Friday, July 20, 2012

Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blog Badges!!!

The 2012 GUTGAA badges are finally here! Aren't they great? Thanks to the lovely Tara Tyler and A.J. Locke for making them!

We will also have another badge coming in a couple of weeks from Talynn (Ink in the Book). Her computer had to be rushed to the gadget hospital so she couldn't make this post. We look forward to seeing it when it's done:)

So, if you want to join in any part of GUTGAA, be it the agent's pitch contest, small publisher's pitch contest, prizes or the fun bloghops, sign up HERE and grab a badge below. Please note, you must be signed up in the initial linky list to join in any part of the blogfest.

Badge grabbing is simple to do. Just copy the code below the badge of your choice and paste it on your blog...or whatever it is you want slap it on!

That's it. If you have any questions or problems, please let me know in the comments below. 

Thanks for spreading the word!

Oh, one more thing. If you're ever in need of getting a grab me box below your badge you really should go HERE to do it. It saved me from losing my mind.
Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart

Deana Barnhart
One more thing. If you're ever in need of getting a grab me box below your badge you really should go HERE to do it. It saved me from losing my mind.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest: Part Two

Interested in the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest/Pitch Contests? Go HERE!

It's the Hanger's portion of the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest brought to you by the Falling for Fiction ladies. 

Here are the rules if you don't know what I'm talking about:

Hookers & Hangers Blogfest July 16th & July 18th

We all know how important the first and last lines are in every chapter. This blogfest will hopefully get your HOOKERS and HANGERS polished making it impossible for readers to put down your book and leaving them begging for more!

On July 16th, post the first sentence from each chapter.

On July 18th, post the last sentence from each chapter.
Post as many as you like! 

And here are my Hanger sentences to a few of my chapters from Ripple.

1) It would make what I did to Seth meaningless and I’m not ready to be that kind of person.
2) Before I can respond, the strange man from across the way bounds out of nowhere, rushes Flip, and punches him square in the face.
3) I register the whomp whomp in my ears the second I disappear.
4) There's a knife sticking out of my belly.
Okay, that's all I've got for you today. I can't wait to read yours! Click HERE if you want to check them out too:)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sign Up Time for the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest/Pitch Contest

Wow! That title is a mouthful! But it is true. Today's the day sign ups begin for GUTGAA!

For the AGENTS participating in the Pitch Contest go HERE:
For the 1ST ROUND JUDGES for the AGENT Pitch Contest go HERE:

And if you're here for the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest go HERE ...but you should sign up for GUTGAA too:)

What is GUTGAA?
GUTGAA stands for Gearing Up to Get an Agent. It is a blogfest I started last year in the hopes that those of us striving to reach "agented" status could come together, polish those pitches and have fun at the same time. It ended with agent Kathleen Rushall judging a pitch contest. Quite a few of us who joined in the fun did get an agent (including me) and as I've said over the last few weeks I want to take my victory and pay it forward.

GUTGAA will be bigger this year!
I have put together a team of volunteers who I've been bouncing ideas off of in hopes of making this year's blogfest even better and I think everyone entering will be excited about what we have in store. Of course I am still working out the kinks, but so far this is what I've got for you. (Yes, I am about to break out the bullet points again.)

-The blogfest/pitch contest will take place in the month of September. Just like last year you will sign up below for admission to any part of the fun, but every week during the blogfest will also have separate sign ups. Meaning if you are too busy to make a full month commitment in Sept, that's okay. 

- There will be a meet and greet. Last year tons of friendships were kindled and connections made and I hope to do the same this year.

- There will be random drawings for prizes throughout the month.

-Our agent pitch contest will be so much fun. We are up to 8 agents who will accept ADULT, YA and MG. I'm shooting for 10 agents to join in!  And I can't wait to reveal the them to you when the time comes. 

-But wait! The agent pitch contest isn't where it ends. I realize that getting an agent isn't the only avenue for authors these days. Being traditionally published may not be the route you want to take and I sure don't want to exclude you. So this year I am also throwing in a small publishing house pitch contest! I have been back and forth over this decision. After all, the blogfest is called Gearing Up to Get an Agent, but in the end, I've got some small press editors on board so I had to go with my gut and welcome them into the fun too. So far we have four ready to get their pitch reading on!

-This years pitch contests will be open to YA, Adult and MG (possibly chapter book and picture books from one agent) so get those entries polished! And yes they need to be finished manuscripts please. 

-Blog Buttons. I will have them out to you by the end of the week. We had some great designers put them together and they were all so good I thought I would let you pick the one you wanted for your blog!
UPDATE: Blog Badges are ready!! Go HERE to pick out your favorite and display it on your blog:)

-Twitter Hashtag. Yes, we will be using Twitter and the hashtag will be #GUTGAA

Sound like fun? Do you want to jump on board? If so just sign up in the linky below, spread the word and we'll see you at GUTGAA!

ATTENTION: If the linky list is giving you problems just leave your NAME, BLOG ADDRESS and EMAIL in the comments section below and I will get you added:) Thanks!

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest is Here!!!

If you're here to sign up for the GUTGAA Blogfest/Pitch Contest go HERE!

The time has come for the Hookers portion of the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest.

Here are the rules according to the lovely ladies at Falling for Fiction:
Hookers & Hangers Blogfest July 16th & July 18th

We all know how important the first and last lines are in every chapter. This blogfest will hopefully get your HOOKERS and HANGERS polished making it impossible for readers to put down your book and leaving them begging for more!

On July 16th, post the first sentence from each chapter.

On July 18th, post the last sentence from each chapter.

Post as many as you like!
I've got four hookers for you today from Ripple. So without further ado, here they are:
1) I hate time travel. 
2) The second fist hits flesh, the acidic taste of a Ripple fills my mouth and the earth shimmers in such quick succession, that I drop to my knees.
3) Knox's words spark a flame in me and I figure, necklace or not, I'm getting out of this prison. 
4) Walking down the endless hallway, with visions of young love struggling to survive, has me thinking of the mysterious man named Ry. 

I'm headed to check out the other Hookers in the blogosphere. It's not to late if you want to get in on the action either. Just click on the Hookers and Hangers pic above and get yourself signed up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Free For All...In Bullet Points

UPDATE: I almost forgot to tell you that my agent and I were interviewed on Cupid's blog HERE. You should check out what Sarah says because she gives some very good querying pointers.

Now back to the regularly scheduled post:)

I'm a list maker.

When I get in planning mode I make tons of lists that eventually get buried under new lists and so on and on and on.

This past week I've been in that list making mindset as I plan the second annual Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest.

Don't know what I'm talking about? GO HERE to learn more.

I'm excited about this years blogfest for so many reasons. 

Let me list them for you...

  • I got an agent. Yep. Old news. I know you're sick of hearing it. But because of this, I am determined, more than ever, to pay it forward through this blogfest. I want to be your cheerleader and I hope this blogfest shows it. 
  • Like last year, GUTGAA will end with a pitch contest.
  • There will be more agents!
  • There will be surprises!
  • There is a new blog badge!
  • There will be prizes!
  • And there will be fun!!!!
  • The month long party will start September 3rd! 
  • Sign ups will begin this coming Monday, July 16th!
  • We will be very interactive on Twitter...because I have discovered that I LURVE Twitter so very much:) @deanabarnhart for those who want to chat it up:)
  • The hashtag will be #GUTGAA.
  • Spread the word!!!!
  • Can't wait to see you there!
Do you have any questions? Do you just want to cheer? I'm good for both if you want to put them in the comments below:)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Keepin' it Real

I love people! I love them so much it may come off as stalkerish at times. I could people watch all day in an attempt to guess what has happened in their lives to make them who they are.

Observing others this way doesn't always lead to good results. There are soooo many wonderful, strong individuals out there who, if they don't know who they are, sure act like they do. Especially in the writing world! With so much talent everywhere I look, I begin to wonder what gives me the right to think I'm good enough to work/write alongside them. I don't have a college degree. I'm not on-the-spot-hilarious like so many of my twitter friends (you know who you are:). I don't have unending knowledge about the classics. And I sure can't name drop or flash around my credentials. I have to be honest, comparing myself over the past couple of weeks to some of these people has left me feeling a bit inadequate.

Fast forward to today. My eight-year-old daughter has a cousin sleeping over and they got into a disagreement about something. My daughter is the kind of girl who wears her emotions on her sleeve, so when one thing bothers her, her whole world if off kilter. Well, this argument of theirs led her into telling me how she tries so hard to please people and no one ever likes her ideas so she just goes along with what others want.

Of course being the mom who loves my daughter for who she is (drama and all), I tell her that not everyone is going to like her ideas or want to do what she wants or believe what she believes, but it doesn't mean she has to conform. She has to be who she is and be proud of it. The rest will fall into place.

Umm...big lightbulb! Here I am telling my daughter the exact thing I need to do for myself.

This got me thinking. What is so wrong with being inadequate? Why can't my signature mark be that I am an underdog who refuses to lay down? I may not have a college degree, but I have a degree in living. I know what it feels like to be on the other end of addiction and make it out alive. I can say I've actually lived in a hotel room and caught the school bus from a three man tent in a campground. I've been made fun of for being the chubby girl in school and  know what its like to be sent into the supermarket by an embarrassed father with a bag full of pennies just so my family can eat dinner. Being on the downside of life has taught me that sometimes it isn't your experiences that define you, but how you choose to process those experiences. 

I may not be schooled in all the classics, or even pop culture for that matter, but I can still appreciate the beauty in the knowledge that I do have. I am just as capable as a fully educated person to read the words in a book and have them bring me to tears from the mere beauty of how they were placed on the paper. And yeah, I may not be able to name drop, but I sure have met amazing people who aren't "somebody" in today's society, but whose stories have made an impression on my life forever.

I didn't mean for this post to be all about me, but I guess I needed to keep it real. For myself. Maybe sometimes we need to reassess who we are and where we come from in order to make the next best step to where we're going.

If I can bring anything to this world and to others, I want it to be encouragement to the underdogs, that the sky is the limit. Just because you may not seem accepted in this crazy world we live in, your place is just as significant as the next persons. Your story matters! You matter!

For those of you that don't know Lisa Chickos, you should get to know her. She is one of those people that my mouth falls open for. She lives her life to the fullest in every way possible and it shows. She actually, also just landed an agent and you talk about going through ups and downs to get there. I love her story of determination. You should totally read it if you haven't.

Anyway, when Lisa was beginning her new wip she blogged about picking three words to describe the person you want to be. And that even if you aren't that person yet, you will strive to be more like those words if you can only identify them. Needless to say, with all of these thoughts of who am I floating around in my head, I began to wonder, what are my three words?

Here is what I came up with:

Lover - not just a Marvin Gaye kind of lover, but a lover of people and what makes them unique. A lover of opinions, change, diversity, of LIFE!
Willing - The day I allow myself to set my heels in the dirt and stay the same is the day I'll be ready to die.
Optimistic - My dad used to tell me when I was little (and still does) that things have a way of working themselves out. And you know what? As pissed off as that makes me sometimes, it's the truth. No matter how sucky life can be, it's always changing and as long I can stay optimistic I will continue to believe everything that happens in my life will be for my good.

What about you? Do you believe your story matters? What are the three words you want to live your life by?