Where I’m at from A to Z (revisited)

A few years back, I wrote a blog post called “Where I’m at from A to Z.” You can find it here. It was well received and so I thought I’d do something similar this week. I really don’t know “where I’m at” and so I’m writing this off the cuff. Hopefully, I’ll have a better idea by the time I get to Z!

I’m Anxious to release my next novel, Novelista Girl, and hope the fans of Blogger Girl consider it worth the wait.

I’m Bored at my day job this week, but after the hectic pace of the week before, am not complaining.

I still Cry a little almost every day over the death of my best friend, Alan. (Cancer sucks.)

I hope someday to be able to celebrate National Dog Day (and every other day) with my very own canine best friend. Someday.

I’m still lacking Energy despite getting nine hours of sleep last night (9!!!)

I’m thrilled that tomorrow is Friday.

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls and think it might be one of the most adorable shows ever.

I’m trying to write my own Happily Ever After, but there is a bit too much conflict and not enough resolution.

I hate feeling Invisible, and can’t imagine choosing it as my super hero ability. Time travel is where it’s at.

I love Joking around, but sometimes I crave deep conversation.

I think Kindness is underrated and get the warm and fuzzies giving, receiving, and witnessing it in action.

I’m an expert at Losing things (earrings, pens, umbrellas), but I’m very competitive and don’t like to Lose.

I sometimes wish my life was like a Hallmark Movie. Sometimes being now.

I appreciate being Noticed, but only in a good way, as opposed to when I trip on a flight of stairs in Grand Central Station. Twice.

I’m so over Online dating and think it’s become the worst way to meet someone if you’re looking for more than casual dating/sex.

I prefer Plums above all other fruits and just bought three from a fruit truck on my way home from work.

I wish the coffee shop where I wrote was more Quiet, but that’s what I get for preferring to write in public rather than in the privacy of my own home.

I Ran 13 miles this week so far and the weather has been so fantastic, I hope to run another 13 in the next two days.

I’m crushing big-time on Sam Palladio who plays Gunnar on one of my favorite television shows, Nashville, and have cast him in the role of Nicholas in the Blogger Girl series (for when it becomes a movie, of course.)

I used to Talk so much that my family paid me a quarter for every minute I kept my mouth shut—it was the early eighties and a quarter was the going rate—now I sometimes worry that I don’t talk enough.

I don’t Understand the sport of football even though my biggest client at my day job is the National Football League (perhaps I should not have written that…) and am not looking forward to losing my friends to football season.

I prefer Vanilla ice cream over chocolate, love dark chocolate, and think white chocolate should be banned from the chocolate family. Who’s with me?

I enjoy delayed gratification when I know something good is coming, but otherwise, I hate Waiting.

I have come very close to beating the crap out of the Xerox copy machine at work and make no assurances about its future well-being if it doesn’t behave itself.

I’m genre-hopping with my current work-in-progress and writing Young adult—having the time of my life.

Zat’s all folks! (Yes, I am a dork.)

Enlisting a Street Team – Blogger Girl/Novelista Girl. You in?

BG_front_web

When I wrote Blogger Girl, it was meant to be a stand-alone novel, but while I was satisfied with where I left Kimmie Long and the Gang, many readers screamed, “More, More, More!” Okay, so they didn’t exactly “scream,” but the novel became an instant fan-favorite and I received many requests for a sequel. Although I was in the midst of writing How Do You Know? at the time, I decided to give readers what they wanted. And between you and me, I was pretty excited to revisit my old friends, especially Nicholas 🙂 (And if I’m being honest, Hannah and Daneen—Mean Girls 1 and 2—were super fun to write, too.)

I’m thrilled to announce that the sequel, Novelista Girl, is now with my editor and if all goes according to schedule, it will be released before the end of the year. Although we have not written the formal blurb yet, here is a brief description:

In NOVELISTA GIRL, “Blogger Girl” Kimberly Long is inspired by her new boyfriend, Nicholas, to publish her novel. When the hunt for an agent brings her unexpectedly closer to prior nemesis, Hannah Marshak, it creates tension between Kim and her BFF, Bridget. To make matters worse, Nicholas’ busy work schedule is putting a dent in their relationship. In the year when all of Kim’s dreams—romantic and professional—are supposed to come true, she’s afraid she’ll end up unpublished and all alone.

As much as folks embraced Blogger Girl, it hasn’t reached as many readers as I’d like. I would obviously like it to reach millions if not billions (trillions?)

This is where you come in:

I’m looking for readers who loved Blogger Girl and are anxiously awaiting release of the sequel to join the Blogger Girl/Novelista Girl street team. As a member of the street team, I would rely on you to share your enthusiasm for the Blogger Girl series and help spread the word that the books are worth reading. This can include posting on your Facebook pages and other social media, sharing my posts with your friends, family, colleagues etc. and maybe even screaming from the rooftops. In thanks, I would do the following for you*:

Provide you with a free advanced copy of Novelista Girl in the e-format of your choice

Advance access to scenes from the prequel, Kim and the Mean Girl, before it comes out

Free advanced e-copy of Kim and the Mean Girl when it comes out

Input into cover art

Access to a closed Facebook group exclusive to members of the street team

Assorted swag (to be determined)

*This is my first experience with a street-team so I am kind of winging it, but I’m open to requests from all members as to what you would like.

If this is something you are interested in and you are up to the task, please either comment here with your name and email address or email me pursuant to the “contact me” section of this website.

Thanks from me, Kim, Nicholas (who has been recast from Matt Long to Sam Palladio), Bridget, Jonathan, Hannah, Daneen, Rob and the rest of the Blogger Girl family 🙂

KimmieLong

KimmieLong

Nicholas

Nicholas

That's my spunky Bridget!

That’s my spunky Bridget!

Hannah

Hannah

A Whole New World

The other day I was watching The Today Show while getting ready for work and one of the anchors mentioned that Apple is thinking about changing the voicemail system of the iPhone. Under the potential new system, the message would be transcribed and delivered via text message so that rather than listen to it, a recipient of a voice message would read it. I’m stating for the record that I’m opposed to this change and if it comes to fruition, I hope it’s something the customer can opt out of in favor of the “old school” way.

Although I would be fine with reading messages from restaurants/doctors calling to confirm a reservation/appointment etc., I like hearing the actual voices of the people close to my heart. Call me morbid (others do), but I save at least one voicemail from everyone I love because if God forbid something happens to them, I want to have their voices preserved. I save almost every single one of my mother’s messages and nearly had a nervous breakdown when my company switched phone systems because it meant I would lose the messages of my late best friend Alan. (Thankfully, I figured out a way to save them and therefore the sound of his voice). And also, what if someone is calling to deliver wonderful news—“I got engaged!”? Or on the flip side, bad news—“so and so is at the hospital.” Some messages should not be read!! A text does not replace the sound of someone’s voice and while sometimes it’s preferable that way, sometimes it’s not.

Anyway, the entire segment got me thinking about how reliant our society has become on reading things on our phone. I’m guilty of it myself, although I try very hard to keep my addiction in check. I got on the elevator this morning and the three people inside had their eyes glued to their phones and didn’t register my entrance. In fact, every single person who entered the elevator after me walked in while staring at her phone. And it disgusted me that at seven in the morning, these people were already wired in. What bothered me more was that my own phone was in my hand rather than in my purse because I had every intention of checking email/social media in the elevator and on my way to work too. I threw the phone in my purse and vowed not to look at it during my fifteen minute walk to work, even when I was stuck at a traffic light. I managed, but it took some effort and it really bothered me that I had difficulty going less than a half hour without checking my phone. I have to keep my phone in a different room at night while I’m watching television or else I will be tempted to check things every few minutes. I don’t even know to what “things” I’m referring, but one glance at my phone inevitably turns into my eyes glazing over and my mouth going slack as I get lost in the world of Facebook or Twitter and I’m not okay with it.

I also admit to being less than thrilled that many of my friends keep their phones out and check/respond to (non-urgent) messages when we’re out. I tend to follow the lead of whoever I’m with. I have some friends who are less attached to their phones and when I’m out with those people, I keep my phone in my purse and check it only when I go to the bathroom. But when I’m around other friends and their noses are deep in their phones, I find myself reaching for my phone too because “when in Rome.” My preference is to focus on the people I’m with when I’m with them and catch up with anyone who texted/emailed me during that time later. But as I look around, I’m clearly in the minority. I get peeking at your phone every so often, especially if you’re expecting a message, but is it really necessary to keep it out? For me, the answer is no. And what I find interesting is that it’s still (as far as I know) uncool to keep your phone out when on a date, so basically we are showing virtual strangers more consideration than we share our friends/family. I don’t hold it against my friends/family members. They are wonderful people who aren’t doing anything “wrong.” I just think most of us are  so accustomed to it that it’s not considered unusual when around familiar people; it’s just what we do now.

I am a Generation Xer. My generation is old enough to remember what the world was like without text messages and constant access to the Internet/social media but young enough to fully embrace and utilize these advances in technology. There are so many things I love about the modern world and, yes, the ability to text message and obtain answers to virtually everything through Google is amazing. I love binge-watching television and streaming my favorite shows. And I credit almost all of my book sales to the invention of the e-book. That being said, there’s a part of me who misses the way it used to be: When kids played outside instead of on their phones; when I had to wait to see if someone left me a message on my answering machine; when couples/friends/family focused on each other instead of whoever was texting their phones; when folks acknowledged each other in the elevator; when people didn’t walk into me on the street because they were too engrossed in their phones to watch where they were going; when single people couldn’t simply “swipe” their interest in someone based on a photo and had to actually put in some effort; and where there was accountability for blowing someone off and expectations of being treated like a human being by a potential partner. I’m afraid this world is just a bit too modern for my liking.

Unfortunately, technology is not going anywhere, I haven’t figured out how to time travel, and I cannot control/change the behavior of others. The best I can do is try to hold onto a little bit of the “old” me in this “new” world and remain true to myself. I try. It takes a great deal of effort since it’s easier to simply join the masses and things are just so convenient, but I don’t need to embrace every single one of these “conveniences” 100% of the time if I’m not comfortable with it.

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-aug-2015