Friday, January 16, 2015

Mia Visits the Character Book Club

I'm SO excited to be a part of the Character Book Club on Fairday Morrow's blog today. Lizzy, Fairday, and Marcus from The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow interviewed Mia--and she had a blast! Click on the pretty picture below to head on over.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's No-Coat Season

Last week on Facebook, a high school classmate posted a picture of her son walking to the bus stop in a short-sleeved T-shirt and jeans. The thermometer that morning looked something like this:

Yet teenagers are walking around like this:

On Facebook, we all thought back to our own adolescence. Did we do that? No...mostly because our parents wouldn't let us. But if our parents didn't know, we might have gone without a coat. Or, in the case above, pants. I did point out that boys were frequently coatless in the 80s. I always just assumed they were too tough for the cold.

For girls, it's all about fitting in and looking "cute." If nobody else is wearing a coat, they'd stand out. Plus, warm clothes cover their figures.

Interestingly, this has become such a thing, there are countless articles discussing it. This blog suggests teens don't wear coats because they want to fit in. This article emphasizes that kids won't get sick from walking around in summer clothes in January. And this article says if kids don't want to wear a coat, parents shouldn't make them. 

How do you think parents should handle children refusing to wear a coat? Should it be different once the child reaches adolescence?

Also--if you didn't win a signed copy of 25 Roses last week, check out my Goodreads giveaway. I'm giving away five signed hardbacks--perfect for your autographed book collection!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

25 Roses by Stephanie Faris

25 Roses

by Stephanie Faris

Giveaway ends January 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Year as an Aspiring Figure Skater

Today an amazing book makes its way into the world:

I had the privilege of reading Breaking the Ice in ARC form and I have to say, even if I hadn't met Gail, I would have loved it. It has everything a girly girl LOVES. Figure skating, competition, great lessons about friendship, and beautiful costumes.

I don't mention this often, but I once took ice skating lessons. For a year. For fun. If you really want to do something with figure skating, you have to start young (as Gail did). Instead, I took lessons in my early 20s, with the only benefit being that when I now go figure skating, I don't fall down.

Like most 80s kids, I spent my childhood in a pair of these:

So once the instructor showed me the difference between roller skating and ice skating, I picked it up very quickly. I advanced through the classes, learning to spin and skate backward. However, there was one thing I could not do...

There's a reason figure skaters start young. As you get older, the concept of actually leaving the ground on ice skates becomes terrifying. Still...there was a 30-something-year-old lawyer who figure skated competitively. She practiced with a personal coach while I was there. For all I know, she may be still figure skating today. This 80-something-year-old woman was still teaching figure skating a few years ago.

I finally stopped taking lessons when the Nancy Kerrigan scandal broke. Suddenly everyone in town was signing up for figure skating lessons. The rink filled up and you could no longer get practice time. It was a nightmare.

Still--it was fun to learn. And great exercise. After you read Gail's book, you may be in the mood to learn!

If you love figure skating (or just great books!), check out Breaking the Ice. You can also add it on Goodreads.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Honesty is Such a Lonely Word

In a freelance writers' forum recently, someone posted a list of excuses to use when firing a client. They're very similar to the, "It's not you, it's me" line of excuses people use when breaking up with someone.

"Honesty is always best," one freelancer said. She was supported by about a dozen people who agreed that you should always tell a client why you won't be working with him/her again. They need to know what's wrong with them so they can fix it.

I thought it over...and realized those people are wrong. Our entire society is based on lies. Apply for a job and you'll see what I mean. Does your rejection email come with the excuse, "We didn't hire you because you're loud and obnoxious?" Or does it say something like, "We've decided to go in a different direction?" I'm guessing the latter. Try the former and you're much more likely to get blasted online. They might even go a little postal on you. 

I've tried honesty. It never goes well. The person either a) gets defensive or b) gets angry. Either way, the blame will always be squarely placed back on you.

The truth is, if a client fires a writer or a publishing house rejects a manuscript, it is rarely done with honesty. And we're all happier for it. Our society is based on vagaries like, "This just isn't the right fit for us at this time" instead of this:

For that reason, I firmly believe the most professional thing to do when firing a client is lie. "I've accepted another assignment that will be taking up the vast majority of my time for the rest of my working life" is one. You can also go with, "This isn't the right fit for me" if you're dealing with a jerk. The point is, you put the blame on you, which fits into their own worldview that they are right and the other person is wrong. It's a worldview we all have, to be honest!

What do think? Is honesty the best policy? Or does it just lead to drama?

Congratulations to the winners of my blog tour giveaway and thank you SO much to the great bloggers who helped last week.

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