The Boy Project – Read-n-Feed

For the resurrection of my Read-n-Feed posts, I’m actually cheating just a bit. I am kicking it off with an author from YALLFest, but since Kami’s a friend, I actually read The Boy Project when it came out early this year. But I think spreading the word about a friend’s awesome book is the best way to restart Read-n-Feed.

I met Kami a few years ago at a SCBWI conference in Charlotte, NC. Since we’re both from the Lowcountry region of SC, we quickly became conference buddies. Kami was further along in her journey to publication, and via her entertaining dry sense of humor, she generously shared advice and even a few war stories. She’s continued to demonstrate this generous spirit by sending me ideas to spread the word about Saying Goodbye, and even interviewing me on her blog (possibly the coolest idea ever for a blog: Nerdy Chicks Rule). I'm thrilled to have a chance to return the favor.
 
Author: Kami Kinard
Category: Middle Grade
Genre(s): Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2012)
Pages: 253
Amazon Description: 
For anyone who's ever felt that boys were a different species....
 
Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She's going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?
 
But Kara's project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy's bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara's research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .
 
Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.
 
The writing lesson I learned from The Boy Project can be summed up in one word: FUN! Kara is a witty character that makes it fun to spend time in her head. The premise of melding her science fair project with her search for a boyfriend is fun. The situations that result are extremely funny. Even the way the story is presented is fun – a journal with extras like charts and graphs and doodles and index cards. Reading this book was fun, and it seemed like writing it was . . . an absolute blast! (You thought I was going to say fun, didn’t you?)
 
Now we all know writing is hard work. I think the quote goes something like, “Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.” And sometimes it definitely feels that way. But it should never feel that way to the reader. Kami does an excellent job of making it look effortless, like she was just sitting at her computer cracking herself up all day long. But I know Kami takes her craft very seriously, she even teaches writing, so a lot of technique went into making everything so entertaining. 
 
Kara’s lively voice and the predicaments she finds herself in could have stood on their own for a very amusing tale, but Kami takes things even further by adding extras in the journal. From the emails from BeBeTrueLove about finding a soul mate to a faux death certificate to bar graphs made of smiley faces, each extra item was another opportunity for a chuckle.
 
And we can look forward to more misadventures while studying boys because Kami just announced that Scholastic will be publishing The Boy Project Too in 2014 - hooray!
 
While writing, it’s important to think outside the box and really push the bounds of your creativity. If it looks like you’re having fun, then your readers will have fun, too.
 
Giveaway
To celebrate the resurrection of Read-n-Feed and Kami’s awesome book, I’m giving away a The Boy Project prize pack, which includes a signed copy of the book and a TBP swag bag with things like a bookmark, a bracelet, and tattoos. 
 
Since Kara experiences many embarrassing moments in her quest to understand the male species, you can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment sharing an embarrassing boy-related moment. 
 
Kami was kind enough to share one of her embasrrassing moments to get everyone started: "One time a boy from my church asked me to go to a dance at his school. I didn't like him enough to go, so I turned him down. Then I immediately fell down the front steps of the church, wearing a dress, of course. The poor guy rushed down the stairs and helped me up. I was dying of embarrassment, but after witnessing that graceful move he was probably pretty thankful not to have me for a dance partner!"
 
And to be fair, I’ll share one of mine, too: I had a crush on my lab partner in Chemistry (oh my God, how cliché!), and I was so busy trying to work up the nerve to flirt with him that I wasn’t paying attention and knocked a beaker of boiling water towards him. Luckily he jumped out of the way, but since I lunged for it, I ended up burning my face on the side of the Bunsen burner. It wasn’t serious, just humiliating. 
 
So if you’re willing, leave a comment sharing a moment that made you blush in front of a boy. There are also other social media related ways to enter – just add your entries to the Rafflecopter form, and I'll use it to pick a random winner.
 
The giveaway is now over - congratulations to Janelle for winning!
 
I’m willing to ship internationally, so this is open to everyone. The giveaway will be open for a week, and I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, December 6th. Good luck!

Why Do I Love YA?

Beth Revis giveawayI love the movie Grease. I remember watching it as a wee lass and being utterly captivated by the singing and dancing and romance and friendships and excitement (even if I didn’t understand some of the more risqué elements). I was bitterly disappointed to find out high school wasn’t really like that. For some reason, I could never convince my friends to spontaneously burst into a carefully coordinated song-n-dance routine. 

So what does my love of Grease have to do with my love of YA? For me, reading YA novels evokes that same sense of hope/nostalgia for the possibility of a fun adventure that at the same time could never actually happen. When I was a teen reading YA, all the romances, mysteries, adventures the characters my age were having seemed like something that might…possibly…hopefully…doubtfully...happen to me. And now that I’m an adult reading YA, it brings back those same feelings – those adventures could have happened to me, even though they didn’t. 
 
It’s a weird mix of hope and nostalgia (hopestalgia?) – wishing to experience those heightened emotions and escapades while knowing it will never be. I might use the term wistful to describe the feeling reading YA evokes, but without the undertones of melancholy; since it’s always an enjoyable experience, even for those stories that make me cry like a baby. 
 
I don’t know if any of that actually makes sense, but it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. Anyway, that’s why I love YA. Of course the hot boys and tummy-fluttering romances don’t hurt either. :-)
 
So what prompted this post? While it dovetails nicely with my resolve to read more YA, it’s actually because of Beth Revis (who was actually a panelest YALLFest for the second time). She’s having a bonkers giveaway: she’s giving one lucky winner almost fifty YA novels signed by their authors, and sharing why I love YA earns me a bunch of entries. Whoo hoo! Go check it out - meanwhile, I’ll be sitting here with all my fingers and toes crossed!
 
Why do you love YA? Have you entered Beth’s contest? If so, include the link to you YA love post so I can read it.

Twitter Fiction Festival + Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 46

15 Minute Tweet TalesHave you heard about the Twitter Fiction Festival? From Wednesday, November 28th through Sunday, December 2nd, Twitter is hosting a celebration of storytelling at the hashtag #twitterfiction. They asked writers from around the world to submit proposals to be included in the festival, so I screwed up my courage and sent in an idea.

They were supposed to announce the selected authors last Monday, but I still haven’t heard anything. For a while I maintained hope because (as I learned from obsessively googling and checking Twitter) no one else had heard anything either – not a single peep of celebration from anyone. But since the festival starts tomorrow and you’d think people would have to know if they were officially participating, I sadly have to assume I’m not one of the chosen ones.
 
Edit: They posted the official selection list around 2:00pm, and as I suspected, my name is nowhere to be found. *sad face*
 
But never fear! I’ve decided since I’ve already prepped for it (and it’s really just a souped up version of my regular 15 Minute Tweet Tales), I’m going to participate anyway in an unofficial capacity. And to explain what I’ll be doing, I’m copying a chunk from my festival application:
 
What's your proposal? Describe the story you'd like to tell... how would you tell it... what are the Twitter accounts you'd use?
 
For the past year, I’ve been running a daily Twitter fiction challenge called 15 Minute Tweet Tales using the hashtag #15tt. I have a word-a-day calendar, and each day as I uncover the new erudite word, I give myself fifteen minutes to come up with a story using that word. It’s great exercise for my writing muscles and has the added bonus of boosting my vocabulary. The full explanation can be found here.
 
The best part is that other people in the Twitter-verse also play along, so each day there are many diverse stories inspired by the same word. Touching, funny, horrific, sad, lyrical – the variety of tales told each day guarantees there will be something for everyone to enjoy. 
 
My proposal for the Twitter Fiction Festival is to continue what I have been doing: provide a word each day for all participants to create their own masterpieces of Twitter fiction. I would use my Twitter account (@JocelynRish) to post the word and my own tweet tale, and then anyone else who wants to participate would tweet tales from their Twitter accounts with the hashtag #15tt.
 
I know there are others out there running similar fiction challenges, so I propose to take mine a step further. In the world of novels, many bestsellers end up being made into movies, so each day of the festival, I will turn one of the 15 Minute Tweet Tales into a short animated film. 
 
I will usually select the tweet tale with the most retweets as the one to animate, but since the animation software I use is relatively limited, I’ll have to use my own discretion as to what I can accomplish on screen. 
 
Just like Twitter condenses a story into 140 characters, Twitter will also be used to condense the lifecycle of a novel-to-screen adaption into 24 hours. The stories will be published, become bestsellers by the number of retweets, and be turned into movies to then be shared via Twitter the next day.
 
I hope the #15tt regulars will join in on the fun, and if you haven’t played along yet, now’s a great time to jump in since your tweet tale has a chance to be animated. Although I have to stress again how limited the animation software is (not to mention my skills using it), so each day I’ll be picking the one with the most retweets that I’m also able to animate.  Things to keep in mind to increase the chances of your #15tt getting animated: 
  1. The software cannot animate animals or children.
  2. The choices for props, settings, and costumes are very limited so keep it simple.
  3. Actions are easier to animate that thoughts or feelings.
  4. But it's not like intricate stuntman actions are available.
And here’s an example of what it will look like:
 
 
As you can see, it has amazing production values. And the voice-over actors are particularly Oscar worthy. :-)  It’s just a silly bit of fun, so I hope y’all will dust off your storytelling skills and play along!
 
Also make sure you check out the #twitterfiction hashtag during the five days of the Twitter Fiction Festival to see all the creative storytelling experiments taking place.
 
And at looong last, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
11/21 - I should never have come to this hermitage by myself to write. Especially not a horror novel. I jump at every sound. Wait, what's tha—
 
11/22 - The newest senior class scapegrace is extremely good looking. Principal Jones licks her lips as she imagines ways to rehabilitate him.
 
11/23 - She dozed as the lawyer went over the jabberwocky in the prenup. Big mistake since her husband ran off with the maid 6 months later.
 
11/24 - Kim's in a preprandial frenzy finalizing the meal she made for her vile mother-in-law: the arsenic sauce only goes on one of the plates.
 
11/25 - After he proposes on the jumbotron, he mafficks around the stadium, not knowing she only said YES to not embarrass him on national TV.
 
11/26 - The professor's lectures are abstruse, but she's getting an A. She'd gone to his office to "beg" on her knees and saw Tom got there 1st.
 
11/27 - The scarecrow likes gossiping with the crows, but the farmer threatens to literally fire him if he doesn't fulfill his corvine duties.
 
Are you planning to check out the Twitter Fiction Festival? Do you think you’ll write any #15tt tweet tales during the festival? Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Resurrecting Read-n-Feed

Last year I decided I needed to add reading back into my life, not only because I love to read, but also because it’s an important way to grow as a writer. And since I wanted to be serious about it and keep myself accountable, I resolved to share the lessons I learned about writing while reading in blog posts called Read-n-Feed. Since there has only been one Read-n-Feed post in the ensuing fifteen months, you can see that plan worked out splendidly. 

Chloe ate a book!

But at the YALLFest a few weeks ago, I was both shamed and inspired anew to put my reading muscles (atrophied from disuse like my weakling regular muscles) back to work. It was embarrassing to be watching such charming and intelligent authors on stage and not have read their books. It made me squirm when I had to admit over and over to fellow attendees raving about any of the bestsellers that I hadn’t read them yet. I felt like an imposter, both as a fan of YA fiction and as a YA writer. And of course, all the panelists affirmed again and again that their best advice to aspiring authors is to read, read, READ!
 
So I’ve been reading.
 
Probably more in the past few weeks than in the past few years combined (pathetic, I know!). 
 
And I’ve been using the list of authors at YALLFest as my guide for picking books.
 
Freya ate a book!
 
And starting this Thursday, I’m going to have my first Read-n-Feed post in over a year. *cue confetti and celebratory honking* And since it’s such a momentous occasion, I’m starting with my friend Kami Kinard, author of The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister. And as part of celebrating the resurrection of Read-n-Feed, I’m giving away a signed copy of The Boy Project along with special TBP swag. So mark your calendars, set a reminder on your phone, tie a piece of string around your finger – just remember to stop by on Thursday for your chance to win!
 
* So was it Chloe or Freya who was guilty of snacking on books? Or could it be that they were . . . *gasp* . . . framed?!?
 
How do you balance your reading and writing and other obligations? What are you reading right now? Any suggestions for YA books that MUST be added to my towering To Be Read pile?

Happy Thanksgiving + Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 45

15 Minute Tweet Tales

I doubt many people are reading blog posts this week – too busy cooking, gathering family and friends together, and preparing for insane shopping adventures – but I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a spectacular Thanksgiving. The Rish family will be gathering at my parents’ house where my brother is going to cook his infamous (and super delicious) spiced turkey. I’m in charge of the dressing, which to everyone’s surprise I managed to pull off last year without burning down the kitchen. Fingers crossed for success two years in a row.  

The one thing we will definitely not be doing? Shopping! None of us are really shoppers at the best of times, and with crowds willing to trample each other over a few dollars off, we’re going to give any place with a cash register a wide berth. Instead we’ll probably sit around in the same room not talking while we play Words with Friends with each other on our phones. Maybe I should see if I can track down a Scrabble board so there is some actual interaction? But it’s so much easier when the game automatically tells you if the random string of letters you put together really forms a word. :-)
 
In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week for you to enjoy as you stuff your turkey:
 
11/14 - The tomcat hectored the kitten, batting him around. But with one swipe, the kitten drew blood. He hadn't been declawed. Or deballed.
 
11/15 - The star-chamber rules for scaling the friend hierarchy to be Tia's BFF are so frustrating Pam decides it's more fun to be her enemy.
 
11/16 - He swore he was being facetious when he said rivals would pay a lot for their code. His boss swore she wasn't joking when she fired him.
 
11/17 - All the ladies were atwitter when a pukka royal visited their brothel. But the "lucky" girl he selected never came downstairs again.
 
11/18 - The king hurls foolish orders after the guards spot the enemy's anabasis. Fed up with his idiocy, they push him across the drawbridge.
 
11/19 - After her showdown with the principal, 11 girls dye their hair pink. She'd only wanted to express herself, not gain a bunch of epigones.
 
11/20 - Her mom's constant warnings to be chary of strangers made Pam freeze around men. She thought it'd be better to meet one online. Poor Pam.
 
 
I’m thankful for so much this year, including having this silly little blog that has helped me meet some truly incredible people. Thank you for reading. Happy Thanksgiving!!  
 
What are your Thanksgiving plans? Any special traditions? Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 44

15 Minute Tweet TalesI think my first tweet tale for this week was triggered by my frustration at already seeing Christmas stuff everywhere. I love Christmas, I really, really do, but I don’t need it in my face for over two months. I went clothes shopping (which I hate to do under the best of circumstances), and one store was blasting carols the entire time. I seriously felt like shrinking into a corner, hands clenched over my ears, rocking back and forth, and wailing, “Make it stop! Make it stop!” *ahem* Sooooo anyway, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week: 

11/7 - Her decorous holiday decorations made her the envy of the town, but this year her son snuck a mooning-Santa figurine into the manger.
 
11/8 - Years of bleaching left her with frazzled locks, triggering an animus of natural blondes. Sneaking up behind them, she'd cut off chunks.
 
11/9 - He confers with his consigliere, "Once for yes, twice for no." The poodle barks once; now he's the proud owner of swampland in Florida.
 
11/10 - He peruses the menu, then orders: early 20s, female, redhead. As she screams, he realizes although this is easier, the thrill is gone.
 
11/11 - The bees overthrew the queen, but the new system ended up a kakistocracy because all the competent workers were too busy to govern.
 
11/12 - The prom queen regrets her ignoble treatment of her classmates: pig's blood would've been preferable to the cow shit they dump on her.
 
11/13 - His trenchant wit made him a trendy guest till he flayed too many hosts with his sharp tongue; now his pithy barbs are wasted on the dog.
 
Are you already filled with Holiday spirit? Or are you sick of the Season before we’ve even reached December? Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales?

YALLFest Returns

YALLFestY’all, the second annual YALLFest was a blast! I could probably just cut and paste my post about last year’s YALLFest here because it was the same type of awesomeness: funny and inspiring YA authors on stage and bonding with old and new writing friends. But instead of being lazy, I’ll try to come up with new superlatives to describe this year’s event.  

First of all, you have to check out the incredible lineup – it’s kind of mind blowing! There were 47 YA authors there and 25 of them are New York Times bestsellers – that’s a lot of writing talent in one location. I was excited to see all of them, but as a long-time fan of the show Bones, I was especially jazzed to see Kathy Reichs.  
 
The one drawback of having so many talented people in one place was that there were three panels happening at each time period, so without Hermione’s time turner, it was impossible to see everyone. So on Friday night, I printed out the YALLFest schedule and utilized several colors of highlighters to map out my plan of attack to get the most bang for my buck (Except not really, because the absolute best part about YALLFest? All that awesomeness was FREE!!). By Saturday morning, I was prepped and ready for my mission: absorb as much inspiration as possible from these YA writing luminaries. 
 
Fortunately I also had a number of partners in crime to share the day with: Kathleen Fox, Lisa Downey, Jillian Gregory Utley, Rebecca Petruck, Rebecca Enzor, Leah Rhyne, Kami Kinard, and new writing friend Laura Moss. It was so much fun to meet up throughout the day to chat about the panels we had just attended and compare notes. The keynote session was with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black discussing literary friendships, and I have to admit listening to them talk about the love and support of writer friends as I sat in the audience with my fantastic writer friends made me a tad teary.
 
Late in the afternoon there was finally a break, so some of us headed to Rue de Jean for a drink, where we started a new tradition of “serious” writerly discussions over wine and French fries. Thanks to Kathleen for the picture of Lisa, Laura, Rebecca E, me, and Rebecca P. Just like Kami (who made the leap from audience member last year to panelist this year – so cool!), I know others in this group will be on the YALLFest stage in future years – I just hope one of them is me!
YALLFest Gals
YALLFest really is a fantabulous event – both for readers and writers. The authors were very generous in sharing information about their ups and downs before they were published, their writing processes, and other fun stories. Plus Charleston is a fabulous place to visit in the fall. Thank you so much to Jonathan Sanchez of Blue Bicycle Books and Margaret Stohl for organizing such a fantastic event! They have already decided on November 9th for next year’s festival, so mark your calendars – I hope to see y'all there!
 
Were you able to attend this year’s YALLFest? What was the best piece of advice/inspiration you heard? Are you planning to attend next year?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 43

15 Minute Tweet TalesI hope everyone had an easy time voting today. I kept seeing on facebook and twitter about people waiting for hours, so I bundled up in my jacket and brought a book fully prepared to wait it out. Turns out I picked a great time to go because I walked right up, signed in, and was directed straight to a voting machine. No muss, no fuss. The volunteers who run my precinct always do a great job, and I thank them for their hard work.

Now on to the 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
10/31 – The chiropteran spots his prey & swoops to the ground, but before he can transform to his handsome form, she swats him with her purse.
 
11/1 - He remained a mugwump as the 2 girls argued w/ pride over who had the sluttier costume - he planned to bang them both before midnight.
 
11/2 - Her dilatory flirting with the guard was supposed to give her sister time to steal the painting. They didn't anticipate he'd be gay.
 
11/3 - The mean girls will torment him anyway, so he decides to earn their ire with panache - he dumps a bucket of roaches on them at lunch.
 
11/4 - When I found the adorable dog shivering in the rain, I named him Puddles. Turns out it was a prophetic appellation - my rugs are ruined.
 
11/5 - As my brother snivels to Mom about the toy I broke, I replace it with a replica. If she believes he always lies, I'll rule the house.
 
11/6 - Vera, Olga, Dani, Kate, Abby: VODKA was his mnemonic to keep track of his girlfriends, but things fell apart after he discovered Brandy.
 
Was your voting experience an exercise in patience or was it easy-peasy? Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales?
 

Happy Zombie Halloween!

My aunt throws an awesome Halloween party every year, and this year the Rish clan decided to coordinate our costumes. My mom found the t-shirts, and my brother got one of those makeup kits that creates rotting skin and oozing wounds. We all met up at my sister’s house and had a blast zombie-fying ourselves.  

May I present . . . the Reanimated Rishes!
Reanimated Rishes
 
At first, my dog Freya was so disturbed by what she saw she didn’t even want to look at me.
Scared Freya
 
But then she decided that even if I became an undead, brain-gobbling creature, she would remain my loyal companion.
Loyal Freya
 
 
While I’m on the subject of zombies, today is the book birthday for my friend Leah Rhyne’s novel Undead America: Zombie Days, Campfire Nights. Leah and I used to work together testing software at Blackbaud, and it’s funny because I didn’t even find out she was a fellow writer until after I quit to write full time.  
 
Here’s the description of her book:
 
Undead AmericaMillions died when the zombie plague swept the country. For the survivors, the journey has just begun.
 
Jenna, Sam, and Lola are still alive. Jenna avoids human contact, traveling East Coast backroads with her boyfriend, a dog named Chicken, and a Louisville Slugger. Sam escapes to the mountains, where he’s conscripted into a zombie-slaying militia sent on nightly raids to kill the undead…and innocent civilians. Lola’s imprisoned in the “safety” of a zombie-free New Orleans hotel, but life grows more dangerous when her brother gets bitten by a zombie.
 
Jenna arrives in the French Quarter, lured by the false promises of New Orleans’ drunken leader. There, she’s ripped away from her boyfriend, drugged, and dumped in a death camp after refusing Franklin’s sexual advances. Jenna and Lola’s lives collide there, where the dead live and the dying are victims of gruesome medical experiments. 
 
Escape isn’t easy: release the genetically-enhanced zombies from the lab to create a diversion, slip away, and don’t get eaten. When Sam arrives, will he join the right side of the battle? 
 
 
Whew, sounds intense! You can watch the trailer here and order your copy here. Leah is also having a giveaway on her blog, so check it out.
 
Congratulations, Leah, I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to read it!
 
I hope everyone has a very Happy Halloween!!
 
What did you dress up as for Halloween this year? Are you a fan of zombies? Do you have a plan in place for when the zombie apocalypse arrives?

Engaging Events

Normally I’m pretty much the homebody type, but during the month of November, the Charleston area is hoppin’ with happenings that are forcing me to break my hermit-like habits. Since these events might be of interest to fellow local storytellers (both writers and filmmakers), I wanted to share them here.

YALLFest
The one I’m most excited about is the second annual YALLFest. Last year was a fantastic event, so I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year. It will be Saturday, November 10th from 10am to 6pm in venues around King Street, and the lineup of YA authors is enough to make my head explode with excitement. I can’t believe I’ll be able to see writers like Kathy Reichs, Holly Black, Carrie Ryan, and so many others with just a short thirty-minute trip to downtown Charleston.  
YALLFest
 
But the absolutely coolest thing about the event is that Kami Kinard will be one of the presenting authors. I met Kami at a conference a few years ago, and we've stayed friends. We actually sat together at YALLFest last year, and now this year she will be on stage with all the other YA authors!! She’s such an inspiration, and I’m so thrilled for her! 
 
If you like writing and/or reading YA novels, make sure to come out and see some of your favorite authors in action. Most of the events are FREE and you can find the schedule here.
 
Charleston Jewish Book Fest
Charleston Jewish Book FestThroughout the month of November, the Charleston Jewish Community Center is hosting a number of authors, and you can find the schedule and ticket information here. I was especially looking forward to Delia Ephron (who worked with her sister Nora to create charming romantic comedies like You’ve Got Mail) and Stephen Tobolowsky. Although Stephen is also a writer, he’s probably best known for playing a number of memorable characters, including Sandy Ryerson on Glee. I also had the chance to see a hilarious short film he was in called Say It Ain’t Solo when I was at the DC Shorts Film Fest last month. Unfortunately, with so many exciting things happening in November, some of them were bound to overlap, and I won’t be able to see either Delia or Stephen. But hopefully you’ll be able to make it to one of the many events.
 
Literary Dogs
Hub City Press is a non-profit independent press in Spartanburg, SC, and they are publishing a book called Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers (edited by John Lane and Betsy Wakefield Teter) in which 25 Palmetto State writers talk about their dogs. As someone who is absolutely ga-ga about her canine cuties, this sounds fan-freakin’-tastic to me. There are events happening all over SC to promote the book, but the one I’ll definitely be at is on Tuesday, November 27th from 5pm to 7pm at the Charleston Library Society (164 King Street).
Literary Dogs

 

Lowcountry authors like Mary Alice Monroe, Josephine Humphreys, Dorothea Benton Frank, Marjory Wentworth, Nicole Seitz, and Beth Webb Hart will be there with their dogs. I can only imagine how chaotic that is likely to be, but so much fun at the same time. Ticket information can be found here.
 
Carolina Film Alliance
Charleston Film AllianceThe Carolina Film Alliance (CFA) is an advocacy voice for film and television in SC, which has worked toward job creation for state residents and economic development though SC film rebates. If you are involved with filmmaking in SC or have a business that would benefit from potential revenue brought to our state via filmmaking, then you should attend the statewide rally on Sunday, November 4th from 3pm to 5:30pm at Pure Theatre (477 King Street).
 
Richard Futch is the CFA President, and he was also the amazing casting director for both of my films, so I’ve seen firsthand the passion he has for filmmaking. This will be a great chance to hear more about how we can help lure Hollywood dollars to SC to bolster our economy.
 
 
As you can see, the month of November has a lot of exciting things happening around the Lowcountry – I hope to see you at some of the events!
 
Are you planning to attend any of these?  Do you know of any other storytelling-related happenings in November that I missed?