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Hi everybody!

I've moved my blog from here to http://www.vrleavitt.com

I hope you will follow my adventures! I'll be sure to keep following yours!

-VR.

Brad Meltzer and Geocaching

Brad Meltzer, for those who don't know, is a suspense writer. Today, his novel, "Book of Lies" comes out in paperback and as a tie-in, he's set up a Geocache with clues coming from the book.

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game that you play with a GPS. People hide caches all over the world, you can log in to Geocaching.com to get the coordinates and then set off on your treasure hunt. I've been doing it for about a year and a half and it's super fun. (Yes, I'm a dork.)

As far as a promotional tool for the book, this is just brilliant...it uses passages from the book, it introduces an activity (Geocaching), that would appeal to the target demographic for the book. Also, for people who are unfamiliar with Brad Meltzer, but who may already be Geocachers, this introduces the book and him to a bunch of potential book buyers. Unique and powerful marketing.

Brad has teamed up with the Freemason's Masonic Geocaching Society to create and place the caches and the First to Find prize includes an unactivated trackable Masonic Geocoin. To read more about the cache, and "Book of Lies," click here.

Some Publicity for a Fellow Writer...

If you're an aspiring writer, you have to check out this e-book!




Why do we do this?

That question can be applied to several aspects of everybody's life, but I'm specifically talking about writers.

The other day, I was banging my head against the wall, not able to complete a chapter of my WIP, ready to scrap this whole writing thing, when I realized that I just couldn't. Even if I stopped actively writing, characters would still drift through my mind and 'what if' scenarios would still give me a buzz. I never set out to be a writer. I wanted to be in radio, but I kept getting these ideas that I thought would make good stories and several years later, here I am writing them down. One day, I hope to sell them, but even if I don't, I don't see myself NOT writing.

But, why? Is it an illness? Maybe. But it's not a unique conundrum in artistic circles.

So, tell me. How'd you get started? Why do you continue?

You Better Work!

Well, this guy sure did. Read how Peter Brett wrote his novel on his CELL PHONE!


Click here for the article. Then share...how do you work? At a desk with a lamp? On the train? On your lunch break? Leave a comment and let us know!

The Future of Publishing

This is a GREAT podcast from BeyondTheBookCast.com If you are a writer or in publishing, check it out!

Click here.

Kicked in the nuts.

Ok, so the writing contest. Didn't make quarterfinals. That's ok. Honestly, I didn't really expect do. I did, however, get a nice little not saying that my pitch was good and that my excerpt got two reviews which I would get at a later date.

GREAT! What valuable feedback for a writer! I was elated, ecstatic! Walking on air! (Insert other happy cliches here).

But you didn't win, or even make quarterfinals...why so happy?

Because when times are tough, even a little good news is a good thing. And things have definitely been a little tough lately. I've been not working out like I want to, down to about once a week. I know, better than nothing, but still falling short of my goals. Two people got laid off at my office, and who knows if more are coming, so I grow a few more gray hairs over that. Then, my husband gets laid off. We're not destitute or anything, but still, it's cut our income in half.

So, you see how two reviews of my excerpt made my day, week, month.

Then, I got kicked in the nuts. Now, I'm a girl...so I don't actually have nuts, but if I did, I definitely feel like I'd been kicked there.

My two days of elation over my forthcoming reviews were short lived as I then got another note, a grammatically incorrect one, I might add, saying that they made a mistake. I wasn't going to get the reviews after all.

For a brief moment, I was an eight-year-old with a shiny new Malibu Barbie...and then the town bully came over and pulled her head off, then just to hurt me more, took a pair of scissors to her long, sun kissed hair.

Bastard.

I wasn't the only one involved in the contest scandal, but that didn't really make me feel all that much better. I decided instead to just plunge into the writing and make it better, pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again.

I tried and failed.

I realized I had developed a fairly acute case of "Everything-I-Write-is-Crap-itis." I, and I assume a lot of writers, get it more frequently than we would like. Even previously adored work looks like the amateur ramblings of a twelve-year-old. And then we tell ourselves, no. Even a twelve-year-old could write better than that.

Still not sure if I'm over that, but I feel as though I'm on the upswing. I went to a writer's conference, got inspired and am ready to start again...until something else happens.

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Yes...yes it is. I entered a writing contest and the first round of finalists was to be announced today. So far, no dice. The forums for the contest are hysterical. Some are trying to act nonchalant, others are freaking out. I'm somewhere in between. Trying not to get my hopes up in case I don't make it, but still would like the validation of making it through the first round.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

Not a baby anymore...

Well, my daughter lost her first tooth on Monday. It had been wiggly for a long time and Monday was the day we had to reach in there and get it out. It was time. She was against the whole thing, afraid she wouldn't grow a replacement, but I assured her she would and sure enough, the new one is already poking through.

After we pulled it and I showed it to her and her response to seeing it was, "I miss it, I want it back." Even after I told her the tooth fairy would be visiting, she wanted the tooth back.

Seeing this as one more notch in the 'she's not a baby anymore' post, it put me in a contemplative mood. It reminded me of the time I was birthday shopping for her and realized there were several toy aisles at Target that we'd never buy from again unless it was for another baby. It made me think about how many times do we all look back at something and say to ourselves, "I want that back," even though we knew damn well it was time to move on. Whether it's an old boyfriend/girlfriend, maybe a car you used to have, or just the innocence and relative ease of childhood.

Sometimes that seems great - reminiscing and living in our nostalgia, but we know we can't get it back. We can only move forward, which is hard sometimes, but it's all we really have, so we might as well enjoy the journey.

Today is the first day...

...of the rest of your life. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Well, rather than wait until the new year to start some of my resolutions, I started today. I started with the one that will probably be the hardest for me to continue consistently. The number one resolution made by all people...to exercise.

It was so easy in High School when I was on the swim team. It was built into my day...I had no excuse. Now, I have a million, but I did it. And I will do it again tomorrow.

This morning found me up before the sun, jumping, punching and kicking, while Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame, encouraged (threatened), "I'll always be watching. Even when my back is turned, I'm still watching." I believe him.

It's not that I'm horribly out of shape, but I need to get in better shape, especially if I intend to honor my promise to hike a portion of the AT (Appalachian Trail) with my sister next year. (She's another one who is always watching even when her back is turned.) Besides suffering her disappointment at my not being able to hike with her, if I did embark on the journey not properly trained, it would kind of suck to die in the first day or two.

Here's to pushing onward!!