in the first place?"

Self, unfortunately, did not have an answer for this odd turn of emotions. But Self DID, however, expound on my random feelings of disappointment. My next thought (after being pummeled by a round of water balloons from the pity band wagon) was:

"Holy crap!! I can't hook a teen! They hated it! I'm DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!"

In the next few hours of pure panic, I went through every element of my book. Every chapter, every character, every plot twist, and every cliff hanger, trying to figure out WHAT DID I DO WRONG?! 

See, in my delirium, I thought that because these two random teen judges (TWO, mind you, just two) did not find my first 250 words particularly catching, that clearly... CLEARLY... my book was actually NOT a YA novel. Or worse, that my book was a load of horse poo and wouldn't catch an agent OR make it to the publishers whether it was YA, Adult, Mid Grade or anything in between.  

This, was crazy talk.

Now I'm not saying that my book doesn't need improvements (cause it does). Or that I deserve an agent RIGHT NOW (though I want one). Or even that my first 250 words really are totally rock star awesome (even though, I think they're pretty good).

What I'm saying--and what I had to remind myself of, after I had calmed somewhat--is that not EVERYONE is going to like my book. So two teenie bopers didn't like my first 250? Big deal! [Lets be honest, it's probably because I didn't have a sparkly vampire or a freakin' hot underage werewolf ripping off his shirt.]

I had to remind myself that it is humanly impossible to please every single audience member. Even Stephenie Meyer and J-freain'-K Rowling have hater clubs. Bad reviews will come. We will, at times, wish to drown ourselves in Ben and Jerry's or host the world's biggest pity party, just cause we can.


Just so long as we remember to take the GOOD reviews with the bad. We can't just focus on the bad, peeps. The bad comes with the good... but the GOOD comes with the bad too! Separate the good critique from the nasty comments or pointless self pity, and move forward with confidence!

Anyway. That's my pick-me up advice for the day. After re-evaluation and panic mode have subsided, I've realized, that yes, my book is still YA. And no, it does not completely suck. And yes, I will try not to focus on the review that two random teenage girls gave me (or rather, DIDN'T give me).

What are YOUR thoughts on this? Anyone have similar experience to share?