Thursday, November 29, 2012

Twitter Fiction: Brain Invaders begins

Read my Twitter Fiction, Brain Invaders, by:

Following  @Brain_Invaders on Twitter with hashtags #Twitterfiction and #Invaders


bookmark this post. I will curate the tweets via Storify, turn them into a slideshow and embed it here. You can read the tweets in succession, flipping through the slides.

I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your feedback. I'm particularly interested in how you consumed the story. Did you read it by following Twitter account? By following the hashtags? By reading it here? Did you read it in one sitting? One chapter at a time? etc.

This middle-grade novel is aimed at kids, ages 8 to 12. I wanted to target a younger audience on this platform to not only introduce them to Twitter (if they aren't already using it) but also to see if I could capture their attention (Competing with all kinds of entertainment tech toys!) and get them reading (too many aren't) in a way these tech-savvy kids might enjoy. Also, I hope to capture the reluctant reader with the plot-driven novel and quick way of consuming it.  

The slideshow (below) will update as the tweets post. The tweets have been scheduled via Hootsuite.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twitter Fiction Festival: Brain Invaders

DRATS! I WASN'T selected for the Twitter Fiction Festival. BUT the organizers have invited anyone (whether you submitted or not) to participate.

They'll highlight some of the stories from the @Twitterbooks account. If you want to join in the fun, just use the #twitterfiction hashtag.

Here are the winners and here is the showcase page for the festival.

I will be tweeting my story from @Brain_Invaders  It will start 11 a.m. Nov. 29. I will also be curating the tweets via Storify. Embed to come. You can follow the feed with the following hashtags: #twitterfiction and #invaders

When holidays aren 't merry

She didn’t know I was there. How could she? She was dead, buried in the hard ground six feet under.

I ran my fingertips over the gray granite tombstone, outlining her name one letter at a time. God how I missed her. Damn cancer. I’ve never hated anything so much.

I smiled, remembering my big sister, the one who always made everything all right. The one who ate my vegetables when my parents weren’t looking. The one who took me shopping and bought me things I didn’t need but wanted. My biggest cheerleader when it came to my writing. “Sure, I’ll read it,” she’d say. And she did. And she loved it, or at least pretended to.

This time of year is especially difficult for me. The holidays always amplify my pain. Mom. Dad. Wendy. Brad. I miss them all, and I wish they were here.

If you are missing someone this holiday season, my heart goes out to you. May the peace of the season comfort you and may your memories be a balm to heal your hurting heart. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twilight's Edward Cullen makes a good turkey

So, we had a turkey decorating contest at work today. I whipped this up in 10 minutes and guess what? I won scariest and got a basket of candy. Notice blood dripping from mouth and he sparkles.

Monday, November 19, 2012

FDR photo published in 1945 in Philadelphia Record found in old dictionary

I found this photo on newsprint tucked inside an old dictionary on my shelf. This is the wording under the photo:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
In Memoriam

On the lower left it says: Supplement to the Philadelphia Record, Sunday, April 15, 1945. 

Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, died on April 12, 1945. He is the only American president elected to more than two terms.  

I was not familiar with The Philadelphia Record until looking it up. It was a daily newspaper published from 1877 until 1947.

I wonder which of my family members tucked this into the dictionary so many years ago? Could have been my grandfather or grandmother. Maybe my dad. And I wonder if they ever imagined someone finding it more than 60 years later. 

What's the neatest thing you've ever found tucked inside a book? Chris Otto, my co-worker and friend, over at Papergreat writes about this all of the time. He has some uber cool stuff. Check out his blog. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Twitter Fiction Festival judges announced

Deadline to enter Twitter Fiction Contest is Thursday. The selected authors will be posted Nov. 19.  If you were wondering who the judges are, check out this post.  The festival will kick off on Nov. 28 and run for five days.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A run, a literary agency and the importance of perseverance

I have been dealing with a crappy cold for several weeks. On Sunday, I felt somewhat normal. Not 100 percent, but well enough to attempt a run. So I laced up and took off.

I was determined not to stop and walk -- no matter what. I labored through mile after mile, surprised at how much my legs hurt. At times, I thought I was going to die.

It wasn’t pretty, but I made it. I had run seven miles, a feat I wasn't sure I could do considering I hadn't exercised in weeks.

But something kicked during the first mile. The determination to finish, to persevere. It reminded me of my writing journey. How important it is to hold onto our dreams and not give up.

On Saturday, my literary agency (AKA Literary) held a conference call with its authors. We come from around the country -- East Coast, West Coast, Midwest. I’m so blessed to be part of this amazing group. And I’ve come to realize just how special this agency is.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Google Doodle honors Bram Stoker

Today's Google Doodle honors Bram Stoker, who wrote "Dracula." Stoker would have been 165 years old. The novel was published in 1897. He died April 20, 1912. 
More about Bram Stoker:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fact or fiction: Living a lie

I wasn’t sure what to do. How do you tell someone that you don’t love them anymore. At least not in the way they want you to, not in the way you should or once did. It was easier when there wasn’t so much at stake, when years were mere days. And yet I couldn’t go on living the lie. Not anymore.

How does this happen? How do you spend most of your life with someone only to realize you don’t want to spend the rest of it with them?

I looked into the mirror and saw a stranger staring back at me. Somewhere along the way I’d lost myself. What happened to all the dreams I had? What happened to me?

I miss me  -- all that I was and all that I’d hoped to be. Life is strange, sometimes. You go about living it day by day, not paying too much attention. It’s like breathing. It just happens.

But then one day you struggle for air and you realize that time is running out to do all of the things you wanted to do and be all of the things you’d hoped to be. It whacks you over the head like a falling tree in a forest of sadness.

That’s when you know you have to clear a path and crawl out.  

Is this fact or fiction? Read on to find out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The journalist and writer in me

Some of you know me as an author, others as a journalist. I’m often asked how I balance the two and deal with the obvious differences.

For starters, I’m a journalist by day and a writer by night. To be honest, I’m also a journalist by night (and weekends) as well. Those in the industry know that you never stop being a journalist. It’s a 24/7 career.

For example, last weekend I curated photos using a tool that allows me to find geotagged information from anywhere in the world. On Saturday, I curated images from the Penn State vs. Ohio State game. On Sunday, I curated images from a local beer/wine festival. And then Sandy hit and I was busy for the better part of this week curating content from areas hard hit. (If you’re interested in these slideshows, check out my social media blog.)

Most people think that because I’m a journalist, I would write non-fiction. But I don’t. It’s not that I can't, but I prefer writing fiction where I can create my own characters and build my own worlds. 

Yes, it’s very different than what I do as a journalist. And maybe that’s why I like it so much.