Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 219

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’m late posting because it’s been a super busy day. It’s also been a good news/bad news type of day. First, the bad news: I entered the James Patterson Co-writing Competition a few weeks ago, and the list of ten semifinalists was announced today. Sadly, my name was nowhere to be found. I knew it was a long shot, but I'm still a bit bummed. But my excerpt was from an old NaNo novel, and getting it ready for the competition got me SUPER excited about the story again. I'm now revising it for this month's Camp NaNo and am really happy with what's happening. Silver linings FTW!
 
Now for the good news: I had an interview today to be a teaching artist for a kids program this summer, and I got hired! The program director was a little leery of my lack of experience with large groups of kids, but she said she liked my enthusiasm and was willing to take a chance on me. Yay! So twice a week I’ll teach a group of elementary school kids about creative writing. I’m excited (and nervous!) about it. Bonus? I’ll actually get paid! Whoo hoo!
 
And now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
allusion - the running of one ship upon another ship that is stationary; action of dashing against or striking upon.   
 
4/5 - The ferry prepares for an allision with the floating cruise ship, hoping to contain the outbreak. All for naught. These zombies swim.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 218

15 Minute Tweet TalesIt’s so gorgeous around here with the azaleas, dogwood, and wisteria all abloom. Although that also means there is a layer of yellow over everything. I got in my car to go to a meeting this afternoon and practically needed an ice scraper to clear off my windshield. But it’s worth it to see the beautiful pops of color everywhere. Hope your spring is off to a fantastic start! 
 
And now here’s this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
mudita - sympathetic or vicarious joy; joy at the happiness of others (Sanskrit).
 
3/29 - When she has one of her days, she looks up videos of kids getting their first puppies, and the mudita helps her make it to the next day.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 217

15 Minute Tweet TalesI mentioned last week that I was working on an entry for the James Patterson Co-writing Competition. Well, the deadline is today! *hyperventilates* A Tuesday on a 22nd seems like a random day for a deadline, but I think it’s because it’s JP’s birthday. Happy Birthday, James! Anyway, I’ve been grinding away at my entry all week, and I just submitted it a few minutes ago. 
 
I’m definitely nervous, but thanks to my awesome CPs and family members - who graciously read and offered amazing feedback on several revisions - I think my entry is as polished as I can make it. So fingers crossed!
 
Even better is that working on this submission has gotten me pumped about this story idea again. I wrote the VERY rough draft during NaNo back in 2008 (yikes!!), but I haven’t done anything with it since then. But I’m super excited about the new ideas I’ve had for the story, and I’m ready to get cracking on revising the rest of it (they only needed one chapter for the JP contest). I haven’t been this eager to write in quite a while, so I consider this a VERY good thing no matter the outcome of the contest.
 
And now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word: 
 
brontide - a sound like that of distant thunder, some of which may have seismic origins.
 
3/22 - Brontide rumbles to the west. Dad thinks earthquake. Mom says a storm is coming. She's right. Soldiers march in and take no prisoners.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 216

15 Minute Tweet TalesThe weather here the past few days has been absolutely gorgeous! Perfect blue skies. Perfect white puffy clouds. Perfect temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot. And it’s even right before the mosquitoes and no-see-ums descend with their voracious appetites. But instead of being outside enjoying this perfection, I’ve been holed up in front of my computer working on an entry for the James Patterson writing competition. I only have a week left, so my procrastinator’s adrenaline has finally kicked in. So I best get on with the 15 Minute Tweet Tales part of the post, so I can get back to writing.
 
ailuromancy - divination using cats' movements or jumps to predict future events (Greek). 
 
3/15 - She used ailuromancy to make romantic decisions until she realized her cat was giving bad signals to keep her a single, crazy cat lady.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 215

I spent five days this past week in the NC mountains on a writing retreat with my critique group the Sisukas: Kathleen Fox, Rebecca Petruck, and Kami Kinard. We had a great time, and got a lot accomplished. We critiqued two picture books and a YA novel, wrote a query, and brainstormed several new ideas. In addition to that, we ate a ton of yummy food, drank a lot of wine, and laughed up a storm. 
 
Sisukas at Mountain house
 
We took a break on Saturday to head into Blowing Rock to stretch our legs. We explored the area around the actual Blowing Rock, browsed in some cute shops, and had an incredible lunch of local food. We had an appetizer of eggplant frites that I’m still drooling over days later. 
 
Sisukas at Blowing Rock
 
It also snowed some of the time we were there. Enough to go out and make some smallish snowballs. If you’re a regular reader, you know how excited that made me
 
SNOW!
 
And now it’s time for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
15 Minute Tweet Taleswaldeinsamkeit - the feeling of being alone in the woods (peaceful, relaxed, at one with the universe), (German).
 
3/8 - She envies people who find peace walking in the woods. After last week she needs waldeinsamkeit, but every leaf rustle sets her on edge.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?
 

Cover Reveal for MY PERFECT MISTAKE

My Pitch Wars friend Kelly Siskind is on a roll! She released her first novel Chasing Crazy in early January, and she's already having the cover reveal for her next novel. Check out all the fun stuff for MY PERFECT MISTAKE: the sexy cover, description, and excerpt, plus there's a giveaway. Make sure to enter!

Congrats, Kelly!

And now here's the cover!

Siskind_MyPerfectMistake_2

About MY PERFECT MISTAKE
 
What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .
 
A girls' trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She's got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.
 
Kolton doesn't know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool---although she does have an unholy gift for that---but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they're both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don't kill each other first.
 

MY PERFECT MISTAKE releases April 5, 2016 - add it to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder MY PERFECT MISTAKE now: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

Excerpt

He tosses me my anti-sexy helmet. “We should take another run before we head down.”
 
I catch it and shake my head, unsure I heard him right. “Sorry, we? Shouldn’t you be skiing with your buddies? It’s bad enough you hijacked my lunch and I have to sit at a table with you again tonight. Now you want to ski together? Thanks but no thanks.”
 
He lifts his arms over his head and stretches from side to side. A sliver of skin peeks out below his jacket. “The guys called it quits early. Worried you can’t keep up?”
 
As fucking if. The dude’s obviously egging me on, but he snaps my self-control. Everything between us is action, reaction. Spark and flame. What’s his deal, anyway? Why sit with me and ski with me when we’re worse than cats and dogs? If he thinks firing me up means he’s getting a replay of last night, he’s mistaken. Still, I need to beat his ass on the slopes. “Fine. I’ll take that run. It’s about time I put you in your place. But let’s be clear. We can have lunch and ski together, but there will be no sex.” A teen walking by stops midstride and doubles over in a fit of giggles.
 
“I didn’t catch that.” Kolton leans forward and cups a hand around his helmeted ear. “Do you mind speaking up?”
 
What a total douche.
 
“Everyone is wise until he speaks,” I mumble, recalling my granddad’s words.
 
Kolton straightens, a question passing across his face. “Are you Irish? My granddad used to say that all the time. Along with, ‘Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.’”
 
I laugh, abrupt and maniacal, the sharp sound catching me off guard. The energy shifts between us, like the first time I understood my Spanish teacher—the foreign becoming familiar. I frown, unsure I want Kolton to feel familiar. “Yeah, I am. The first curse I learned was feckin’ arse, and I’d kind of like to use it now.”
 
He smiles to himself, as though we’re friends who would sit and talk and laugh about our shared upbringing. Ruffled, I cram my helmet on, get geared up, and try to stomp out of the lodge all look out, buddy, but with the boots and Martian head, it’s a fail.
 
Skis on and goggles down, we race to the lift. He arrives first, making like he’s been waiting forever with a dramatic yawn. I roll my eyes and push past him. The lift line is empty, so it’s just him and me on the four-person chair.
 
“Mind not doing that?” he says partway up as I swing my skis.
 
The chair sways in response, and I rock my legs harder. “This?”
 
His olive skin grays. “Yeah. That.” He leans his elbows on the safety bar and closes his eyes.
 
If he pukes, I’ll likely toss my cookies, too. When my brother got food poisoning from China House’s all-you-can-eat buffet, it wasn’t pretty. I hadn’t eaten a thing there, but the second he threw up, I proceeded to reenact that pie eating scene from Stand by Me: projectile vomit, solid stream, fire hydrant force.
 
I still my skis and stop bouncing.
 
We pass one supporting tower, then another, before he opens his eyes.
 
“You regretting that lunch?” I ask, smirking.
 
He flexes his hands, and the poles dangling from his wrists knock around. “No. I’m regretting getting on this chair with you.”

Such a charmer.

 

Giveaway

Want to win a digital ARC of MY PERFECT MISTAKE? You can enter to win on the Rafflecopter below!

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About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

2015 Golden Heart® Finalist

Connect with Kelly Siskind Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 214

I’m packing for a retreat with my critique group in the NC mountains, so no time to dawdle today. I can’t wait to see those ladies and drink wine and talk writing. There’s even supposed to be snow on Thursday, so I’m super duper excited!
 
So here’s this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
 
sillage - the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in the air when worn; literally wake, trail (French). 
 
3/1 - The sillage of her perfume follows him like an inescapable chain, even though it's been ten months since he buried her in the back yard. 
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 213

15 Minute Tweet TalesWhew, we’re already heading into the last week of February! 2016, where ya goin', man? Slow down and take it easy. There’s no rush to get where you’re going. Or maybe I just need to quit being a lazy bum and get crackin’ at meeting some of my goals! 
 
So on that note, I’m keeping it short and sweet this week, so it’s time for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word.
 
pochemuchka - a person who asks too many questions; an overly curious child (Russian).
 
2/23 - She knows a curious child is a good thing, but one more "why" from her pochemuchka and she's going to need the super-sized bottle of wine. 
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 212

I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s Day. All of the Rish dogs got into the spirit. First up is my sister’s dapper duo Bear and Kali.
Kali and Bear on Valentine's Day
Then there’s my brother’s dog Remy who ‘wuffed’ her Valentine's gift a little too much.
Remy Wuff Toy
 
And then there’s my girls Freya and Chloe, who are sending everyone lots of slurpy kisses.
Freya on Valentine's Day
Chloe on Valentine's Day
 
 
Coincidently, this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word is about love.
 
naz - the pride or arrogance of knowing that no matter what you do, you will always be loved (Urdu).

15 Minute Tweet Tales

I think when it comes to dogs, naz is a two-way street. We know that even if we are in a bad mood or yell at them, our dogs will always love us. And the clever canines know that even if they take a chunk out of the couch or chew up our favorite pair of shoes, we’ll always forgive them and their adorable faces.
 
2/16 - His naz is so extreme, he's also cheating on his mistress. Even worse, the three ladies in his life are all sisters. Dark times ahead.
 
Play along and write a tweet tale for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post it on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add it below in the comments because I’d love to read your tales. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

It Was Fun While It Lasted

Claiming that the news I received a few weeks ago sent me into a grief cycle is beyond melodramatic, so let’s just say I went through a modified version of the stages of grief. And now that I’ve worked my way through to the end, I’m ready to share. Come along with me on my journey:
 
Shock
On the evening of Sunday, January 17th, I sent my editor at MTV an email telling him my article about Winnie-the-Pooh was ready for him to post on Monday. I got an automatic reply stating January 14th was his last day at MTV News. Uhhhhh … WHAT?!?!
 
Since he hadn’t given me a heads up, I figured that meant it was sudden, which suggested he was fired. So again – WHAT?!? And not to be selfish, but what did this mean for me? With the editor who hired me gone, did that mean I was done, too? Surely they would just transfer me to another editor, right? But why hadn’t anyone contacted me to let me know I should report to someone new?
 
Besides my editor, I only had one other contact at MTV – the weekend editor who had posted some of my YALLFest articles for me. So I sent him an email asking 1. If he could post my Pooh article for me, and 2. What the heck was going on? He immediately responded and apologized for the confusion, and gave me the contact info of a senior editor to inquire about my freelance status. So I sent the senior editor an email asking for clarification. Unfortunately, there was no immediate response from this guy, so I just sat staring at my inbox, having a mini-heart attack each time my notification dinged. 
 
Denial 
A few hours later, I got a message from my editor’s personal email account saying that MTV had essentially dismantled the entertainment team and let everyone go. Again I said WHAT?!?! but this time I added THE F*CK?!?!?!? to the end of it. In all the terrible scenarios I had come up with in my head, I never imagined the whole department had been decimated. 
 
Then denial kicked in. Well, the department had only ‘essentially’ been dismantled. The weekend editor and the senior editor were still there. The site was still posting articles. My editor did not specifically say I was one of the ones let go. And freelancers are much cheaper than full-time employees, so maybe I would still have a job. I’d just wait until I heard from the senior editor. So I waited and waited and waited for what I was totally sure was going to be good news.
 
Bargaining 
By Tuesday evening, I still hadn’t heard a word from the senior editor. Since timesheets were due on Wednesday, and I needed an editor to approve mine, I sent the senior editor my timesheet, along with another inquiry about my status. I also mentioned how much I enjoyed writing for MTV. I told him I had an interview ready to publish with NYT Bestselling author Beth Revis and award-winning Cristin Terrill (read the fun interview here), and that I had an interview scheduled for Friday morning with Scarlett Johansson’s sister Vanessa about Vanessa directing Scarlett in an Alice in Wonderland audiobook. Basically, I was trying to convince him to keep me on, and I honestly considered telling him I would write for free just so I could continue having exposure on the MTV site. But I stopped myself before I completely threw away my pride. 
 
Anger
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. No response. So I ended up very embarrassedly cancelling the interview with Vanessa. I was super disappointed because 1. It would have been fun to find out more about the making of audiobooks, and 2. I would have been two degrees of separation from Scarlett freakin’ Johansson!! As my sister pointed out, that probably meant Scarlett would have read an article I’d written because it would be about both her and her sister. Gah!!!
 
And then I continued to wait for a response. I didn’t want to be a pain by emailing again, so I just stewed. Then payday came. 
 
And I didn’t get paid. 
 
Now I was furious. It was bad enough to ignore my requests for clarification about my status, and to blow off questions about what I should do with my interviews in progress, but to not pay me for the work I had already done?!?  Flames! Flames on the side of my face! I imagined doing lots of unwise things via email and social media, but I didn’t want to burn any bridges. So I did a lot of ranting at the air like a crazy person, and I took a lot of deep breaths. A whole heck of a lot of deep breaths. 
 
Then I emailed the very nice weekend editor and gave him a quick rundown of my situation, and he was super sweet and told me he’d take care of the timesheet issue right away. Fortunately, I did get paid on the next payday, so I didn’t have to pull out my big guns. Actually, I don’t have any big guns, so I’m super grateful to the weekend editor guy for taking care of the issue so quickly.
 
Depression
Even though I still haven’t gotten an official confirmation that my freelancing gig at MTV is over, I assume being ignored by a senior editor is a pretty good indication I no longer have a job there. So then the sadness kicked in. While I didn’t cry, I did take to my bed to sulk. I was really, really bummed. This was SUCH a perfect job for me. I got to write fun, fluffy articles about the things I love: books, movies, and TV. I got to pitch the ideas I wanted to write about. I got work on my own schedule (night owls for the win!). While it wasn’t much, I got paid for writing, which was a HUGE deal for me. I was making great contacts in the YA world. Yeah, I was definitely a sad, sad panda thinking I’d never again find a job as perfect as this one for me.
 
Acceptance and Hope
Finally, I got tired of wallowing in my dejection and started looking for the silver lining. As much as I enjoyed writing those silly articles, I had completely neglected my personal writing. I hadn’t written or revised a single word on any of my novels or screenplays since I started, so now I’d have time to write for me. And even though my stint at MTV was brief, it would look awesome on my resume. 
 
And since I’ve kind of been bitten by the freelancing bug, I’ve been looking at other outlets. I won’t pursue any of them until I make some progress on my current WIP novel, but it’s nice to know there are other options out there. 
 
 
I’m still not sure what went down at MTV, or why they decided to change things. And while I was bummed for myself, I feel really terrible for the full-time folks who were let go, especially my editor. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Books, TV, and Movies verticals, since those were the three I wrote for. For three weeks, they didn’t post a single article in the Books vertical, which gave me a perverse sense of satisfaction that my Pooh article was the last one posted. But then this week they did post a few, especially with the news of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child coming out. As for TV and Movies, they’ve still been posting there, but only a few per day, when it used to be several per hour. And most of the articles are of the newsy/gossipy type, so my guess is that they are fully embracing the ‘news’ aspect of the MTV News website and abandoning the other types of articles. But that’s pure speculation on my part.
 
If you want to catch up on any of my articles, this link lists all of them. 
 
Although the MTV ride was a short one, it certainly was a fun one – from those first giddy days of applying for and getting the job, to seeing my first article published on such a huge platform, to getting to meet one of my idols at YALLFest. I’m very grateful for the experience, and while I’m sad it’s over, I have learned so much, and I hope it leads to even bigger and better things.