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ATTENTION: All Honorary Beauty Queens, former Beauty Queens, current Beauty Queens, Wanna Be Beauty Queens, or just plain Queens! It is time to dust off your tiaras! May 24th is International Tiara Day (no I’m not kidding it’s real) and in honor of the occasion, I am sponsoring a contest for a $50 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Bookended by Beauty Queens!
Here’s what you need to do to WIN! Round up a photo of you (or your kids that would be fun too) with your tiaras – wearing them, hugging them, adoring them – be as creative as you want. Then PIN it to my Show Me Your Tiara Pintrest Page!
If you’re not on Pintrest don’t panic post a photo to your Flickr account, Blog, or wherever (except Facebook because they’re mean and won’t let me pin from their pages) and send me a link so I can pin it for you. You can also email your photo with your permission to pin to: contest(at)beforethefallbooks (dot)com and I we will post it for you!
A winner will be chosen by a panel of my Queens and Honorary Queens. The contest is open until Midnight on June 1st so get your entry in today!
Good luck and HAPPY TIARA DAY TO ALL!
When I think of characters who I love, I find myself drawn to characters that have some kind of major flaw. To me a character that has doubts and insecurities to overcome is a character I can get behind.
These characters, despite their flaw, are not necessarily weak. They simply lack in some area that feels insurmountable to them. When I’m reading, and I see a character bump up against their personal stumbling block time and again, I can feel myself rooting for them. When (if) they do triumph, a surge of joy rushes through me. I have been known to shout, “yes!” at these moments if the stakes in the story are high enough.
This is probably why I created the characters I have in Bookended by Beauty Queens. Angie Palmer has never quite recovered from growing up sandwiched between two beauty queen sisters. She grew up relying on her intelligence to get her through, and doesn’t make lasting friendships. She is a damaged character.
Before I began shopping Bookended by Beauty Queens, I sent the manuscript to various writer’s contests, because that’s what I was told writers have to do to get noticed. The first contest comment I got back was, “Why doesn’t this woman just grow up and move on with her life instead of being caught in high-school crap.”
I am surprised by this remark. Based on the number of women I know who refuse to go to their high-school reunions, and refuse to friend “certain people” on Facebook for reasons dating back to high-school, I think quite a few people have difficulty “growing up” and “moving on”. You know people like this too. I know you do. There is always something in the past that still affects us as adults, even if we only admit it to our therapists.
I believe Angie’s hang-ups from her past make her more human.
Angie’s major flaw, the thing she needs to overcome, is still being affected by her sister’s queen-dom. This is the springboard for her journey through the book. If she didn’t have some emotional obstacle, what would be the point?
Character flaws keep us guessing, and invested in the character’s journey. Will this person overcome? Sometimes they can’t or won’t. If the writer did their job, the choice should make sense to you as a reader.
All of the characters in Bookended by Beauty Queens have flaws of their own, some major, some minor, but to me all very human. I don’t want to read about characters who are perfect, and I sure don’t want to write them. No, for me, bring on the flaws.
Thank you Write About!
I am blessed that Kat Duncan at Write About wanted to interview me for her blog. I am humbled and grateful for her review of Bookended By Beauty Queen.
Write About is a great blog for writers, even if you’re not interested in the review or interview, I encourage you to stop by and browse what Write About has to offer! Kat also offers workshops for writers so be sure to check those out as well.
Kurt Vonnegut once said that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split. I believe this to be true and I think it applies to hating other types of art and artists for instance, Justin Bieber.
Yesterday at the store I passed a Justin Bieber display for some product he shills for and I heard a grown woman growl, “I hate him.”
I laughed and asked, “Why?”
“Because.” Was the only answer before she stalked off.
I don’t understand that passionate hate. If you don’t like the music - don’t listen. If you don’t like his hair cut - look away. If you don’t like a novel you’re reading – stop reading it. If a politician says something stupid on the news – switch them off! Just move on.
Actively hating anything is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Let me know how that works out for you.
This post could have been about many different subjects Glee, Lady Gaga, The Twilight Saga, so don’t get hung up on the Bieb. The point is that spending energy on the things you don’t like is a waste of your time and only hurts you.
Oh! And before you ask – yes, there is a Bieber song on my iPod and it’s not even close to the most embarrassing song on there. No, that honor is reserved for Maureen McGovern’s Morning After – Sorry Bieb!
Yesterday morning was one of those days. It was hectic getting the kids fed and I was running late. When I got to my car I realized that my pants had pink quill pens on them – not my usual day job attire to be sure. I had in all the running around forgotten to change out of my pajamas.
For those of you wondering what this has to do with embracing change stay with me I’m onto something.
I’m a big believer that if the universe is slapping you around, or making you late for work, there’s a reason. Like maybe trying to point out you forgot to put your close on? Possibly.
The problem is I don’t like change and neither do you. Admit it!
That’s why we feel like we’re being slapped around. We’re resisting a river of change that is trying to sweep us into a new and better direction. The path we are meant to go down.
My friends and I have been facing a lot of universe slap downs lately (I’m sure you’re facing a few yourself) and we’re resisting. Things have been good for us so why do we need to change?
The truth is change will happen with or without our consent, so instead of standing next to our cosmic car of life, shivering in our jammies, wondering how we got here, it’s time to put on our swimsuits, grab some floaties and ride these rapids until we discover where this tide is taking us.
“Any change, even change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” ~ Arnold Bennett