When You Get the Shingles & Pitch Madness is Happening

Hello all my peeps! Sorry I was M.I.A. last week…I got the frickin’ shingles! Holey nastiness. What you wanna do when shingles hits the fan, is cancel everything, stay in bed, moan – lots of moaning helps with the sympathy, drink buckets of fluid, ingest Tylenol till it’s comin’ out the wazoo, and…oh wait! Pitch Madness submission is March 10th! Who has time for shingles? So, I looked at that painful rash (size of a dime) and said, “oh, hell no! Na-ah, don’t come up in here with that nonsense.” My inner-Will Smith comes out at these badass moments…also when I’m really scared watching horror movies.

What I really did was run straight to the doctor last Wednesday! Since I got there within the first 24 hours of any symptoms they were able to get me on anti-viral and antibiotic, ass-kicker meds. Sounds lovely, right?

Although not 100%, I was not going to miss playing in #Pitchmadness, a twitter pitch contest, hosted by the awesome Brenda Drake @brendadrake, along with some other authors I follow/read, Summer Heacock @fizzygrrl, Rebecca Weston @callmebecks, and Sharon Johnston @ S_M_Johnston. Hopefuls, like me, send a pitch of 35 words- NO MORE! And the first 250 words of their polished manuscript for the chance to land an agent. You can read more about it at http://www.brenda-drake.com. I submitted my New Adult Mystery, JESSICA MARCO P.I.

New Adult is a relatively new term. It categorizes the age between young adult and adult. Think, first job, first apartment, mistakes and discoveries a person makes when just starting out as a grown up. For me this category offers boat loads of funny material. I also write YA but I felt like the NA Mystery was right for this contest. Here’s what I sent:

Finding who took Fat Sal’s skin—literally—is an unusual case for P.I., Jessica. Discovering her scumbag brother-in-law in the middle of it, gets her kidnapped, fighting to save her own skin. Nothin’ like family.

250 Words
It had been an hour or so, since climbing a tree to the second floor, where I waited in a tight squat position for my mark, a cheating husband. My ass was throbbing and my left foot fell asleep about twenty minutes ago. Purple bloated clouds churned in an August sky as a storm rolled in, fat rain drops hissing on the still hot pavement. A crack of lightening lit the sky and I pulled back trying to become one with the siding, gaining some cover from the gutter above. I tucked my bag underneath my army green rain poncho loaded with camera, recorder, pepper spray, and stun gun. The camera had night vision capability and the recorder could pick up a dog fart a mile away. The other stuff I kept just in case. Just in case the person I was watching got a hold of me and decided he/she didn’t want to fess up to what I captured on tape or camera. As a private investigator I use what I’ve got to get the job done, and if I have to zap someone, I use my long legs to run like the wind before they wake up.

I checked my watch. One hour and forty-five minutes waiting for this douchbag like a jackass in the rain. PJ Benedillo, the husband in question, was possibly doin’ the neighbor, a college girl with a great body and, if she was doing anything with PJ, she must have no brains at all.

I love this story! I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say that, being the author, but I do. As a twenty-four year old newbie private investigator, Jessica gets herself into some crazy situations. She’s also the one charged to fix everything when her family drama erupts, which is five seconds after her sister bursts into town. There are parts of the book that are laugh out loud funny and then there are parts that are holy-crap-quickly-turn-the-page to find out what happens next. I had so much fun writing this one, researching private investigation services, talking to police officers, who I gotta say are the BEST! Putting Jessica in the right atmosphere and giving her a love interest that wouldn’t totally take over the story but give it some Ooo-la-la! And then surrounding her with an interesting cast of characters – her family for one; an eccentric mother who has a weird laundry fetish, a widower grandfather who has a different date every night, her drama queen of a sister and a nice old Italian lady for a landlord, the only one on the planet who can’t cook. The smell is so bad it often chases Jessica out of her apartment! It’s got a tight plot with unexpected twists and turns needed for a mystery. I came up with the idea after reading a news article about a company taking and selling tissue – skin- illegally. I know, gross right? But you can just imagine what kind of fictional fun a writer can have with that!

And that’s all I’m saying for now. You’re going to have to read the book when it comes out. And believe me, I will let you know when that happens. Count on it! Keep you’re fingers crossed for me, prayers, happy thoughts, universe chanting, what ever positive waves you’ve got! 🙂

Peace my friends! Until next time…


SCBWI 2014 NYC Conference… Oh Yeah!

Hello my friends! Last weekend I went to SCBWI 2014 conference, a first for me. It promised to be a spectacular weekend and – hot damn – it totally lived up to my expectations! My journey…


I started the weekend in one of my favorite t-shirts, which, if you can believe it, caused me some trouble.  My dear friend and roomy for the weekend, Kimberly Sabatini, YA author of  Touching The Surface, @KimSabatini, and I got down to the City Friday night and after three tries we finally got a room with two beds! I’m not sure why they were trying to get Kim and I to sleep together, but we weren’t havin’ it!


We met a bunch of Kim’s friends, all awesome people, that I now get to call my friends too, Score! I ate a twenty dollar burger and had a fourteen dollar glass of wine. I know, right! But hey, it’s NYC, and I saved up for this event.  After a few hours of getting to know everyone it was time to call it a night. This is where the t-shirt comes in. We’re on our way to the elevators, chattin’ like girls do, when this guy shoulders checks me off my feet into a column! Totally not kidding. So I yell, “Woe, buddy!” Not gonna lie, I would normally have yelled some other things, but I didn’t want to give the wrong impression to my new friends. Well, this guy was drunk off his arse.  The dialog from here went like this:

“Fuckin’ woe yourself honey!” Girlfriend drags drunk by the hand. I stand with mouth hanging open and respond, “What is  wrong with you?”

Now, trying to question a drunk is like trying to wrestle a pig. It just gets ugly.

“Fuck you!” Hand gestures went with this riveting bit. “What’s wrong with you? I’ll fuck you up!” Yeah, he was proficient in his use of the “F”word. Right there in the Hyatt. I mean it’s not like we were in a HoJo. Anyway, I had to respond, I just couldn’t help it.   “Really dude? You’re gonna throw down with a girl? Really?”

“That’s right! I’ll throw down with a girl. Come on. Right now. Bring it!” Girlfriend is still dragging fool…it’s a big lobby. I shook my head in disbelief to which another round of “F”words came. And here’s the part where the shirt comes in…”Fuck you. Go back to fuckin’ England!”

Now, although I love England, I’m from Connecticut. You may have heard of it. It’s a state here in the USA…ASSHOLE.

Then the conference begins!  This is Tomie dePaola and Lin Oliver signing their book, Little Poems for Tiny Ears for me. Lin was kinda runnin’ things up on stage along with Stephen Mooser, who I don’t have a picture of 😦 IMG_0434

The first keynote speaker was author Jack Gantos…LOVE him!  IMG_0423 This is him signing his book for me, Dead End In Norvelt. He was hilariously entertaining. One of the things he said was, “To be a great writer, you have to be a great reader.” He also said, “Whatever you write, not everyone will share the same experiences but we all share the same emotions. You have to reach people on an emotional level with the characters you write about. People have to care about what happens to them. At the end of the story you have to solve the problem and bring in empathy.” Did I mention I love him? Onward to:

A panel on the future of authorship.

Abbi Glines, author, got turned down fifty-five times. She self-published five books before she got an agent. She attributes social media to her success, and she is super successful! (and very sweet)

Jean Feiwel, SVP Publishing Director Macmillan Children’s Books, said, “Distopian and Paranormal genres are NOT waning.”  I was super excited to hear that, since one of my manuscripts is a Contemporary Paranormal!

Paul Aiken, Executive Director, The Author’s Guild, said “Be really careful when you’re paying for editing. Look for proof that the editor has succeeded at it.” He also said, “We’ve lost 60-70% of shelf space for books. The opportunity is still there, but we have to adapt.” He was speaking of ebooks and other electronic avenues.

After that I was off to my breakout workshop; “Getting and Working With an Agent” led by Dan Lazar, Agent Writers House.


That’s me and Dan. Okay, so I look a little stiff, but I didn’t want to go grabbin’ Dan, all creepy-stranger-like! I just met the guy five seconds before the photo. Dan had the whole room laughing, it was a ball! He spoke about the query letter, one page, written in the writer’s voice, not the voice of the main character. He also named a few pet peeves:

Do not address: To whom it may concern. Agents are real people.

Be specific, not vague.

There is no “fiction novel”, just novel.

Then he read a really funny query letter which made him ask the author to send the manuscript. Now, the funny part is that the letter used a few F-bombs. I thought an older woman sitting in front of me was going to have a heart attack and I can only imagine how many queries Dan has gotten this week peppered with the “F” word! I will not stoop to such fucking levels when I submit to him.

My afternoon breakout workshop; Writing Paranormal, Sci Fi and Thrillers, was with Kate Sullivan, Editor, Little, Brown Books.


Kate said that Genre Fiction is all about strong pacing and tension. She also echoed what Jack Gantos said, “The reader has to identify with your characters.” She went over world building, languages of your characters, and NOT dumping large sections of information in dialog. Kate was very cool and knew her stuff. I also just read she’s going to be at the New England SCBWI coming up in May for anyone who didn’t get a chance to hear her.

The afternoon keynote speakers were Elizabeth Wein, author, on Authorial Responsibility. She spoke about taking responsibility for your own actions and conducting yourself with grace.

Then one of my favorite talks; Banning Books: Where Do We Stand?IMG_0408

An amazing panel, Joan Bertin, Exec. Director, National Coalation against Censorship; Ellen Hopkins, Author, Susanna Reich, Chair, Children’s and Young Adult Book Committee, Pen American Center. These ladies were fab-u-lous! This is my opinion, and I guess I stand in good company with these women, banning books is WRONG! Books, like the ones Ellen Hopkins writes, deal with tough contemporary issues. Not every kid has a fairytale life. She writes about addiction and abuse. I wish we didn’t need books like these, but we do. There are kids suffering in situations and it’s good for them to see they are not alone and there is a way out. As a writer, a parent, and a teacher, I feel that books with strong topics gives us a chance to open up a dialog about tough issues with young people. Ignorance does not equal innocence. We can only learn by what we know. We can only teach by what we can show. And words, even unpleasant ones, paint that picture in which to teach from.

Me and Ellen Hopkins. I admire her so much!


After that it was off to dinner…mashed potato bar! Sorry I don’t have a photo, but take my word, it was too cool!

On the last day of the conference I had the immense pleasure of hearing the lovely Kate Massner. Her soul came sparkling through her words that dripped with encouragement and brought me to tears. She was funny and humble, smooth and eloquent and…OH MY GOD! KATE MESSNER!!

Me and Kate with her new book, Wake Up Missing. I Stood on line for a half hour to shake this woman’s hand and I would have stood for two hours!IMG_0431

Alright, a little star struck by this literary giant, but who wouldn’t be? In her speech she talked about failure. Just what every aspiring author wants to hear, right? HA! But it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have patience for everyone else but me. I strive to hit perfection coming out of the gate. I guess that’s not a terrible thing, but it’s not realistic, especially as a writer. Kate said, “We learn by failing. You have to fail before you succeed. Be okay with imperfection. Good ideas come when we show up to do our work.” Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t know how close they were to success before giving up.”  She ended with, “Make mistakes, learn from them. Be courageous. Be brave. Don’t be afraid to fail. Fail fast, fail often…in your first drafts and revisions, everyone doesn’t have to watch you fail, but in failing you will succeed!”

After Kate we had a panel of artists moderated by Arthur Levine, Vice President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc….also the dude who edited the Harry Potter books. Literary Royalty.  IMG_0429 This is Marla Frazee, Illustrator of God got a dog, that’s my copy she’s signing 🙂

The last keynote speaker was to be Sharon Draper, Author. But she could not make it so Nikki Grimes took her place. WOW. Nikki Grimes is a word ninja. A verse lyricist. An amazing story teller. I was not familiar with her work but I am now! I ran out of money at the conference book store so as soon as I got home, I purchased Planet Middle School, her newest book. IMG_0422 She spoke about her work not being a black thing, or a white or Asian thing, but a human thing. I love that. I believe that. I want my work to reach all people, race, gender, religion. I want my work to be a human thing. She said, “Just keep writing, you’ll figure it out. You won’t always know where your story is going. It’s okay. Just keep writing.”  The other advice I took to heart was, “When you have a great idea, don’t write it until you’re able, equipped, good enough to do it justice. Take the time to write your classic well.”  She was speaking of her book, Bronx Mascaraed. She had the idea long before she actually wrote it, until she was good enough. It’s hard to hold yourself back, believe me, I know. But, all through the conference I heard, send only your best work. Do a hundred drafts before you submit, more if needed. Polish that manuscript until it shines. Until it’s a work you can be proud of.

This was an amazing experience. I came home and wrote eight pages of a new chapter book! Talk about inspiration. If you are a children’s writer, picture books, chapter books, MG, YA, NA, join SCBWI. I have never met a more encouraging group of people in my life. I was an interior designer for almost twenty years, yes I started when I was five but that’s not the point! The point is, I’ve never met another community of professionals so willing to help each other succeed. I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I aspire to be one of these greats I saw at this conference.

Till next time my brothers and sistas, PEACE…

Except for the F-bombing pusher in the lobby. Note:  Real men don’t push, hit, or abuse women. You made yourself look stupid and I used your drunken behavior as writing material, a punch line. Thank you. We writer’s love fools like you.


College: Starting Out or Starting Over

Life is funny. It sucks. It’s too short. It’s a long road. It’s a blessing. So which is it? All of it, actually.

You’re filling out college applications. Painful! You’re pulling out your hair, you’re losing sleep, you’ve bit your nails down until they bleed because you’re told you need to figure out what you want to do with your life. At seventeen. How absurd is that? Now grant it, some people know at a young age exactly what they want to do but most of us don’t. You probably have more than one passion in your heart which makes it even harder. The pressure of picking the right school, the right career, the right life, is overwhelming. So what do you do? Don’t go to college? Not an option!

You take a deep breath and you calm the heck down. You think about the things you’re interested in, the things you’re good at and try to find something you think you’ll love with a reasonable gap of possibilities. You seek advice from parents, teachers, guidance counselors, spiritual advisers and people you admire. Friends not so much on this one, cause you’re all basically in the same panic/hyperventilating mode and as a rule of thumb you don’t take advice from others teetering on the same ledge you’re on. You apply to a bunch of colleges and hopefully get into at least one of them that you really want to go to. You have a major and a minor, maybe even a double major, and hey, kudos to you! Then guess what? After all that freaking out, you make it through college. You find a job. And then a bunch of life happens in no particular order – love, health, sickness, marriage, loss, children, homes, relocation, friends coming and going, any number of things. And it’s all good because it’s life, and you’re breathing and laughing and crying and screaming; you’re living.

Then maybe it’s ten years down the road, or twenty, and you find that the college, the career, that you chose for yourself doesn’t quite fit any more. But you decided your life back when you were seventeen, so now what? PANIC!  Nope.  Change.

You are not locked into a life made by the choice of a young adult. Those ten or twenty years will probably be great, but it’s okay to change. It’s okay to start over. It’s okay to start over lots of times. Sometimes it’s not easy, but ANYTHING worth having is worth working for. Scary? You bet your ass. At times it’s very scary. Frustrating? Oh. My. God. Nuff said. Here’s the thing tho, when you make those choices at seventeen they may be exactly what you want for your life at that time. But life is a moving, bending, molding experience. We are meant to change, to grow and to learn new things everyday. If you’re not, you better check your pulse my friend.

I speak from my own experience. In high school, I agonized over what I would do with my life. LIFE. It was like a nasty four letter word I heard in my head with a resounding hammer like a gavel in a courtroom that would decide my fate, more of a sentence to be served instead of an adventure to be had. I ended up going to the college I wanted to go to. I had a successful career and a lot of life happened, mostly good but some super sucky, not gonna lie. Twenty years later I am not the same person I was at seventeen. I no longer dress like Madonna, but hey, neither does she. I started a new career born out of a life long passion for writing. I went back to school. And that part I said about scary and frustrating? Throw in a bunch of truck-driver type cursing and that’s where I’m at a lot of the time. No disrespect to the truck drivers out there! Sometimes I think, why couldn’t I have a passion for being a grocery clerk or a burger flipper? No, I had to have a passion for a career where I hear things like “It’s just not right for me, but good luck!” on a daily basis. *sigh*

The point is, don’t stress to the point of making yourself sick. You have to go with what’s in your heart. Your whole, entire life does not depend on what college you choose today. What ever choice you make will probably change somewhere down the road. And it’s OKAY! *deep breath in, let it out slow*

Go after the things that are in your heart. Develop your passions, you never know which ones you’ll use. Be open and flexible to change. I promise you will be happier if you are. Keep self-loathing to a minimum. Squash that little voice inside your head that tries to trip you up. Give some voice to your inner most desires no matter how out of reach they seem. DREAM BIG. And in the words of Mr. Magorium, “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Peace. Happiness. Peace. And Happy Applying!

Twitching and #Sunvssnow

I’m sitting at the computer waiting for the words to come but they don’t because ten inches of snow fell last night and I have a perpetual twitch in my left eye. I’m not sure if the twitch belongs to the snow or the contest I’ve entered at #sunvssnow on twitter.

The snow gives me anxiety that is connected to my aversion to shoveling. The contest gives me a different kind of anxiety that, if truth be told, I’ve begun to crave like a junkie. You don’t know me so I’ll fill you in. I am NOT a thrill seeker. I crave things like dark chocolate, Sicilian pizza from a tiny place where I grew up, good coffee, time snuggled on the sofa with my love watching a movie, a good run outdoors when the weather is nice and ice cream sundaes; I will plan an entire day around a sundae! I don’t jump out of planes. I don’t do drugs. I don’t dive off bridges with a rubber band attached to my ankles. I don’t cling to the side of a mountain trying to reach the top…or do I?

Now, let’s be forreals, I am not packing a parachute any time soon, I can tell ya that right now.  But I have become a different kind of thrill seeker despite my anxiety and fear. My mountain is a mass of words and thoughts trying to get out on the page faster than I can type. It’s researching the agents I think will be a good fit for me and then praying I don’t get a rejection because quite frankly, rejection sucks. It’s another round of edits while getting the new story started a sentence at a time and working a day job. It’s throwing myself into these contests even though it makes me want to throw up. So what’s happened?

Not gonna lie, not really sure how it happened. It wasn’t like I set forth a plan and then executed it one step at a time. But I say to myself ALL the time; what’s the worst thing that can happen? And the answer is usually not that bad. I do a lot of deep breathing, and I talk myself down from the ledge. In doing that, I have found such an encouraging group of peeps!

Last month when I did the #Pitchwars twitter contest, @brendadrake, I did not get a mentor. BUT one of the mentors I submitted to sent me an email with some great feedback. Michelle Painchaud did not have to do that. I am so grateful that she did. THANK YOU!! There is an unwritten code among the authors I have met about paying-it-forward. I LOVE this! Can you imagine a world where everyone lived by this rule? It would be a huge pot of “awesome sauce!” This is where my new-found junkie-ness comes in.

I crave to be part of this community! I stalk the twitter feed. I follow the blogs. I read the bio’s of all the authors and agents who have committed themselves to the task of reading all the entries in the contest. They don’t have to do this. The pool in which to fish for a new, talented author is unending. But they do it because they have stood in my shoes and walked a mile in this, sometimes, heartbreaking process. Maybe not with the anxiety and major freakouts I have, but still.

So when my friend, @myinnermg, told me about #sunvssnow hosted by authors, Michelle Hauck @Michelle4Laughs and Amy Trueblood @atrueblood5, which I had already been quietly stalking, I of course dove in. It’s kinda like falling in love the first time; I love it! I hate it. It’s awesome! It sucks. I’m thrilled! I’m nauseous. I’m high as a kite! I’m kicking and screaming on the floor. What, your first love wasn’t like that?

As I wait patiently *laughs like a loon* for the results to be posted on Michelle4Laughs blog tomorrow I will have bouts of anxiety that pitch me into brownie eating mode, moments of dreaming about the day Ellen will interview me, time spent not throwing up, witty banter on twitter with my fellow writers, plotting the screenplay for the movie that will follow my book. I dream big otherwise what’s the point?

Win or lose tomorrow, I’ll be chasing down my next fix, because at the end of the day, I can’t wait to pay-it-forward!

Until next time, PEACE

Don’t give up. Like, ever.

Hello! I’m back. Sorry I missed last week but I was doing something called #PitMad. It was an all day twitter event done by Brenda Drake, @brendadrake, where authors pitched their manuscripts in 140 characters to agents searching the feed. Well, let me tell you, it was not an easy task! BUT it was a great experience. I really had to dig deep to tell my 77K story in basically two sentences. It went like this:

Everything Emily knew about this world was a lie. Now she’s torn btwn a life she wants and one that’s imprinted in her genes.

Even though I did not hook up with any particular agent that day, I learned a lot and got a ton of new leads. Super excited!!

But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed at the end when none of the agents asked to see more of my work.

So that night I settled in with my copy of

January/February edition, and I came across an article labeled “success story”. It was about author, Augusta Scattergood. She started writing a book in 2001 and after nearly ten years of conferences and workshops she met her agent in 2008 at a summer conference and had her first book published January 2012, Glory Be (Scholastic, 2012). And in 2013 that same book received a Crystal Kite Award.

For all non-writers, that’s pretty badass in the world of writing. This wasn’t even the book she pitched that day! It goes to show, you never know what can happen. For more info on Ms. Scattergood please check out her website at http://www.augustascattergood.com, and most definitely check out her books! I was so inspired by her story that the next day I put my big girl pants on and got right back to work writing my next book. *fist pump*

The successful people in the world don’t have magic wands. They have oodles of passion and a boat load of tenacity.

Passion is a crazy thing. It’s the driving force behind my dream that pushes me, every day, one step closer to achieving my goal. Can you imagine if Ms. Scattergood gave up in the winter of 2008? She would have missed fulfilling her dream by just a few months and not even known it. But this is not just about writing. It’s like that with life too. If you give up on something just because it’s hard, you’ll never make anything happen. And if you’re not happening in life, life will happen to you like a leaf blowing in the wind, never in control of where you end up.

Reach out to other people who may be in the same situation as you, whether it’s trying to get into the college you want, going for a new job, struggling to write that first story, learning to play that instrument, getting healthy, whatever it is, don’t give up. Your next NO may be just one step in front of your YES. So even when it’s hard, and believe me I know, don’t give up. The journey to your success is worth the journey.Take a class. Read a bunch of books. Research. Strive for greatness. Don’t settle for less. Do what it takes to make it happen for you. You have what it takes. We all have what it takes inside of us. We just have to dig deep and pull it up to the service. WHO’S WITH ME??

Peace My Friends 🙂


Jeannie Intrieri

Twas the last night of the year and what do I see?
A pile of rejection letters staring at me.

Oh, woe’s me. I fill up my glass, plop down in front of the fire,
hoping for an idea, a thought, something to inspire.

But the clock is ticking and the kids start to shout,
“Are you done with your writing? It’s time to go out!

I think to myself as I start to smile,
the thoughts that are coming may take a while.

With pen to paper I sit and the words begin to knit.
With any luck it won’t be complete shit.

The fire is popping and I am not stopping.
The main character is talking, her love is walking.
There’s flying and spying and oh God, someone’s dying!

I scribble and scratch to keep up the with cast.
Who knows how long this creative genius will last?

View original post 400 more words


Twas the last night of the year and what do I see?
A pile of rejection letters staring at me.

Oh, woe’s me. I fill up my glass, plop down in front of the fire,
hoping for an idea, a thought, something to inspire.

But the clock is ticking and the kids start to shout,
“Are you done with your writing? It’s time to go out!

I think to myself as I start to smile,
the thoughts that are coming may take a while.

With pen to paper I sit and the words begin to knit.
With any luck it won’t be complete shit.

The fire is popping and I am not stopping.
The main character is talking, her love is walking.
There’s flying and spying and oh God, someone’s dying!

I scribble and scratch to keep up the with cast.
Who knows how long this creative genius will last?
I can barely read what I wrote;
does that say “he grabbed a chicken” or “he dusted a goat?”

It’s not important now. I’ll figure it out.
Maybe the bad guy fights with a trout, or grows a snout, or maybe it’s best for now to just leave him out.

Yes! It’s brilliant! Stupendous! Magnanimously great!
The poetic words are flowing.
All night I keep going.
Now I can show them. Now they’ll see.
THIS work that I’ve done is why they must sign me.

I smile a triumphant smile, a smile of relief.
2013 will NOT end in defeat!

I’ll send the query tonight before the clock strikes twelve.
My new agent will call me with a contract to delve.
She has an editor lined up and ready to buy, and the movie, well, she knows a guy.
The foreign rights? Oh, they’ll sell too.
“Just sit back and collect the money, that’s all you have to do.”

My very own giggle wakes me from sleep.
An empty glass in my hand, pen at my feet.
No words on the page. No agent has called.
No movie. No guy. Oh, for the love of God, WHY?

The horror! The outrage! How can this be?
I raise my fist to the sky but then have to pee.
While nature is doing it’s natural thing, I think to myself
and the words start to sing.
I have them, they’re here, each little pearl.
I haven’t forgot. I go to work with a whirl.

I start with the rejection letters and throw them into the fire, they’ve done their job which of course was to inspire.
Never give up. Never stop trying. The only thing to keep me from getting published will be dying.

So another year begins with me typing away, and just as it should be day after day.
I’ll write down the dreamy dreams in my head.
I’ll write about wondrous things I’ve heard said.
You can’t hear them or see them till I put them on a page, but when I do, it will bring you to tears, laughs and rage.

Take heart all my brothers and sisters of the craft,
May you prosper, may you write,
May your 2014 take amazing flight.
Put pen to paper and fingers to keys,
May your words bring tears, laughter and bended knees.

Peace to all, and to all a goodnight!

Are dreams and goals the same thing? What will your lists look like for 2014?

Jeannie Intrieri

My lists of dreams and goals used to be distinctly different. I have always been a HUGE list maker. I like to write things down (on paper) and cross them off as they are completed. I get an overwhelming amount of satisfaction from throwing away a list after I’ve crossed everything off. Nerd much? Yeah, I know. It’s alright though, I embrace my nerdiness.


Early in my life my dream list read: Get to Oz,

Preferably, in Glinda’s bubble.


Become a famous actress or singer; doesn’t really matter as long as I get to wear a ball gown or a tutu.


My list of goals were a little different. Goal #1: Do not eat liver for dinner, like EVER. Goal #2: Wear my sister’s stuff without getting caught, and #3: Make it through Jr. High without being sent to a convent.


I was a little rough around the edges as…

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Are dreams and goals the same thing? What will your lists look like for 2014?

My lists of dreams and goals used to be distinctly different. I have always been a HUGE list maker. I like to write things down (on paper) and cross them off as they are completed. I get an overwhelming amount of satisfaction from throwing away a list after I’ve crossed everything off. Nerd much? Yeah, I know. It’s alright though, I embrace my nerdiness.


Early in my life my dream list read: Get to Oz,

Preferably, in Glinda’s bubble.


Become a famous actress or singer; doesn’t really matter as long as I get to wear a ball gown or a tutu.


My list of goals were a little different. Goal #1: Do not eat liver for dinner, like EVER. Goal #2: Wear my sister’s stuff without getting caught, and #3: Make it through Jr. High without being sent to a convent.


I was a little rough around the edges as a teenager. Don’t judge.

As I matured so did my dreams. I dreamt of a big-boffin’, beautiful wedding marrying the man I loved,  to become a famous author, to be the most sought after interior designer on the planet, and live in a mansion where I could invite everyone I knew (and even those I didn’t)for the holidays, birthdays, and PARTIES! Woo-hoo, par-tay! I’m half Irish, and a party is just another another opportunity to wear a tutu-ish dress in my book. 🙂

The goals at this time in my life were to finish college, buy a house, and marry the man I loved. At this point in life one of my dreams and goals had merged. I thought, hmmm, maybe they’re not so different after all. Maybe dreams are not the unattainable but the spark that creates a goal. Now I realize that my dreams are the catalyst for my goals. So, as I’m heading into 2014 I’m seeing that mu list of dreams and goals are the same.

           -Get an amazing agent who is right for me

           -Blog my ass off

           -Sell 1st YA novel, SUNRISE

           -Sell 2nd YA novel, DARKNESS

           -Make enough money writing so I don’t have to do anything else. If I become instantly, J.K. Rowling famous, and make oodles of money instead of just enough, so be it!

           -Be a better human being . . . this includes not flipping people off on the road *hangs head down in shame*

           -Drop the “F” bomb LESS (you hear that little drunken sailor that lives in my mouth!) *hangs head in shame again*

          -Spread peace where ever I go, like pixie dust

          -Finish our house construction. . . for the love of God and all that’s holy!!

        -Be on the Red Carpet wearing an outrageously-puffy-oh-my-God-did-you-see-that-dress, award winning writer. Okay, so this might be on my 2015 list. . . but it starts as a dream!


Off I go into another year.

I’ll face 2014 without any fear.

I’ll write my list, check it twice,

cross it off, it’ll be so nice.

Out on a ledge,

toes over the edge.

Out of my comfort zone,

ready to have my mind blown!

One by one, I’ll get it done,

with perseverance, tenacity, and a bulldog mentality.


Ho Ho Ho Christmas celebrators

What does your 2014 list look like?


Poetry, A True Art


I was on twitter @Forewordlit and there was a contest to write a 6 word poem inspired by the holiday season. I wrote,

“Damn these fuckin’ lights. Damn them!” and won a book! LOL.

I think the first thing I ever wrote at ten years-old was a poem, something along the lines of, “Roses are red, violets are blue, my brother just stepped in dog poo poo.” Cause, well, ten. I’ve evolved so much! All kidding aside, I love real poetry. It is truly an art.

My first favorite poet was/is Dr. Seuss. I give this book as a gift to everyone who graduates. *smiles* This book inspires me still.

Then I moved onto this happy looking chap, Edgar Allan Poe who wrote The Bells. A natural progression from Dr. Seuss. Ha! Yes, his stuff is creepy and yes, I like a little creepy.

And I love (who doesn’t), Maya Angelou’s, Alone.

I mainly write novels but I write poetry when the spirit moves me. I wrote this next poem, PAULIE, in honor of a dear friend’s husband, Paul Kelly, that passed away in August.


Through a man’s eyes you can see how much he loves his wife and children.

Through a man’s words you can hear how much he cares about everyone he knows.

Through a man’s actions you can see his integrity in which he guides all others without words.

Through a man’s composure you feel at ease.

Through a man’s laughter, its sound, its depth, its frequency, you can feel how genuine he is.

Through a man’s spirit, you feel the goodness, the very essence of his soul reach down inside you burning a mark upon your heart. It is at this point, when the spirit is so much bigger than the man’s physical form, so big in fact, it can no longer be contained, that all must step aside.

Through a man’s life, if he has done it right, all who knew him will be forever changed for the better. Forever and after.

For more poetry check out poetryfoundation.org and poets.org.

Happy Hump Day Peeps 🙂