Monday, February 28, 2011

Contest: Closed & the Winner is...

wordfoolery!

Congratulations, wordfoolery! You may have your pick of one of the three prizes. Note: if you live overseas, there is a chance the Penguin mints and the Isoflex ball (containing unknown materials) may not be legal to ship to you and will therefore be taken out of the first prize. That still leaves:

-The Elements of Style
-The Bic pens
-The Moleskine journal

should you choose 1st prize

-The pocket watch

should you choose 2nd prize

and..

-"Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don't Float"

should you choose 3rd prize.

Again, congratulations, wordfoolery! Be sure to send your ENTIRE mailing address to bethovermyer[at]gmail[dot]com!

Please respond by April 1st.

Thanks again,
Beth

Note: Despite what the time says, it is March 1, 12:00 AM EST

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Week Left!

There's only one week left to turn in your Time Warp submissions! Two entries so far, and they are good ones!

Friday, February 18, 2011

On the Menu: A What If...?

If Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice had a restaurant...

NOW HIRING!

Mrs. Long proudly presents her new cafe, "Eat a Little, Talk a Lot."

...

"Why, hello, have I got the dish on... ice cream! Of course. You want to know our flavors. Here are our just desserts:

- Plain Jane Vanilla
- Bing(ley) Cherry
- Collin Daz's Preachy Pompous Peach
- Banana Bennet Bonanza
- Cantaloupe Elope

"But don't forget to take a look at our lunch menu! We serve:

- Longbourne Steaks
- Crow
- Humble Pie (Miss Caroline Bingley's favorite!)

"And our cocktail/cafe menu:

- Bloody Mary
- Fizzy Lizzy
- Mock-Bravado (Mr. Wickham's own invention!)

"Oh, you're admiring my signs?"

Sign #1: DO NOT STEAL. IT IS A CAPITOL OFFENSE!
Sign #2: WANTED: A MAN IN POSSESSION OF A GREAT FORTUNE

"Thank you for stopping in, Mr. Darcy. I hope you come ready to eat! For there is no greater amusement for young people!"

*Mr. Darcy wants a Fizzy Lizzy... and that's all... to go.*

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Don't forget to enter "The Time Warp" (link provided above with my tabs.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love 'n' Literature

Happy Valentine's Day, dear Reader/Writer! In honor of the day, I present you with romantic lines from some of my favorite novels!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" - Emily Bronte, "Wuthering Heights" (spoken by Catherine Earnshaw of Heathcliff and herself)

"Reader, I married him" - Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre" (Jane on Mr. Rochester)

"Of love... daroga... I am dying... of love" - Gaston Leroux, "The Phantom of the Opera" (spoken by Erik)

"You pierce my soul" - Jane Austen, "Persuasion" (Captain Wentworth in a letter to Anne)

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Have a very happy, love-filled day! Also, don't forget to enter The Time Warp contest, which closes in two weeks.

~Beth

Saturday, February 12, 2011

10 Commandments of Internet-ing

1. Thou shall not post things on blogs, writing forums, twitter, Facebook, etc., when in emotional distress or anger. Chances are, you don't have perspective on the situation you're about to blab to the world, and it will mostly likely come back to haunt you.

2. Thou shall not troll. Anywhere, at anyone, for any reason, whatsoever. EVER.

3. Thou shall not feed trolls. Yeah, it may seem fun at first, but you're probably just making enemies for yourself.

4. Thou shall not bash the business, editors, agents, fellow writers, or anyone online (or in person, for that matter.) It makes you seem like, well, a not-so-nice person. And who wants to work with a meanie?

5. Thou shall think hard before you hit send. Will this hurt someone? Will it eventually hurt me? (Yeah, I'm not always the best at following this rule.)

6. Thou shall not put yourself down. The meek shall inherit the earth, however... those that bash and abuse themselves will draw more sympathy than respect. A few funny jabs at yourself are fine (who doesn't love someone who can laugh at themself?), but things like "My book sucks" or "I suck" are no-nos.

7. Thou shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth... unless you're being sarcastic to make a point or a joke (at no one's expense.) If you are not JK Rowling's best bud, but you say you are, there are ways to verify. Yeah, I've got Jo on speed dial... I'll call and ask her, so help me!

...

'hem

8. Thou shall avoid lecturing on subjects you know nothing about. I'm not going to post about antecedents, because, honestly, half the time I can't remember the definition. If I learn more on the subject, maybe I'll have an antecedent blogfest or something.

9. Thou shall not complain. About writing. About lack of representation. About lack of blog followers. Anything... except the snow. Now THAT is something to complain about. Try to be positive on the Internet as much as possible. Gloomy Guss is soooo yesteryear.

10. Thou shall be true to thineself. Don't blog about what you don't want to blog about... unless, of course, you want to. Hmm. That sounded better in my head. Perhaps I should think hard before hitting "send."

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Don't forget to enter my contest! HERE

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Time Warp Contest!

I've done it: I've completed my first draft of "In a Pickle." And I intend not to be the only one who benefits from this.

"In a Pickle" follows a boy on his time travels. In Charlie Pickle's honor, I give you the...

TIME WARP CONTEST!
Write a paragraph on what era (be it past or future) you would want to travel to and why. Tell me in fewer than 200 words and no fewer than 50. Post your paragraph in the comments section between now and February 28th to qualify.

RULES and ELIGIBILITY
-50 to 200 words
-Post in the comments section
-Post no later than 11:59 EST on February 28th
-You must be at least eighteen (18) years old
-RULE CHANGE: You don't HAVE TO be a resident of the US. It would be nice, but if you're not, I won't have a cow ;-)
-You must have fun!

My three favorite entries will be announced on March 3rd.

PRIZES:
-Third place: A copy of "Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens who Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook" (a very funny read for any lover of classics)

- Second place: A replica of an antique pocket watch (time travel appropriate, no?)

and last but not least:

- First place: A writer's goody box, which includes:
1 box of Bic pens (12)
1 Moleskine ruled notebook (pocket)
3 boxes of Penguin Caffeinated Chocolate mints (nom!)
1 Isoflex stress ball
1 hardcover copy of Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style"

Sound worth playing for? Then get a-writin'! And be sure to tell all your friends.
____
Oh, entries go in the comments below

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Does It Snow?

Snow is made when it's cold. We all know this... I hope.

But I want to take things a step further: WHY does it snow? Not the how but the purpose.

Some say snow helps fertilize fields for excellent planting soil. Rubbish. It snows for this one simple reason. Are you ready? I'm ready. The truth is:

It snows to keep writers inside, writing.

Yes, my fellow writers, we are to blame for this icy mess. It's God's and Nature's way of forcing us to do what we do best and often times what we want to do least.

When the weather's great we have excuses like "I need to soak up some vitamin D" or "I need a tan" or "Today's too nice to waste indoors," etc. But when it's chilly and flaky out, we have no excuse.

Cold? Curl up with your laptop. That should thaw out your lap in no time.

Tired? Sleep on your keyboard and sort out the jumbled mess of letters later.

Sneezing? Screens are a breeze to clean with your elbow-patched writerly sleeves.

Bored? Kill someone... in your manuscript, of course.

Telephone line goes out because of heavy icing? Perfect! Now you have no Internet to distract you.

Power line goes out because of strong winds? Pretend to be Laura Ingalls and write by the light of a candle, you big baby.

The list goes ever on and on.

So, yesssss, my preciousssesss: We are to blame for winter. Let's do the write thing and write until our fingers fall off. How else can we make spring come faster?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writers are Like Dogs, Not Cats

Writers feed off of praise.
So do dogs.
Cats? "Unless you have catnip behind your back, don't talk to me."

Writers complete complicated tasks. Writing, editing, staying off the Internet...
There are dog shows where dogs heel, sit, and do other tricks.
Ever been to a cat show? "Meeeerrrrowww! I've been sitting on my butt in this cage all day while some jerk in a white coat pokes at me through the bars. Not cool." *SCRATCH*

Writers are constantly learning about and honing their craft.
We've all heard of dog training...
No one ever mentions cat training.

Writers can feel lonely at times because of their job.
Dogs can feel lonely when Master is gone.
Cats? "PARTAYYY! The humans are gone... finally."

Most writers like writing.
Most dogs like begging.
Most cats? They like sleeping. That's about the only thing writers share in common with felines.

If dogs and writers are so much alike, why do cats seem to be the prefurred pet? Opposites attract, I guess :-P

Cats rule and dogs drool... do writers drool, too??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why I Won't Critique a Story

These are the top things that stop me from critiquing a story, in no particular order:

- Poor formatting. Don't forget to double-space paragraphs or at least indent!

- I am very picky within that genre. Example: I'm a little prejudiced against some Science Fiction, but The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a hit with me. Why? The humor. I'm a sucker for out-there humor. But that's just personal preference. In other words, it's not always you; it might be me.

- So many grammar and spelling mistakes right off the bat that the story is either too hard to understand or makes me want to grab a red pen.

- Long paragraphs and super-long sentences can sometimes turn me off to someone's story.

- A poor hook. Though, I usually give things a chapter or so before I give up on it.

- Gore, rape, extreme violence. Again, personal preference. Even if I'm half way through the book, I might put it down because of those things.

- If someone wants me to start critiquing halfway through the story, I might do it, but ten chapter in... I probably won't connect with the characters or understand what's going on/worldbuilding, etc.

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That's some of my list. I wonder what turns other people off to critting.