#BecomeACharacter

Yesterday as I was driving home from the grocery store, I found myself, as I often do, thinking about my next books.  The next Boy Band is going to be a LOT of fun and I can’t wait to really get started on it.  There are going to be new characters, new songs, and a whole lot of new drama.  That being said, I want this book to be special to my readers.  I want ALL my books to be special to my readers, but the first Boy Band has done so well that I really wanted to find a way to make this one as much my readers’ as it is mine.  Thus the #BecomeACharacter Raffle was born.

Here’s the deal.  I want YOU to become a character in the sequel to Boy Band.  There are three names available.

1) A friend of the band from high school.

2) A singer in the guys’ opening band.

3) A full length song titled your name (I.E. “Diana” by One Direction or “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White Ts).

Of course, these don’t have to be your names.  You can name these characters for someone you love or make up a name (Nothing silly though, please.  I will not name my character Macaroni.  I don’t think this will happen, but still, I feel it needs to be said).  These three winners will also receive personalized signed copies of the first Boy Band.

How do you enter?  It’s quite easy!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5d8f214e1/

The site also made me write out some Terms and Conditions, so this is what I came up with.

1. Please be a real human being. Please do not be a robot.

2. If you win, please be willing to provide your email address so that I may contact you about where to send your book.

3. There are three names up for grabs in the sequel to Boy Band: A new friend of the guys’ from high school, a singer in The Kind of September’s opening act, and a full length song written about . If you win this raffle, you get to submit a name (either yours or one of your choosing… You can name characters for friends if you’d like!).

4. Please help spread the word! If you’d like to read the first book before entering, it is available on Nook, Kindle, Amazon.com, and BarnesAndNoble.com! Reviews are appreciated, but not required for entry into this raffle.  🙂

5. Winners will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter.

6. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@JackieSmith114), here, or at info@WindTrailPublishing.com.

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So there you have it!  I think this will be a fun things, and it’s open all summer!  I think it ends the last day of August.  Have a good Monday, y’all!  I’m off to see some dinosaurs.

It’s Okay to Have Fun

It’s good to be ambitious.  It’s good to have dreams.  It’s good to be productive.  It’s good to work, work, work.  In this life, you have to strive.  You have to push yourself.  You have to work harder than anyone else and want it more than anyone else if you want to get ahead.  Our American society is very much a work and toil and sacrifice-driven society.

Kids today are being prepped for college as early as elementary school.  College students are bending over backwards and stressed to the breaking point in order to make the grade.  Adults wander around like zombies, with dead eyes and listless spirits because they work so hard that it’s consumed their very being. It’s kind of scary.

It’s been engrained in our heads that if we don’t make the big money and have super successful careers then we don’t amount to anything in this world.  And okay, yes, I’ll admit that it is good to have a career and make money.  i’m not saying it isn’t.  Jobs are good.  They keep our world in balance.  We need people with jobs of all kinds.  But I feel like it needs to be said every now and then that it’s also okay to have fun.  Work and ambitions don’t need to control your life.  In fact, I don’t think they should.

Last night, I hung out with one of my best friends.  We both had stuff to talk about.  Somewhat heavy, but nothing too bad.  After we finished talking, we kicked off our shoes, poured ourselves some wine, and played Mario Kart.  That is not something I would normally be doing on a work night.  That’s usually when I do most of my writing.  But you know what?  It was great.  I loved just hanging out with her, laughing, and playing some good, old-fashioned Nintendo.

John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”  I love the extraordinary moments in life, seeing a new place or publishing a new book.  But those precious ordinary moments of fun and laughter and just being with the people you love, those are the moments that really make a life.  Please, goof off.  Have fun.  Be silly.  Remember to enjoy.  Life is worth it.

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Just For Fun: Questions All Women Need to Answer

Like so many in the modern age of technology and the internet, I am a big fan of Buzzfeed.  I can spend hours and hours browsing and enjoying articles like What It’s Like to Watch Harry Potter for the First Time or Reasons Matthew Gray Gubler is the Nerd of Your Dreams (he really is).  Yesterday, I stumbled across one I hadn’t seen before.  41 Questions that All Women Need to Answer.  Upon reading through the list, some of the questions are silly and some I truly cannot answer due to lack of experience or whatever, but I thought it might be fun to go through and answer the ones that I can to the best of my ability.

Note: I answer only for myself. I cannot and do not speak for all women.

Another Note: There were questions that are not family friendly and will not be included.

Q: Why do women lie?

A: I think the more accurate question is Why do people lie, because as Dr. Gregory House so eloquently put it, everyone lies.  But women in general?  Like, why do women lie to men?  Probably because we don’t want to hurt your feelings or we want to get out of something.  Or we’re being sneaky and trying to figure something out.  Or we want to make ourselves look good.  But I feel like those aren’t specific to women.  I feel like those are the main reasons that people in general lie.

Q: Why do women always want to “squeeze” babies?

A: I am not a baby squeezer.  I’m always afraid I am going to somehow hurt a baby or hold it wrong, so I try to be as gentle as possible.  But I do know what it’s like to want to squeeze a cute animal.  We like hugging cute things.  It’s that simple.

Q: Why do women bring the whole family to doctors appointments?

A: N/A

Q: Why do women wear 1-inch heels? Like, what is the purpose?

A: Heels are stylish.  Heels make my legs look good.  Heels make my feet feel fancy.  True, it is difficult to walk in heels and yeah, they can be uncomfortable.  But I like my heels.  I like to feel pretty.

Q: Why do women have small feet?

A: I wear a size 9. We do not all have small feet.

Q: Why do women complain about their relationships and still stay in them?

A: I’m not in a relationship, and when I was and I was unhappy, I did end it.  But I felt very guilty about it.  I felt like I owed it to him to try to make it work.  I felt like I didn’t have a good enough reason to end it.  He was a good guy.  He’d never hurt me.  Complaining is really easy.  Taking action and making a decision that affects not only your life but another person’s as well is hard.

Q: Why do women have to be so hard to understand?

A: Why do men have to be so hard to understand?  In all seriousness though, what I’ve come to understand is that men and women’s brains work in different ways.  Women are very analytical.  We’re dwellers.  We have like, fifty things running through our heads at once.  We remember every moment from every interaction we’ve ever had and we consider every possible reaction and every possible outcome.  Being a woman is actually very stressful.

Q: Why do women get so upset when you unfollow them on social networks?

A: If I don’t know you, then I don’t care.  If I do know you, I’m going to be wondering what I did wrong.  Forever.

Q: Why do women dislike each other so much?

A:  I don’t dislike other women.  Most of my friends are girls.  But if one woman doesn’t like another, it’s probably because she makes her feel insecure.  Or maybe she’s just not a good person.  It has nothing to do with gender.  I don’t like men who are jerks either.

Q: Why do women in rock songs always wear cheap perfume?

A: This is a very good question.  Maybe the women that rock stars like can’t afford expensive perfume.

Q: Why can’t women sit still?  They’re always fiddling with something!

A:  I definitely do this, but to be honest, I don’t know why.  I just have to be doing something with my hands.  If you give me a sheet of paper, it will be folded and crinkled and ripped within ten minutes.  Maybe it’s because if we just sit there, we think, and when we think, we overanalyze and suddenly we end up reliving some embarrassing thing that happened in high school and worrying that everyone still remembers it, which I’m fairly certain they don’t.

Q: Why do women need to use more than 4 towels to shower?

A: One to step out on, one to wash your face, one to dry you off, one to dry your hair, and one for when you need to wash your hands.

Q: Why do women take pictures with half of their faces cut out?

A: It’s artsy.

Q: Why do women get mad when guys approach them?

A: Half the time we won’t. If we’re in the mood to flirt, then we love it. If we’re just trying to enjoy a night out with our girlfriends and want nothing to do with men (it does happen), then it’s annoying.  Unfortunately for you men, you’ll never know.  However, I think most of the time we’re flattered.  Again, can’t and do not speak for all women.  Only myself.

Q: Why do women friend zone the nice guys and then date jerks?

A: Oh man. This requires a long, long, long answer. The short version is we don’t intentionally “friend zone” anyone.  It’s either there or it isn’t, although I do think it is possible to escape the proverbial “friend zone.”  And believe it or not, we do date good guys.  We love good guys.  All the guys my friends have married are lovely people and totally nice.  However, I do encourage anyone who has ever wanted a more thorough and thought-out answer to this question to google Good Guys vs. Nice Guys.

Q: Why do women get upset when someone gives their baby the same name as theirs?

A: I don’t have a baby.  I do, however have two little cousins, the exact same age, who are both named Cade.

Q: Why do women wear form-fitting and revealing clothes?

A: I like to wear clothes that flatter my figure.  I think all women do.  I don’t wear clothes that reveal.  If I want to look good, then I’ll do my best to dress well.  Most of the time, though, I’m happy in sweats and t-shirts.

Q: Why do women dress up in dresses and high heals to go to the airport?

A: I don’t.  Again, sweats and t-shirts.  But maybe they’re on their way to a business meeting.  Maybe they’re meeting a guy at the airport.  They could have someone important waiting for them.

Q: Why do women cut their hair and then cry about cutting it later?

A: We’re complicated and we change our minds.  We’ve all regretted haircuts.  I cut my hair two months ago, and immediately after, I was missing my long hair.

Q: Why do women think that leggings are an acceptable substitute to trousers?

A: Good question.  I can’t just wear leggings.  My legs are my worst feature.

Q: Why do women hate Leos?

A:  I’m not really partial to any specific astrological sign, so I can’t help you here.

Q: Why do women have like 8 purses?

A: Different outfits require different accessories. As do different season.  I don’t carry my summer purses in the winter.

Q: Why do women try to get their man to propose?

A: I’ll ask all my married friends and get back to you.

Q: Why do women text you “hello???” if you don’t text them back right away?

A: We’re paranoid creatures and we want to know you’re not ignoring us!  Though I like to think I’m pretty tolerant of the delayed texter.  Sometimes it will take my best friend a whole day to text me back.

Q: Why do women like to drink wine and watch sad movies?

A: Why would anyone not like to drink wine and watch sad movies?

Q: Why do women want to look like men?

A: Guys get to keep it casual and your clothes look comfy.  I’m totally jealous of your clothes.

Q: Why do women throw things when they get angry?

A: I’ve seen men do this too.  I don’t think I’ve ever thrown out of anger.  I did throw a pillow once because I was in a lot of pain though.

Q: Why do women always have the final say?

A: We’re stubborn and proud and we like to have the last word.

Well, I have reached the end of the article.  I truly hope I didn’t offend anyone or give women a bad name!  This was all just for a bit of fun.  And again, I do not in any way speak for all women or any woman other than myself.  I’m interested to know how others might answers these questions, though!

The original article can be found on Buzzfeed here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/questions-for-women#.laelmQK0A9 

The Liebster Award

Hi, everyone!  Lots of exciting things are happening.  My second book signing has been scheduled for July, we have less than a month until Between Worlds is released, and I just found out I’ve been nominated for another Liebster Award!  Thank you so much Veronica and Ashley of http://citygirlscapes.com for nominating me!

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For this award, nominees are supposed to answer 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them and then list 11 facts about themselves.  I’ve been really short on blog ideas lately, because all I am doing with my life right now is proofreading (yay), so this is a great opportunity for me to spread the love and get a little writing and blogging in!  Thank you again, Veronica and Ashley!

11 Questions:

1. What is your reading platform of choice: an e-reader or an actual, physical book?

Actual physical book all the way.  I love pages, I love the smell of books, there’s just nothing better.

2. Inspired by Bird Box by Josh Malerman, if you had to live blindfolded, what would you most miss seeing?

Forests and oceans and lakes and mountains.

3. Where in the world would you travel if nothing was stopping you?

Australia, Fiji, Spain, Italy, Alaska, Caribbean, back to Scotland… the list goes on and on.

4. What TV show do you never miss an episode of?

The Big Bang Theory.  I watch it religiously.

5. If you could sit down for dinner with one celebrity, who would it be and what would you say to break the ice?

Benedict Cumberbatch, and I’d probably say something really awkward and stupid like, “Hi, I’m single. Let’s get married.”

6. What inspired you to start blogging?

I started this blog when I began exploring the publishing world.  It began as a way to document the process, but now I use it for connecting with fellow writers and readers.

7. Do you have a landline telephone or do you only have a cell phone?

Only a cell phone.

8. What was the last thing that made you laugh really, really hard?

A Very Potter Senior Year by Team Starkid.

9. Who do you look up to?

My parents, my sister, and John Green.

10. What is your dream job?

I think I’m supposed to say “author,” and it is, but truly, my dream job would be just being so filthy rich that I could travel and take pictures and save marine life.  That, or Disney Princess.

11. Where do you want to see yourself in 5-10 years?

I would love to become a #1 Best Selling author by the time I’m 30, but I’d settle for mid-30s also.  I’m also hoping to be traveling!

11 Facts

1. I don’t drink coffee or soda or anything with carbonation, not because I like to be healthy, but because I do not like the taste or the fizz.

2. I once stole a cross necklace from my church. Technically, it was my choir cross and it was going to be thrown out anyway.  But my friends and I all snuck into the choir room and smuggled our crosses out on the last day.  We called ourselves The Crucifixers. FYI the cross is still proudly displayed in my room.

3. My ideal man (besides Benedict Cumberbatch) is Niles Crane from Frasier.  I even named my car after him.

4. I don’t like scented markers.  After my grandmother died when I was six, people brought a lot of gifts over to our house, and for some reason, I got like, three packages of scented markers.  To this day, the smell takes me right back.

5. I once stuck my finger inside of our old typewriter to understand how it worked. I ended up with an O on my finger.

6. My great-grandparents were friends with Colonel Sanders, aka the guy on the KFC box (though I may have shared this before, it is my one claim to fame).

7. I’m a Ravenclaw.

8. My favorite actor is Geoffrey Rush. I love him in everything, especially PIRATES!

9. Even though I’ve been out of school for two years, I still have nightmares about not studying for exams and incomplete assignments.

10. I won a goldfish from the state fair when I was 9.  She lived 14 months!

11. I’ve had a lot of people question my ethnicity because of my hair. The truth is I have the most boring heritage ever.  Scottish, Welsh, and French, with a hint of German and Irish.  The curly hair comes from Scotland.  I fit in quite nicely while I was there!

I nominate…

http://jadoremusic89.wordpress.com

http://coffeewriterepeat.wordpress.com

http://audreyhepburnbooks.wordpress.com

http://paws2smile.wordpress.com

Here are your Questions!

1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

2. Do you have a favorite go-to snack or drink for whenever you’re reading or writing?

3. Are there any movie adaptations of favorite books that you either really loved or really hated?

4. Mac or PC?

5. If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be?

6. What book would you like to forget so that you could go back and experience reading it for the first time again?

7. Where is your favorite place you’ve ever been? 

8. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

9. If you could visit one fictional or mythical place, where would you go?

10. Do you have a favorite writing/reading spot?

11. If you could meet three people throughout history, who would you meet? 

 

Challenge

Today is a good day, everyone.  The weather is beautiful, at least where I am.  The spring flowers are all blooming.  I’m finally getting the opportunity to read my friends’ book and my other friend sent me the second copy of his manuscript to go over.  Yep, life is pretty awesome. 

It’s the kind of day that requires one of my very favorite desserts, peanut butter cookies and chocolate milk.  It’s a dessert I don’t get to enjoy very often because, honestly, it’s difficult to find a REALLY GOOD peanut butter cookie.  I first tried them when I was working as a counselor at a summer camp, and oh my goodness, those cookies were heaven.  Those three summers were also some of the best times in my life, so any reminder of them that I get is most welcome.  I’m really excited because in two weeks, I’ll be back there for the weekend!  

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It’s so beautiful and one of my favorite places in the world.  

So today, on this excellent Friday (yay!), I want to challenge all of you to do something that makes you happy.  Watch a sunset.  Reread your favorite book.  Eat the best dessert in the world.  Call up your best friend for a spontaneous adventure day.  Go out and enjoy something this weekend.  

Love you all!