Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 199

15 Minute Tweet TalesIt’s been a crazy week, y’all, and it's all because of YALLFest. I got to cover it for MTV, which means I was able to interview many of the YA authors, including R.L. Stine!! He was awesome! But I still have tons of articles to write, so I’ll have to wait until later to share some of my stories. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
11/11 - "She's a horrible human being, exempli gratia she brought me brownies." "But that nice." "They were made with ex-lax." I smother a laugh.
11/12 - Hands cupping her stomach, she sings to the baby she'll never meet. Since claws and fangs develop in utero, mothers never survive the birth.
11/13 - He believes labor omnia vincit, which is why he's cool with his mom cleaning his basement "apartment" while he earns WoW experience points.
11/14 - With no trouble at the lab, the security check-in had become pro forma, so he easily gets in. Although he didn't mean to trigger the plague.
11/15 - Every day for five years he nodded at a soignée woman on a bench wearing silk gloves. They never spoke, but he missed her when she was gone.
11/16 - "You must verify it. Ad oculos!" the PI yells at his intern after he notifies clients their husbands are cheating because he has a feeling.
11/17 - The guy she's flirting with says, "Let's go to chez nous." He probably thinks it sounds sexier that way, but he loses his chance at le sex.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 198

15 Minute Tweet TalesI spent most of last week at an AMAZING writing retreat. I’m planning to post about it in a few days, so stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
11/4 - Her cat's tail twitches & she shouts, "En garde! "But boyfriend's not fast enough & gets scratched. She sighs. She's gonna need a new guy. 
11/5 - Every Dec 31st, they sacrificed the oldest member of the village. It was harrowing, but the mos maiorum strengthened them for another year.
11/16 - The founding fathers were proud of their novus ordo seclorum, but if they foresaw today's candidates, would they let the British win? 
11/7 - His animated fingers dance over the keys in perpetuum mobile, hiding the heavy cost to his soul of sharing the music deep in his heart.
11/8 - On Dec 31st, she sighs with relief that her annus horribilis is finally over. But events on Jan 1st suggest this year will be even worse.
11/9 - He arrived at the crime scene ready to discover cui bono. When he saw the victim, he realized he did and that it was an epic frame job.
11/10 - I roll my car. It explodes after I crawl out, sending me flying. Then I tumble into a ravine. Now buzzards circle, but dum spiro spero.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 197

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! My aunt threw a big Halloween party, so the whole family went to Greenville for the festivities. The Rish siblings dressed up as the primary colors, while our mom went as a classic witch and our dad, the retired Navy captain, went as Old Navy. What did y’all dress up as?
Primary Colors Rish SiblingsHalloween Rish Parents
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
10/28 - The silence indicated they'd entered a time of pax, and she almost wept with joy. Then screams started again about who broke whose toys.
10/29 - She deemed the debate a farce so didn't prepare;she just used reductio ad absurdum tactic on all opponent's statements and looked brilliant.
10/30 - The babysitter lounges on the couch sans-souci, not knowing what the kids are planning upstairs, otherwise she'd be running and screaming.
10/31 - Her psych class was surprisingly helpful at the Halloween party, since it gave her aperçu into the issues behind the costume choices.
15 Minute Tweet Tales11/1 - She decided to write an epic bildungsroman for #NaNoWriMo, but her oomph fizzled before her hero reached 10th grade, shocking no one.
11/2 - Tina ignores Mom for days in a battle against curfew but comes in to try a cookie she just baked. Mom snatches it away. "C'est la guerre!" 
11/3 - As the zombie horde approaches, she prays for a deus ex machina, but when teeth pierce her flesh, she accepts life isn't like the movies.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 196

Siblings at the fairMy sister and I met at our brother’s house this weekend for a fun weekend of sibling bonding. The main draw was the SC State Fair. We went for lunch on Friday and stuffed our faces full of unhealthy food: donut burgers, fried mushrooms, Philly cheesesteaks, fried Oreos, fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, friend Milky Ways, and cotton candy. Yuuummmmm! 
We also watched a bunch of movies. My brother has one of those snazzy 3D TVs, so we watched Jurassic World in 3D. We also watched Mad Max: Fury Road and The Lazarus Effect, but those were in regular ol’ 2D. So, yeah, we were mostly lazy, but after all that food it was too hard to move!
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
10/21 - Mom tries to stay au courant on teen slang, but the fact that she calls it teen slang shows how embarrassing it is when friends are over.
10/22 - They think he fakes contemptus mundi to cover being broke. Actually, jerk dad left him millions, but he'd rather wear rags than spend it.
10/23 - Tells mom one thing, dad another. Her divide et impera strategy works great until divorced parents start discussing rather than shouting.
10/24 - A glob of soup plopped on her shirt and she giggled. "Errare humanum est." Her blind date cringed as that stain blended with the others.
15 Minute Tweet Tales10/25 - Ignotum per ignotius is the professor's tiny revenge on students who spend class playing on their phones rather than raptly listening.
10/26 - Reminding him to put down the toilet seat is mortuum flagellas, so she wraps the bowl in plastic wrap so he'll also get wet while peeing.
10/27 -- She stares in the mirror murmuring, "nosce te ipsum," over and over, but she's pretended for so many boyfriends, she no longer remembers.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

How I Got My Job With MTV

MTV LogoI’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks, but I keep getting sidetracked. Since my first article for MTV was published almost two months ago, it’s a tad anticlimactic to post this now, but I did want to share how the job came about. Plus, I’m so proud of my application that I want to show it off!
Back in late July, my friend Jillian Utley sent a freelance job listing she'd run across to several of us who write YA. Here’s what the listing said:
MTV News is looking for a freelance writer focusing on Books!
We're looking for someone who knows their John Greens from their Rainbow Rowells, their Hunger Games from their Divergents, and is able to find the next 14-year-old writer who just launched her own novel, as well as freak out about the next installment of the "Maze Runner" series.
You should be knowledgeable about current books and nostalgia; able to do interviews, but also write fun lists and throwback articles that speak directly to the MTV audience of predominantly young, female readers.
Before applying, please take a look at MTV News to get a sense of the type of editorial - not just Books - that we're generating on the site. The MTV voice is fun, personal, and specific - no pitches of "5 YA Books You Should Read," please. We want to get a sense of you through your application, not just a resume, a list of credits, and pitches that could be online anywhere.
Note: this is not a full-time position. It is freelance, and will work remotely, though you'll work directly with our Entertainment Team in NYC.
I got butterflies in my stomach as I read it. How awesome would it be to write about YA books for MTV?!? It sounded like a dream job for me. 
But that tiny voice in my head full of doubt and insecurity immediately chimed in telling me I wasn’t qualified – I’d never done freelance writing before, I didn’t know enough about current YA books, it was a waste of time to try. So being a dummy, I admitted the voice was right and decided not to apply. 
But I couldn’t stop thinking about the job, it kept whirling round and round in my brain, so two days later I decided to go for it anyway. But what should my application look like? They didn’t want the normal resume and pitches, and when I started writing ‘interesting’ cover letters in my head, they were either boring or made me sound like a crazy person. As I looked at the articles on MTV, I realized most of them had gifs. And that’s when I realized an application told through gifs was the way to go and got busy. Scroll to the bottom to see the gif-tastic application I sent to MTV.
On August 1st, I got an email from an editor at MTV saying he liked my creative application and wanted me to do a writing test. He asked me to write an example article (topic of my choosing), plus submit five more pitches for additional articles. Both excitement and terror flowed through me as I read the email again and again. 
After I finished happy-dancing around the house, I got busy again. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I’m a perfectionist, so it was a lot of work to finally get something ready to turn in. I pressed the send button with trembling fingers. 
Two days later, I was at my brother’s house with my family and doing that rude thing where you check your phone every five minutes for emails. And then, one of the times I checked, there was an email from the editor. HE OFFERED ME THE JOB!!!!
This is the photo of me trying not to cry with excitement as I show my family the email. I was beyond thrilled. 
Jocelyn Gets MTV Job
It’s been a lot of fun so far. Although it has been more work than I anticipated. Even though the articles are mostly fluffy fun, it’s still a lot of research to make sure I get things right. But I’m learning a lot as I go, and I’m finding a rhythm. Plus, finally getting paid for my writing is a pretty awesome feeling, and I can’t even explain how exciting it is to see my byline on the MTV website. 
If you’re interested, here are the articles I’ve written so far:
And now here’s my application for the job:
Dear Fabulous Folks at MTV News,
I was excited when I saw MTV News is looking for a Freelance Books Writer. Very excited. And obviously the only way to deal with such excitement was to craft my application out of gifs from movies and TV shows based on YA novels.
The Lying Game
The Lying Game
My earliest memory of MTV is begging my mom to stay up until midnight for the historic premiere of the Michael Jackson Thriller video, and because my mom is awesome, she let me.  
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars
From watching MJ’s thrilling masterpiece, to spending hours dancing and reenacting various videos with my friends, to getting sucked into reality TV with the groundbreaking launch of The Real World, to being ridiculously entertained by current scripted shows like Teen Wolf and Faking It, MTV has long been part of my television life. 
Having been around for the early MTV landmarks might make some of the current viewers think of me like this:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
But when it comes to my passion for YA novels, I really look like this:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
My love of YA started when I was an actual young adult reading Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith, Sweet Dreams, and Sweet Valley High. 
As I got older, I read adult books, but I returned again and again to the heart and emotional truth of YA. When I walk into the YA section of a bookstore and see the incredible variety of books available, I feel like this:
The Book Thief
The Book Thief
But just because I love YA novels doesn’t make me qualified for this position. So why do I think I’m a strong candidate? 
I worked at a software development company for ten years in the quality assurance department, where I tested the software, identified bugs, and wrote reports. I started as an entry-level tester and worked my way up to the manager of the team, and through the years learned many skills, especially how to meet insane deadlines.
While a lot of the time it was fun figuring out creative ways to break the software …
Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl
… after ten years in cubicle land, it began to feel more like this …
Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies
… so I decided it was time to run toward my real passion …
Eye Candy
Eye Candy
... writing for young adults!
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries
I’ve taken classes through the Institute of Children’s Literature, participated in the Chautauqua Writers Workshop, and attended conferences through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
I’ve been fortunate to have short stories published in Highlights magazine and the Post and Courier. I also won the 2008 South Carolina Fiction Project, the 2009 Highlights Fiction contest, and the 2013 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators novel work-in-progress grant. I even won two different grants to turn my short stories into short films. All of these things made me feel like this:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
It also reassured my parents I hadn’t ruined my life by chucking my ‘real’ job to be a writer.
As part of the writer cliché, I have a blog where I sometimes talk about YA books and their authors. Examples posts are: 
In addition, I am the Interview Coordinator for Adventures in YA Publishing, which has been a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past three years. Every Saturday and Sunday I post interviews with YA authors who released books that week from the major publishers. 
Example posts are: 
Now I’d like to share a few of my pitches for the MTV News site:
Howling for a YA Character – Two Teen Wolf cast members have already played characters from YA novels. Dylan O’Brien is playing Thomas in The Maze Runner movies, and Shelley Hennig played Diana Meade in The Secret Circle TV series. Which characters from YA novels were the other Teen Wolf actors born to play?
Then and Now – Some topics in YA novels are always popular, like vampires and the mean girl stealing your boyfriend. So if your mom liked reading a certain novel when she was a teen, which comparable novel should you be reading now?
Avenging YA – We know adults love to read YA as much as teens do, so which YA novels would the characters from The Avengers have sitting on their nightstand tables?
From Screen to Book – How twenty-year-old Paige McKenzie turned her successful YouTube series into the YA novel The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.
With my passion for YA, awards for writing, and contacts in publishing, I believe I would make an excellent Freelance Books Writer for MTV News. And if you were to hire me, I would definitely feel like this:
Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Jocelyn Rish

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 195

15 Minute Tweet TalesOctober seems to be zooming by! Halloween is now just around the corner. Have you decided on a costume yet? I’m still mulling over options. In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week: 
10/14 - When they divorced, he gave her half his company ex gratia, since he knew he never would have succeeded without her advice and support.
10/15 - She's always been obsessed with fin de siècle art. Eerie explanation when she discovers a 1898 self portrait that looks exactly like her?
10/16 - Her son talks his dad out of another punishment with an ignoratio elenchi, and she knows he's going to be a politician. She starts to cry.
10/17 - Susan adds condoms to the mise en scène intended to make Bill think she's cheating. Better he leave in anger now than get hurt later.
10/18 - Couldn't make decisions, so he always ordered the prix fixe meal, but didn't want to be a bother, so never asked about allergens. Idiot.
10/19 - The soi-disant healer "cures" with his hands. After conning money from my mom, I cure him of his lies with my hands...balled into fists.
10/20 - Tad walks into a frat party and shouts, "Veni, vidi, vici!" Hot girl snaps, "You need to conquer your body odor before you have a chance."
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 194

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’ve got a bunch of deadlines for MTV News this week (yay!), so I’m keeping this post short and getting straight to my 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
10/7 - When they moved in together, they each adopted a modus vivendi they thought the other wanted, but their fake selves drove them apart.
10/8 - She grins with pride as her vegan club gobbles down her pièce de résistance - a veggie lasagna. Her secret ingredient is bacon grease.
10/9 - The new king wants to be a peaceful leader, but when the coffers get low, he realizes a rule of realpolitik will maintain his lifestyle.
10/10 - Deb seethed as Ed got another promotion based on nothing but his savoir-faire while she'd done all the actual work. Time for a new job.
10/11 - He stumbles into a bar, hand pressed to his wound, hoping no one notices the blood. He wants a few shots of aqua vitae before he goes.
10/12 - Tired of being tormented by the Queen Bee, Sue came up with a coup de main involving laxatives and super glue that finally dethroned her.
10/13 - They're excited to meet her new boyfriend until she introduces a doppelgänger of her dead husband but without his winning personality.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?


Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

If you’re part of the writing community, you are most likely familiar with the amazing Brenda Drake: the Queen of Contests. She is extremely generous in all she does for other writers. I also think she must be part robot to accomplish everything she does!

I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of several of Brenda’s contests, and I've met so many fabulous writers because of them. So I’m thrilled to have a chance to help with Brenda’s Release Day Launch for her book TOUCHING FATE. Check out the book and excerpt below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!
Touching Fate by Brenda Drake
Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.
Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.
Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die.
But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

Excerpt from TOUCHING FATE

The spell was broken when some partiers ran up the beach screaming and laughing. Aster turned in the direction of the noise and spotted Reese standing there. He waved. A moronic move, he reprimanded himself. Strolling up the beach James Bond-style would have been better, but instead, struggling in the sand, he headed for her. He decided if she moved toward him as well, it would be proof that she was attracted to him. Aster spun around and faced the ocean again.
Reese stopped. She was still angry with him. Just when he made up his mind to leave her alone, she started down the beach toward him.
“Hi,” she said, staring up at him. The golden specks in her eyes were like stardust glinting in the low-lying sun.
“What are you doing here?”
“Leah invited Jan, and he brought me along.”
“I see.”
“Well, I didn’t put up a struggle. I have to admit, I was hoping to see you.” He held out the aster. “This is for you. A peace offering. One simple flower can mean so much more than a bunch, don’t you agree?”
A shocked expression crossed her face, and Reese thought he had blown it. But then she gave him a sweet smile and took the flower from him. “Stolen ones are even better.”
“Well, in all honesty, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. A gentleman doesn’t court a lady without bringing a gift.”
“So you’re courting me?” She tried unsuccessfully not to smile. It was rather fetching, her pink glossed lips twitching at the effort. “You don’t even know anything about me.”
“Well, that is the point of dating, isn’t it? To get to know each other?”
“I’m not sure.”
When the silence between them got uncomfortable, she lowered her head and picked at the stem of the flower.
“Not sure, huh?” This girl was a hard nut to crack. Reese got an idea. “How about we play a game?”
She looked back up at him. “What kind of game?”
“One where I tell you something about me, then you tell me something about yourself.”
“Sure, why not?” She twirled around and padded across the beach, lifting up sand with her toes and flicking it into the air in front of her. “You go first.”
“All right, then,” he said, keeping pace with her. “My family lives in a castle just outside of Amsterdam, complete with towers and turrets. It’s been in the family for generations. We only live in a few rooms. The rest of the place is open for tours. It helps pay for the upkeep and taxes.”
“Really?” She knotted her fingers behind her back. “Does that mean you’re royal?”
“No. But my father is a count.” He hated talking about his lineage. “It’s just a title,” he said, as if it wasn’t a big deal, which it wasn’t, at least to him.
“That’s pretty awesome,” she said.
“Now you.”

Brenda Drake

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up are of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling.
So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).


Giveaway is 3 winners of …

Grand Prize of the Kindle + Swag Pack (US/Canada) $50 Amazon Gift Card (INT) $50 Amazon Gift Card (US/Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 193

SUNSHINE!!!!! The sun finally broke through the clouds, and I even saw blue sky. My family members scattered around South Carolina have been incredibly lucky with no major damage to our property. It’s been scary, and the pictures from the news show just how fortunate we were. Please keep South Carolina in your thoughts. 
It seems kind of silly to post them with everything going on, but here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
9/30 - Her bathroom was her sanctum sanctorum, so he'd been forbidden entry, but he had to sneak a peek. What he found inside still haunts him.
10/1 - The hurricane howls, and he boasts he can withstand the wind. But even in a stalwart vorlage, the wind knocks him on his butt. They cheer.
10/2 - She changed her shirt ad arbitrium throughout the day to confuse her coworkers, but they paid her so little attention, no one noticed.
10/3 - "Get me a beer." "Yes, bwana," she mumbles. "What's that?" "Nothing, dear! Happy to stop cleaning to fetch your drink while you watch TV."
15 Minute Tweet Tales10/4 - Ben's fiancée dumped him for a famous musician. When Ben ran into her a year later, that life had left her a caput mortuum of a person.
10/5 - It's de jure that women aren't allowed to drive, but her father disguises her as a boy and teaches her. He knows it might save her life.
10/6 - Jenna, Tori, et alii pulled the prank that resulted in Amy's death, but I know it was Jenna who pushed it too far to eliminate a rival.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 192

We’re now a full week into the new TV season, and I’m not much happier than I was last week. I did like Blindspot and Limitless more than I thought I would, but they still didn’t suck me in like some shows in the past (Sleepy Hollow and Lost are examples of pilots I loved from the very start). I thought Life in Pieces was horrific; I didn’t crack a single smile even though it was a ‘comedy’. There were a lot of great actors in it, and I was embarrassed for all of them. I also gave Minority Report a second chance, but I’m now officially out – while I still like the idea, the execution is boring, paint by numbers. More shows are starting this week, so hopefully something will really wow me. In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
9/23 - Thunder cracks as he says his vows. His new mother-in-law whispers, "Absit omen," but the couple ends up divorced in less than a year.
9/24 - For hours,the dog chews a hole into dog food container. Just as he reaches the first piece of kibble, the garage door goes up. C'est la vie.
9/25 - A wish to always play stunning music. Fingers touch keys, a melodious treat. But compelled to play da capo until bone clicks against ivory.
9/26 - "Excusez-moi, you look like Juliette Binoche." She knows his accent is fake and isn't the only lie in that sentence, but she still blushes.

15 Minute Tweet Tales

9/27 - She stares at him, wishing for a montage of cute moments to get them to the comfortable part. Damn romantic comedies - dating is hard!
9/28 - She knew they didn't have enough evidence to convict her, but she pleaded nolo contendere because more digging might uncover worse crimes.   
9/29 - She didn't hate cauliflower per se, she just thought they looked like brains. When her boss served them, she ate them with her eyes closed.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?