Friday, April 30, 2010

The Adventures of Shannon's CPs (Part Two)

Still in the dark--*waves from the shadows*--but once again I have not abandoned you. My other CP (part of the pair I collectively call 'The Sara(h)s') has provided an awesome guest post--still heavy on the Shannon Shame, but definitely justifying why she is "The Sweet One."

(Yeah Sara minus the 'h'--I'm calling you 'The Evil One' now--thanks to your dare of doom.)
#don'targue
#youknowit'strue

*     *     *

The Adventures of Shannon’s CPs: Part Deux

When Shannon asked me to guest blog for her, my first thought was, “Dude! This is going to be just like Home Alone!” Okay, maybe it’s more like Blog Alone.

*jumps on the bed  previous posts* *slides down the stairs sidebar*

Crap. Did you hear that? Um, maybe now is a good time to pretend to not be a nine-year old genius home alone at Christmas to be blogging about something significant.

FIVE WAYS YOU KNOW YOU’RE SHANNON’S CP:

1.     #1) Hashtags are the basis of your friendship (okay, hashtags and Idol)
Before there was Gmail or e-mail (or pen and paper, really), there was Twitter. And there was me and Shannon, DMing back and forth for hours. Her first night at The Conference, Shannon sent me the following DM: OMG. So many people. Don’t know anyone. SEND DEPP. Okay, that might have said “Send HELP.” Hmm, yes. Yes, I see, in retrospect, that “help” was most likely what it said.
I spent the next hour DMing back helpful things like this: #breathe #foodisbetterinyourstomach, notonfloor #imagineallagentsareTwizzlers

Well, I might not have been quite that helpful. But still, thank goodness we’ve since discovered Gmail they’ve since invented Gmail. It’s much more convenient.

2.     #2) You’re a 20 year old cougar
So. There’s this boy in Shannon’s novel. Shannon’s middle-grade novel. He is, like, 14. I am, like, not-14. That is as much as I wish to say on the matter. 
(Shannon interrupts to say, don't worry Sarah--it's happened to everyone so far, and they're all older than you. The boy's got skills) :)

3.     #3) You need to remind her to eat
Sara mentioned this in her post Wednesday, but it’s a well-known fact. Shannon does not remember to eat.  Like, ever. It’s like in one of those movies and TV shows where characters never need to eat or sleep or use the bathroom. Not to mention any names (cough 24 cough). Which brings me to my next theory: Shannon is a vampire. Further theories and speculation welcome in the Comments section.

4.     #4) You spend inordinate amounts of time Youtubing terms like “unagi” and “Ross’s leather pants”
If you’re a Friends fan, you’re familiar with both terms. If not, let’s rectify that right now.
Honestly, left to my own devices, I’d be working to resolve the global climate change crisis, or kicking back with a quantum physics equation, as, you know, one does. Or perhaps writing some moving poetry in memory of NSync:
Who could have guessed? Who could have seen? We never got the chance to say Bye Bye Bye.
Er, where was I?
Right. Irreverent Youtube clips are a total time suck. Except…they’re pretty funny. And sometimes, they’re the only way to coax Shannon away from writing/revising/Twitter (she’s a teeny bit addicted) for a little while.

5.     #5) You can’t stop reading
Here’s how you know for sure you’re Shannon’s critique partner. You’re up reading past your bedtime. Um, don’t mock. Self-enforced bedtimes are all the rage these days. You never finished that Pulitzer-worthy NSync poem. You forgot to eat. You haven’t been on Twitter all day. And you’re swooning over 14 year old boys.
You can’t stop reading.

That’s how you know for sure you’re Shannon’s CP. Okay, if you’re receiving hashtags in emails (#hashtagsinemails), that’s a pretty good sign, too.

But whether you’re repenting for your cougarish ways, Youtubing, or engaging in full-length conversations over Twitter (hey, e-mail was not invented back then), it’s always fun!

Thanks for having me over, Shannon! And, um, guys, can we keep the jumping on the bed previous posts thing just between us?

*     *     *

*Dabs eyes*
*Sniffles*

See? Do you SEE why she's "The Sweet One"? 

*Sniffles More*

Thank you so much to both of my CPs for covering for me this week and to my loyal awesome followers who've been so patient with my revision schedule. I should be back to a normal blogging schedule next week--though you may still find me hard to reach. Frankly, I need a vacation. So I'm planning to stay unplugged from everything except blogging for just a little bit longer, so I can...yanno...maybe sleep? Eat? *Gasp* See my husband? 

Happy Friday Everyone!

(And hey--why are my previous posts all messy? Has SOMEONE been jumping on them?)
:)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Adventures of Shannon's CPs (Part One)

So...I'm still in the dark (because OMG my deadline is right on top of me) but I didn't want to abandon my blog for another entire week. So I begged my CPs--who I collectively call "The Sara(h)s" to each do a guest post to help me out.

And.
They.
Ganged.
Up.
On.
Me.
(I KNEW I shouldn't have given them each other's email addresses)

They agreed, only on the condition that the posts would feature their trials/tribulations/adventures as my CPs (which is, of course, HEAVY on the Shannon Shame) and I had to post whatever they wrote--no matter what. No changing a word. 

Um....yeah.

So what you are about to witness folks is an act of sheer desperation. The fact that I've agreed to post this should show you just how hectic my life is right now--AND how much I love you guys and don't want to neglect you. Because it is madness I tell you. SHEER MADNESS.

Today's Guest Post is by Sara minus the 'h' who will henceforth be known as The Evil Genius:

*     *     *

CP Adventures?

Heh. More like CP secrets REVEALED!

Dun Dun Dunnnnn

When I found out Sarah and I were both guest posting this week—and that we had permission to write about the Adventures of Being Shannon’s CPs—I was stoked! There were so many fun directions I could have taken this, but one thing was certain: Shannon Shame was gonna be served in heaping helpings! (oops, sorry Shannon—that’s what happens when you give me free rein…)

So, I thought I’d give this a whirl acrostic poem style!



is for the Silly outfits I get to hear about! The other week she was revising in stretch pants and her husband’s He-Man T-shirt. (Bet she’s wishing she hadn’t shared that with me, hehe)



is for Happy Meals! Because, sometimes Shannon needs reminders to eat. Seriously—I even yelled at her the other day until her husband got on IM to tell me he was heading out to get her a Happy Meal!



is for ANOTHER version of *this* chapter. For instance, I have approximately four emails in my “Shannon” folder with subjects reading “Use THIS version of chapter 13”.  (Okay fine. I do the SAME thing. So perhaps we’re soul CPs…)





is for Nightmares. Because as Shannon’s CP, I have them. Holy mama jama, you should SEE some of the things she researches for her book. For instance, what am I supposed to do when she warns me never to look up Camel Spiders? Clearly, google them, right? WRONG. But what would YOU do if I say—don’t click this link! It will show you what a camel spider is and they are SCARY? Yep, you clicked it—or at least wanted to, didn’t you?



is for NICKNAMES that Shannon comes up with. Like the one she has for her PJs.



is for the “Oh Noes” Shannon’s about to be saying. You know, like right now when I dare her to create a vlog to reveal the PJ nickname I mentioned above AND sing the special song she sings when putting them on every night! Oh, and all while wearing her stretch pants and her husband’s He-Man T-shirt!!! (Dear Shannon, I know you quit the other blog wars because you were so immersed in this round of revisions, so I understand! But this dare is for when you’ve FINISHED this round of revisions. And I’m not really starting a blog war with you, because: )



is for No dare-backs. That’s right. I did it. I just dared Shannon to do something on HER OWN BLOG. And declared no dare-backs at the same time. #SaraisanEvilGenius




*     *     *

O
M
G
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
This is what I get for asking for help???????????????
Vlogs?
Pajama Nicknames?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????????????????????????????

*deep breath*

FINE
I'll do it!
When my revisions are COMPLETELY DONE--not just this round!
*stalls to search for a better loophole*
*prepares to need COPIOUS amounts of alcohol*

And...um...in the meantime, if your name is Sara(h) and you'd like to try being my CP let me know, cause um...THERE'S AN OPENING NOW!!!!

*runs and hides*
*plans revenge*

Monday, April 26, 2010

500 Followers Contest!!!

Technically, I'm still in the dark right now because ...um...
my revisions still aren't done. 
(AHHHHH!!!!!) 

So sadly that means you still won't be able to find me via email, Twitter, text, phone, or G-Chat (SIGH!) 

BUT!

I didn't want to completely abandon you guys any longer. So my two awesomesauce CPs (who I call collectively "the Sara(h)s") will be guest posting on Wednesday and Friday this week (and they've promised to provide HUGE portions of Shannon Shame for your enjoyment--ugh!) 

And today--it's contest time!

I'll admit--it's getting hard to find ways to top my previous contests--but I am going to TRY. I've been accumulating a lot of signed books over these last few months, and I think it's time to clean house (because...well...I'm running out of places to store them). So, I've assembled them into five prize packages (since, you know, this IS a 500 followers contest) :)

The Nerd Fighter
- A SIGNED hardcover of NERDS by Michael Buckley
- A large box of Wonka Nerds
 - A special NERDS spy pen

The Girlish Fantasy
 - A SIGNED hardcover of Forest Born by Shannon Hale
- A Laini's Lady
- A pretty journal

The John Green Extravaganza
- A SIGNED copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson (also signed by David Levithan)
- A SIGNED paperback of Looking For Alaska
- A SIGNED paperback of An Abundance of Katherines

The David Levithan Collective:
 - A SIGNED copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson (also signed by John Green)
- A SIGNED hardcover of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
- A SIGNED hardcover of Love is the Higher Law


The Music Lovers:
- A SIGNED paperback of If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- A $10 iTunes Store Gift Card
A pretty journal

I could go on and on about how cool/awesome/amazing/fabulous/insert-better-adjective-here these prizes are...but...I REALLY need to get back to revision and I'm pretty sure they speak for themselves. So I'll just go straight into my Contest Rules (which I swear you guys should have memorized by now): 

To enter...

CONTEST NOW CLOSED--thank you for entering!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where has Shannon Gone?

Shhhh!!!!

I'm not here right now.

Part of that is because I'm guest blogging over at the amazingly awesome Sarah With a Chance (silly Sarah didn't know WHAT she was getting herself into when she asked me to write a post. Hehehehe.)

But the real reason I'm not here is because ... I've gone dark.

It's from a combination of factors really.
1. Um...my deadline is SUPER close
2. Revisions are going slower than expected
3. As a result of 1 and 2 I had a *tiny* meltdown full of panicking/freaking out on Saturday. 
4. My wonderful husband made me a deal

HE will be doing all the cleaning/laundry/grocery shopping/paying of bills until I meet my deadline
We will also be eating only Take-in or simple dinners he makes (um...Easy Mac anyone?)
And, I can stay up as late as I need and he won't complain.

In RETURN, I will not be blogging for the rest of the week
I will not be on Twitter until I finish revisions
(and he follows me, so he'll KNOW)
And I'm only allowed to read/reply to emails from my CPs and my agent
(oh, and they have to actually be ABOUT MY REVISION).
No G-Chatting
No Blog Hopping
No Internets of any kind
*sobs*
Until I get these revisions done and stop stressing about them. 
He's even taking my cell phone, so I can't be distracted by texts/calls
(plus he knows I have Twitter on there--stinking guy is TOO smart!)

Which means--sadly--I'm going to pretty much be unreachable for at least the rest of the week, and maybe longer. I will be back to blogging next Monday, but the rest of the stuff is out until the newly revised draft is waiting in Laura's inbox. 
*sighs*

Which means...back to revision!

Oh, and if you love me at all, hop over to Sarah's blog and leave a comment on my post, so it doesn't look like the post no one read. Pretty please? *bats eyelashes*

And on that note *sniffles* I guess this is goodbye--for now. 
Thanks so much for your patience and I promise I'll be back next week--with my awesome 500 Followers contest no less--to reward you for your support. 
Sorry for disappearing, but it definitely has to be done.
I'll miss you!
*Waves*

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Glamorous Life of an Agented Writer

Does this look exciting or what?


TRY not to be jealous. 
;)

So for those of you wondering how revision is going...well...I think this pretty much says it all.

If you need me, you know where to find me. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Going with MY Gut

Okay, so...yesterday we talked about what it means to go with your gut and why it's so hard. And I promised that today I'd talk a little about how I've been forcing myself to go with MY gut lately--and the things I've learned in the process.

Not sure if you realize this, but I've had to make some CRAZY decisions these last 6 months. I completely rewrote the last 1/3 of my book, queried, signed with an agent, and now I'm completely revising huge chunks of my book again.

So there's been a lot of OMG WHAT DO I DO????? 

And I've found my way by going with my gut.

Has it been easy? 

At times. 

Signing with Laura was pretty simple. 
(it was basically OMG YOU WANT TO REP ME--OKAY!!!!!!)

But other times it's been terrifying. 

Like querying Laura in the first place. 

I never told you guys this, but I had other agents request my pages at the conference where I met Laura. One even requested a full instead of a partial. 
Only problem?
They were all amazing. 
They were all with Andrea Brown. 
And I could only query one.

The obvious choice was to query the agent who'd asked for the full. She was awesome and sweet and, um, she asked for the full! 
But...I had a good feeling about Laura. 
So after three weeks of obsessing (and the numerous people I emailed for advice can testify to this) I realized I already knew what to do. That 'good feeling' was my gut telling me something.  And it was time to stop ignoring it. 
I think you know the rest from there...
(*Happy dances*)

Except, now I'm in revision--and working with an agent is very different from working with CPs. I feel obligated to accept every note she gives me, because, um, she's LAURA RENNERT--I'm pretty sure she knows better than me. 

But I still have to trust myself too. 

There have been a few times where I could agree with her "issue" but maybe not her solution--and I was so nervous about deviating from her notes that I was psyching myself out of revising altogether. So I finally decided to go with my gut.

I revised the chapter the way I thought it needed to be, sent her the pages to check (along with a lengthy email explaining my reasons for the decision) and tried not to panic as I waited for her reaction. 

And 
she 
LOVED them. 
(*Happy Dances again*)

My solution still addressed her issues, so she was happy with the changes I did and didn't make.

Does this mean I'm going to ignore all her suggestions? 

Of course not. 99% of them are so spot on I kinda want to smack myself for not figuring them out on my own.

But for that tiny 1% where it's a little iffy?
I'm going with my gut. 

Even though it doesn't feel like it, I *might* actually know what I'm doing. Well...sometimes. And I have to trust myself enough to listen to my instincts. 

It's not easy. And it's definitely scary. But it's working.

So I STRONGLY encourage you guys to do the same.

TRUST YOURSELVES!

GO WITH YOUR GUT!

I have no doubt you'll find your way to exactly where you want to be. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going with your Gut

At some point in your life you're going to ask someone for advice, and they're going to tell you this:

Go with your gut.

Which always makes me want to scream: IF I KNEW WHAT MY GUT WAS TELLING ME I WOULDN'T BE ASKING YOU FOR ADVICE!!!!

 :)

But the thing is--they're absolutely right. 

Deep, DEEP down we know what the right choice is--whether it's a huge, major life decision, or a small, everyday decision. If we REALLY think about it, we know what we need to do. Then we have to take the risk and do it.

That's what going with your gut means.
It means weighing your options. Gathering as much information as you can. Thinking things through. But in the end: trusting yourself.

And I would know. I've been doing it a LOT lately--and it hasn't steered me wrong yet. But we'll talk about that tomorrow.

Today I'm curious.
Do you guys go with your gut?
How do you get yourself to that point where you KNOW you're making the right decision?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Agent Signing Celebration Contest Winners!!!

Okay, so it's 2am, and I have to drive back to California in a few hours, so we're going to keep this short and sweet.

All entries were counted and triple checked before I let randomizer.org choose the winners.

The winner of Tricks, signed by Ellen Hopkins is:









The winner of The Body Finder, signed by Kimberly Derting is:







The winner of The Emerald Tablet, signed by PJ Hoover is:








The winner of Fat Cat, signed by Robin Brande is:









The Winner of Thirteen Reasons Why, signed by Jay Asher is:









And--last but not least...


The Winner of Shiver, signed by Maggie Stiefvater is:







YAY!
*Tosses Confetti Everywhere*

Okay, check your email guys. You have one in there from me needing your mailing address.

And for everyone who didn't win, I'm SO sorry. I know I always say this, but I really do wish I could afford to give prizes to everyone.

Plus, don't give up hope. It's been brought to my attention that I have now passed the 500 follower mark, so I'm definitely going to need to organize another contest. I'll have to see what I can put together this time. 
*Plots and Schemes*

And now?  
SLEEP!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Several Things on a Saturday

I'm still in Arizona, but our hotel has free WiFi (LOVE the free WiFi!) so I still had time to put together a post--which is good because I have some seriously cool things to tell you about.

First of all...um...MUSE WAS AMAZING!!!! I mean, I knew that already, but OMG, wow. Best. Concert. Ever. Even my husband--who's not really a fan (he claims they're too artsy *rolls eyes*)--had to admit they put on an awesome show. I could go on and on with all the details, but...I think these pictures say it way better than I can:




Yes, those are giant eyeball balloons filled with red confetti. They launched them over the floor section during Plug-in Baby. 

In case you're wondering, YES, they played all my favorite songs. No, I didn't die (the crowd was actually completely tame--NOTHING on the Paramore concert I went to a few months ago where I seriously almost died. Twice.) And yes, I already want to go see them again. I dare anyone to go to a Muse concert and not walk away a fan.

Oh, and no--I didn't see Stephenie Meyer (nor did I try to track her down. I'm sure she was in some elite backstage only-for-VIPs kind of place). But she was definitely there. When they played Supermassive Black Hole they said, "This one's for you, Stephenie." So yeah. Weird.

Anyway, enough about Muse (because I could go on endlessly about them).

I also HAVE to remind everyone that today is the LAST DAY TO ENTER MY AGENT SIGNING CELEBRATION. I'll close the contest to entries at Midnight (PST) tonight and post the winners tomorrow. So if you haven't entered yet, what are you waiting for? Go! 

And while you're gone, make sure you also stop by my amazing, awesome, adorable CP Sarah Wylie's blog today. Not only has she posted a picture of herself--FINALLY--but um, rumor has it she might have her Publisher's Marketplace listing posted (and if it's not there yet check back, it'll be up soon! In fact, click the follow button because she has some HUGE things coming up--and no, I'm not referring to my upcoming guest blog.) I already knew her book and book deal were amazing...but there's just something about seeing it in PM that gets me a little choked up.  Congratulations Sarah! *sends more virtual Twizzlers to celebrate* :)

And--last but not least--I'm actually making progress on my revisions! Still a long way to go of course, but I think I'm past the biggest hurdle: the OMG-I-Can't-Do-This-I-Suck-And-I-Should-Just-Give-Up-Now hurdle.  I sent some chapters to my CPs yesterday, and while I did get some notes--of course--they both think I'm really close to nailing them. So that's three chapters almost down and...well...let's not think about how many more there are to go. The point is, I'm moving right along. So yay!

Okay, I think that pretty much covers it. Have a great day everyone and stop by tomorrow when I announce the contest winners. I can't wait to see who wins!!!!! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't go into shock--

--but I'm not here right now. 

It's really not a good time for me to go away--given my revision deadline--but...well...I couldn't help it. Three months ago I bought tickets to see these guys: 


and well...I've been DYING to see them forever, so I was not going to pass that up. I mean DUDE--their concerts look amazing:


So, yeah...I'm in Arizona, getting ready to see one of my favorite bands. 
(And if you're wondering, yes, I DID bring my laptop, and I am still planning on squeezing in some revision in the evening. I don't really have time to take a whole weekend off)

And wish me luck guys, because...well...the tickets we got are FLOOR TICKETS!

I have no idea what Muse shows are like, but I'm wearing sturdy shoes and preparing to brave the pits. Should be an adventure...
I promise an update--if I survive.
:)

Oh, and don't forget, you only have till Midnight tomorrow night to enter my Agent Signing Celebration Contest so if you haven't filled out that entry form you better get on that. I'd hate to have you miss your chance!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes...

Okay, I'd been thinking about this post for a couple of weeks, but when I read Elana Johnson's post on Monday I was inspired to finally write it.

Writing is slow. Publishing is even slower. So it's easy to feel like the days drag on with nothing really happening, while that elusive dream of being a writer seems continually far off on the horizon.

But have you ever looked back and seen how far you've come?

For instance, one year and four days ago I was a girl with an idea I was too scared to write. I'd been researching for over a year, I'd written a few scattered scenes (all of which SUCKED, by the way) and I was completely terrified to even call it a 'draft.'

But then I went to an event called Project Book Babe on April 4th in Arizona and met real writers for the first time. There were ten authors there--all of them amazing--and they were all at different points in their careers.

(Clockwise from top left: Brandon Mull, Chris Gall, P.J. Haarisma, Stephenie Meyer, James A. Owen, Janette Rallison, J.S. Lewis, Dean Lorey, Laini Taylor, and Shannon Hale)

But they had one thing in common. They were all writers--fearlessly churning out words and turning them into books that I could actually buy in stores and read and love. I knew I wanted to be one of them...but I don't think I really knew how much I wanted to be them until that day.

So I left that event with more than just signed books in hand. I left there ready to be a writer. No more staring at a blank screen afraid to put down words. No more waiting until the scene was perfect to put it in the draft. I used the advice they'd given me and I dove in and wrote MY FIRST DRAFT.

And...ten months (and 14 drafts) later, I was finally ready to query--albeit slightly unwillingly. Two weeks into querying I had an offer of representation from my dream agent, and here I am now--in revision Hell yet again--but making Draft 15 sooooo much better--maybe even good enough to sell (though knowing me, I'll need at least one more revision. *sighs*).

If you'd told me back then, "Psst, Shannon. Get crackin' on that draft so you can sign with Laura Rennert next year" I'm sure I would've laughed and called you crazy. But here I am. And I'm not saying that to pat myself on the back because, dude--no one is more stunned than I am that I've made it here. Plus, I still have a LONG way to go (*decides not to think about the nightmare of subs.*)

I just wanted to share my story because I know so many of you are struggling along the same path and I know how it feels. I know it feels endless. I know it feels like you're not getting anywhere.

So do me a favor.

Look back.

See how far you've come--because I guarantee you, you've gone further than you think. And if you stick with it I have no doubt you'll get where you want to be. Day by Day. Word by Word. You're getting there. So keep at it and don't give up!

And, on that note, I really must get back to tackling the Editorial Email of Doom. Talk about  a long way to go...

*sighs*
*rolls up sleeves*
*dives into revision*

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

These Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!

(A.K.A. Revision Bootcamp: Day Two)

So...I'm not a mom--but sometimes I feel like I am, because, well, I write middle grade. Which means I spend large portions of my day hanging out with a bunch of imaginary 12-year-olds. And if I'm being honest, a lot of times, they make me feel like I WANT TO KILL THEM ALL OFF IN A GIANT FIERY EXPLOSION OF DOOM.

See, the thing is, I'm one of those crazy writers whose characters are so real they not only talk to me, they boss me around. Which is great during the whole words-flowing-freely-rough-draft stage. But during the whip-them-into-submission-with-revision stage? Um...it's NOT SO MUCH FUN!

I've tried begging. I've tried threatening. Shoot, I've even tried bribery (and trust me, bribing imaginary children is NOT an easy thing to do). And STILL they won't cooperate. 

So now, they're on a Time Out. 

They can sit in their Auntie Sara's inbox and they can THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY'VE DONE!!!!! And maybe Sara can get through to them. I mean, after all, she's the cool CP/Aunt. I'm just the mean Writer/Mom making them do all these things they don't want to do.

So in case you're wondering how the revisions are going, well...things are getting a little crazy around here (or maybe I'M just going a little crazy around here--it's *highly* possible). But I will get things under control soon because I refuse to be defeated by imaginary children! I brought them into this world darnit and I can take them out! I have a delete key and I'm not afraid to use it!!!!!

In the meantime, I'll be researching giant prehistoric bugs for another scene. (It's cute if you think I'm joking.) Ah writing...it's definitely a one of a kind experience. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting Back in the Habit

Okay, I'm going to get in big trouble for this, so I have to type quick. 

Here's the thing. 

I got my editorial email from Laura last Friday and well...progress has been slow.

It's not that I disagree with her comments--in fact it was a lot of,  *smacks face* WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT MONTHS AGO?!?! And it's not that I'm not excited to get started--I mean, dude, I'm working with my agent. It's not even like I don't have enough motivation, because, um, I HAVE A DEADLINE! So you'd think I'd be cranking these revisions out.

And yet, every time I open my draft, well...

I revise a few sentences.
And then I check my email.
I stop by Twitter.
I read some blogs.
I check statcounter.
I reply to blog comments.
And then I start to feel guilty, so I revise another page.
But then a cat crawls into my lap and I HAVE to scratch his tummy
And then I need more water
And I notice that the downstairs is messy so I straighten
And well, all of a sudden it's late at night and I've accomplished very little.
And I've been unable to figure out why. But I think I've found the answer.

See, a completed draft is like a house of cards.
Every word, every sentence has been carefully stacked and arranged to support the next, and the next--and they may not be perfect, but they're all standing darnit!

And revision is like reaching into the middle of that house and sliding a few cards out so you can rearrange them, and well... THE WHOLE THING CRUMBLES.

So it's easy to sit and stare at what you've created and feel a little terrified about destroying it. But it has to be done, because then you'll rebuild and it'll be even better than it was and you'll be SO glad you did it.  It's just hard to tear out those first few cards and watch it all crumble. 

So with that in mind, I turned to my super-awesome CP Sara McClung and begged for help. I needed a butt kicker, and since she had no problem stepping into that role when I was trying to finish my major re-write in time for the conference, I knew she'd be up to the task.

But she. is. intense!

I have to check in every two hours with progress reports.
I'm not allowed to tweet.
I have a feeling I'm not supposed to blog (hence why I'm typing only slightly slower than the speed of light right now)
So, while I LOVE her--OMG, she's only been at it one night and I already accomplished more than I did ALL of last week--it may mean some changes.

I probably won't be blog hopping as much. 
(Sorry if that means I'm not able to comment on your posts.)
And I probably won't be on Twitter as much (*sobs*)
I'm sure my email response time will also increase.
I'm still going to try to squeeze in blog posts, but other than that, there might not be a lot of Shannon on the internets. 
But I promise it's only temporary. I have a pretty tight deadline, so I WILL be done soon. And then I'll be back to my procrastinating ways while I wait for Laura to read it and compose another Email of Doom of all the things I STILL got wrong. 

Ah...revision. It never ends, does it?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know what's going on so you'll *hopefully* understand why I might not be around as much. I hope you'll still stop by and say hi sometimes on my posts, and I'll try to be back to reading yours as soon as I can. 

And now I better get back to work before she catches me.
*glances over shoulder*
OMG--she's watching me.
Uh oh.
Gotta go. 
Kthanxbai!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Vlog of Doom is Here!

Ugh!

So...I vlogged--and it was SOOOOOOOOOO much worse than I ever imagined it could be!

But I had to.

I promised I would when I signed with an agent, and I signed with Laura Rennert last week so....yeah. (I'm a big stupid head who will hopefully never make another ridiculous deal again!) 

But...it's done. And fair warning--it's LONG. 

Over six minutes long--which I personally feel is WAY too much Shannon exposure for anyone to have to endure, so really, I WON'T be offended if you decide not to watch. No need to scroll down and click play.

BUT...for those of you who insist on having a heaping helping of Shannon Shame, here you go...
*Sighs*


Um...yeah.

(BTW, if you were wondering, I believe I said the word "okay" 18 times total...but it *may* be more)

So...okay.
:)

If you need me, I'll be dying my hair and fleeing to Mexico...

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Truth is Out There

Hehe, so...apparently I'm a better liar than I thought, because not a lot of people guessed the right answer. Maybe it helped that there were shades of truth in every lie.

Here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:

#1: I used to live in an apartment just off Hollywood Blvd, and one of my neighbors was actually Brendan Fraser's dad. No--his son never came to visit, and no--I had no proof that he really was who he said he was. But there was a definite family resemblance, and his last name was Fraser so I'm fairly certain he was telling the truth. 

LIE: The area around Hollywood Blvd is actually pretty shady/scary, so there's no WAY I ever would've lived over there. I lived in an apartment off Los Feliz Blvd, and I did have a neighbor who claimed to have a famous son, but he said he was Christian Slater's father. I have no idea if he was telling the truth, but his last name was Slater and he did look a LOT like an older version of his son, so I'm inclined to believe it was true. But in Hollywood you never know. Plenty of crazies out there...

#2: My classes at USC were mostly filled with people like me--nobodies who had good portfolios and somehow got accepted--but there were a few people with famous parents who got them in. We also had some former child stars. Our biggest 'celebrity' was Elijah Wood, but it was before Lord of the Rings revitalized his career so it wasn't *that* big of a deal.

LIE: I did have a child star in my class, but it wasn't Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings was on the 2nd movie when I was in college.) But he did know Elijah Wood. He worked with him in Radio Flyer. His name was Joseph Mazzello, but you probably know him better as Tim in Jurassic Park.

#3: During the summer between my Junior and Senior year, I took a job as a PA for The Amazing Race. I didn't stay very long because I didn't want to have to travel with the show, but I worked through some of the preliminary preparations, and there's even an early episode where I'm listed (under my maiden name, of course) in the credits.

LIE: I did work as a PA for reality television, but I actually worked for Big Brother. (I wanna say it was Big Brother 4, but it might've been 3.) I still didn't work there very long because the workdays were like 18 hour shifts and I just didn't care enough about the annoying house guests to want to put in those kind of hours. There is one episode with my name in the credits though. 

#4: I interned for a TV Production company during my Senior year, and every Friday (filming day) we'd head to the studio lots for the tapings. Most of the celebrities were really nice--or too busy to notice me--but there was one who was surprisingly rude. David Spade. Despite being such a funny guy on screen, he was a total jerk when I met him, and spent the whole time yelling at my boss because they'd changed his lines again and he was getting sick of all the rewrites. 

LIE: David Spade was awesome when I met him. My boss and I hung out with him in the greenroom and he was cracking jokes about how many lines he had to relearn (apparently his character was one of the only ones with new lines and he had some funny theories about why). Side note: he has awesome hair. Not a split end in sight. I was totally jealous. 

#5: My boss also had really weird friends--and part of my job was to answer all his calls--so I talked to Bob Saget (Danny Tanner on Full House) and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding on Saved by the Bell) on a pretty regular basis. Their voices are instantly recognizable over the phone, so I usually spent the entire call reminding myself to call them by their real names, not their character names. 

TRUE: My boss had very weird friends. I used to tease him about it. I mean, really, how many people can say they're friends with Mr. Belding? Side note: Bob Saget has a TOTAL pottymouth. If you've ever seen him do stand-up you probably aren't surprised by this, but I'd only seen him as Danny Tanner--twerpiest dad in the world--so I was more than a little stunned by the "F-Bombs'. I was like, "what would DJ and Stephanie think? And poor little Michelle..." :)

#6: During my Senior Film Production class, Stephen Spielberg was on campus to meet with the Dean, and for some reason he decided to sit in on our pitch session. At first we didn't even notice him back there, but once we did, we all got so nervous most of us botched our pitches. He was really nice about it, and when we were done he said they sounded like great projects and left, and we all just sat there like, 'dude, WHAT just happened?'

LIE: This did happen, but to my friend's class, not mine--a fact I was SUPREMELY relieved about. By Senior year I'd already realized what a wrong fit I was for Hollywood, so I think I would have died if I'd had to pitch one of my silly ideas (most of which were things like 'lonely tumbleweeds finding true love') with Stephen Spielberg in the room. The class it happened to was pretty stoked about it though. And in case you're wondering, yes, at USC it was not all that uncommon for someone like Spielberg or Lucas to be on campus. It certainly wasn't an every day thing, but since they donate HUGE sums of money to the program, they would occasionally stop by to meet with the Dean. USC Film School was definitely its own little world. 

#7: Probably my favorite celebrity that I met was Judd Nelson. I'm a HUGE Brat Pack fan--even though it was before my time--so I totally had to bite my cheek to keep from giggling and saying "I LOVED YOU IN THE BREAKFAST CLUB" when I met him--especially because I was working at the time and it would have been horribly unprofessional. He was really nice though, and even remembered my name when we said goodbye. I think the memory of him saying, "Goodbye Shannon" will stay with me forever. :)

LIE: Though it is true if you swap in the name Rob Lowe and switch it to "I LOVED YOU IN ST. ELMO'S FIRE!" I met him when he was working on a very short lived legal drama and the day I was there he was practicing for a fight scene, so he was in work out clothes--which was AWESOME. He was very nice and did remember my name when he said goodbye and OMG he is VERY good looking in real life. 

So there you go. The truth is out there...
*cue X Files music*
(MAN I'm a nerd today!)

Thanks to everyone who guessed, I have awarded your extra entries. And for those of you who guessed right, you definitely got your five entries. Well done you!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Extra Contest Entires--No lie!

Okay, there will be lies. 
Six of them. 
And one truth. 

But there will also be extra contest entries!!!!!

See, I figured that--given the date--no one would take today's post seriously, no matter what I wrote about. And I've been meaning to fulfill this award for weeks:
So it seemed like the perfect time. 

I also know a lot of you are REALLY hoping to win the amazing books I'm giving away, so I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of passing this award on to people who've probably already won it, I'm just going to post the seven things and everyone who guesses which one is true will get five--yes FIVE--extra entries in the contest!!!!! And, because I love comments, I'll also give ONE extra entry to everyone who guesses wrong. 

Okay, so without further ado, here are six lies and one truth about my years spent pursuing a career in Hollywood. 
(We'll see how bad I am at lying...)

#1: I used to live in an apartment just off Hollywood Blvd, and one of my neighbors was actually Brendan Fraser's dad. No--his son never came to visit, and no--I had no proof that he really was who he said he was. But there was a definite family resemblance, and his last name was Fraser so I'm fairly certain he was telling the truth. 

#2: My classes at USC were mostly filled with people like me--nobodies who had good portfolios and somehow got accepted--but there were a few people with famous parents who got them in. We also had some former child stars. Our biggest 'celebrity' was Elijah Wood, but it was before Lord of the Rings revitalized his career so it wasn't *that* big of a deal.

#3: During the summer between my Junior and Senior year, I took a job as a PA for The Amazing Race. I didn't stay very long because I didn't want to have to travel with the show, but I worked through some of the preliminary preparations, and there's even an early episode where I'm listed (under my maiden name, of course) in the credits.

#4: I interned for a TV Production company during my Senior year, and every Friday (filming day) we'd head to the studio lots for the tapings. Most of the celebrities were really nice--or too busy to notice me--but there was one who was surprisingly rude. David Spade. Despite being such a funny guy on screen, he was a total jerk when I met him, and spent the whole time yelling at my boss because they'd changed his lines again and he was getting sick of all the rewrites. 

#5: My boss also had really weird friends--and part of my job was to answer all his calls--so I talked to Bob Saget (Danny Tanner on Full House) and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding on Saved by the Bell) on a pretty regular basis. Their voices are instantly recognizable over the phone, so I usually spent the entire call reminding myself to call them by their real names, not their character names. 

#6: During my Senior Film Production class, Stephen Spielberg was on campus to meet with the Dean, and for some reason he decided to sit in on our pitch session. At first we didn't even notice him back there, but once we did, we all got so nervous most of us botched our pitches. He was really nice about it, and when we were done he said they sounded like great projects and left, and we all just sat there like, 'dude, WHAT just happened?'

#7: Probably my favorite celebrity that I met was Judd Nelson. I'm a HUGE Brat Pack fan--even though it was before my time--so I totally had to bite my cheek to keep from giggling and saying "I LOVED YOU IN THE BREAKFAST CLUB" when I met him--especially because I was working at the time and it would have been horribly unprofessional. He was really nice though, and even remembered my name when we said goodbye. I think the memory of him saying, "Goodbye Shannon" will stay with me forever. :)

Okay, there you go. Leave your guesses in the comments (and make sure you let me know what name you entered the contest under) and I'll reveal the lies and truths tomorrow. And if you haven't entered the contest yet, make sure you fill out the form before April 10th.

Can't wait to see who gets this right!