Thursday, September 4, 2014

When A Turtle's Not A Turtle

Last Saturday morning, I was teaching my youngest how to make shape pancakes because FUN! But her smile drooped, her forehead wrinkled, and I sensed she was ready to hurl the ladle across the kitchen.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I keep trying to make a turtle, but it looks nothing like a turtle,” she grumped.
I tilted my head and opened my eyes wide. “WHOA!”
The pancake she had tried to make into a turtle had shifted into golden phoenix. It was incredible. When I told her what it looked like to me, it became an insta-favorite.
This happens with so many things. Stories. Guys. Relationships.
We have in mind what perfection looks like. We see it so clearly, we can almost taste it. And then it morphs into something we hardly recognize. It may still be amazing, or it may be horrific, but all we can think is, “That’s not a turtle.”
Has this happened to you? Did you learn to love what it became, or did you start all over again? Leave a comment to share!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


I’ve been thinking about firsts this summer and how, um, AWKWARD they can be. So in case you wanted to think about awkward firsts too, whether for late night bonding with a friend or for a writing exercise, here’s a list to get you started:
First Time Putting On Makeup
First Date
First Kiss
First Crush
First Dance
First Audition
First Show
First Tryout
First Time NOT Making The Team
First Time Making The Team When A Buddy Doesn’t
First Game
First Time Being Dumped
First Time Having To Dump Someone Else
First Fight With A Best Friend
First Time You & Your Bestie Liked The Same Guy
First Big Party You DIDN’T Get Invited To
First Time Playing Spin The Bottle
First Time Saying “I Love You”
First Time Hearing He Only Wants To Be Friends
First Time Falling Asleep While On The Phone
First Time Tasting Liquor
First Time Hiding A Hickey

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A PitMad Victory, A Winter's Hibernation, And POOF! It's Spring!

Today there is a feeding frenzy happening on Twitter called PitMad. Some writers knock contests saying that they are time sucks and that writers should stick to querying agents they've researched. I think that advice is only half true. Writers should always research an agent before deciding whether or not to submit pages to them. Just because someone has Twitter followers and an agency, doesn't mean he/she is a good agent or a good agent to represent your writing.

But contests can be amazingly helpful for writers hoping to find agents. You see, my fabulous agent Laura Zats found me because of last fall's PitMad.

*stops to do the Peanuts' happy dance*

It's true! I pitched my young adult suspense ASHES AND INK, and Laura Zats requested a partial...followed by a full...followed by a request for a phone call which led to an offer. Some would argue that I could have found her on my own, but here's the thing: It hadn't been announced that she was an agent yet. *gasps* That's right! I snagged a ninja agent that I would have never known was an option had it not been for pitching ASHES AND INK into the PitMad frenzy. So I researched her, emailed her references, and signed with her a week after our phone call. Initially, I was going to take two weeks to decide, but we clicked so well, and I loved her ideas and enthusiasm so much, I could not wait another week to team up with her and Red Sofa Literary.

This led to my winter hibernation from my blog. On top of being a driven agent, Laura Zats is an extraordinary editor. She sent me fantastic revision notes to help fix plot holes, draw out scenes, and make my YA shine. So that's where I've been. Hibernating in my revision cave. And now that my manuscript is polished and pretty, I get to work on my next one.

Good luck, PitMad peeps! I know it seems crazy to throw your manuscript into the Twitter rapids, but wonderful things can happen! So take a chance, do your research before hitting send, and know that I'm cheering for you!

Comment and tell me your Twitter handle if you're participating in PitMad. I'd love to see your pitches and cheer you on!

To read the interview with Laura Zats and myself, check out Jamie Corrigan's big reveal.