Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 204

15 Minute Tweet TalesChristmas is only a few days away, but it sure doesn’t feel like it, even factoring in the usual warmth of SC. We did have two days this past week where it dipped down into actual winter-type weather, but the thermostat shot back up again. There’s no chance at all for a white Christmas this year, since we’re supposed to have high temps of 80 on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. That’s just crazy! Anyway, I hope y’all have a wonderful holiday week, no matter which of the winter solstice holidays you celebrate!
 
And now for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
 
12/16 - He decided to finally get in shape, but instead of joining gym, he began hiking the Appalachian Trail. It quickly became a via dolorosa.
 
12/17 - My family sits me down to say I'm a bad writer and need a real job. Feels like an auto-da-fé. When I win Newbery, I put them in first row.
 
12/18 - I always take my neighbor's tales about his days as a secret agent cum grano salis ... until the day men in black suits whisk him away.
 
12/19 - Auditioning for years, she finally got a part in the play. Small but hers. When the dramatis personae was printed, it left off her name.
 
12/20 - My sister-in-law mentions en passant she saw her brother chatting with his ex. I know she's trying to provoke me and pretend not to hear.
 
12/21 - Bought the paper online and, mutatis mutandis, submitted it. Since the origin wasn't mentioned, I didn't know it was TA's old essay. Oops!
 
12/22 - He insists on dividing food pro rata to body weight. The others want it equal. When he refuses, his muscular body solves food shortage
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 203

15 Minute Tweet TalesI hope everyone’s holiday prep is going well. I managed a first this year – I ordered everything online. Even my sticking stuffers and Christmas cards, which I usually venture out to buy. But this year, I’m feeling more anti-crowd than usual, so I let my fingers do the shopping. It was awesome, although I’m not sure the UPS man would agree.
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
12/9 - It's quite the coup de theatre when Ebenezer drops dead in Act 1. Narrative twist? Actor drama? Tiny Tim screams, "He's not breathing."
 
12/10 - Eyes barely open, she stumbles into the bathroom and ends up with a wet butt. He left the seat up yet again. It becomes the dies irae.
 
12/11 - Warm relief floods her body as the priest murmurs, "Ego te absolvo." Of course, she hadn't confessed her impure thoughts were about him.
 
12/12 - The waitress asks, "What do you want?" Ivy says, "Je ne sais pas," and starts crying. Her ex ran her life for so long, she has no idea.
 
12/13 - Sweat dripped from the professor's filthy hair and food smeared his shirt. "Magister dixit" was not likely to cut it for his students.
 
12/14 - She watches the news hoping the whole Trump campaign is merely panem et circenses, but in her heart she fears de-evolution has begun.
 
12/15 - Tired of having ears tugged by Baby, Dog moves across the room. Baby learns solvitur ambulando after several attempts at first steps.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 202

15 Minute Tweet TalesKeeping it short and sweet this week! Enjoy my latest round of 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
 
12/2 - When he belts out the chorus, all four red chairs turn, wanting the Meistersinger on their team. Sadly, his face will make it tough to win.
 
12/3 - "Your body be ne plus ultra!" He thinks Latin sounds classy. "Did you just call me fat?" she shrieks. He should have stuck with "bangin.'"
 
12/4 – He tells media he's taking the case pro bono publico to protect rights. In fact, he knows it'll finally make him more famous than ex-wife.
 
12/5 - During the quellenforschung of "Pride & Prejudice," details are so familiar she begins to think she's the reincarnation of Jane Austen.
 
12/6 - Her custody case is still sub judice, but she can tell ex-husband's money & lies are swaying the judge, so she runs with son to protect him.
 
12/7 - While studying the aliens' language, she discovers it's the Ursprache of most human languages. They're not invading, they're reclaiming.   
 
12/8 - She wanders the halls for hours searching for a solution but only finds regulation-spouting apparatchiks. It feels like a horror movie.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 201

The year continues to fly by and somehow it’s now the first day of December. But it’s a happy day because it’s the birthday of my dogs Freya and Chloe. Well, it’s their “birthday” based on the vet’s best guess of their ages when they were rescued from the shelter. 
 
And because they are perfectly spoiled pups, of course they got birthday presents. They each got a flat plush toy stuffed with sixteen squeakers each (one is an alligator, the other a squirrel), and they are supposed to be tougher than normal squeaky toys. Yeah … less than an hour later, three squeakers had already bit the dust and there’s green fur everywhere. They also each got a Nylabone – one is bacon flavored and the other is chicken. Freya’s favorite flavor is whichever one Chloe is chewing. 
Freya and Chloe's 11th birthday
 
They both seemed thrilled with their presents, and I can’t believe my babies are now eleven years old. Time is definitely flying by too fast.
 
Freya's 11th Birthday
Chloe's 11th birthday
And now for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales
 
11/25 - The girls meet at Tina's, the point d'appui after their water balloon assault on the boys. They anticipate reprisals with giggly nerves.
 
11/26 - When Uncle Bob finished his pumpkin pie, he farted. His son yelled, "Sauve qui peut!' and ran from dining room. We should've listened.
 
11/27 - She flips thru stained index cards scrawled with grandmother's faded writing until she finds the au gratin recipe. She needs Nana's comfort.
 
11/28 - Our experiments show, ceteris paribus, the mutagen only affects the X chromosome, so if it escapes, women will be twice as strong as men.
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales11/29 - "Thank you." She sinks into bus seat he gives up. "De rien," he says, not knowing it's the first kindness the abused woman has had in years.
 
11/30 - He tearily traces the words, "Ex libris Hanna." The book is all his mom owned when she fled war as a child. He places it in her casket.
 
12/1 - Elle thought ius primae noctis was a formality since Lord Fink is old, but his healer makes a blue potion that ruins her wedding night.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 200

15 Minute Tweet TalesI still need to do blog updates for some of the exciting things that happened in the last few weeks, but I’ve been super busy working on YALLFest articles and a few other articles for MTV. It’s great because I get paid per article, but I’m about ready for Thanksgiving break. I hope everyone has a wonderful turkey day!
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
11/18 - Her hospital follows the "See one, Do one, Teach one" model. Since her surgeon was mid docendo discitur, she woke up with uneven boobs.
 
11/19 - "Honey, come down. I don't care if the eaves get fresh paint." He murmurs, "Excelsior," as he goes up another rung.And another.Then falling.
 
11/20 - He'd heard it said fortes fortuna adiuvat, but while hiding from bullies in a dumpster, he found a winning lottery ticket for 10 million.
 
11/21 - In addition to hours of physical training, she engages in kriegspiel each day. When she becomes queen, she'll be prepared to destroy him.
 
11/22 - She's spent last 7 years slaving over her novel, ignoring friends & family, but due to her search for mot juste, she's only written 1 line.
 
11/23 - Detective gasps when the DA declares nolle prosequi, since she knows the evidence they have. Notices his sweating and suspects blackmail.
 
11/24 - When Granny finished her "O tempora! O mores!" spiel, my nutso sister argued things were much better now with the Kardashians as life gurus.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 199

15 Minute Tweet TalesIt’s been a crazy week, y’all, and it's all because of YALLFest. I got to cover it for MTV, which means I was able to interview many of the YA authors, including R.L. Stine!! He was awesome! But I still have tons of articles to write, so I’ll have to wait until later to share some of my stories. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
11/11 - "She's a horrible human being, exempli gratia she brought me brownies." "But that nice." "They were made with ex-lax." I smother a laugh.
 
11/12 - Hands cupping her stomach, she sings to the baby she'll never meet. Since claws and fangs develop in utero, mothers never survive the birth.
 
11/13 - He believes labor omnia vincit, which is why he's cool with his mom cleaning his basement "apartment" while he earns WoW experience points.
 
11/14 - With no trouble at the lab, the security check-in had become pro forma, so he easily gets in. Although he didn't mean to trigger the plague.
 
11/15 - Every day for five years he nodded at a soignée woman on a bench wearing silk gloves. They never spoke, but he missed her when she was gone.
 
11/16 - "You must verify it. Ad oculos!" the PI yells at his intern after he notifies clients their husbands are cheating because he has a feeling.
 
11/17 - The guy she's flirting with says, "Let's go to chez nous." He probably thinks it sounds sexier that way, but he loses his chance at le sex.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 198

15 Minute Tweet TalesI spent most of last week at an AMAZING writing retreat. I’m planning to post about it in a few days, so stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
11/4 - Her cat's tail twitches & she shouts, "En garde! "But boyfriend's not fast enough & gets scratched. She sighs. She's gonna need a new guy. 
 
11/5 - Every Dec 31st, they sacrificed the oldest member of the village. It was harrowing, but the mos maiorum strengthened them for another year.
 
11/16 - The founding fathers were proud of their novus ordo seclorum, but if they foresaw today's candidates, would they let the British win? 
 
11/7 - His animated fingers dance over the keys in perpetuum mobile, hiding the heavy cost to his soul of sharing the music deep in his heart.
 
11/8 - On Dec 31st, she sighs with relief that her annus horribilis is finally over. But events on Jan 1st suggest this year will be even worse.
 
11/9 - He arrived at the crime scene ready to discover cui bono. When he saw the victim, he realized he did and that it was an epic frame job.
 
11/10 - I roll my car. It explodes after I crawl out, sending me flying. Then I tumble into a ravine. Now buzzards circle, but dum spiro spero.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 197

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! My aunt threw a big Halloween party, so the whole family went to Greenville for the festivities. The Rish siblings dressed up as the primary colors, while our mom went as a classic witch and our dad, the retired Navy captain, went as Old Navy. What did y’all dress up as?
Primary Colors Rish SiblingsHalloween Rish Parents
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
10/28 - The silence indicated they'd entered a time of pax, and she almost wept with joy. Then screams started again about who broke whose toys.
 
10/29 - She deemed the debate a farce so didn't prepare;she just used reductio ad absurdum tactic on all opponent's statements and looked brilliant.
 
10/30 - The babysitter lounges on the couch sans-souci, not knowing what the kids are planning upstairs, otherwise she'd be running and screaming.
 
10/31 - Her psych class was surprisingly helpful at the Halloween party, since it gave her aperçu into the issues behind the costume choices.
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales11/1 - She decided to write an epic bildungsroman for #NaNoWriMo, but her oomph fizzled before her hero reached 10th grade, shocking no one.
 
11/2 - Tina ignores Mom for days in a battle against curfew but comes in to try a cookie she just baked. Mom snatches it away. "C'est la guerre!" 
 
11/3 - As the zombie horde approaches, she prays for a deus ex machina, but when teeth pierce her flesh, she accepts life isn't like the movies.
 
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 or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 196

Siblings at the fairMy sister and I met at our brother’s house this weekend for a fun weekend of sibling bonding. The main draw was the SC State Fair. We went for lunch on Friday and stuffed our faces full of unhealthy food: donut burgers, fried mushrooms, Philly cheesesteaks, fried Oreos, fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, friend Milky Ways, and cotton candy. Yuuummmmm! 
 
We also watched a bunch of movies. My brother has one of those snazzy 3D TVs, so we watched Jurassic World in 3D. We also watched Mad Max: Fury Road and The Lazarus Effect, but those were in regular ol’ 2D. So, yeah, we were mostly lazy, but after all that food it was too hard to move!
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
10/21 - Mom tries to stay au courant on teen slang, but the fact that she calls it teen slang shows how embarrassing it is when friends are over.
 
10/22 - They think he fakes contemptus mundi to cover being broke. Actually, jerk dad left him millions, but he'd rather wear rags than spend it.
 
10/23 - Tells mom one thing, dad another. Her divide et impera strategy works great until divorced parents start discussing rather than shouting.
 
10/24 - A glob of soup plopped on her shirt and she giggled. "Errare humanum est." Her blind date cringed as that stain blended with the others.
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales10/25 - Ignotum per ignotius is the professor's tiny revenge on students who spend class playing on their phones rather than raptly listening.
 
10/26 - Reminding him to put down the toilet seat is mortuum flagellas, so she wraps the bowl in plastic wrap so he'll also get wet while peeing.
 
10/27 -- She stares in the mirror murmuring, "nosce te ipsum," over and over, but she's pretended for so many boyfriends, she no longer remembers.
 
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 or #15tt words?

How I Got My Job With MTV

MTV LogoI’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks, but I keep getting sidetracked. Since my first article for MTV was published almost two months ago, it’s a tad anticlimactic to post this now, but I did want to share how the job came about. Plus, I’m so proud of my application that I want to show it off!
 
Back in late July, my friend Jillian Utley sent a freelance job listing she'd run across to several of us who write YA. Here’s what the listing said:
 
MTV News is looking for a freelance writer focusing on Books!
 
We're looking for someone who knows their John Greens from their Rainbow Rowells, their Hunger Games from their Divergents, and is able to find the next 14-year-old writer who just launched her own novel, as well as freak out about the next installment of the "Maze Runner" series.
 
You should be knowledgeable about current books and nostalgia; able to do interviews, but also write fun lists and throwback articles that speak directly to the MTV audience of predominantly young, female readers.
 
Before applying, please take a look at MTV News to get a sense of the type of editorial - not just Books - that we're generating on the site. The MTV voice is fun, personal, and specific - no pitches of "5 YA Books You Should Read," please. We want to get a sense of you through your application, not just a resume, a list of credits, and pitches that could be online anywhere.
 
Note: this is not a full-time position. It is freelance, and will work remotely, though you'll work directly with our Entertainment Team in NYC.
 
I got butterflies in my stomach as I read it. How awesome would it be to write about YA books for MTV?!? It sounded like a dream job for me. 
 
But that tiny voice in my head full of doubt and insecurity immediately chimed in telling me I wasn’t qualified – I’d never done freelance writing before, I didn’t know enough about current YA books, it was a waste of time to try. So being a dummy, I admitted the voice was right and decided not to apply. 
 
But I couldn’t stop thinking about the job, it kept whirling round and round in my brain, so two days later I decided to go for it anyway. But what should my application look like? They didn’t want the normal resume and pitches, and when I started writing ‘interesting’ cover letters in my head, they were either boring or made me sound like a crazy person. As I looked at the articles on MTV, I realized most of them had gifs. And that’s when I realized an application told through gifs was the way to go and got busy. Scroll to the bottom to see the gif-tastic application I sent to MTV.
 
On August 1st, I got an email from an editor at MTV saying he liked my creative application and wanted me to do a writing test. He asked me to write an example article (topic of my choosing), plus submit five more pitches for additional articles. Both excitement and terror flowed through me as I read the email again and again. 
 
After I finished happy-dancing around the house, I got busy again. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I’m a perfectionist, so it was a lot of work to finally get something ready to turn in. I pressed the send button with trembling fingers. 
 
Two days later, I was at my brother’s house with my family and doing that rude thing where you check your phone every five minutes for emails. And then, one of the times I checked, there was an email from the editor. HE OFFERED ME THE JOB!!!!
 
This is the photo of me trying not to cry with excitement as I show my family the email. I was beyond thrilled. 
Jocelyn Gets MTV Job
It’s been a lot of fun so far. Although it has been more work than I anticipated. Even though the articles are mostly fluffy fun, it’s still a lot of research to make sure I get things right. But I’m learning a lot as I go, and I’m finding a rhythm. Plus, finally getting paid for my writing is a pretty awesome feeling, and I can’t even explain how exciting it is to see my byline on the MTV website. 
 
If you’re interested, here are the articles I’ve written so far:
 
 
And now here’s my application for the job:
 
Dear Fabulous Folks at MTV News,
 
I was excited when I saw MTV News is looking for a Freelance Books Writer. Very excited. And obviously the only way to deal with such excitement was to craft my application out of gifs from movies and TV shows based on YA novels.
 
The Lying Game
The Lying Game
 
My earliest memory of MTV is begging my mom to stay up until midnight for the historic premiere of the Michael Jackson Thriller video, and because my mom is awesome, she let me.  
 
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars
 
From watching MJ’s thrilling masterpiece, to spending hours dancing and reenacting various videos with my friends, to getting sucked into reality TV with the groundbreaking launch of The Real World, to being ridiculously entertained by current scripted shows like Teen Wolf and Faking It, MTV has long been part of my television life. 
 
Having been around for the early MTV landmarks might make some of the current viewers think of me like this:
 
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
 
But when it comes to my passion for YA novels, I really look like this:
 
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
 
My love of YA started when I was an actual young adult reading Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith, Sweet Dreams, and Sweet Valley High. 
 
Inkheart
Inkheart
 
As I got older, I read adult books, but I returned again and again to the heart and emotional truth of YA. When I walk into the YA section of a bookstore and see the incredible variety of books available, I feel like this:
 
The Book Thief
The Book Thief
 
But just because I love YA novels doesn’t make me qualified for this position. So why do I think I’m a strong candidate? 
 
I worked at a software development company for ten years in the quality assurance department, where I tested the software, identified bugs, and wrote reports. I started as an entry-level tester and worked my way up to the manager of the team, and through the years learned many skills, especially how to meet insane deadlines.
 
While a lot of the time it was fun figuring out creative ways to break the software …
 
Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl
  
… after ten years in cubicle land, it began to feel more like this …
 
Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies
 
… so I decided it was time to run toward my real passion …
 
Eye Candy
Eye Candy
 
... writing for young adults!
 
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries
 
I’ve taken classes through the Institute of Children’s Literature, participated in the Chautauqua Writers Workshop, and attended conferences through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
 
I’ve been fortunate to have short stories published in Highlights magazine and the Post and Courier. I also won the 2008 South Carolina Fiction Project, the 2009 Highlights Fiction contest, and the 2013 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators novel work-in-progress grant. I even won two different grants to turn my short stories into short films. All of these things made me feel like this:
 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 
It also reassured my parents I hadn’t ruined my life by chucking my ‘real’ job to be a writer.
 
As part of the writer cliché, I have a blog where I sometimes talk about YA books and their authors. Examples posts are: 
 
In addition, I am the Interview Coordinator for Adventures in YA Publishing, which has been a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past three years. Every Saturday and Sunday I post interviews with YA authors who released books that week from the major publishers. 
 
Example posts are: 
 
Now I’d like to share a few of my pitches for the MTV News site:
 
Howling for a YA Character – Two Teen Wolf cast members have already played characters from YA novels. Dylan O’Brien is playing Thomas in The Maze Runner movies, and Shelley Hennig played Diana Meade in The Secret Circle TV series. Which characters from YA novels were the other Teen Wolf actors born to play?
 
Then and Now – Some topics in YA novels are always popular, like vampires and the mean girl stealing your boyfriend. So if your mom liked reading a certain novel when she was a teen, which comparable novel should you be reading now?
 
Avenging YA – We know adults love to read YA as much as teens do, so which YA novels would the characters from The Avengers have sitting on their nightstand tables?
 
From Screen to Book – How twenty-year-old Paige McKenzie turned her successful YouTube series into the YA novel The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.
 
With my passion for YA, awards for writing, and contacts in publishing, I believe I would make an excellent Freelance Books Writer for MTV News. And if you were to hire me, I would definitely feel like this:
 
Harry Potter
Harry Potter
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
 
Jocelyn Rish