Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best of 2012

So it's almost 2013. Turns out, the world didn't end. Who knew? I'm completely unprepared now...

Good thing Baxter's always ready.

Anyways, it's been a busy year. I've told you guys a lot, I've written a lot, and I've read a lot. So with that said, here are my favorite posts that I wrote for you guys in 2012 in case you missed em:

1) Getting back up after an injury (in my case, a concussion)

2) The power of surrounding yourself with positive people

3) My naked 62 year old man-roommate

4) Why query writing is better than job applications

5) On setting an example

6) Lessons on living alone

7) My first public speaking engagement 

8) Never Surrender (the blog hop)

9) How I pick winners for blog contests :)

10) The time I fell in love in Seattle

11) The time I got lost, on foot, for two-three hours, in Seattle

12) Another round of public speaking

Stay tuned in 2013 for big news. And by that...I know, the same complaining about real life and trying to land an agent :)

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Booker Award

Awhile ago, my old friend gave me a blog award...and so I'm finally getting the chance to pass it on. It’s the Booker Award. The rules after accepting this award are as follows: 
#1, thank the person who nominated you.
#2, name your five favorite books.
#3, post the award icon on your blog.  
#4, nominate five bloggers who have literary and book-centered blogs.

Game on.

1. My friend, Anna who is a book blogger!
2. Five favorite books? Well, since 2012 is ending, how about five favorite books that I read in 2012? Does that sound okay?
Totally read the Tribute Guide, too!

3. Done up there at the top....

4. And passing this business along:

~Ms. Suzi because she's an awesome Beta, and person :)
~Ms. T Drecker because she leaves wonderful comments :)
~Ms. J.A. because she's a wonderful blogger, had a baby in 2012, and is generally a rockstar
~Ms. Dani, who I discovered this year. Awesome blogger, too!
~Ms. Emily R King, because she also is a rockstar and leaves thoughtful comments.

Alright, thanks for stopping by! Hope your holidays are/were fabulous! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

I'm not sure when the magic of Christmas left. It's gotten to the point I no longer go home for the holidays. Years ago, Laura and I used to spend the holidays with a close friend but time and other sad things have changed this. So this year, things are a little different. I'm trying to find the magic again. 

First of all, I'm working both Christmas and Christmas Eve. Lame, but at least it's money. But more importantly, I got Baxter and me a tree. I got us stockings. I got him presents (the little monkey looking guys). I'm excited to celebrate with him. After work, Baxter and I are headed to John's house which is nice for two reasons:

1) I've been invited to a house that isn't my own and
2) They've also invited Baxter because they know I don't like to be without him

It's the first year I got my nieces and nephew presents (mostly stuffed animals and toys. The youngest, I got Clifford books!), and I'll be sending my sister's out soon. It was nice to be able to buy them stuff, even if it isn't much.

So however you're celebrating this winter, I wish you all the happiness as 2012 comes to a close!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Because It's Christmas

I've had Baxter for about three years now. The first Christmas I had him, we went to Michigan and spent time with my mom and my sisters. When we arrived at my mom's, Baxter went straight for the fake tree and lifted his leg...Thankfully, he only peed on my presents. Unfortunately, he peed on books.

The second year (last year), we spent the holidays miserable in bed because I'd gotten really sick a few days before. The adorable little man cuddled with me the whole night. It was wonderful.

But during the time I've had him, we've never had a tree.

So this year, I've decided to remedy this situation:

It's three feet tall, white, and perfect. The lights on it aren't even mine (I live in the basement and they were on the wall, so I figured it'd be okay to put them on the tree. Pretty, no?) There aren't any decorations. There are two wrapped presents from my mom (no clue what they are), and a rawhide also from my mom for Bax.

Because it's the holidays, and because some peeps have been sending messages on twitter, I figured I'd throw this out there. If you would like to send a present to Baxter or to me (because you know, we like free crap, and free food!) here's our address:

Lynne or Baxter
PO Box 668
Norway, ME 04268

If you don't, well then, I at least had an excuse to show you our tree. Here it is with the lights on :)

I'm constantly nervous that when I'm gone at work I'm going to come home and find that he's peed on the presents, so keep your fingers crossed that he doesn't!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Truth About Being A Role Model

I did a presentation to a bunch of adults a few weeks ago. During the presentation, I talked about being a good role model and setting a good example when you're around teens and younger folks. But what exactly does that mean?

You can even crawl through doggie doors
Being a role model doesn't mean you have to be perfect. It doesn't mean you can't be weird and over caffeinated. You don't even have to shower every day. You can mess up. A lot. You could have been a neo-nazi white supremacist a year ago, and be a role model now. (True story, one of my role models that I met in high school was a reformed neo-nazi.)

But the difference between you being a role model and you being some holier-than-thou type of person, is recognizing that you make mistakes, you've made mistakes. Own them. Be honest about them.

A perfect example of this is on the mountain. When we're in uniform, it's some sort of stigma that we don't fall, when in reality, we fall frequently. Why? Because we try new things, new jumps, new tricks, whatever. Sometimes we just fall because we weren't paying attention and dig our edges in. It's okay, we're human, too.

Being a role model is like that. Dig your toe edge in. Stumble. Fall. Fall a lot. Get a bloody nose. You can break your back (one instructor already has this season), you can get seriously hurt. It's okay.

But get up, teach people about those times. If someone is in the middle of crashing, they can see a path to stable land again.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make Noise

One of the tips and tricks that NaNoWriMo suggested was to tell everyone that you're writing a novel. Why? Because they hope people will ask that question, "How is your novel going?" and they think that this will help keep you on track. But maybe someday when that book sells, they'll see it in a store, and say, "Whoa, I totally knew that author way back when."

"Hi. My name is Lynn(e), and I write novels.
I know I look scary, but really,
I'm not. I promise!"

Making something of yourself (aka Building a Platform) is going to be a lot like that. When people ask how you are, don't just shrug it off. Talk to EVERYONE. I don't care if you're a retail associate (::cough::...that may be what I am), and you're telling customers. If you work at McDonald's, tell your co-workers, your customers, your managers what you're up to. Talk to the people at the post office, the cashier as you check out at the grocery store. I actually got out of a $250 ticket because I chatted with the officer about moving from North Carolina, being an author, my motivational stints, etc. (Yea, totally was rocking an unregistered car and had an out of state licence )

Talk to people. If they ask, let them hear it. If they don't ask, bring it up. Even if you're not published, tell people you're an author. When you're at conferences, TALK TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU PASS.


Have you written a book, or a short story? Then HELLO, that means you're an author. You didn't tell them you were a published author, and really, that may be only a matter of time. The more you tell people you write, the more potential books you've just sold. (WARNING: Once you let this little cat out of the bag, everyone and their brother will suddenly admit to being an author as well.) This is how you start to build your platform. When you talk to strangers you don't actually know who they are or what they'll do (like, you know, get you out of a $250 ticket, or set up your next public speaking gig).

Poor waitress never saw it coming.
Now she has to pretend to be interested!
I got an article about me run in the newspaper; once just talking about my life. Even now, weeks after the article ran, customers still stop in and say, "Weren't you in the paper?" Another time because I allegedly won the Tea Tag Contest (although Good Earth Tea still hasn't send the I don't know what the deal with that is...)

I tell people about the stuff from my life and BAM now I go to schools and talk about bullying or cutting. I go to a refresher to be reinstated as a snowboarding instructor and BAM, December 6th, I had a presentation to put together at a Rotary Club for adults who may be willing to help further my endeavors, bringing me to other schools to spread the message, and thus building my platform.(Although, at most schools I'm not allowed to talk about abortion, BUT I do always manage to read aloud a section of my memoir because I can make it relevant :) ).

The truth is, no one is going to make noise for you.

Think of it like this:

We've all seen Titanic, right? SPOILER ALERT: Well when Rose is pretty much freezing to death on that wooden plank, and the boats are rowing shouting, "Is anyone alive out there?" Imagine what would have happened if she just stayed quiet. Instead, she yelled, she screamed (or um, tried to). She jumped back in the freezing water to find a whistle because her voice was shot.

And she was pulled out of the water.

Fear nothing!

For a lot of us, the water we're drowning in is bills, or fearing we won't make it, or query writing. You'll freeze your ass off jumping in the water, but when you get to that whistle, you better start making noise. It's the only way you're going to get rescued.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Because It's Hot

In July I made a post asking you guys to vote for me for Good Earth Tea's Tea Tag Contest. Then, with your help, I won! But it's been MONTHS and I haven't seen anything. I filled out the paperwork, emailed a picture of my driver's licence, and waited....and waited....

So I emailed them again, I called, I tweeted, and at long last:

   I have my tea!

I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty thug walking into the store grabbing 12 boxes of tea, going to the register to give my "Free Tea!" coupons, and walking out with what should have been something like a $35 bill scott free. 

I love tea. Especially in the winter, after a long day at the mountain, right before bed. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interred Cover Reveal

If you guys float around the blog-o-sphere you'll know that Marilyn Almodovar is coming out with her new novel, Interred. And she's allowing me to take part in her cover reveal! Why? Oh, because the novel comes out January 22, 2013! You can mark it on your Goodreads account, now!

With no further ado....HERE. IT. IS!

Cover by Devan Edwards of Nimbi Designs.

Interred (Chronicles of the Interred #1)
By Marilyn Almodóvar

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to
Bend it.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life. Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and the ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Marilyn Almodóvar is an American YA Author born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. A lover of words with a penchant for Victorian novels as well as the books of Stephen King, Lyn's favorite past-times have always been reading and writing.

It was this love that propelled her to choose Theater and French as majors in University, with a minor in English Victorian Literature. Lyn lived for almost a decade in England followed by three years in France before returning home to the U.S.

A self-confessed citizen of the world, Lyn is fluent in English, French and Spanish, with basic knowledge of the Italian language. Lyn currently lives in Central Florida with her French husband, English-born eldest son, and French-born youngest son. Her debut YA Novel,
Interred, will be published by Iambe books on 01/22/2013.

Ways readers can connect with Lyn:

Twitter (
Facebook (óvar/142589622496531)
Goodreads (
Pinterest (
Blog (

Monday, December 10, 2012

Actual Outcomes

So dressed for success
The thing people fail to warn you about when it comes to your memoir is how much you'll cry. The first draft, I didn't do much until I finished. Then I spent a few hours drinking beer and sobbing. Then the second and third drafts ripped open wounds I was unaware I still had. I even edited a section about happy things and couldn't stop crying. It got to the point I couldn't open my word document without cringing.

And then I started reading sections out loud; to my sister, to my friends, to my mother. I read certain sections so much my eyes felt like they'd bleed. Then, I read a chapter where I was bullied to the point I attempted suicide, to a classroom.

Then, I prepared the first chapter to present in front of a room full of adults. And this, is how my presentation on December 6th, started.

I read the first chapter, and near the second page...I felt the lump in my throat. My hands took on a tremor. When I looked up (like you should during all public speaking engagements), every single eye in the room was on me.

It was hard to breathe. The small voice in the back of my head kept saying, You're just reading a book, you're just reading...But I wasn't. It was my life and it felt like I was eight years old watching my sister get beat by my father.

I sat next to the president of the
organization. Intense, no?
I didn't fully cry, but I got choked up and recovered by saying, "As you can tell, I'm still a little sensitive about all of this," and continued talking. I told the group about the presentations I did where young girls reached out and told me about the horrors they're currently living through. About the fact that they hurt themselves. I talked about the drop-out rate and how we as a society need to step in and try to guide the kids who are growing up in broken homes.

When I finished, I was surrounded by adults who hugged me, called me brave, and strong, and further confirmed that I am doing the right thing. I met a man who is involved with a high school program, and they may be able to bring me to a new district. A lot of it is in the air, but I can breathe a little easier. When I finally got in my car, I was still shaking.

There is a huge difference presenting in front of adults verses teens. I felt like I had significantly less room for error and rambling. But at the same time, hopefully it is these adults that will help spread the message that life can get better. Even if you live in a crappy household where all you're told is that you'll never amount to anything, it can get better. People will tell you your whole life that THIS (failure) is your projected outcome. It's not true. My sisters and I grew up with awful parents. We all graduated high school. We all got college degrees. We're not alcoholics,  homeless, drug addicts. We are functioning members of society.

But even with all of that, when the presentation wrapped up, I was presented with an award in my name. Suddenly, everything that I've been doing became real. Because I grew up in that environment. I'm doing what I love to do. For the first time in a million years, I'm happy.

And this is the moment everything became real
Moral of this post and of my presentation is this: No matter your circumstances, you can amount to something. You can be anything you want to be. And once you're there, you can help other people amount to whatever they want to be, too.

Happy Monday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Seven Months Is Far Too Long

Before the snow really falls 

It was mid April when my happiness started to vanish. I hugged friends goodbye, not knowing if or when I'll see them again. I had my last beers with other instructors...and then...I had my last run at the mountain, all alone with the wind ripping through my helmet. I jump, and did my last 180, then got in my car with a heavy heart and drove away from the mountain I love.

And then I waited. And moved a couple of times. And waited longer staring out the windows like a puppy waiting for her owner to come home.

Finally, on Monday, November 26, 2012, my alarm went off at 8am, and I hit snooze. I stumbled around my dark basement bedroom, and gathered my gear; snowpants, fluffy vest, boots, boards, and hopped in my car to get my Partner in Crime.

Kinda looked something
like this
We drove an hour, and at long last, I was reunited with the snow.

98% of it was man-made, but I did NOT care, at all. Even better, was that several of the lifties that I love were there, and I hugged the crap out of them. Assuming the first run of the day would be like the last run a few months ago, we strapped in...and fell. On a green trail. And fell again. About seventeen more times. It looked something like this:

"I guess we're learning how to ride a snowboard today," the Partner in Crime said after taking a belly flop.

"I guess so."

And we did. We found our center of balance. We fell a few more times, but by the second run, we went to blue terrain and I rode switch (the opposite from what you'd typically ride, so my right leg was now in front rather than my left). Soon we were reunited with the park.

I was very happy
Because of my knee injuries, I am still incredibly timid when it comes to tricks and jumps and rails. But with a lot of coaching last year, I started jumping (was able to do a 180 off a jump and land before they destroyed my happy jump), and trying other stuff. Because it was our first day, we stuck to jumps, and we FLEW.

For those people out there who think, Humans weren't made with wings. We're meant to stay on the ground, I cannot express how incorrect that line of thinking is. Simply because when I'm in the air, even if it's shorter than the length of taking a breath in, or letting one out, it is the most spiritual thing I can ever expereince. You can tell from the moment of take off if you'll land, or if you'll end up smashing in your kidney (which happened to me once). When you have a good take off, and you have that breath of air where you're flying, it's amazing. I highly encourage it.

Sadly, our out of shape legs got the best of us a little bit before it was time to bail out. So, we got reaquinted with our lockers (it was so clean!).

We stopped along the way at the local shop because I need a jacket for free riding this season and ended up buying a new pair of bindings, because they were so pretty I felt like I could not live without them (even if that means I had to borrow money and can't currently pay rent. Oops :) )

They're beautiful, no?

You can tie a lot of this post to the writing life:
1) If you take seven months away, you'll fall down the hill until you regain your momentum again. It takes practice. You need to keep up on that pracitice.
2) Be brave, take risks, and let yourself fly.
3) Don't be afraid to spend money you don't have. (Especially on writing conferences/writing books). When you die, do you really want to have a million dollars in savings, or do you want your book to be published?
4) Be Happy.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tips for Public Speaking

Don't let the fact that I've gone to a middle school FOUR times to do presentations fool you, I HATE public speaking. If I drink coffee beforehand, my hands shake like they're on speed. My heart pounds so hard, I seriously think I'll pass out. My vision clouds. But I know these things will happen before I even step in front of the crowd. If you expect these things, you can stop them.

Because of all this, and the Communications, and Forensics classes I took in high school, here are some fool proof tips on public speaking:

1) Take your hands out of your pockets.
Yea, it's cool for James Dean to lean against stuff, maybe smoke a cigarette, and keep his hands in his pockets because he just looks so calm and collected. It is not cool for you to do it. So take your hands out of your pockets.

Some very famous authors, who can you spot?
Notice, they're open to the audience
and each other
2) Stop fidgeting.
Don't fiddle with things. Try not to toss your hair. Don't pick at your arm. Try to talk to the crowd like they're your best friend. (It helps if you know someone in the crowd. Glance at them from time to time, it'll keep you on task.)

3) Stand up straight.
See James Dean mention. Slouching suggests that you're nervous. If you want to own a room, own your presentation, you need to look like you walked into the room prepared, confident. Slouching will make people lose interest.

4) Look up.
If you're reading from a piece of paper, remember to look up. I have a tendency to write LOOK UP! on the margins of my papers in neon colors, because my eyes will see that, and I'll take a second. It takes practice. Use a mirror. Not only is it good for the audience to see your face, it's good for you to see the audience's faces. You can tell when they're enthralled, or losing interest. If your head is down, you're not interested in them, they won't be interested in you.

5) Um, Like, Um.....
Be prepared. Filler words like, "Um," or, "Like," make it sound like you're not ready to give this presentation. I say like WAY too much, and I'm still prone to um's, but if you take your time, and cognitively try to eliminate them, your speech will come out much smoother. When in doubt, just try to slow down. Most people talk too quickly because they want it to be over. You say "um" to fill the space that should be taken up by what you should have said. Don't say um. Slow down.

Read the body language here...
Clearly, I am not impressed by what my sister is saying
6) Remember to breathe.
It might sound like this should be obvious, but really, sometimes, it's not. This can go hand in hand with talking too quickly, or even just having an anxiety attack. Remember to take a deep breath in, deep breath out. Your presentation will go much more smoothly if you're still breathing

7) Don't cross your arms.
You don't want to come off aggressive or insecure. Crossing your arms in front of yourself suggests the possibility of either. When possible, leave your arms at your side, or if you're using a podium, you can rest them there. If you're a person who uses their hands when talking, go ahead, but when you're giving time for feedback, remain open. Crossing your arms closes you off.

I know it looks tempting
But like drugs:
Just Say No
8) No coffee first.
I'm not kidding. If you have an early morning presentation, bite the bullet and come in sober. I'm really caffeine intolerant so even a small cup gives me jitters and induces an anxiety attack. But the mission is to be calm, awake, open. Not the coked out version of whatever you have to say. If you're rocking coffee, I'd vote for decafe, at least until the presentation's over. You can always invite the audience across the street to Starbucks when you're finished.

9) Leave time for questions.
Even the president gets bombarded with questions, chances are you will, too. Even if it's random. At the end of my bullying presentation, I had a few girls come up and say, "You're so strong!" At writing conferences I always harass the panelists, even if it's to tell them what a great panel it was, or to shake their hand, or have a follow up question. Leave room to talk, leave room for questions. You may also want to offer hugs, depending on the topic.

Don't go in looking like this...

10) Fake it.
If all of these tips and tricks fail, and you're still jittery, and you're still panicking because this is your first time speaking, FAKE IT. Fake like you're calm. Smile. Remember the people in the audience are there to hear you. If you showered first, put on a nice outfit, and brushed your hair, you're already ahead of the game.

But really, the best piece of advice is once you're finished, do it again, and again, and again, until you really can stand in front of a room full of strangers in your undies and own it.

Harness your inner bad ass and rock your talk. (And wish me luck for tomorrow, please!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Ashamed Of My Job

Kind of makes me feel like this:

It's true. I really am ashamed of the place I work. Today, I saw a boy who looked faintly familiar, and so I blurted out, "Hey, did you go to UNE?" and he said, "I thought you looked familiar, too."

From there, I cashed him out and we chatted superficially. He wore nice slacks, khaki colored, what appeared to be a tailored green shirt, and a tie. Meanwhile, I wore a dirty pair of khakis  I hadn't showered, and the same shirt I usually wear to work.

I discovered he's a middle school science teacher, and I'm well...I'm a retail associate, ahem, a shift supervisor/retail associate. Even still, the pay sucks, the hours are variable, and I feel like I'm going nowhere. My managers claim to be "joking" but most of the time, I just leave and feel angry and frustrated. I'm not happy there, and I'm really only doing it to make ends meet. Each day, I feel like my soul is dying a bit more.

This is so much of a better place to work...
I'm surprised to find that I'm more proud to be a snowboarding instructor, than to be a cashier. I liked the way people's eyes popped open last year when they said, "What are you up to now?" and I answered, "I'm a snowboarding instructor." It felt like an accomplishment. Like acing a test I'd been unaware of taking.

I think part of it has to do with talent and effort. ANYONE can do retail. But to be able to teach people about their boards, their bindings, how to go down mountains without breaking their necks, knees, or wrists. That takes time. That takes effort. That truly takes skill. Plus, it's fun. You can throw snowballs. You can make snow angels. You can go off jumps and rails.

The pay was substantially lower, but it didn't matter. I was happy being broke. I was happy being late on my rent payments, because if I didn't have work that day, I got to go out and play. And if there was work, well, I still got to play then, too.

In retail, you greet customers, answer the phones, get bitched at when your knee starts throbbing and you need to sit down for five minutes when everyone else gets cigarette breaks whenever they want.

I'm glad that the mountain is opening, and hopefully I'll be able to instruct again, even if it's only on a part time basis. The mountain keeps me centered and sane. Things can go wrong there, and I'm more able to deal with them. In my "full time" retail position, I'm less able, and more quick to anger.

Moral of this post, is if something is eating your soul, chances are that's not the path you're meant to take. If you have to do it to make ends meet, do it, but then pick up, move on. Find happiness again.

It's only a matter a time before I'm there again.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...