Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writing Wednesday: An Unbalanced Line



Tell me what you think.

He glanced at me again. “You should back up, stay out of the way.”
“Yes, sir.”  I saluted, watched for a minute or two then asked, “Dad, why do you practice in Spring, anyway?”
“What?” He turned, an expression of irritation across his face. “Because there’s only a few months left until the season,” he snapped. “Now hush up, girl. I can’t sit here and entertain you. I’ve got a job to do.”
I went back and leaned against the wall, watching the team scrimmage. I never really understood the appeal of the game. The Center—would hike the ball and the Quarterback, who always wore a red shirt so he wouldn’t get tackled, would catch it. Then the Quarterback would throw it, hand it off, pitch it, or run it himself. All the while, his opponents would lunge at him, trying to get through his offensive line.  The other defenders ran down field, chasing after the receivers. I thought it seemed like a simple game. As I watched though, I realized how many plays needed to be memorized, and how you always had to be watching and be on your toes, how you needed to be inside the head of your opponents, figuring out and beating them to their next move.  There was more to it than meets the eye.    
    “Hey, Dad, is there something I can do to help?”
     He gave me a quick glance. “Uh, not really, just keep a safe distance.” And so I did and kept watching, keeping a special eye on the quarterback, who was mesmerizing. He seemed to have the most difficult job on the field. He had to be fast and strong, and have good reflexes. He had to be able to see everything, in front of him, coming up next to him. He had to have eyes in the back of his head.  He had to be quick and accurate, graceful, yet tough. He was the leader, the captain, the hero. I was in awe of the responsibility he held. If he failed, the team was sure to fail.  And the quarterback was also the player my dad paid the most attention to. It didn’t suck that he was totally hot, either.
     During one play, the quarterback—Brady Briggs— who I immediately crushed over—threw a beautiful pass down the field. The receiver went up for the ball, but he tipped it off his fingers, popping it up in the air and out of bounds. It landed at my feet. I bent down and picked it up, flipped it end over end a few times. As I turned that ball over and over in my hands, I got an idea. One that would help me and my dad get along, to become like a real father and daughter.
     My dad came and snatched the ball away from me and tossed it back out to the quarterback. I looked up at him and smiled, knowing in my heart that this would bring us together.  My dad looked at me funny and said, “You look like you’re up to something.”
     “Chu—no.” He still looked at me suspiciously.
     I nodded and went back to watching the practice, plotting in my head all the while.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I need some love.

So I've been filling in at the YA Rebels this week and you know, I'm not a regular, so I need some love so I can look cool.

I spoke my mind about LGBT History Month, I carved (no I didn't I crafted, horribly I might add and you could win a prize if you "like" mine here) a pumpkin, and today I asked three dead people one question each. Maybe I'm too controversial. I don't know.

I feel okay about my other posts. I KNOW I'm not going to get as many as the OTHER Rebels because, you know, I'm just a fill in, but today I don't feel any love at all. So go love me here. Give me a thumbs up. Leave a comment. It's my last day filling in.

Okay, thinking about those on the East Coast, finishing up some revisions so I can  start on NaNo tomorrow night, and trying out some Gummy Vodka.

Night Y'all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's almost NaNoWriMo and I'm going to barf

Yes, my plan is to do NaNo this year. What is NaNoWriMo you ask? It's a 30 day challenge to writers to write a 50k book in 30 days. Perfectly doable,right? It is, but it takes dedication. Oh, and 1667 words a day. 

Um, my plan was to finish typing up these revisions first. *cough* cue the tumbleweeds.

I'm still hoping to do that. I have a couple days vacation ahead of me and I hope to clickity clack at the keyboard. But it's sunny. And there's a pool. And a casino close by. And cookie dough vodka.

okay, I may be taking the ms and laptop out into the sun to get this motherf*@ker done.

I think my NaNo project is pretty cool. It's a series I'm starting. It was a toss up between the two series I want to write, a dystopian, and this one. I asked opinions and this one won out. Not giving anything away. I think it's an original idea and I want to keep it that way.

Are you doing NaNo? Do you want to share your project? I've not signed up on the website yet, I'll do it tonight, but find me and lets connect

To find out more about NaNoWriMo click here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Things I Hate: Bullies

It still is National Bully Prevention Month and I wanted to share the story of Molly Burke. I thank the beautiful ladies at The Middle Ages and my wonderful friend Gae Polisner for sharing her story otherwise, I'd never had come across it.

It is heartbreaking. It is horrible. You wonder how humans can treat their own kind in this cruel fashion. 

I urge you to watch the first two minutes otherwise you won't understand this girls story in full traumatic detail. (it's not the best quality video, but the audio is what's important).

 Molly's speech is from the We Day even in Canada. We Day is a movement of young people leading local and global change, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.

The movement is a blueprint for young people to take action as agents of social change. This generation believe they can make an impact on society, remove barriers, create change to make the world a better place. Find out more about We Day here. Find out more about Molly Burke here.

It's inspiring to see young people trying to make a positive difference in society, but it's even more inspiring to see a young girl rise above adversity to inspire others that may be in her same situation to show them that they're not alone and they can overcome the obstacles in their paths.

Let's work together to end bullying once and for all and as Gandhi says, be the change we wish to see in the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Writing: An Unbalanced Line

From my rewrite and now round of revisions. I'm typing them up right now. This is toward the beginning when my protagonist, Chelsea, loses her mom to cancer. Tell me what you think.



By the time the doctors found the cancer, it was already widespread so the attempts at chemo and radiation proved to be futile. They gave her four to six months. We had no family to speak of. Mom’s parents were long dead, having been taken from this earth by a crackhead mugger. I had no aunts and uncles on my mom’s side, as she was an only child. My parents divorced when I was six and my dad lived a couple states away along with his sister and my Grandma Frankie—that’s short for Francesa. My mom had lots of friends though, and they took turns coming in and helping out, along with hospice, but mostly my mom’s best friend, Suki,.
I felt so helpless as I sat by her side and watched her hair fall out, as she disintegrated in her own bed, as her body grew weaker and more frail by the day, then finally as she silently slipped out of consciousness. Her already labored breath would catch, and her chest would heave when it became too painful even to breathe. I slept when she finally died after just three months, and I was glad for it. I wouldn’t want to have watched her take her last breath.
     Upon waking that morning, I went downstairs to find Suki and an odd pair of undertakers in my living room. The first undertaker was just like the ones you see in the movies. His name was George and he was very tall and pale with dark hair and a deep voice. The other’s name was George too. I know, too weird. He was the comic relief. It was almost like watching a vaudeville act instead of the men who were going to take my dead mom’s body out of my house forever.
     I stared, numb and feeling as if I was watching a movie instead of standing there in my own life. Suki paid attention as the undertakers delivered their monologues and then went about their duties. I stood there for a long time and Suki just let me, staying quiet, occasionally walking by and patting my arm or rubbing my shoulder between phone calls and cleaning and such.  I finally sat down when the undertakers rolled my mom out on a stretcher in a big black plastic bag with a zipper down the front. They handed Suki some pamphlets as they left. I went to the door, peeked out the peephole and ran my hand against the smooth oak. I watched them load up the plastic bag that held my mom’s body. I watched the Georges climb into their death mobile and drive away, then went to my mom’s room. The air was suffocating and musty. The scent of decay lingered.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

YA Rebels Pumpkin Carving Contest Giveaway

So, this week (and last week and next week) I'm filling in at the YA Rebels vlog for the wonderful Corrine Jackson while she cuts back on the interwebs to get her writerly stuff caught up. This week the Rebels are each carving a pumpkin and you, the viewer are going to judge them. Here's how the contest is going to work:

On Sunday the Rebels will post photos of each of the pumpkins on their Facebook page. You
"Like" your favorite pumpkin (you only get to vote ONE time!) and you'll be entered to win signed copies of TEN by Gretchen McNeil and VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks. U.S./Canada only. You have until midnight on the 30th to enter, and a winner will be announced on Halloween!

So there it is. I'm going for the sympathy vote since I'm not an official Rebel...yet. Here's my video for your viewing pleasure. Go leave me a comment and make me look popular. They have an opening for Wednesday I hear.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Monkey Madness: Helping Out Your Favorite Writers

Photo by Michael Elliott

There are many ways in which you can help your favorite writers get their books the attention they deserve. This is especially helpful to those authors who don't have the big blockbuster series that have major backing from their publishers.

Two ways are through Amazon.com: reviewing and tagging. 

If a book gets a certain amount of reviews, Amazon will give it better visibility on their site which will result in better sales.

You could also tag the book. This is close to the bottom of the product page, labeled under 'Tags Customers Associate With This Product'. You can agree with tags already in place or add your own. You're allowed up to 15 tags. This will also give the book better visibility.

So, if there is a small quiet book, *cough* Never Eighteen *cough* that you really enjoyed, consider doing this to help the author get the word out about the book.

Have a great Monday.

Insanely Yours,

Megan   

Friday, October 19, 2012

F³A: Teen Read Week Wrap Up! Drabble Winner!

I want to thank everyone who entered my Drabble Contest!! I received so many good entries, spooky, creepy, funny, eerie, it was hard to pick a winner, but I did. The winner is Andrea Stanet!! Congrats Andrea. I liked her entry, titled Just Because, because it was creepy, but it also made me giggle. Here's her entry.

Just Because by Andrea Stanet

After the season premiere of Zombie Hunters, Karen walked Marlene across the back yard, halfway home. 

“The one thing that has never happened, and can never happen, in human history is the one thing you’re afraid of,” Karen teased.

“Just because it has never happened doesn’t mean it can’t.”

The bushes at the edge of the woods rustled. Karen’s head whipped around. “What was that?”

“Ha ha. Don’t try to scare me.”

They parted. 

A moment later, Marlene heard a scream, several moans and wet slurps.
It sucked being right all the time. She ran inside and barricaded the door.

Andrea wins a signed ARC of Danny Mark's Velveteen, a signed marred copy of Never Eighteen, bookmarks for both books, I'm going to throw some other 2k12 swag in there too. So congrats to Andrea!!! yay.

Friday Scribbles:

Next Pandora Song (Beck Station): The Hardest Button to Button by the White Stripes
 
 Book of the Week: An Unbalanced Line by me. Because it feels like I've been revising it forever and it's the only book I can concentrate on right now.

Netflix/Redbox of the Week: All I have to say is this right now, "What's TV?"

Quote of the week:  “Often, a school is your best bet-perhaps not for education but certainly for protection from an undead attack.” ― Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide

Have a great weekend. I know I will. I'm getting my Halloween on! 

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teen Read Week: Favorite Teen Books I've Read This Year

This year I've not read as much as I would have liked to, but I've read a bit. Come on though! I've been revising two books, trying to find an agent, keep up with two teenagers, including teaching one to drive, and have taken on more projects than any normal human should.

BUT, I have read some, and of these some, here are my favorites:

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay. This is a novel in verse about a girl forced to move to a beach home with her mother after her parents split. She's having to come to terms with the move, making new friends, her relationships back home, her mother's depression, and the reasons behind her parents problems. It's very moving and Sarah's poetry is flowing and beautiful. It was so good I read it in one day.

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges. This is the first in a trilogy, in fact the second just came out recently (like 9 days ago). Admittedly, you need to be patient in the beginning because while it's paranormal it's authentically historic and introducing the characters and getting used to the way they interact takes a little getting used to, at least for me. Once the story got into full swing, which is about a necromancer in Russia having to deal with all sorts of paranormal creatures as well as coming to terms with her own gift (or is that a curse?), I couldn't put it down.

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt. The book is astounding. It's about a boy struggling to get along in a new town, new school with a jerk brother, an even jerkier dad, a sad mom, and another brother coming back forever injured from Vietnam. He finds solace in the library among Audubon's birds.

The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats. I'm not a historical fiction person, in fact, I'm not sure I've ever read a historical fiction book in my life. Once I picked this one up though, I couldn't put it down. I'm also amazed by how much research had to have gone into this novel. It's apparent that Ms. Coats did her homework. As she describes it, Medieval Girls Gone Bad. Love it.
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. I've always loved mysteries. I devoured my way through Agatha Christie, Dennis Lehane, and Harlan Coben novels. So bring mystery to YA and I'm all over it. Allie is in a car crash which kills her boyfriend, but she can't remember a thing. Through the book, and as her memories start coming back to her, we're given glimpses of her abusive relationship, and start to wonder, as Allie does, if she had something to do with the accident.




Velveteen by Danny Marks. This book is awesome. Velvet is murdered by a serial killer then lives her afterlife in an ash covered Purgatory. What she really wants to do is haunt her killer to death, instead she's stuck trying to find a way to stop a soul rebellion before it destroys the world of the living. She's got her work cut out for her. Tim Burton should make this into a movie. But one of his good movies, not one of his bad movies.



 Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I don't think I really need to say anything here. LOVE.

I've read lots of other good books, but these are the ones that are stand outs for me this year. Tomorrow I think I'll talk about favorite YA books EVA!!!

Don't forget my Drabble contest ends tonight at 5 pm PST! I've got some good entries. It's going to be a tough competition!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teen Read Week: Author Visit Fun! And don't forget my drabble contest!!!

For Teen Read Week I was invited, along with Helen Landalf (Flyaway), Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares, and Chelsea Campbell (The Rise of Renegade X) to the Burien Library. We introduced our books, and read a little bit. We had a great crowd of teens there, readers and writers alike. They asked a bunch of great questions about our books, our writing process, and the publishing process. It was a lot of fun. I love doing visits with teens and writers.

Tomorrow night I get to go to the Olympia Barnes and Noble with Helen, Marissa Meyer (Cinder), Kiki Hamilton (The Faerie Ring and Torn Wing), Kevin Emerson (The Oliver Nocturne Series), and Mikko Azul (Askari). It starts at 5:30, so if you're in the area, come on by.

I've spearheaded many events for our local young adult and middle grade writers. We'll soon have a website up and running. If you're interested in having a group of writers come to your book store, library, school, or book club, send me an email.

For more information on Teen Read Week visit the website.

And don't forget to enter my Drabble contest if you haven't, visit the contest post for details. There are GREAT prizes to be won!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bully Prevention Month: Amanda Todd

She's all over cyberspace, so I'm sure you've already heard her story, if not, here's a video she made one month before her suicide. You should really watch it in its entirety. It's a tragic and haunting look at how bullying can destroy a life. She was only fifteen.

I don't even care what she did. People make mistakes. We all have. It doesn't give anyone the right to humiliate, stalk, and terrorize someone to the point that they become depressed, harm themselves and think their only way out of it is to die.

Perhaps the most troubling thing about this, she's continuing to be bullied in death. People are posting horrible memes. They calling her names, even on the dedication pages made in her honor. They're making fun of her tragic situation. It's cruel and inhuman.

We need to do whatever we can to put an end to this. Bullying is a pandemic and as it did with Amanda it can have a deadly effect.

What can we do? Make bullying illegal. Other than that, I don't know. Here's a start: the Stop Bullying Website. Also, here's a petition to arrest the cyberstalker. Officials have received an anonymous tip about his whereabouts and the fact that he's a 30 year old, which makes him a pedophile as well.

 Let's not let Amanda die in vain. Make a stand. Do something.


If I get any negative or nasty remarks on this post, I will delete them and perhaps even report them.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Teen Read Week Contest is ON!!

My Halloween/Drabble contest has begun. If you didn't read my blog last week, I'm giving away some great prizes, and today I'm sweetening the pot for all you writers out there.

First off, I will once again explain Drabble. A drabble is a short work of fiction, exactly one hundred words in length (I may be lenient with that), not necessarily including the title. Here's a site that talks a little about drabble, and here are some examples.

I'm giving away a signed ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of fellow 2k12er and Apocalyptie Danny Mark's Velveteen, which is truly awesome. I've read it, I love it. So will you. I'm also giving away a bit of a marred copy (it's got the title page ripped out because I messed up on the spelling of someone's name) of Never Eighteen, also signed. I have a Never Eighteen poster I will sign. I'm throwing in Never Eighteen and Velveteen bookmarks, and a bunch of 2k12 and Apocalyptie swag.

And I"m ADDING...your choice...a query critique or a 10 page manuscript critique. I know 10 pages doesn't seem like a lot, but you can actually get a good sense of a person's writing in 10 pages. Okay? 

Where do you send your entry? Click here or send it to meganbosticbooks (at) gmail (dot) com. (you know, replace the stuff in parenthesis with the symbols. I'm shutting it down 5 pm Thursday, announcing the winner Friday right here on my blog. Maybe on my Youtube. Probably on my Facebook. More than likely on my Twitter.

Get on it folks, I already have one entry!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

F³A: Contest Next Week: Win Danny Marks Velveteen Arc!!!

I'm announcing this now so you can get your thinking caps on because it's a writing contest. Don't worry. You don't need to write much. It's a Drabble contest. What's Drabble you say? Well let me tell you. A drabble is a short work of fiction, exactly one hundred words in length (I may be lenient with that), not necessarily including the title.

What will you win? As I said in the title, I've got Danny Marks ARC of Velveteen, signed. I've got a messed up copy of Never Eighteen, and when I say messed up, it means I messed up on the signing (spelled the name wrong) so I ripped that page out. So I will now sign it to you. I also have a signed Never Eighteen poster and Velveteen and Never Eighteen bookmarks and other swag.

Why am I holding this awesome contest you ask? Well in honor of Teen Read Week of course. And what is Teen Read Week?  It's a program put on by the Young Adult Library Services Association. It's a time to celebrate reading for fun and encourage teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms —books and magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more — and become regular library users.

So, how do you enter? Write a piece of Drabble with a Scary/Halloween theme, it can be scary, funny, gross, whatever. Send it to my email meganbosticbooks (at) gmail . com Monday-Thursday of next week. All entries must be in by Thursday 5 pm Pacific time. I will announce the winner on my Friday morning blog.

Spread the word. I'd prefer not to get 2 entries.

Friday Scribbles

Next Pandora Song: The Way We Get By by Spoon


Book of the Week: Velveteen of course

Netflix of the Week: Friday Night Lights Season Three. Will Smash get in to Texas Tech? Don't tell me.

Quote of the Week: "People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy... and I keep it in a jar on my desk." ~ Stephen King

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Class of 2k13

Can you believe this year is close to being over? And with that brings a new 2k class. Yep, the class of 2k13, Books Without Boundaries is up and running as of today. 20 new Young Adult and Middle Grade authors coming your way in 2013 in all different genres. Find them all over cyberspace and check them out.

Website
The Authors
Books
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Oh, and they're giving away some big prizes including a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card, a prize pack of awesome swag, and all the 2k12 books. You better check out their blog to find out how to win.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

National Bully Prevention Month: Unity Day

Today is Unity Day. What is Unity Day you ask? It's a call to action to "Make it orange, make it end, and unite against bullying ." Those in support wear orange to unite  and send a message to anyone being bullied to show them that they're not alone. Most of us have been bullied at some point in our lives and we're making a stand against it. I think it's also sending a message to bullies that we're standing up to them, together.

 Ellen Degeneres is a big Unity Day proponent and wears orange in support. To find out more about Unity Day and to find great ideas to promote Unity Day visit the Pacer National Bully Prevention Center website.
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bully Prevention Month: my bully story

We all have bully stories, right?

Bullying in my elementary came in all forms, physical, mental, and sexual. If you read my post on Uniquely Moi yesterday, you'll see that there was a boy named Mark that tormented me from kindergarten to 3rd grade. He was mean for sure, but he also made sexual remarks that no child that age should have even knew to make.

I don't know if times were just different then, or if it was the school I went to, which I would find hard to believe as I lived in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in the city and went to one of the schools with the highest test scores. But there were numerous boys with this kind of knowledge, and the girls in school were sexually harassed throughout our elementary school years, which wouldn't be tolerated in this day and age.

Anyway, I digress. Today I'm going to tell you about a boy I went to school with named David. The incidents I'm remembering happened around 3rd and 4th grade. One instance took place while I was babysitting in his apartment building. I was on the third floor. He must have seen me go in the building. He stood outside and serenaded me the Beatles, I Want to Hold Your Hand, instead he replaced the word hand with another body part *cough*. He sang it over and over and yelled for me to come down. It felt like he was out there all day. I'm sure it was only about five minutes or so. I might have been embarrassed, but I also remember feeling fear, intimidation.Imight mention that he was about a foot taller than me.

Then one day at school a group of girls including me, were walking down the hall and saw his jacket lying in the hallway, well, we thought it would be funny to just toss it in the bathroom. No big deal right? Well, it ended up in the toilet. The bunch of us were called into the office, of course no one fessed up.

During PE class, when our teacher walked into his office for a few minutes, David came up to me and accused me. I told him I didn't do it. he shoved me. I told him again I didn't do it. Back then we all wore hoodies, well, he grabbed my hood and began pulling me back and forth by it, cussing me out and choking me. I couldn't scream, I couldn't breathe. I was losing consciousness. No one was trying to stop him from what I remember. It was only when the teacher came back out did it stop.

He moved away after 4th grade. Needless to say, I didn't miss him.
What's your bully story?

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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