Monday, July 14, 2014

Flooded With Gratitude



It may be hard to believe, but I'm at a loss for words that are big enough to express my gratitude. 

On July 7th, the tornado sirens were going off, rain was pounding our home and we were in the basement watching it all out the windows. (Naturally, my brilliant hubby was on the other side of the state.) The rain water made a beautiful waterfall coming over our egress wall. (I even video taped it on my phone.) We noticed the water rising in the bottom of the egress. It rose quickly, almost to the window sill. The TV went off the air, the sirens went off again, and I tried to move the weather radio to the bathroom with the pets. My beautiful daughter was in a panic because she thought her toilet was overflowing...it wasn't. The egress had emptied...into my house.

We (including my niece who is here for the summer) dashed around picking up anything on the floor, putting the furniture up on blocks, carrying as much as we could upstairs. I texted my brilliant husband on the other side of the state asking how to turn off the gas on the fireplace. He called a friend to come see what was going on. I texted a friend with a strong, college bound, football playing, son to see if he could come help. Within minutes friends began showing up at our house. They didn't bother to knock, they just came in and started helping get everything out of the basements. (Thank goodness for Rubbermaid tubs!) 

Within hours, the carpet and padding was removed, fans and dehumidifiers were busy drying the rest of the floors, pizza was ordered and wine was being poured.

The outpouring from our friends overwhelmed me. The next day people (even one who also had a flooded basement) called to check in on me.

We moved here almost six years ago. I didn't (really) open up to building true friendships until about a year and a half ago. I don't know how I will ever be able to show these amazing people how grateful I am for their friendship. 

The lesson I've learned from this is more than I have amazing friends. When you truly allow yourself to open up and build friendships, it allows you to not only to be the person they turn to, but they can be the people you can turn to when you are pushed past your limits. It feels pretty amazing to have so many people I can turn to.

Do you have a group of friends you can turn to? If not (yet), are you ready to open your heart and start building those kind of relationships?


Saturday, June 28, 2014

And The Winner of a Hardback copy of Burnout is...


The winner is Tracey Cox! (chosen by random.org)


A month or so ago I was invited to do a post on the Utah Children's Writer Blog, after I commented on one of their posts about the writing process.  If you have a chance you can hop over to the Utah Children's Writer Blog and see how I prepared to write my historical fiction MG novel. Be prepared for lots of photos and minimal words. (Yes, I had my first professional photos made. Although, my hair is a bit lighter now thanks to the magic of the sun and the best hair salon around.)



Thanks to everyone who got on twitter and spread the positive with me on Thursday. It's amazing how often someone else's Tweet hits close to home....and how much posting your own positive words can impact your own day...

Keep being positive!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Veuillez m'aider tendance! And a Burnout Giveaway


Veuillez m'aider tendance! 
(Please help me trend!)

I'm not someone who asks for favors or help often, but I'm going to ask you guys to help me with something this week. When I was hosting #sweetheartpbcontest, #midgrademadness, and #yahugs I had the opportunity to help a lot of writers doing I two things I love to do: connecting people and editing. Seeing my hashtags was really cool. It made me think, about trending and the value of trending.

Other than writing and my family, having a positive impact on the people who I "touch" really matters to me. Several years ago I "hosted" a #bepositive Tweet event and lots of people joined in, including Literary Agent Terrie Wolf. She and some of her followers expanded on my idea and created #bepositivehour.  Every week day from 3:00-4:00 PM in whatever time zone you live in you tweet something positive using #bepositivehour. Some of the tweets are so good I would have RT (retweeted) them more than once if it was allowed. Writing positive things is empowering and sending them out to the Universe could potentially change someone's day from a negative to a positive.

Soooooo...

What I'm asking you to do is please join me on Thursday, June 26th from 3:00-4:00 PM in your time zone to help me trend #bepositivehour. You'll have fun I promise! Plus have a chance to win a hardback copy of BURNOUT by Kristi Helvig.



Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Author bio: 
Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.




You can find out more about Kristi on her website/blog and follow her on Twitter.

How to win  a hardback copy of BURNOUT...

Commit (in the comments) to joining me on Thursday, June 26th from 3:00-4:00 PM (in your time zone) for #bepositivehour. I'll use Random.org to choose the lucky winner on Friday. I will be checking the person Random.org chooses did tweet. (I have a #bepositivehour list on my Tweetdeck.)

I hope everyone joins me on Thursday and that we can make #bepositivehour trend...

(((HUGS)))
Sharon


Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Best Thing I've Ever Done/Created


It all started here, well a couple months earlier than this picture, but this is one of my favorite photos.

Waiting ten years after you get married to get pregnant has its benefits and a few drawbacks. You're more mature. You've finished your education and hopefully paid off your student loans. You have a career, so you'll be able to provide well for your child/children, but the unexpected can happen. It's much harder to get pregnant when you are twenty-right than when you were in your early twenties. It took us two years of surgeries and drugs to finally get pregnant. So when our precious little girl finally arrived we were filled with joy and commitment to give her the best life we possibly could.

When she was old enough she did gymnastics, then ballet, tap, and jazz. She even gave soccer and volleyball a whirl, but she found her passion when she entered the 9th grade. Theater.


Just seeing this photo again takes my breath away.

 In this scene Erik Mueterthies has been institutionalized for mental health issues caused by an abusive mother and Katherine is his social worker. I swear no one in the auditorium made a single sound in this powerful scene. The Boys Next Door was an amazing play. My daughter will be pursuing a BFA in acting. My husband and I are so excited for her.

I may have gotten a bit carried away with our launching her into the real world/college party.




The best compliment of the day (for me) was when one of her friends said our house looked like a Pinterest Page.




I may have gotten a little carried away, as I'm not showing you all the pictures...you don't have the time...so I'm just trying to hit the highlights.



The next weekend was full of smiles and tears and family fun, as 15 family members traveled from 10-18 hours to see her graduate.


After everyone went home we hit the airways...and went to New York City for the first time.


This was the view from our room. That's the Hudson River in the distance. The front of our hotel was on Times Square.

We went to three shows...this trip was all about letting our daughter sample NYC. I'm pretty sure she had a wonderful time.





We walked between 5 and 8 miles a day. It was wonderful: the sounds, the smells, the people, the sights and the lights!

One day we did take a bus tour. I would recommend doing that to anyone going to NY. It was outstanding!


 Freedom Tower



The World Trade Center Memorial



The Bull of Wall Street


Any Law and Order fans out there?



A couple things really surprised me...


I did not expect there to be so many trees.


There were all kinds of vendors lining the street: food, souvenirs, purses, sunglasses, artwork and many more.


I fell in love with Central Park. The contrast between the old and the new was just amazing.



Times Square was full of people no matter what time of day or night it was and I never felt unsafe.


There were street performers everywhere: everything from people dressed up in Statue of Liberty costumes, to artists and musicians.  We even saw a couple guys making giant bubbles.

This trip was mostly about celebrating our daughter, but we managed to throw in one thing especially for me...


I could continue to go on and on, but I'll stop and reflect for a moment...

Our daughter is the best thing in my life (don't tell my hubby). I'm going to miss her tremendously when she goes off to college, but I know with her talent, passion and drive that one day we'll be back in New York watching her on Broadway.

Thanks for stopping by and indulging my proud mommy post.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

#yahugs...Winning and Giving Back With Literary Agent Terrie Wolf

(Artwork provided by S.P. McConnell.)

I'm guessing you don't want me to take time chatting before I announce the results of the #yahugs contest...but, I'm going to for just a bit.

This was the first time Terrie and I were not at 100% agreement on the five winners. We agreed on a few, but we went back and forth for hours until we made a decision. Here's what we decided.  Terrie is going to critique five submissions and I am going to critique five submissions, then we will do a conference call with all ten winners mid June. That gives us time to do the critiques (and manage our lives or jobs). It gives you time to think about your critique and perhaps start working on your suggestions into your manuscript and time to think of questions you would like to ask Terrie.

  1. Donna McDine - Images of the Past - Terrie
  2. Yamile Mendez - A Chair of Every Color - Terrie
  3. Heather Powell-Van Fleet - Taking a Chance - Sharon
  4. Sarah Sharp - Royalty By Day - Sharon
  5. Kimberly Van Sickler - The Mall In Gullybrook - Sharon
  6. Elizabeth Arroyo - The Simple Truth - Terrie
  7. Roshani Choski - The Glass Garden - Terrie
  8. Jen Galasso - The Love Spell - Terrie
  9. Lauren Kerstein - Every Part of Me - Sharon
  10. Caitlin LaRue - Welcome H.O.E.M. - Sharon
I am so grateful to Terrie for giving so freely of her valuable time to help writers. We have read close to two hundred entries since we began the first contest. We have done 13 conference calls together so far. I have no idea how many critiques we have done. We still have the #midgrademadness phone calls to do, plus the #yahugs call and critiques. For me May is going to be the busiest month in 18 years. My daughter is graduating from high school. We have three big events centered around that, so please be patient with me on the critiques I am doing.

It would be a GREAT help to me, if I am critiquing your work, if you could email me your seven pages. (My old eyes don't like single spaces mss.) I expect you have my email by now, but if you don't it is sharon k mayhew at gmail dot com.

Congratulations to everyone! It is obvious you have talent!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

#yahugs Round One Winners!!!

(Artwork provided by S.P. McConnell)


I'd like to thank everyone who participated in #yahugs.  

I need to share an observation with you. (Sorry it's the teacher in me.) No matter if you are submitting to a contest, to an editor, or to an agent, you must follow directions. Reading the directions and doing what they say can be a matter  of whether your submission will be read, marked ineligible, requested, or rejected. Why am I saying this? Because numerous people did NOT follow the contest direction. You were to submit your query letter and that was all for round one. I hope that this will be a learning experience for all of us. 

Without further ado...

The round one winner of #yahugs, in no particular order:
  1. Donna McDine - Images of the Past
  2. Yamile Mendez - A Chair of Every Color
  3. Heather Powell-Van Fleet - Taking a Chance
  4. Sarah Sharp - Royalty By Day
  5. Kimberly Van Sickler - The Mall In Gullybrook
  6. Elizabeth Arroyo - The Simple Truth
  7. Roshani Choski - The Glass Garden
  8. Jen Galasso - The Love Spell
  9. Lauren Kerstein - Every Part of Me
  10. Caitlin LaRue - Welcome H.O.E.M.
Congratulations to the round one winners. Please submit your first seven pages through this link by Wednesday, April 23rd.

The winners of the thirty minute phone calls with Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf and the line edit and critique (from me) will be announced here on May 2nd.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ready...Set...Query #yahugs NOW CLOSED


#yahugs is now closed!

Ready...

Set...


QUERY!

Please follow the link for #yahugs...

Be sure to follow the directions or you will be disqualified.

Best wishes to everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AKA Literary Management, LLC (and SK Mayhew) Young Adult Writing Contest Rules and Rewards #yahugs


(Artwork provided by the amazing, witty, and talented @SP_McConnell.)

Before I begin with the rules and rewards for the #yahugs contest, I'd like to thank Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf, for being so gracious with her time and expertise.  She has been an amazing mentor to me these last few months. We actually "met" several years ago through Twitter and became friends. She helped me through a very sad time last spring when my grandmother passed away. Until we started working together on the #sweetheartpbcontest, #midgrademadness and #yahugs contest I had very little idea of her expertise. 

It seems fitting that we are having our #yahugs contest as my one and only, beautiful, and brilliant daughter is graduating from high school  in May. My summer will be devoted to creating special memories with her before she begins the next phase of her life, in college. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#yahugs Rules:
  • On April 14th at 6 pm CST you will be able to enter your complete query letter through a link on my blog.
  • The first 51 entries will receive a automated letters stating that the entry was accepted. (If you don't get in the 51 entries, you will be able to submit to AKA Literary Management, LLC when regular submissions open. Submissions will open after the contests are complete. Terrie and I will announce when they are open here, on the AKA Facebook Page, on Twitter and our Facebook Pages.)
  • On April 21st we will announce the ten winning query letters.
  • They will then be invited to submit the first seven pages of their YA novel to AKA Literary Management, LLC through a link on my blog.
  • On May 2nd will announce the five winners.
#yahugs Rewards:
  • A thirty minute phone call with Terrie (and me) to discuss your manuscript, your writing career, the writing industry or other relevant topics.
  • A line edit and critique of your seven pages.
  • And....you never know, you might be asked to submit more pages.


If for some crazy reason you don't follow @AKA_Terrie on Twitter or Terrie Wolf on Facebook please click on the links and become a follower. You can also follow @AKA_Lit on Twitter and you can LIKE AKA Literary Management, LLC on Facebook.

PS: Make those queries sparkle!
PPS: There will be a #yahugs Q & A event on Facebook this Friday night from 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. CST. Not only will Terrie be discussing what she would like to see on the YA front but she'd like to know what you would like to see. Hope to see you there.


Monday, April 7, 2014

#midgrademadness Winners...

(The artwork is credited to S.P. McConnell. Check out Sean's new gorgeous website!)

Before I announce the winners and the runners up of the #midgrademadness contest, I'd like to thank the writers who have tweeted with the #midgrademadness and #sweetheartpbcontest. I'd like to thank those of you who have shared on your Facebook pages or blogs.  I'd also like to thank everyone who chimed in with #bepositivehour on Twitter.

Your participation makes me feel really positive about hosting this competition. Both Terrie and I noticed who was joining in.  We were totally impressed by the people tweeting about the contests who didn't even write in that particular genre.  Well done, people!

Soooooooooooo

Here

Weeeeeeeeeeeee

Go....................

The winners for #midgrademadness are (in no particular order):
  • JUST FRED - Shelly Steig
  • MY BEST FRIEND'S VOODOO DOLL - Marissa Graff 
  • BUTTERFLY GIRL - Sarah Floyd
  • LOOKING FOR LIZZY - Lauren Kerstein
  • THE PRINCESS WHO WAS NOT - Melissa Menten
  • DYLAN BYRNES AND THE SECRET OF SALDANHA - Mark McNulty
  • CAMP CAMMOODLE - Terri Fields
And now for a couple surprises...
  • A CHAIR OF EVERY COLOR - Yanike Mendez- moved to the #yahugs contest
  • IMAGES OF THE PAST - Donna McDine- moved to the #yahugs contest
Runner up:
  • HOOFIN IT TO HOLLYWOOD - Kendra Henthorn

Honorable mention (wins a critique) because this person was amazingly supportive on Twitter and Facebook to all of our contests.
  • A SOMEWHAT TRUE STORY OF SARA ROBERTS- Ramon Ballard
One more surprise to be revealed later this month....

#yahugs rules will be announced on 4/10.

Congratulations to everyone who put their work out there...It's scary to put yourself out there...Well done!
Congratulations to the winners.

Thanks so much for all the support! I will let you know when Terrie is open for submissions.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

#midgrademadness... Round one results!


Surprises and love are not just for February!

Literary Agent, Terrie Wolf, and I are having so much fun we decided to share a little luck with the #midgrademadness writers...

Are you ready for it?

I didn't hear you?

Are you ready for it?????

Much better!

Everyone who entered a pitch for #midgrademadness is invited to submit their first seven pages (HERE)

  • Make sure you have your information and manuscript formatted correctly. (Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt., double spaced, header with page numbers) 
  • No cover letter or pitch needed...We already read them.
  • You must submit your 7 pages by 8 PM CST on March 18th to be considered.
Come back on April 7th to see if you are one of the lucky five winners!

Each winner will receive a 30 minute phone call with Terrie. In addition to a critique of the first seven (7) pages originally entered into the contest, each winner will be encouraged to discuss their work in general, and will be invited to ask questions pertaining to their writing careers and the publishing industry. 

May the Luck of the Irish be with you....