Fifty Shades of Entertainment

If you’re going to warn your kids about Fifty Shades of Grey, shouldn’t you be warning them about everything else, too?

Here’s my latest weighing in the “Letter to My Children About Fifty Shades of Grey.” Cause it’s just a movie folks.

http://www.moxyandmain.com/home-page-one/fifty-shades-of-entertainment/

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Do You Remember What It’s Like to be Young and in Love?

If you have fond (or not so fond) memories of grade school crushes and passing notes in class, check out my latest blog on Moxy & Main:

http://www.moxyandmain.com/home-page-one/love-lessons/

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Book Review: Divine Bloodlines by Christina Surretsky

Wondering if you’ll like “Divine Bloodlines?” Check out this in depth review from Maple Brown Sugar!

Maple Brown Sugar

Being a voracious reader and book hoarder, you’d think I would devote a blog post to book reviews. So far, I’ve been lax in that department, when I’m flush with books. Now I’m finally expanding my repertoire and starting with a review of Divine Bloodlines, a great new YA (young adult) book by Christina Surretsky.

Let me preface this by stating that I became acquainted with Christina Surretsky’s writing through the blog we both write for, Jersey Moms Blog, www.jerseymomsblog.com . Upon reading her first blog post which was hysterically funny, engaging and relatable, I quickly became a fan. Although the blog features a group of amazing writers, Christina is one for whom I usually stop whatever I’m doing just to read what she has to say. Generally, when I like a writer’s oeuvre, I tend to obsessively seek out anything they have written and read it.  However, I’ve…

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Current Events

Have you bought your copy of Divine Bloodlines yet? Or are you afraid of commitment. If so, here’s your chance to check part of it out for free. Chapters 1 and 2 are currently posted on Wattpad.com and available for anyone who wants a preview. If you like it, please give it a star. And, feel free to go ahead and buy the book! Still not sure? Check out Chapter 3 next week.

In the meantime, take a look at a great new site called Moxy & Main, and my latest blog for them. Trust me, the picture alone is worth it!

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For All You Late Bloomers

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a lot of things. A singer. A dancer. Primarily, Wonder Woman or one of Charlie’s Angels. But never, ever a writer. My mother gave me the idea of going into advertising when I was young because I had memorized all the various commercial jingles from television. (I know—I was highly qualified.) My father encouraged me to go into “business” or “finance” because that’s where the money was.

Money sounded good, so I attempted to follow my father’s advice. My first major in college was accounting. That didn’t last long. Since this was the ’80s and “greed was good,” I then decided to try my hand at finance. I liked that even less than accounting. Finally I landed in marketing, and the seed that my mother planted bloomed into a career in advertising. However, here’s the thing: my advertising career was nothing like what I saw on “Bewitched” or “Melrose Place.” It wasn’t as exciting or creative as I had hoped. No one could wiggle their nose to make things magically work out. (That usually required being at work for 24 hours straight.) And no one had sex on the desks (at least, no one that I knew had sex on the desks). But, at least it was a job.

The first few years were spent doing back office grunt work. However, I did manage to work my way up into doing front office grunt work. And while I did pretty well and (sometimes) enjoyed my work (depending largely on the level of insanity of my coworkers and clients), it’s not like I had found “my calling.” Mostly, I found a paycheck, which is what most of us find in our work and that was just fine with me.

Then I had a baby and I decided to take a break from advertising since the hours weren’t really conducive to having a family. (One of my bosses had a “daytime” nanny AND a “nighttime” nanny.) I didn’t see how I could keep up my current schedule (leaving my house by 7:15 AM and usually getting home sometime around or after 7:30 PM) and ever see my kid. So I settled, very happily I might add, into being an at home mom.

A few years into my new career as a mother, when my kids went to school, I found myself with more time on my hands and a desire to do . . . well, something. I wasn’t sure what. And then I started writing. First for just my friends and family. But then, because social media now gave me a platform to write for others, I started to put my work out there. And, I realized, I liked it. And, I was pretty good at it.

And so, I became a writer.

Last week I turned 45 years old, and the best gift I gave to myself was not being afraid of trying something new because I was “too old” or because I might not succeed. And, now, after a few years of hard work, I’m happy to present, Divine Bloodlines available in paperback on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Bloodlines-Christina-Surretsky/dp/1502879379/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418672990&sr=8-2&keywords=Divine+Bloodlines

(The Kindle Edition will be coming soon!)

If you read the book I truly hope you enjoy it. But, whether you read it or not, my real hope is that, if you are a late bloomer like me, you won’t give up on finding what you want to be when you grow up. Even if you’re grown up.

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One Step Closer to Reality

28139666_Cover Proof_5007395 copy copy

Coming to Amazon soon!

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Proofreading Hell

I know. I was MIA there for a while. It’s because I was in proofreading hell.

 

Proofreading your own work is like being a doctor operating on yourself. It’s a bad idea. Still, if you were a doctor stuck on a desert island and a shark attacked you, and you had to operate on yourself, you would. Hell, you would probably operate even if you weren’t a doctor. Just like if you were a writer, stuck on a desert island with your manuscript and a limited budget, you’d get out your scalpel and start cutting.

 

That was my situation. Sure, I paid for my book to be edited. Once. And proofread. Once. But that’s like only having money for half a facelift. Or one boob enlarged. It’s really only part of the process. And if you can’t pay for the rest of it to be done, you might as well do it yourself. (Which is why I have yet to have any plastic surgery.)

 

When you edit your own work, you run several risks. One is simply not seeing your work objectively. Not being able to make necessary changes because you are too in love with a particular character or plot line or piece of dialogue that doesn’t serve the broader picture. In my own opinion, I think I was a pretty brutal editor of my own work—refining and tweaking and cutting, in addition to what my professional editor did, to get the story as tight as possible.

 

However, as far as proofreading goes, that’s a different ballgame. I’m the first one to admit, I’m a terrible proofreader, especially of my own work. I’m pretty certain that if you go back and look at any blog I’ve ever written, you will find at least one typo in each. At least. Which is why I had my manuscript professionally proofread. But, here’s the deal: once is not enough. It’s just not. When one person reads through over three hundred pages they will catch mistakes. If she is a professional she will catch many mistakes. But very few people will catch ALL the mistakes on just one go round. Which is where my descent into hell comes in.

 

Let me start off by saying, I was not an English major. And while I’ve always been pretty good at figuring out where to stick a comma or when to use I versus me, grammar and punctuation have never been such a focus that I could tell you about dangling participles or predicate nominatives. As a result, well, let’s just say the process became very labor intensive.

 

For example, did you know that you’re supposed to use “curly” quotation marks and not “straight” quotation marks in a manuscript? Probably not because I’m guessing most of you never needed to notice the difference between the two. Or the difference between an em dash—and an en dash–. Subtle, right? But technically, they are not interchangeable and you need to know when to use one versus the other. What about ellipses… or is it … or is it . . . ? Depends on what reference manual you use. How about writing numbers? I know, you think that one is easy, right? Everything up until ten is written out and everything after that is spelled. Wrong. Again, depends on your style manual. How about when to use I was versus I were? Oh, yeah, that one depends on “the mood” of the verb. Seriously. And so now you know why I’ve been MIA all this time. And why the next photo I post will have a whole lot more gray hair showing.

 

Along the way, besides figuring out all of these stylistic consistencies and finding the errant word missing or slight misspelling, I noticed something else. It’s just, I noticed that I just used the word just, just too much. To the point where I started to think that maybe I should leave the word in there and suggest people make a drinking game out of it. (Hey, college students of legal drinking age, every time you read the word “just” in “Divine Bloodlines,” just take a drink!)

 

And so I read it and read it again and again, combing through each page, each phrase, each word, to try to find all the errors. The sad part is, I probably will still have a few things in there. Hopefully, they will be the subjective things, like, where to use or not use a comma. But, there might still be one or two others. In which case, my new plan is to tell everyone that I purposely put those typos there! Sort of like the Easter Eggs in those superhero movies that only the most attentive watchers will find. So, yes, go ahead and look for my typos, because I meant for them to be there. I, just, like, really did.

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