Thursday Thrills!

I know.  You can barely contain your excitement for today’s post.  I apologize if I’m responsible for keeping you up all night, tossing and turning, checking the clock every thirty seconds in hopes that it was morning so you could finally tune in and see who won the contest and what the surprise is 🙂

But you can stop champing at the bit.  The big moment has arrived….  Who knew Thursday could be this thrilling?

First, I am pleased to announce the winner of Monday’s Picture Book Game Contest!

(Drum roll please… Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!)

And the winner is…. Jenny!

Congratulations, Jenny, come on down!

Let’s show Jenny her prize.  In addition to the SLHill title of her choice, personally signed in any way she’d like, Jenny wins the admiration of her puzzle-solving peers, and the opportunity to have her name up in pink on this blog!  YAY, JENNY!!!  

(Jenny, please use the “email me” button in the right margin of the blog to let me know which book you’d like, how you want it signed, and what your mailing address is.  Well done!)

I think our other finalists deserve a moment of recognition for their stellar attempts, don’t you?  So we will celebrate them in runner-up orange:  Yay, Megan, Teri, and Diane!  Excellent work!

To everyone else, good try and don’t worry… there will be other opportunities to win soon.  You know perfectly well that I can’t resist making up contests 🙂

Now, for the surprise.  Really, could this day get any better?

The book trailer for April Fool, Phyllis! is at last up and running on YouTube!  Here’s the link:

April Fool, Phyllis! – Children’s Picture Book Trailer

Please turn the sound up so you can hear the catchy tune that goes with it (although I should warn you – if you’re like me, it’s liable to get stuck in your head for weeks :))

Please feel free to click “like” and share the link with every single person you know – I want to go viral 🙂  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  Probably there should be a book trailer award for homemade imovie trailers – like an Academy Award – only instead of the Oscar it could be the Phyllis… 🙂

Enjoy, everyone!  And don’t forget to join me here at 10:30 for The Writer’s Club where this morning’s topic will be… anything you feel like talking about!

Blue Monday? Bah! Humbug! Play the Write Contest!

When I was in school, back in the 1900s, I liked English (surprise, surprise!)

Math, not so much.  I mean, seriously, what are you supposed to do with this?

Well, since you asked, that is the formula for calculating the most depressing day of the year, whereby Sky Travel hoped to book a lot of vacations.

Taking into account the weather, debt, time since the holidays, failure of New Year’s resolutions, motivational level, the need to take action, and the fact that it’s Monday, the formula doesn’t actually work and is completely meaningless in mathematical terms.  And yet it still allows us to know that today, January 17, 2011, is the Most Depressing Day of this Year.  See how useful math is(n’t)?

Even though it’s totally bogus, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Now that people know which day they’re supposed to be most depressed, they follow along like sheep.

But here’s what I think.  Bah!  Humbug!  I don’t want you to be depressed!  It’s a beautiful day (even though it’s zero!) and I have something to cheer you up!  A game!  With a prize!

Below is a list of (I think pretty) well-known picture books and their authors.  The trick is, all you get is initials.  For example:  CW by EBW (which would, of course, be Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – yes, I realize that’s not a picture book, I’m just giving you an example – I don’t want to give away the farm!)

Get it?

So figure them all out and list them in the comments (and no cheating! – we’re on the honor system here!  Keep your eyes on your own paper because other people might be wrong, and if you copy you will not have the satisfaction of a job well done and you will feel guilty should you win!)

If you get them all, you will be eligible to win a free signed copy of whichever of my books you want (although if you choose April Fool, Phyllis you’ll have to wait a bit because I don’t have any yet :))  This is assuming anyone plays and that at least one person gets all the answers.

Since I realize not everyone reads all blogs every day, you have until midnight Wednesday January 19 to get your answers in.  You may ask for an extension if need be.  Since I am in charge, and exceptionally nice, I might consider it. And I’ll give you one hint:  these are all traditional picture books – not novelty books or early readers –  and they are all personal favorites (and that was actually two hints!)

So, you’re not depressed anymore, are you?  You’re energized, motivated, and gung-ho to beat everyone else to the finish line!

Good luck everyone!  Ready, set, GO!

1.  CG by HAR
2.  BAJFF by RH
3.  L,L,C by BW
4.  WTWTA by MS
5.  OBAG by PR
6.  M by LB
7.  FNATPP by JO’C
8.  MWFD by RM
9.  PP by SLH
10.  MMAHSS by VLB
11.  HTDD by GZ
12.  AATT,H,NG,VBD by JV
13.  TPE by CVA
14.  TVHC by EC
15.  TRF by MP
16.  TSOF by ML
17.  LPPP by KH

(P.S.  It’s nearly 10:30 – time for The Writer’s Club – so grab your coffee and come on over and say what’s on your mind this morning!  I’m thinking about PLOT – and how hard it is!)

The Writer’s Club

Writing can be a lonely business – just you, your computer (or notebook and pen), your mug of coffee (or tea if you lean that way), and your thoughts (should you happen to have any :))

If you’re lucky, you might also have your dogs keeping your feet warm (or your cat lying on top of your work in that oh-so-helpful way that cats have!)

But let’s face it, as writers, we spend a lot of time alone.

Wouldn’t it be great if all us writer’s could take a break every morning from 10:30 – 10:45 and have a good old fashioned coffee klatch?  Just put our writing aside for a few minutes and chat – about writing, frustration and success, who’s working on what and how it’s going, our fears and hopes and aspirations, and the fact that the laundry is NEVER DONE?

Sometimes I think you have to be a writer to get writers.  There are a whole host of discussion topics I never tire of (How do I get through the tricky part of my current WIP?  How do I make my MC seem real?  What’s the best way to convey emotion without sentimentality?  Why did Skippyjon Jones get a stuffty when Phyllis didn’t?  Will I ever sell another ms?  What if I never have another idea in my ENTIRE LIFE? :)) that the non-writer people in my life would be more than happy never to discuss at all!

So I think we should have a club.  I’d suggest the Breakfast Club but that’s been done.  Let’s have the Writer’s Club.  Every day at 10:30, come on over here and post whatever is on your mind, and all your writer friends will chime in with sage advice, words of encouragement, or writerly commiseration.  It will be fifteen minutes of the day we can all look forward to, companionship and understanding guaranteed!

Of course, on this particular day, I will not be here at 10:30 – I have a non-negotiable appointment with my son’s laundry (what did I just say about laundry?!) – but y’all can get started without me and I’ll catch up once the washing machine is running!

Happy Writing!