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I just reread the title. Yeah, sometimes I wish I was double… as in two of me, but anyway.

 It’s 9a.m.

All the children are up, breakfasted, groomed. Shoes, backpacks and binders have been found, documents they forgot to give me yesterday signed, teeth are brushed, taxi services preformed, and every one is safe at school. Email has been read and (mostly) addressed. A load of laundry is now in the dryer, I’ve exercised, showered and am jonesing for a second cup of coffee.

And now…

Now it’s time to get to work. (?)

 

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You say the words contest, books and coffee  in one sentence and you have most readers and writers immediate attention. At least it works for me.  So fellow UF author, Shannon Mayer, has a contest at her blog in which you can win a gift certificate from Starbucks as well as some terrific books. It’s easy, follow her blog and you’re entered. She has a point system for tweets, posts, etc.

Ms. Mayer, once I have an agent and am a step closer to publishing, may I  borrow this idea?

After reading a few more blog entries, I have a sneaky suspicion we’ll be hearing a lot more from this talented writer.

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Waiting

Most of you know I write fantasy/paranormal books. Although I’m not yet published, I’m not a newbie to the publishing world. I’m on my fourth full-length book. The first three are not published. The first, quite frankly, wasn’t good enough for publication, although I didn’t realize that at the time. The second is a sequel to the first: rookie mistake. The third is currently under consideration by a NY publisher. I met an editor at a writing conference. The fourth is more a jumble of sentences than a novel but I’m working on it.

When I’m done, I’ll send it to CPs who will tear it apart, then I’ll rewrite and send it out again. After it shines, I’ll write a query and a synopsis, which will also go to the beta readers half a dozen times. After researching exact submission requirements–which can take days–I’ll send these to 10 or so of my favorite agents, because by this stage of the game, you do have favorite agents and publishing houses. Later, if necessary, I’ll send it out to 50 more. I’ll wait up to 12 months for some of them to reply. Listen, they’re busy, I understand.

If someone likes it, they’ll request a partial. It’s about a 6 week wait on a partial. If he or she liked the partial, they will request a full. You can easily wait up to 3 months on a full. If they love the full, and think a publisher will love it, I just might have an agent. If not… it’s back to the drawing board.

During the above, months and even years pass. In the world of publishing, waiting is the norm. But I learned a long time ago that waiting isn’t passive. At least it shouldn’t be. Think of waiting as an active verb.

Because if you want a career in publishing, sitting on your laurels is never a good thing. While you’re waiting, write, read, edit, learn. Get involved in a critique group, an on-line community. Sketch out those plot bunnies running around in your head. Start on the next book. (Just don’t make it a sequel to one you’ve already written) Actively continuing on your journey to publication, actively waiting, is always a good thing. It’s stepping forward.

It’s your career, grab it by the… er horns.

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Okay, I did it.

I signed my youngest up for soccer. I’ve never been big on organized sports. Don’t get me wrong, I love to get out there and play. I love sports, but as soon as you add the organized to it… well, then it becomes something else…. kinda the same as my views on religion… but that’s a whole other topic.

Although I’ve offered in the past, my kids have been meh about it and because I’m kinda meh about it, I didn’t push. I have had them in ballet and judo… but those aren’t really team sports. So when my 5 yo asked if she could please play soccer, I kinda assumed it was a passing “I want.” You know, I want a ______ fill in the blank. But it didn’t pass. So I signed her up yesterday.

The first shocker was the price. I mean I guess they do have to pay all these coaches…and buy the trophies/clothes/etc, but wow! 

I’m also a bit worried about having any kind of shoes in the house with spikes on the bottom. Yeah, that’s going to take some watching.

The second shocker was looking at the game schedule. That just made it real. Every weekend until November, I will have to put on my smiley face and socialize. For an introvert like me, that’s going to take some effort. She’ll be playing, but I’ll be the one with the game face.

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Skip a Starbucks Day

If you ever met CJ, you wouldn’t forget her. The word vivacious comes to mind. CJ is also loving, giving of her time and one of those genuinely nice people that are a joy to meet. But this isn’t about CJ or her husband, this is about a baby.

Five years ago, CJ and her husband, Clint decided to open their home and hearts to a Chinese orphan. Originally, the process was going to take only 6 to 8 months. Now, after setbacks, disappointments and heartache, they finally have a chance to bring their baby girl, Johanna, home.

Since their journey began, the cost of adopting overseas has risen. The funds they set aside are no long enough to pay all the fees. So a group of us bloggers are getting together to help raise money to bring Johanna home.

The idea is a to skip an indulgence such as a Starbucks coffee for one day and donate that money toward Johanna’s fund. Donation is easy, just go to CJ’s website, The Last Word, and there will be a donation button on the right hand side. You can also read about CJ and Clint’s road to adoption.

 Everyone who donates (and comments—so we know who you are) will be entered in a drawing for a lot of wonderful donated prizes including a boxed set of Harry Potter books, signed books from various authors, ARCS, baskets of homemade soap, jewelry, the Twilight Saga, etc… you get the idea.

Qualifying donations must be made between August 23 rd and August 26th. That’s Monday to Wednesday. If you don’t have paypal, contact CJ via the email you’ll find on her blog.

This is an awesome opportunity to make a difference not only in one little girl’s life, but to bring joy to an entire family. And hey, there really are some awesome prizes. So go! GO! GO!

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Where in the world

is Shawna?

Well, no where exciting, really.

They say the way to a successful blog is to be consistent. Well, I’ve failed in that area.

I’ve been swamped with work, writing, kids, yard work, you name it. But now, with the kids back in school, I hope to be a bigger, more consistent, presence on here.

If you miss my Weekend Gardener, you can find me on my Examiner page, talking about all kinds of gardening subjects. Although, I do hope to get up a post this weekend. (crosses fingers.) 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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They’re coming!

Attack of the zombie geese!

 

And here is their leader. He’s half vulture, half goose, and all bad ass.

He may be smaller, but he rules with an iron… flipper. You see how the other geese bow to his authority, not even daring to look him in the eye?

Be warned. The zombie goose apocalypse is coming.

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Chapter One.

In every writer’s life, there comes that moment when you realize that the novel you’re working on is good. Maybe very good…and you’re in over your head. When you know–to the depth of your being–that the scope of the novel is bigger than you. That it’s possibly more complex than you know how to write.

The feeling is at once overwhelming and humbling. It’s a delicious sensation of awe and fear, endless possibilities mixing with rock solid knowledge that you’re on the right path and anticipation of where that path might take you.

It’s a little like falling in love.

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Friday night I had the privilege of going out to dinner with two of the most wonderful women you will ever meet.

Jennifer Leeland has been a constant support, sometimes cheerleader and always a friendly voice, sometimes when I needed it the most for the last four years or so, but this is the first time we met face to face.  I only met Melissa Blue that night… but where has she been all of my life? LOL We even live in the same town. She’s witty, clever, says it like it is and is my kinda gal. I think only the fact that we’re both very busy and quite reclusive has kept us apart.

I haven’t laughed so much… in longer than I can remember. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and stayed until the wait staff stood in a cluster, shooting furtive glances in our direction… around midnight or so.

And though I planned to order a drink, I never got around to it and, quite frankly, we didn’t need it.

We spoke about writing, publishing, characters, life, marriage, children, and I even learned some valuable things about myself–free counseling, can’t beat it.

 All in all, it was a necessary, and enjoyable evening. Here’s a link the talented Jennifer Leeland’s blog for more pictures and because she says such nice things about me. : )

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This post was inspired by an incident involving sugar, milk, coffee and what happens to the best of us over at Ms Posey’s blog. If you haven’t visited her there, I suggest you do. She has a delightful sense of humor, a keen eye and witty mind…. you have to have those things with 6 children– 4 of which are under 7. That or they dress you in white form-fitting clothing lacking arms.

I haven’t spilled milk lately… I put the milk in my cup first, then the coffee, mixes itself ( try that Crys). But I do have a pet peeve about my kids using way too much milk in their cereal and then dumping it in the sink. I don’t cry. I remind them what mommy is like with no milk for her coffee. It works.

My kids have recently ventured into the Kool-aid making realm. After much pleading, I caved and bought a few packets of Kool-aid, thinking that at least I could control the sugar content, unlike in juice.  In case you’re not familiar with the Kool-aid realm, it involves copious amounts of sugar, bright powder with enough food coloring in it to dye hair (no kidding) and water.

It’s a chemistry experiment where the result is an insane mother stuck to the floor by a bright orange sucrose solution and brightly colored stained grout that doesn’t quite match the dish towels.

Cry? No. It really doesn’t work. Crystal’s right. You need to learn to take a deep breath and let the little things in life slide. That and break out the old toothbrushes, hand one to each child and take advantage of youthful enthusiasm.

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