A Writer’s Life…

Stories

The Breakdown Cure

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I’m juggling a couple projects, but on deadline for only one. So, of course, it takes precedence. My brain has jet lag even though it’s been months since I’ve been near a jet. And I’m trying to plan marketing strategies for my two newest books as well as a book giveaway. Too early for vodka. So, comfort food it is. #amwriting

Homemade tomato soup is good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not to mention creative meltdowns and middle-of-the-night panic attacks. (“Oh, god! Did I remember to rearrange paragraphs three and four? DID I? THE WHOLE MANUSCRIPT IS DOOMED!”)

Quick zesty tomato soup recipe. Eat like a published author or manic insomniac. Either way, the soup tastes good.

1 can tomato sauce (I prefer Contadina, but hey, you do you)

1 cup 2 percent milk (I’ve done it with pure cream or whole milk; richer taste, but can feel greasy)

2 tsp butter

1 tsp basil

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Tomato sauce, basil and pepper in saucepan, bring to boil. Lower heat, add butter, milk, and nutmeg. Bring to slow boil. You can get your bowl and crackers, or toast points or grilled cheese ready while you wait. Takes about six minutes. Watch carefully. You know that milk will rise up like a frothy beast if you’re not careful. Voila! Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan or cheddar. Soup is served.

 

A Bright And Shiny Day

Stories

 

Authoring can be tough. You are the creator, the whimsical-minded engine that brings imaginary worlds to life.

But you are also the businesswoman. The one-woman-shop, who must handle public relations, promote, plan speaking events and marketing strategies. When you are trying to be an up-and-comer in the publishing world and produce a beautiful piece of work, which I shamelessly proclaim The Sweetest Sound to be, you expect the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD will love it as much as you.

The reality, however, is that despite critical accolades, a dedicated marketing team at your publisher and determined efforts on your part, your little book hasn’t yet set the world afire as you’d hope.

Which is why Saturday was so awesome.

I awoke to an email from a dedicated school librarian in Upstate New York. Talk about chicken soup for the soul. Stacey Rattner contacted me to says how much she enjoyed The Sweetest Sound and how much her students loved it. She even sent along copies of letters the children had written to me about what they thought of the book.

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As I was already preparing to go out and visit bookstores to Twitter and Tweeter and all sorts of social media stuff for Sweetest paperback, feeling the love energized me. I wore makeup, put on a dress and even wore heels. Then I met the cutest, sweetest bookseller at Books-A-Million in the Loop Mall, Kissimmee. She was so excited to meet—Me?

At the Barnes & Noble near downtown Orlando, bookseller Cassie was an angel, helping  take pictures as I grinned like a mad woman upon seeing my new paperbacks.

It was one of those days when us little-known yet determined authors can, for just a while, feel like a J.K. Rowling or James Patterson or Jacqueline Woodson. It was a very good day.

Spooky Writing Contest

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SEPT. 2 THROUGH OCT. 17 <> SEPT. 2 THROUGH OCT 17 <> SEPT. 2 THROUGH OCT. 17 <> SEPT 2 THROUGH OCT. 17 <> SEPT. 2 THROUGH OCT.

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Today I am announcing my first-ever spooky writing contest. I am so excited. During my years as a journalist at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, I was privileged to play host to such a contest for young writers. It has been a goal of mine since becoming published to offer a contest on my blog. Thanks to the success of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has blessed me with an opportunity to write a sequel — President of the Whole Sixth Grade.

In honor of the recent announcement of the book’s 2015 anticipated publishing date, I would like to encourage little authors to think big. Therefore, I am holding a writing contest that features spooky themes, fun prompts and yes, even candy-filled gift bags.

The contest begins Sept. 2 and ends on Oct. 17. When is the deadline, you ask? Oct. 17, 2014. When does it begin? Well, thanks for asking. It begins Sept. 2. It is open to all third, fourth and fifth grade classes. How much does it cost? Well, though the experience is valued in the gazillions, the fee is $0. Last-minute entries will have to pay double.

Each Monday, on this site, I will include tips for writing that the kids can use not only for the contest but in there daily writing, as well.

I will continue to update, cajole, pester and otherwise make the contest known to as many as possible. Come on media specialists, teachers and reading coaches, don’t leave me hanging. Check out the attached flyer for details. Entries can be either scanned and emailed to sherriberries@gmail.com or sent through traditional mail upon contacting me.

All emails relating to the contact should say SPOOKY in the subject field. Allow me to boost your writing programs and help make the 2014-15 school year an absolute blast!

Contest Instructions

2014 FLYER