Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – 2014 Blogging Resolutions

 

Parajunkee is hosting the Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge.  I enjoy participating in these challenges, so I will be joining in as often as I can.  Here are my 2014 blogger resolutions.

1.  First and foremost – don’t put so much pressure on myself to blog the “right” way.  There is no right way to run your own blog.  I know that I host a lot of interviews and blog tours, but I enjoy them, so this content will continue into 2014.  For a while I was reading complaints that too many bloggers are hosting promo type posts, so I have gotten a little pickier about what I feature, but I like interacting with authors and look forward to introducing them to you, so I will keep doing so.

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Happy New Year!

Bumble and I spent spent most of the evening cuddling on the couch.

 

Poppy wasn’t sure she was into that.  She continually dive bombed Bumble’s end of the couch in an effort to get him to play.  While Bumble was hardly amused, I thought she was pretty funny.

Hope your New Year is full of joy and happiness for you and your loved ones!

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas got off to a rough start, and I had to take Bumble to the local doggie ER.  He ate something he shouldn’t have, and I was concerned, so I rushed him up to see the vet.  Two hours, an examination, and a couple of shots later, he appears to be doing better, but we’ll be staying home today and chilling with the dogs.  It’s given me a chance to try out my new Disney coffee mugs, as well as take a couple of naps with the puppers and read.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holiday.  Enjoy your day, your family, and all of those cookies, candies, and cake you keep trying not to eat.  You can always hit the treadmill tomorrow!

I took the picture  above at Disney World – this is from the gingerbread display at the Contemporary Resort.

Margie Jordan Guest Post – Teen Author Boot Camp and Giveaway!

Here’s some info about the Teen Author Boot Camp.  Shannon Hale will be delivering the keynote address! If you are interested in attending virtually, I have one registration to giveaway, so please fill out the Rafflecopter to enter!

Guest Post by Margie Jordan and Teen Author Boot Camp Info

There is a famous line from a movie that says, “I was always a band geek. I just never joined the band.” I could relate. When I was in high school I was a president of the dance team, a singer in the choir, a hang-out-with-my-boyfriend-until-mom-and-dad-forced-me-home kind of person. But in my heart, I was a writer. This is why I tell people all the time, “I was always a writer. I just always hated English.”

Because I was a closet writer, I didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of, no one to tell me when I stank, no one to teach me how to craft a really great story. My teachers were the millions of books I read (not in a closet—but hidden away when my friends were around). And I WISHED I could have had someone to talk to about my hidden obsession.

If this sounds like you…. Then I’m happy to say there is a solution.

The Teen Author Boot Camp, founded by the Utah-based group Writers Cubed and sponsored by Utah Valley University is one of only a few writing conferences nationwide geared solely for teenagers who have a love for the written word. For the first time ever, Writers Cubed is offering the conference to anyone who wants to attend through Live Stream.

Interested? Here are the deets!

When: Saturday, March 16, 2013

From: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST)

Where: Worldwide via the internet

Who: Teens, teachers, librarians, book lovers

Cost: $4.99 for the Live Broadcast; $9.99 for the All Pass

The keynote address by Newbery Winning Author Shannon Hale will be free for anyone to watch. It will be on March, 16th, 2013 at 9 a.m. MST. A subscription to the Live Broadcast costs $4.99 and includes the following:

9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.—Writers Cubed: Welcome

9:15 a.m. to 9:55 a.m.—Keynote by Newbery Award winner Shannon Hale (Princess Academy)

10 a.m to 10:45 a.m.—Tyler Whitesides (Janitors) Class: Imagine and Create.

10:55 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.—Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother) Class: Bad dialogue can kill a story.

12:50 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.—NYT bestseller Kiersten White (Paranormalcy) Class: Plot Like a Villain.

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.—J. Scott Savage (Farworld) Class: Finding Your Voice.

2:50 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.—Journey to Publication Panel: Agent Amy Jameson & authors Chad Morris, Tess Hilmo, J. Scott Savage, Cindy Bennett

3:35 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.—NYT bestseller Aprilynne Pike (Wings) Class: World-building is the invisible foundation to your book.

4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.—Writers Cubed: Winner of the First Chapter Contest and closing remarks.

If you just can’t get enough of TABC, there is also an All Pass Subscription to the rest of the conference (including more than fifteen awesome presentations, including mine–haha). That only costs $9.99 and, as if it wasn’t a sweet enough deal already, you can watch the whole conference whenever you want for an entire year.

To register to watch Shannon Hale’s Keynote for free, visit www.teenauthorbootcamp.com and click on Livestream. It only takes a minute. While you’re there, check out the other presenters who will be teaching at the conference under the tab “Drill Sergeants.”

Stay tuned for details on how to win a subscription to the TABC Live Broadcast for FREE on this blog

Margie Jordan is a co-founder of Writers Cubed, a group of Utah writing activists who createdthe Teen Author Boot Camp in 2010. In her spare time, like when she isn’t writing, she is a Literacy specialist for her local school district. Please visit her website at www.writerscubed.com.

Giveaway!!!

Enter below for a chance to win a free subscription to the TABC Live Broadcast. (Value $4.99)  If you win, you can also upgrade to the All-Pass subscription, and  you will receive a $5 off coupon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Up For Discussion- Feeling Bad For Reading What You Enjoy

Yesterday, I saw a link to an article (source: Dear Author) that really got me thinking.  Brenna Clarke Gray, a teacher, wrote an article for Huffington Post calling for readers to stop apologizing for reading what they like. I love what she has to say on the matter:

You should not apologize for what you like to read. The person you are apologizing to can only fit into one of three categories:

1. He or she shares your joy.
2. He or she doesn’t give a good goddamn.
3. He or she thinks less of you for what you read in which case don’t apologize to that person because he or she is clearly a douchebag who doesn’t deserve your obeisance.

Number 1 requires no apology. Number 2 requires no apology. Number 3 neither requires nor deserves! an apology.

So what, then, do you do when someone you respect or even admire, mocks your choice of reading material?  The first time I really felt bad about what I read was in my 9th grade lit class.  We had a list of required reading for the semester, and in addition, we were to read additional books of our choice.  See that last bit?  Of our choice. At that time, I devoured Harlequins, fantasy, and sci-fi.  That’s it.  That’s pretty much all I read.  Back then, I read even more voraciously than I do now. I didn’t have a 60+ hour a week job, no puppies, no ponies, no responsibilities.  I lived for my mid-week trip to the local bookstores with my mom, where I would snap up the latest releases from my favorite authors.  I was looking forward to that class, because I loved to read, and I figured it would be an easy A.

Imagine my surprise when the teacher showed distain for my book selections.  She wrote condescending little notes at the top of my papers that I shouldn’t waste my time reading such tripe.  I was embarrassed.  Then I was pissed.  I read more books than 99% of the population, and this lady was going to make fun of what I read? I am a person who tries to avoid confrontations, and back when I was younger, I was so shy that I rarely spoke in class.  So after stewing about those nasty notes, I decided to alter my choice of reading material.  Good-bye, tame Harlequins, I would not be reading you for this class.  Hello, John Norman, you naughty creator of GOR.  You , I will read.  And Sharon Green?  Hello, Terrilian series and Jalav, Amazon Warrior series.  Yes, I will read you, too, because I know that the teacher will hate you all. (She did, but I still got an A)

I was fortunate that my mom encouraged my reading, and she didn’t really care what I read.  This made it even more puzzling that a stranger would feel the need to show disapproval of what I read.  I thought that the goal of the class was to encourage reading.  My bad.

Today, I don’t care what people think of my choice of books.  If they think that I am wasting my time reading about zombies or unicorns or fluffy pink bunnies, whatever.  Those are not the people I choose to spend my time or energy on.  I continually strive to make new connections with people who enjoy reading, without passing judgment, and those are the people I will try to form friendships with.

Has anybody ever made fun of what you read?  What did you do about it?

Happy New Year!!

We at the Café will spend the first day of the New Year chasing after naughty puppies, reading, feasting at the local Indian buffet, and counting our blessings.  I have much to be thankful for, including wonderful friends, a loving family, and all of my crazy critters.  I also wanted to thank everyone who drops by to read my posts.  Thank you and have a wonderful NEW YEAR!