Friday, July 30, 2010

As promised, today I am announcing the details of the...

Return of INFF Giveaway!

The Prize: An "I Need Friends Friday" t-shirt you can wear with pride and prove to all around you that you are the coolest kid in town!

How The Winner Will Be Chosen: I will assign every entry a number and then will let pick a number randomly ( does everything randomly)

How to Enter: You get one entry for doing any of the following things, with an unlimited number of entries per person:
  • Leave a comment here.
  • Tweet/facebook/blog/otherwise spread the word about this giveaway
  • Go visit the websites of the fantastic members of my critique/writing groups (yeah, I have more than one group) then come back and tell me where you've been and what you learned

Winners will be announced next Wednesday, August 4th for Walkabout Wednesday and INFF will be back with an all-new interview on Friday!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 47:

I am at a writers retreat for the next few days. Think of it as a cross between a writers conference and a slumber party. While prepping for this annual excursion I found myself reflecting on conferences, retreats, critique groups, etc. I came to a rather monumental conclusion: Authors need each other.

We're not normal. We talk to voices in our heads and spend hours on end contemplating story arcs and character journeys. Discussions of point of view and unreliable narrators could last for days, weeks, years. We pour our hearts and souls into manuscripts we then willingly turn over to our fellow authors so they can tell us precisely what is wrong with it. Rejections, even if they reach into the hundreds, not only do not deter us, they spur us on.

No one else is like this.

If our unique mentality weren't enough to set us apart, we daily immerse ourselves in an undertaking that is, by its very nature, isolating. We sit in corners (yes, often dark ones) and stare at computer screens. Our minds are in a different world all together, with people who exist only in our imaginations. This world of our own creating often pulls and tugs at us as we go about our day. At times, our writing consumes our thoughts and dominates our conversations and pretty much annoys the living heck out of everyone around us.

This is why we need each other. We need to know that there are people who get it. We need the support, the encouragement, the extra shove toward improvement. Mostly, we need some reassurance that though we may be a touch crazy, it's a crazy we share with someone else.

So, happy writing to my fellow writers.

Keep it up.


Embrace the crazy.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

That's right folks. We can officially begin counting down!

Two weeks from today, INFF will return with all new interviews and loads of hilarity. Try to contain your excitement.

As if this couldn't get even more amazing... I'm having a

Return of INFF Giveaway!

Details of the giveaway will be announced next Friday. The prize? I'm announcing that today!

<---An I Need Friends Friday t-shirt! How cool is that?!

So come on back on Friday for your chance to win.

(In the meantime, head on over to Annette Lyon's blog for her 4-year blog-iversary. Prizes galore!!!)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Hey there! Just an update on INFF and my efforts to save its life...

My August interviews are more or less lined up, just working out some details
I'm getting September arranged.
I have enough volunteers to get going on October as well.

So, a big ol' thanks to everyone who joined the "Save INFF" campaign.

Now, enjoy this little gem of a spoof on the Old Spice commercials...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 45:

Thanks to my tendency to lurk on the blogs of other authors, in this case Joyce diPastena's, I stumbled across "I Write Like..." a fun little online text analysis tool. Essentially, you enter a sample of your writing and it uses various mysterious algorithms and statistical analysis (bonus points if you know why the words "statistical analysis" make my little heart flutter) to determine which famous author your word choice and writing style is most like.

So I plugged in a couple paragraphs from my work in progress and got this pretty unexpected result...

I write like
George Orwell

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Hmmm. *rubs chin* Very interesting.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.

Today's I Need Friends Friday is an actual teenager. This fact has me beyond excited. You see, teenagers have rules about not doing lame things and a teenager is being interviewed for INFF. Thus, INFF is not lame. Oooooh yeah.

Our guest is 13 and, according to the rules of INFF, will be granted a code name in deference to her youth. She has chosen the code name "Lilly."

While I know "Lilly's" true identity, I will only tell you this:
  • She is very cool.
  • She comes from a very "literary" family
  • She is one of the cutest thirteen-year-old girls I've ever seen. (Watch out Lilly's mom and dad. Pretty soon the boys will start to notice that, too!)
Let's get to know "Lilly"!

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Lilly: I feel very welcomed!

SME: You are the first teenager I've had on I Need Friends Friday. That makes me feel very, very cool.

Lilly: I am? That makes me feel special!

SME: I've been brushing up on my Teenager Lingo. Prepare yourself to be blown away, dude. (yup. "Dude" is one of the words I've been practicing. Cool, huh?)

Lilly: What does "Lingo" mean . . . dude?

SME: *sighs* I had hoped that was a cool way of saying "language." I don't really speak Cool, ya know. I'm working on it though. I'm trying to think of a subtle way to work in the phrase "That's the bomb."

Lilly: So that's what it means, I knew that . . . sort of.

SME: So you're in Jr. High, right? Do you like it? (I'm sort of twitching remembering my Jr. High experience. We won't go there.)

Lilly: Yes, I love Jr. High (I get my own locker!!!)

SME: Very cool. The lockers had been taken out of my Jr. High because of too many "concealed weapons" problems. Like I said, I'm twitching a little.
What's your favorite subject in school?

Lilly: My favorite subject would be . . . MATH!!!

SME: Whoa. Did not see that coming, but that is totally awesome! So are you doing Algebra? Geometry? Trig?

Lilly: I'm going to start Algerbra in the fall, I can't wait!!!

SME: Wow. "Can't wait for Algebra." Maybe you should have your mom check your temperature---just in case.
Do you have a favorite after school snack? (I always liked mac & cheese!)

Lilly: If it involves chocolate it's my favorite!!!

SME: You and I are officially friends now. Officially.

Lilly: Awesome!!!

SME: I am going to make a big assumption here and guess that you like to read.

Lilly: How did you know? That is like my favorite thing to do EVER!!!

SME: Let's just say it was a hypothesis based on "traits that run in families."

Lilly: Ohhhhh, ya, I guess that would make sense.

SME: Do you have a favorite book you've read recently?

Lilly: That's hard, probably the book I just finished, "Princess of Glass"

SME: What did you like about it?

Lilly: Well . . . it's about Princesses, and fairies, and it has lots of magical stuff in it!!!

SME: Did you read "Princess of the Midnight Ball" as well?

Lilly: Ya, I read that a while ago and LOVED it!!!

SME: So "Princess of the Midnight Ball" and "Princess of Glass" get the Lilly Two Thumbs Up?

Lilly: Yes, and if I had more hands, it would be even more thumbs up!!!

SME: I think you are now my official go-to gal for Middle Grade/YA book evaluations!

Lilly: "Official" that makes me sound cool!!!

SME: And if I ever decide to write something Middle Grade/YA, and it *gasp* gets published, I'll have to make sure you get a copy.

Lilly: I will most likely finish it within a day (or two or three)!!!

SME: I am the same way. Once I start a book, if I really like it, I just read and read and read!

Lilly: In my opinion, the best thing to do is sit in my bed with a book and lots of chocolate!!!

SME: You are wise beyond your years, my friend. So, Lilly, what's your favorite continent?

Lilly: My favorite continent is Finland . . . wait that's a country. Europe, because that's where Finland is!!!!

SME: And Europe, I'm sure, is grateful to Finland for securing your loyalty!

Lilly: I'm sure Europe is!

SME: So if Finland got all fed up with Europe and decided to pack up and head to... I don't know... Antarctica, would that be your new favorite continent?

Lilly: Definitely.

SME: See, Europe. You should definitely send a Thank You card to Finland. And maybe flowers. Countries like flowers.

Lilly: Ooo, maybe I should send some Lillies.

SME: Nice one. So... Ultra-Cool Lilly the Teenager, how would you like to play a game?

Lilly: Oooo, I love games!!!

SME: Me too!!! I have invented a game just for you. It is entitled "How Cool Is That?"
I'm going to tell you something I have said or done recently and you, being a teenager and, thus, an expert on this sort of thing, will tell me if what I did was "Definitely Cool" "Kinda Cool" or "Totally Lame."

Lilly: It's a game just for me!!! That is Definitely Cool!!!

SME: So I'm starting out good, anyway. Okay... #1 I have started calling my 9 year old "Home Slice." In public.
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone say "Home Slice" before so I have to say . . . Kinda Cool.

SME: Score!! My son says it's lame. I'm gonna tell him that an actual teenager said it was "kinda cool." Aaaah yeah!
Alright, #2 I recently joined Twitter.
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: I am not on Twitter, but my mom is, so that is also kinda cool.

SME: I'll take that. Okay. #3 My favorite pair of shoes are black Vans I bought in the boys' shoe section.
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: The boys' section, ewww, totally lame!

SME: Dang. They're totally comfortable. But I wondered if they were also totally lame. Now I feel conflicted. Let's see if I can redeem myself...
#4 My mom, sister and sisters-in-law all went to see Eclipse together this week. One of my sisters-in-law hadn't read any of the books nor seen any of the movies, so... my sister and I reenacted the first two movies in my mother's living room. Complete with props, costumes and appropriate hair styles.
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: That is Awesome, Definitely Cool!

SME: Wahoooo!!!!!
Okay, #5 (fingers crossed): That reenactment? We recorded it.
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: I have to see that sometime!! That is Definitely Cool!!!!!!

SME: Oh. It is a piece of cinematic mastery. If I can get it into the right hands... An Oscar might very well be in my future!
Last one, #6 I am interviewing YOU!
Definitely Cool, Kinda Cool or Totally Lame

Lilly: That is the best one yet!!!! That is even more that "Definitely Cool" that would have to be Super Spectacularly Awesomely Cool!!!!

SME: *fist pump* I am so telling my kids that I now have proof that I am not only NOT totally lame, I am Super Spectacularly Awesomely Cool!!

Lilly: Totally!!!

SME: I believe we have now reached the portion of the interview where we mosey on over to the portrait gallery!!

Lilly: Oooo, I can't wait!!!

*Sarah draws, and it's really cool*

Lilly: I look so CUTE!!!!!

SME: I just want to say that anyone with red hair and blues eyes HAS to be cute. We can't help it.

Lilly: Of course!!

SME: And now for the final question of the interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Lilly: #1 This is the only interview I have ever done
#2 I learned what the word "Lingo" means.
#3 I found someone else with red hair, blue eyes, and loves chocolate!!!
#4 I got to have a game made just for me!!!!
#5 I found out liking math is not normal for a teenage girl!!!!

SME: Perhaps not normal... but who wants to be normal, ya know? I think that pretty much rocks. Besides, now I know who to call when I need help balancing my checkbook!
Well, Ultra-Cool Lilly the Teenager, thanks for stopping by and being my Friday Friend!

Lilly: Thanks for teaching me what Lingo means!

SME: I'm here to help! *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

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