Ten Advantages to Being a YA Author

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All Week, teen authors from around the country will land in NYC, the teen night club of cities, to share, discuss, and sign their young adult books. Come! Join us! Invite your friends! 

Here are just TEN advantages to being a teen author: 

  1. When you wake up to a little pink mountain on your left cheek, you can blame it on the hormone-raging world you choose to mentally live in for the sake of the cause. Clearly, the daily consumption of chocolate has nothing to do with you breaking out.

 

  1. When the radio plays your favorite song by Justin Bieber, you’re required to turn it up so you can hear it like a teenager. You can always sing, “Sorry,” later.

 

  1. When you get your news about the world from Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram first, you pat yourself on the back for staying informed. Post. Like. Share. Repeat.

 

  1. When you show up an hour early at the midnight premier of the movie version of your favorite teen read and initiate the standing ovation when the credits roll, no one can tell your age in the dark, so you are good. Clap louder!

 

  1. When you shop at Forever 21, you can justify your purchases in the name of research. Never mind that Forever 29 is actually your middle name.

 

  1. When your weekly eating-out budget runs over because of frequent trips to Chipotle, Panera, or Starbucks, you look on the bright side. At least your mom didn’t have to cook tonight. Oh wait. You are the mom. Even better!

 

  1. When hours disappear after binge-watching several seasons of teen TV, you have just saved the world from repeat stories and been there-done that characters. And sure it was six straight hours, but back in the day, there were people who watched television with commercials. Talk about an outrageous waste of time.

 

  1. When you scream like a teenager after spotting Taylor Swift at the Knicks game, you don’t have to play it off as if you’re cheering on the team. In fact, when the coach assists a bleeding player off the court, stand up and cue your very best rendition of “Bad Blood.” I’ll sing the chorus with you.

 

  1. When your significant other asks you out in a text message, when you slow dance in the parking lot to the song on your car radio, or when you kiss each other in the rain, because let’s face it, a functioning umbrella is rarely in the right place at the right time—permission to fuel those falling in love scenes afresh. Because when you’re a teen author, it feels like the first time. Every time.

 

  1. When you read your books, you smile, because you get to write the books you love to read. The stories you wish existed when you were a teen. But do now. So Yay!

**

What did I miss? I’m sure there are plenty more! And if you read YA, what have you read lately? 

BTW, did you get your tickets to see Allegiant yet?? Counting down the days! 

 

Top Ten Things to Expect When in Nashville

Jacks

As a New Yorker, surrounded by a diversity of cultures and lifestyles, I love traveling just to experience the way things are done differently and to meet and chat with people who have done things differently their whole lives. After a few days in hot and humid capital of Tennessee, I came up with my Top Ten things to Expect when visiting Nashville, AKA Music City.

 

When in Nashville, EXPECT

 

  1. To be serenaded by a future country singer in the airport. At the hotel. At every restaurant you walk by or step into. I was actually surprised there wasn’t a girl with her guitar singing in the restroom.
  2. photo 2-2To have a side of BBQ sauce. With everything. I think they even pour it over their eggs in the morning. Jack’s BBQ is a great authentic BBQ experience, I might add.
  3. To say, “Howdy.” At least twice. When you walk into a cowboy boots store and when you walk out with hat and boots on. Then expect to say it to everyone who passes by.
  4. To own something with a guitar on it by the time you leave. A t-shirt, key chain, mug or bottle of BBQ sauce. Even found guitar-pick earrings made of recycled vinyl records. Continue reading

Top Ten Healthcare Questions You Didn’t Think To Ask Me

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In light of the first Government Shut Down in eighteen years, I felt compelled to write a post on #healthcare. Since I’m married to a doc, I hear the other side of the story all the time. 

Healthcare reform is all the wrong hands. 

People making the decisions don’t even have a medical background. 

 Now we get paid more for keeping people out of the hospital. Oh, you’re bleeding? Put some pressure on it, take two Aspirin, and you’ll lose five pounds by Wednesday. 

Sure, I suppose that last one I might have taken a little liberty on the interpretation.

 But, I’m not the best patient either. In fact, I just returned from my first physical in like five years, and I can honestly say that healthcare is going to pot.

*NOTE: this is not a knock on my physician. I love her. She’s smart. Funny. And never once, okay, maybe once she reminded me that I haven’t seen her in a long time. BUT, the overall experience was rather disappointing. And here’s why: Continue reading

Minty Makeover-a Girl’s Room DIY

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Each time we’ve began some sort of home improvement project in the house, whether it’s spring-cleaning the pantry, installing organizers and shelving in the bathroom, or sorting through the spot next to the microwave. You know the place. We all have one in our kitchens, where mail, school notices, small toys picked up after being stepped on get shoved. Until it’s an impending avalanche upon slightest touch zone. The place where you’re better off pointing to it and just saying, “It’s in there. Somewhere,” and turning your back before the rolling eyes suggest you had something to do with it. 

Well, I cleaned that spot the other day. It looks so neat and nice, I don’t want anyone to touch it. Worse part, I forgot to take the “before” pic, so my friends who don’t come around every week would believe me when I described the niche as dangerous. 

 

And I always forget to take the before pics. Which drives me nuts, because without them, it’s hard to truly see the extent of change and progress that was made.  Continue reading

Got Post-its?

photo-34Got Post-its? Then, Stick someone with a note. And tell ‘em how much you *heart* them. Or just want to say, “Hi!” or that you Miss ‘em. Or want to say, “Thanks” for this or that. Or just want to tell them that you’re thinking about ‘em. Or other. The options, really are endless. Besides the small space confining you to a limited number of legible words on a little square sheet, you can tell someone just about anything. Really.

 

Six Easy Steps to #PostitLove Success:

Step One: Pull out your Post-it pad. Yellow, Blue, Pink or Purple. Think of someone you want to send out a surprise message to. It’s like sending a letter without the stamps, trip to the Post office or three-day wait time to see it got there.

 

Or Peach!!

Or Peach!!

Step Two: Find a writing device. Pen, pencil, marker. Crayon will do. I know, I know, with all the typing and tapping, sweeping and swiping, writing on paper is almost a lost art. But I know you have something to write with, somewhere under a pile of unchecked mail. Find it!

 

Step Three: Write a word or two. Doodle a drawing. Scribble and scribe. Keep it simple. Share a smile. Spread the love.

 

Step Four: Photograph your post-it. Nearly every digital device out there has your basic camera function, so snap a shot, and..

 

Step Five: You thought I was gonna say, “Share” didn’t you? But one Final detail: Tag the person you’re sending the note to [kind of like putting an address on it so the person finds out you wrote them a note. You do want them to know, don’t you?] and then:

 

Step Six: SHARE. Share. share.

 

This is a sort of selfish venture, since I’m “collecting” Post-it messages for a Tumbler project I’m working on that connects to my first Young Adult novel, Swimming Through Clouds, in which a Post-it sparks a sticky romance between two unlikely friends.

 

To say Thank You for jumping on my sticky note adventure with me, I have something for you, yes I do!

 

The first twenty-five, 25, yes, 25 people to post some Post-it love with Hashtags #PostitLove and #swimmingthroughclouds @rajdeeppaulus, either on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook get a book of POST-its in the mail! Snail-mail, stamps and all. :) **If you don’t @rajdeeppaulus, I won’t know and it will be really hard to find you.

 

And if you’re looking for that summer read that I think will Stick with you long after summer’s gone, hop over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords. Read a few chapters free online, peruse the reviews and then take a swim. Swimming Through Clouds, that is. :)

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

And if you want to know more about the crazy girl who wrote this cu-razy story, Melissa Tagg posted a fun interview with a FAB intro video! Commenters have a chance to enter for an E-copy GIVEAWAY of the book, too. And Playlist Fiction is also doing a super fun, SUMMER Gift Bag full of fun stuff GIVEAWAY all July with unlimited entries! So whatcha waitin for?!?

 

Starting a #SwimmingThroughClouds Post-it Drive to promote the idea that one small act, even in the form of a note, can make a BIG difference, even change someone’s world. Because, in the words of my Agent, Chip MacGregor, words have the power to move you, and leave you changed. Forever.

 

***

And you? Do you use sticky notes to remind you of things you have to do? Great ideas you don’t want to forget? Or to doodle to pass the time while on a long-winded conference call? Do you have a favorite Post-it color? Mine is lilac. Yep. Love me some Lilac-scented Post-its. What do you mean they don’t smell like Lilacs? Because they should. Just sayin.

Treats and Tweets make Summer Sweet!

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

Nope. Not changing from YAfiction to Poetry, so my rhyming skills will MOSTly stop at the title. BUT,

You must know,

If you go,

To PlaylistFiction dot com,

Su-weet stuff from TOM-

-my Hilfiger is waiting to be won!

And you don’t even have to run

a marathon or climb a wall

or dress up for a ball

or go to the mall.

AND

hashtag: #playlistfiction

hashtag: #playlistfiction

If you pop over to Twitter Thurs night,

With a post-it pad ready to write

a little note and tweet it too,

you could win some book swag, yes YOU!

AT least SIX giveaways, starting at 8

PM Eastern Standard Time, Don’t be late!

T-shirts, books, CD’s and more!

And get the inside scoop, while you score—

Treats and sweets and meets galore.

**
And here ends the worst poem ever written but I hope it works.
AND you pop by PlaylistFiction.com to enter (as many times as you like) to win our Summer Time Grab Bag!

AND mark your calendars – Thursday night! July 11th. 8:00pm EST! For the Twitter Event of the Summer! Holly Starr, KW Walton and Amy Parker will be stopping in to hang with us, so don’t miss out!

Hashtag #playlistfiction 

Meet, I mean, Tweet you there! :)

Don’t forget your Post-its! Your Wit! and your Cyber-Smile! :)

***

Ever been to a Twitter Party? And just watched from the sidelines? Any advice for this First-Timer?

 

 

 

 

Swimming Through Clouds… The Road to June 1st

sun rises every day2June 1st.

Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.

So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.

But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.

I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.

So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.

Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my  dreams and into reality.

1.  When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.

2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally :) !

3.  I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.

4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!

5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.

So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds. :)

***

Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!

To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.

It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.

***

And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?

 

To Eye Contact or Not To Eye Contact

Free Stock Images

Free Stock Images

What did you learn growing up about Eye Contact?

Were you in the hard knocks school of “Look me in the eye, Son!” or did you hear “Never look a person in the eye” from your social mentors?

And when you fell in love. The first time. Was it in her eyes that you found yourself? And could he see right into your heart when he gazed into your baby blues? Or in my case, the brown-eyed girl?

Attended a marriage seminar several years back called PAIRS where the first lesson shared the importance of body language, encouraging couples to establish a focused position before talking. Knee to knee. Eye to eye.

But not everyone does the eye contact thing naturally. Personally, I get a tad distracted if I’m concentrating too hard when I look into someone’s eyes. My mind begins this peripheral dialogue that sends me into a zone all by itself.

“He’s looking into my eyes. I’m looking into his. He’s holding his stare. Holy cow, he hasn’t blinked. In a really long time. Wait! Which eye am I looking in? Left? Right? Both? Yikes! Who will look away first? [I do… then return, and…] He’s still looking. Right into my eyes. Wow. What was I saying? What were we talking about?” Continue reading

Out of Sight, Out of Mole

free stock images

free stock images

So a couple of weeks ago, hubby says, “Either you make an appointment with a psychologist or…”

I pick up my phone and call the hospital. “Can I please have the number to Dr. P’s office. Yes. The dermatologist.”

You see, the situation with the tiny mole behind me has come to a head. My fingers have spent so many minutes acting like a heat-seeking missile that my arms actually ache from loss of blood flow. Okay, not really, but it’s been bad. So bad that my five-year old says to me: “Mom, I give up. I don’t want the job anymore.”

“What job?” I ask, two fingers ceaselessly caressing the back of my head.

“Your mole!” She exclaims. “I’m tired of telling you to stop touching your head. I quit.”

And just like that, she turns and leaves the kitchen. Hmm? I think this moment calls for a two second scratching of my head. Staring at my hands like I have Desdemona’s blood on them, I can deny it no longer: this is out of control.  Continue reading

National Honor Society “Scuberty” Mom

2013-03-22 05.41.09If you’re a frequent Waterfall Seeker, you know I’m a tad nutty. And I have issues with obsessive touching and luscious lips. Sounds R-rated, until you realize I’m referring to a tiny mole. That has a magnetic pull on my fingers. And my allergy to Aleve. On the puffy lips note, that is.


When my kids read my blog, they often roll their eyes and exclaim, “Mom! Really? Did you have to tell the world about that?”

Well, no. Of course not. But then again, why not?


So yesterday morning, as I rubbed the sleepy grit from my eyes, my second Princess was busy pushing toothpaste out of an almost empty tube. Empty because of its use on my face. My face with a— “Mom! That’s huge!”

She’s referring to the teenage-sized zit that screams ‘look at me’ to the right of my nose. “Mom. Tell me you’re NOT going to blog about it. Because that would just be so weird.”

Continue reading