Posts Tagged ‘ events ’

Getting Geared Up for NaNoWriMo

For the past two years I’ve worked with my library to host a variety of National Novel Writing Month events. For those of you who aren’t familiar, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writers are invited to sign up on (if you want to keep track of your progress and/or get some great support from fellow writers) and pledge to write 50,000 (a short novel) during the month of November. It’s crazy, but very rewarding!

This year we’re featuring a number of local NJ authors like Alissa Grosso, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, and Corey Rosen Schwartz, among other talented writers. They will talking about great topics that are pertinent to budding writers like publishing options, how to write successful query letters, and how to go from your first draft to getting an agent.

It’s a great time of year for me not only because I get to meet great authors and writers but it’s a great way to get inspired in my own writings and learn from the wisdom of others.

Good luck on all your writing goals this November! πŸ™‚

BEA Here I Come!

  It’s still a couple weeks away, but already I’m nerding it up with planning my trip to BEA (BookExpo America). Even though I work at a library, I registered as a book blogger. I hope to use this to meet other bloggers and make some great connections. I’m also planning on bringing some networking (aka business) cards. Would it be wrong to leave them surreptitiously around the expo for people to stumble upon? Hmmm…

When I was younger I wanted to be Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece, and walk around solving mysteries with her computer book. Finally my lifelong dream is coming true. I downloaded the BEA app onto my iPad and have already researched and plotted my plan of attack. Right now I have my handy, dandy agenda mapped out so I already know what I want to see when. That way I won’t miss any vital authors or books during my time there. One thing they don’t have that would totally rock is a virtual map of the floor at the Javits Center that tracked me as I walked. Maybe that’s a little creepy but how much fun would it be to see little bubbles of my favorite vendors and authors with me walking around so I know when I reach them? I can’t even begin to tell you how confusing that labyrinth of booths at the Javits Center is having been to several expos there before.

I think I may have to start ratcheting up my strength training and running regimes in order to be in prime physical condition for BEA. I can’t wait! πŸ™‚ Hope to see you there!


Β Β  It’s that time again! National Novel Writing Month is upon us, well, in November it shall be upon us, and I’m super excited to get this party started! Is it bad that my idea of partying is to write 50,000 words in a month? Ah well, I never professed to being cool…

Anyway, I’m gearing up for this year’s event. I have my pencils sharpened, my composition notebooks neatly lined up on the corner of my utterly clean desk, and….ha! who am I kidding? I’m a writer! I’ll be lucky if I change out of my pajamas before lunch while I’m working on a writing project.

This year I decided to be a more active participant and went to my library director in hopes of having our library as a writing site for all NaNoWriMo participants in the area. She was totally on board and quickly wrangled a representative from Adult and Youth Services to help helm the project. So I went ahead and ordered our press kit from the NaNoWriMo site so we will have signs, bookmarks and promotional stuff to advertise the event. Plus, we’re hosting a writer’s workshop, raffles, reserved tables with lots o’ outlets, and other goodies. πŸ˜€ I’m so excited!!!

Now that I’ve jammered on you’re probably saying, “Well, that’s super great, but what is NaNoWriMo?”

Good question. National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo is a national (global?) event where participants register on the NaNoWriMo website to register and keep track of their progress as they work towards writing 50,000 words in a month. There are forums, chats, and other cool resources also available as well as groups in general regions (central NJ for me) where writers can convene for events in person. It’s a way where writers can connect, vent, discuss, network, and bang out a novel with a word goal instead of over analyzing every turn of phrase and grammar choice for hours only to find they haven’t written an entire paragraph yet. Sounds good to me!

Happy writing!


  What the heck is Pitchapalooza?

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this, well, phenomenon, for a while and, while intrigued, haven’t really looked into what the event is beyond what people have told me. The event began with Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry and is touted on their website, The Book Doctors, as an American Idol for writers. Any writer with an idea for a book is able to pitch it (in one minute) to a panel of judges. The judges then critique said pitches and even if you don’t make a pitch, you can still walk away with valuable advice on how to get your book published.

Eckstut and Sterry have also written a book entitled The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published which is chalk full of helpful tips, dos and don’ts, and all around good advice. Their philosophy is that anyone can get published, you just need to know how to go about doing it successfully.

The reason I started looking into Pitchapalooza and the Book Doctors is that I’m trying to host an event at the library I work at. I’m on a committee (one of many…) where the goal is to stay relevant and continue to drawn people in through the library doors. And with the ever-growing interest in writing, it seems only perfect to host such an event.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress just in case you live nearby (or don’t and are looking for adventure…) and want to participate.

I’ll leave you with a few topics that the Book Doctors cover during Pitchapalooza:

  • Choosing the right idea
  • Creating a blockbuster title
  • Crafting an attention-getting pitch
  • Putting together a selling proposal/manuscript
  • Finding the right agent/publisher
  • Self-publishing effectively with ebooks, print-on-demand or traditional printing
  • Developing sales, marketing and publicity savvy
  • Producing a video book trailer and helping it go viral
  • Building a following through social media

Happy writing! πŸ˜€

My Summer Top Ten List

  There are so many great things about the summer, here are the top ten things I’m looking forward to (although it was hard to choose only ten!):

1. Reading (so stereotypical I know…)! At the beach, at the pool, on the porch, I have a whole pile of fluffy paperbacks waiting for me to tear through.

2. Road trip to Boston. Good friends of ours are getting married in Beantown so my girlfriend and I are packing our bags in a few weeks, hopping in the car, and enjoying a long weekend away from home. I haven’t been to Boston since I was little, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the sights and playing the tourist.

3. Day trip to Brooklyn. I’ve never gotten to experience all that Brooklyn has to offer. From everything I’ve heard it’s filled with art and green spaces and museums and fabulous places to eat. I want to see Prospect Park (they have a disc golf field there!), the Botanical Gardens, and the Brooklyn Art Museum. A perfect day. πŸ™‚

4. Summer TV. Summer is the new Fall for TV series. My nerd SyFy shows like Haven, Warehouse 13, and Eureka begin in July. My favorite dramas The Closer and Rizzoli and Isles fill the absence of my usual favorite dramas like Bones and Grey’s Anatomy. Can’t wait!

5. Summer Blockbusters. As a fan of all things superhero, I’m looking forward to the HUGE line up of great movies that’s coming out this summer like Green Lantern, Captain America and X-Men First Class. Oh yeah!!

6. The beach. I totally heart the beach, although my Jersey shore experience is nothing like the TV show (thank goodness!). I love laying in the sand, reading under a beach umbrella and swimming in the surf.

7. Playing outside. As an avid fan of all things outdoors I love it when the days are long and sunny giving me plenty of time to enjoy my favorite activities.

8. Ice-cream. I love ice-cream but rarely eat it unless it’s 90 degrees or hotter outside. There’s a great homemade ice-cream shop by my house and I’m already dreaming of sitting on a bench and eating that double-scoop.

9. Catching a game. The local minor league baseball team, the Somerset Patriots, is about ten minutes from my home. Tickets are less than $10 and there’s a ton of fun games, food and fanfare to be had. A great way to sit in the sun without breaking the bank!

10. Write, write, write. What better time to work on my writing then the summer?? Grab my laptop and a cool glass of strawberry lemonade and head out to the porch where I can type for hours without feeling that I’m missing out on the gorgeous summer weather.

I’m so excited for the summer. What are you looking forward to this summer?

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BEA Here I Come!

It’s my first time going to BEA and I’m so, so excited! A day filled with authors and publishers and lots and lots of books. There are two things I’m looking forward to the most: experiencing something new that (bonus!) revolves around writing and books two of my favorite things AND potentially meeting my fellow book bloggers. πŸ˜€

I knew my inner nerd was truly coming out when I downloaded the BEA mobile app. It boasts a full exhibitor list, book signing schedules, an interactive map, and more. I feel like my dream of becoming Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece, has finally been realized. I’ll be boop-be-booping my way through the expo planning my strategies of maneuvering through the maze of books. Hopefully I won’t miss anyone because I’m too focused on my app or because I’ve tripped over one of my enormous ARC-filled duffel bag and am sprawled on the ground.

I noticed that people are posting pics of themselves so their fellow bloggers are able to pick them out from the crowd. I have a couple pics of me already on my blog, but if you want to find me I’ll be the one with the look of sheer bliss standing immobile as the crowds flow around me. πŸ™‚ See you there!

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Best Marathons for First-Timers

If you dream of running a marathon this year but aren’t quite sure how to choose from the multitude of growing options, here are some of the best races around the world as well as some tips to help you decide. πŸ™‚

The Chicago Marathon – Sunday, October 9 – The perfect race if you’re looking to run in scenic downtown Chicago while getting cheered on by thousands of spectators. With multiple cheer zones and a charity block party at mile 14, there is energy abundant along the course. And with its flat, fast course the race attracts participants from around the globe.



The Flying Pig Marathon – Sunday, May 1 – One of the more unique marathons, Flying Pig runners will experience the high energy of a huge race crowd plus more than 100,00 spectators cheering them on. There’s also a half marathon and a relay. It’s worth it for the great pig themed t-shirt and finisher’s medal alone.





ING New York City Marathon –Β  Sunday, November 6 – Quickly becoming the most talked about marathon after Boston, this marathon is open to first-timers through a lottery where you pay a nominal fee to apply and if, after three years you haven’t gotten chosen, you automatically are entered. Another way, if you want to bypass the lottery and head straight to go, is to choose a charity and run for a cause. All charity runners are allowed entry. With a scenic run, 130 bands and 2 million spectators it’s easy to see why everyone wants to run the NYC Marathon.


Rock n Roll Marathons – For those of you who want constant distractions to get you through your first marathon, a rock n roll marathon is the perfect choice. With a band performing each mile, cheer sections and a rocking after party celebration, these marathons, which are held all over the country, make for memorable races.


Walt Disney World Marathon – Sunday, January 9 – Nonstop action accompanies the runners of the Walt Disney World Marathon. Fireworks kick off the festivities while Disney characters, DJs, parade floats, cheerleaders and other fun distractions line the course. Run through Cinderella’s Castle and the Magic Kingdom and experience all the wonders Disney has to offer!




Napa Valley Marathon – Sunday, March 6 – Not many races offer wine at their events, but it flows freely at this marathon. Local high-school bands and classic music ensembles serenades runners through the lush fields of Napa’s renown wineries and scenic landscapes. One of the less crowded marathons means calmer seas to navigate as you enjoy the peaceful course. Finishers are treated to massages as they celebrate their victories.



Portland Marathon – Sunday, October 9 – For another scenic venue head north from Napa to the beauty of Portland, Oregon. Like other marathons this has a great vibe and a mostly flat course. Music and cheer squads pump you up as you run through the course. Best part? Announcers say your name as you cross the finish line!



Marine Corps Marathon – Sunday, October 30 – The first time I heard of the Marine Corps Marathon I thought that I would never in a million years participate in something that sounded so daunting! If there’s one race I hear more positive feedback about than the NYC Marathon, it’s this one. Dubbed the “People’s Marathon” it is the perfect atmosphere for first-timers who don’t like the intensity (or the lottery) of the NYC Marathon. And with 30 bands, 100,000 spectators and a mostly flat course, this makes an ideal first marathon. Oh, and a lieutenant drapes a medal over your head when you finish. πŸ™‚




For other ideal first-timer marathons, check out Runner’s World for their article on 1st time Marathons. Have fun and run safely! πŸ˜€

Huge TBRΒ marathon

I signed up @ Bookworming in the 21st Century for the Huge TBR Marathon she’s hosting there. Very exciting!

I have a huge list of books needing to be read, which I will post soon have posted below.


Ex Machina #3 – Brian K. Vaughn

Ex Machina # 4 – Brian K. Vaughn

Mango Shaped Space – Wendy Mass

When I Was a Soldier – Valerie Zenatti

DK’s Strength Training

The Gardener – S.A. Bodeen

The Other Half of My Heart – Sundee T. Frazier

Whew! I better brew another pot of coffee with a list this long! πŸ™‚

Well, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: Thinking I could participate in a Huge TBR readathon the same time I’ve set a self-imposed goal of completing the final revision of my book is not a great idea. In fact, it’s a very BAD idea. *sigh* I still read some of the books on my list, but sadly was way off my goal TBR reading mark.

Many thanks to Kristen @ Bookworming in the 21st Century for hosting such a great event! πŸ™‚