Sunday, June 22, 2014

Take Me to Your Reader: UtopYA 2014

I had a great weekend attending the UtopYA Convention here in Nashville.  As a newbie attendee, I wasn't sure what to expect but had a fab time milling around Area 51 amid aliens, wizards, and ├╝ber-paranormal writers.

The convention kicked off with an electrifying keynote address by bestselling author, Sylvia Day.  Following that were informative panel discussions, such as "Putting Together a Kick A** Street Team," "The Big Bang: World Building," and ostensibly today's hottest YA topic: "YA vs. NA: Today and Tomorrow."

The first-of-its-kind convention for women writers of contemporary and supernatural YA and NA fiction, this unconventional convention was out of this world (literally)!

(Me with my new extraterrestrial friend!)


Sunday, June 8, 2014

How to Be Popular

An Excerpt From the Award-Winning Tell-All
Lucy and CeCee's How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School 

Okay, CeCee and I are just going to lay it out there.  EVERYONE wants to be popular!  And while some people are just born popular, like Kandi, Kassi, and Kalli, most of us have to work at it (very hard, I might add).  Now, CeCee and I haven’t lied to you, and we’re not going to start now.  We’d like to be a lot more popular than we are.   Oh sure, people know us and we’re not like uber-nerds or anything but we’re not A-crowd either.  That said, we’re working on it.  Meanwhile, we do know what a popular girl looks like, sounds like, and acts like.  So here goes...



Do’s and Don’ts on How to be Popular:

DO - join lots of clubs to meet new people.  Join a sports team; try out for cheerleader; run for student council.  Don’t worry if you make it or not.  Just go for it!  You’ll meet lots of cool people along the way.

DO possess confidence.  Walk down the hall like you’re important and people will think you’re important.  Make eye contact and smile, smile, smile.

DO flaunt a positive attitude.  No one likes a Grumpie Gretchen.

DO go to all the dances and after school social events.

DO go to parties when you’re invited and get your social on.  Sometime during the year (maybe around your birthday) throw your own epic party.  Invite everyone, including the popular kids.

DON’T ever be mean to other kids and DON’T gossip.

DON’T over do it.  No one likes a desperate wannabe.

DON’T ever drink or do drugs to be popular.*  You’ll just get the wrong reputation.

DON’T do things with guys just to be popular.  Again, you’ll be popular but in the wrong way.  Remember: a reputation can follow you all the way into high school.  


*Peer Pressure
If someone does try to get you to drink or do drugs, you can say “no” and still be cool.  Here are some ways to deal with peer pressure: 



Situation – Patty Peer Pressure comes up to you and says, “Hey, you should take a drag of this cigarette.  It would make you look so fly.”
You can:

Come up with an alternate idea.  Example: “No thanks.  Let’s go chat it up with Stacie instead.”

Be nice but firm.  Make it clear you don’t want to smoke now or in the future.  In other words, don’t say, “Maybe next time,” or “Maybe tomorrow.”  Say, “I’m not really into that scene.  I try to be really healthy.”  If she persists, walk away.

Hang with people who share your same beliefs and values.

Remember a true friend will always respect your wishes.


BEWARE: Popularity is flimsy.  You can be popular one day and not so much the next.  In other words, it’s way more important to find a group of friends you like and vice-versa.