Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pretty Tough Tuesday


Check out Part 2 of my exclusive Pretty Tough interview with 2008 Collegiate Player of the Year and super nice softball superstar, Angela Tincher. Today, Tincher shares pitching tips and what it was like to tryout for Team USA. 

Don't forget today is the last day to enter to win the Yay for YA September Giveaway. Tomorrow morning I'll post the winner and a brand new October five book giveaway. Good luck! 

Have an amazing day, everyone! :) Back to work.

Friday, September 26, 2008

TGIF Tag


Beth from Writing it Out tagged me for a meme. :) Check out her blog this week. She's posting tons of notes from a SCBWI conference. Good stuff. 




Rules: 
1. People tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves. 
2. Tag 8 people to do this quiz. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person they were tagged by. Continue the game by sending it to other people. 

1. What are your nicknames? Bucky and Boo Boo. :)

2. What do you do before bedtime? Read a book to my daughter, tuck her in, watch television, and chat with my hubby.

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD form? Grease 

4. What is your favorite scent? Vanilla

5. If you had a million dollars you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it? Buy a gorgeous beach house in Stone Harbor. :)  

6. Share some recent good news. I just landed an amazing agent! ;) 

7. Do you trust easily? Yes, but I'm getting more suspicious as I age. 

8. Do you generally think before you act or act before you think? Usually I act before I think.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? When people I love are ill or suffering.

10. Do you have a good body image?  Sometimes. 

11. What is your favorite fruit? Apples 

12. What websites do you visit daily? Perez Hilton :) 

13. What have you seriously been addicted to lately? One Tree Hill

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? An incredibly smart, nice, amazing teacher, and person. :)

15. What is the last song that got stuck in your head? "The Backyardigans" theme song. 

16. What is your favorite item of clothing? Long sleeve tees and a good pair of jeans.

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? As long as they're in the treat form. 

18. What would you do if you saw $100 on the ground? Look around, then pick it up. 

19. What items could you not go without during the day? My laptop. 

20. What should you be doing right now? Writing :)

I tag the everyone at Amoeba Made of Awesome, Teri Brown, and anyone else who wants to participate. And if you don't feel like tackling the whole thing, pick your favorite question and answer it. I love reading MeMe's. :)

Have an amazing day everyone!! :) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Sunday night, fans and players said goodbye to Yankee Stadium. I don't know why, but when the word goodbye is involved, I tend to get all emotional. Saying goodbye sucks. 

Here's Derek Jeter's speech after the game. He's amazing. 
Most of the time I avoid saying goodbye. Maybe it's change I don't handle well, but I hate endings. Beginnings are okay, but endings are gut wrenching. When I played my last soccer game, I cried like a baby and refused to take my uniform off. When I left my teaching job to work part time and stay home with my daughter, I left with a giant lump in my throat. Even when I'm writing an ending, I get emotional. Normally, I'm not a huge crier, but when it comes to saying goodbye I unload.

How do you feel about saying goodbye? Are you good at it? Or do you avoid goodbyes? Did you ever overreact to a simple goodbye? 
 
Pretty Tough Tuesday: I had the pleasure of interviewing NCAA Collegiate Softball Player of the Year, Angela Tincher, last week. Tincher made softball history when she lead Virginia Tech to a no hit, shut out win against Team USA last spring. She's incredibly nice, humble, and an absolute joy to interview. Check it out here

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Cyber Party Time

Tons of giveaways.. Check it out here. :) Enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Do You Think?

Did you hear? Recently, Lauren Conrad, star of THE HILLS, signed a three book deal with Harper Collins. Out next summer, the three young adult books will be based on a girl who moves to Los Angeles and stars in a reality show. 

What do you think of the deal? 

The teacher in me is thrilled. As long as teens are reading, I'm for any book or books they're interested in. The reader in me might read the books. Okay, I admit it, I probably will. I mean, I was first in line to buy and loved Pamela Anderson's two novels, STAR and STAR STRUCK. And the author in me is wondering how the books will sell. Do you think they'll hit the bestseller's list? Will you read the books? 

Don't miss Brooke Taylor's enlightening and hilarious post about Conrad's deal here.  :)

Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Thanks book bloggers for everything you do to promote authors, books, and reading. You guys are amazing. :) 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Check out a list of Facebook groups for fastpitch fans and players here

Have an amazing day everyone! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Because I Played Sports

A couple of weeks ago, my publisher at Pretty Tough sent me a link to a new sporty blog to check out. As I scrolled through the amazing blog, I literally cheered when I read the site was founded by a former Haddon Heights High School athlete. Yay, 3HS alumi! I coached softball at HHHS for a couple of years and it's a great school. Small world. :) 

Check out this interview with Because I Played Sports Editor in Chief and HHHS grad, Megan Hueter. Yesterday, she posted a story about a female kicker who was 'kicked' off her high school football team because she's a girl. Hello? It's 2008. :(

I love the name of your blog - Because I Played Sports. How did you come up with the title? 

This is a really interesting question, primarily because I've been thinking about it so much lately. I'm so glad you like it. 

When I first started my blog, the purpose was to convey a message that participation in sport is vitally important as we grow into adu
lts. My site would seek to find those stories and tell them. Then in, writing and reading, I realized that my passion primarily lies in women's sports, so now I have the female focus with a general mission of bringing a voice to women's sports online. I hope to tell more stories of how participation sports has affected successful women as I progress my writing and interviewing. 

One of the biggest messages I wanted to convey in the beginning and would still like to see more of is that of providing a supportive environment to young female athletes. I have to thank my parents for enrolling me in sports at a young age. They did a great job raising me, and were never overbearing on pushing on athletics, which (I believe) is a reason I love it so much to this day. I was taught teamwork, the importance of diversity, leadership, goal-setting, what it feels like to succeed, and what it feels like to fail. I've learned the value of hard work and the importance of asking for help. My parents have always been supportive and let me make my own decisions. I think that type of environment is important and necessary for development, and is a message I'm looking to develop as my blog continues to grow. 

Since I've shifted the focus to be more upon women's sports news lately (largely due to the Olympics) I've reconsidered the name. I've tooled with the idea of changing my site to "Because She Played Sports" to drive home my primary mission of bringing a voice to women's sports, but I've received mixed feedback. Many say that I should keep it, "Because I Played Sports" so it's not perpetuating stereotypes that already exist in the industry. What I mean here is that because a lot of sports coverage separate what is "female sports new" from what is "sports news", it's important that I remain with the neutral "I" in the name. I haven't made a decision, but I think I might keep it the way it is (to be different). But I'm always open to new feedback. 

What inspired you to start your amazing blog? 

My boss once asked me what my "dream job" would be. These days, I'd have to say that it would be to become a thought leader in the female sports industry. 

Down the road, I'd love to dedicate my entire career toward contributing toward its growth - in a fight to generate consistent, quality coverage in the media and overcome the obstacle of generating some much-needed continue corporate sponsorship. 

In a little while, I'll be revamping my site and will hopefully offer the ability to have guest bloggers. I hope to bring more voices and more stories, which will add value to the content and visibility. 

Tell me a little bit about your sport's career - highlights, best moments, honors, and awards. Do you still participate in competitive athletics today? 

I played high school basketball at Haddon Heights High School in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. My best moment is winning the conference championship my senior year. For the first time in 30 years, Haddon Heights women's basketball beat Haddonfield (school rival) in the Colonial conference championship. We did it coming from behind in the second half of the game, and performed in front of a packed gym. I don't think I'll ever be able to describe what that feels like. I'm still very good friends with many of the girls who I played with, and I'll never forget that moment. In high school, I also played softball, and it enjoyed it very much, though basketball was my true love. 

After high school, I played basketball for The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ). I played all foour years, and was captain my senior year. At TCNJ, my best friends (for the most part) were my teammates. During that time, I learned more about myself then I ever though possible, and I have to credit my teammates for a lot of that self-discovery (as well as some of my professors).

I still participate in competitive athletics on a recreational level. I play in an adult competitive basketball league, both coed and women. I've met some great people in DC, and I highly recommend every young professional who has (or hasn't) played sports to enroll in a local league as soon as possible. It's a great feeling to play sports for fun again (I almost forgot how that felt). It also helps keep me healthy. 

What is your favorite sport to cover? What is your favorite sport to watch? 

This is a difficult question. Since I've been blogging, I've learned so much about so many different sports. One of the things I like most about this experience is learning about events I never thought could be interesting. Living "outside the box" is a great way to look at the world and the sports industry. Women are competing on all kinds of playing fields, everywhere in the world, and they're kicking ass, which is a truly great thing to see and follow.  

Because I'm a competitive person, my favorite sport to play is, of course, basketball. That said, I'm open to new things and look forward to finally finding the time to take up new sports. I also coach AAU basketball for a group of eighth graders in Bethesda, Maryland, and I'm enjoying every second. I'm finally able to give back - it's all coming full circle for me. 

Tell me about your job. Do you work in the sports field? 

I work full-time for a public relations firm in Washington, DC. I work in online public affairs, primarily for healthcare accounts. I've learned an incredible amount about the online space, how it works and how messages are conveyed. Although I'm constantly incredibly busy, I love my job because I've learned more than I ever thought possible in such a short period of time. I hope to utilize these skills in the future. 

I don't work on sports accounts - this is purely a hobby of mine which I hope will one day turn into my dream job. Right now, I'm still learning. 

I'm in graduate school at Johns Hopkins - so I'll be going to school at night for a MA in Communications. Right now, my goal is to get my feet off the ground with my blog, lean as much as I possibly can and see where my knowledge and voice can take me. Hopefully, it's somewhere good. 

Wow, thanks, Megan!! 

In the News:  
1. Nancy Vaiu, author of SAMANTHA HANSON HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD, is donating a dollar to The National Park Foundation for every person who comments on her launch this week. Check out her launch here
2. Don't miss Jennifer Lynn Barnes's interesting post about Stephen King's comment about the Young Adult genre. What do you think?

As you know, today is September 11th. Eerily, the weather is exactly the same as this day seven years ago. The skies were clear blue until later, when the smoke drifted from New York and hovered over New Jersey. We will never forget.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oprah's in Town: Celebrity Sightings

While our little South Jersey shore towns are packing up for the summer, guess who rolls in? Oprah Winfrey. Rumor has it, she owns one heck of a beach house on one of the islands. :) That's right. Oprah gave a speech and donated a huge chuck of cash only five short minutes from my home. Her fiance, Stedman Graham, grew up in Middle Township, New Jersey. He was a local high school basketball star and continues to stay very active in his hometown. Oprah and Stedman visit once a summer and a bunch of locals know the famous duo personally. 

Okay, did I attend Oprah's speech? No. Why? Because I freak out when I spot celebrities in the flesh. Last Spring, while interviewing the USA Softball team, I literally shook like a Tickle Me Elmo doll. A few years ago when I found myself two feet away from Yankees pitcher, Mariano Rivera, I almost threw up. Yes, I'm a freak.

Rumor has it Anne Hathaway was also in town over the holiday. And I swore I saw Richard Gere in a coffee house during the month of July. Did I talk to him? Of course not. I left.:) But, in my defense, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the real Richard. 

Did anyone ever meet a celebrity? What was your reaction? If you never met a celebrity face-to-face, who would you want to meet? Me, Derek Jeter. But I'd probably pass out. :)  

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Need to read? Want to read a good sporty book? Follow this link.  

Screwball News: The amazing Beth interviewed me about characters, Double Dare, and deserted islands. Check out Beth's Blog and the fun interview here. :) Thanks, Beth! 

Have a great day, everyone!! :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

YAY FOR YA SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY

Summer's over and September is upon us. September might seem yucky to some, but the month of September is filled with excitement and possibilities. A new school year, new semester, new television season, brand new books to write, fall sports, and great weather. The tourists are gone. And the beach and bay are deserted. All ours once again. 

In honor of September, I'm giving away three great books that each represent the month of September: Jenny O'Connell's THE BOOK OF LUKE, Lauren Weisberger's EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING, and Jennifer Donnelly's A NORTHERN LIGHT


I'm devouring THE BOOK OF LUKE right now and loving it. Can you imagine moving from your hometown to another high school, then moving back to your old high school in the middle of your senior year? That's what happened to Emily and things get really sticky when she falls for her best friend's old boyfriend. Yes, it's set in the middle of the school year, but starting over is definitely a September thing. :)

Since September is an exciting month for television, I'm including EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING by THE DEVEL WEARS PRADA author, Laura Weisberger. EWK is a fun, celebrity filled book about a woman who quits her Manhattan banking job and begins working for the biggest PR firm in the city. Consequently, she finds herself in the VIP room of the most exclusive New York nightclubs and splashed across the gossip columns. Juicy. 

Back to school. Back to books. I taught seventh grade for many years. And every school year, I loved matching students with books. I could never go wrong with A NORTHERN LIGHT. Everyone loved this book. :) 

Why am I so excited about September? I cannot wait for the new seasons of ONE TREE HILL, GOSSIP GIRLS, and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Honestly, I never watched ONE TREE HILL until about two weeks ago when I was nursing a cold and caught a few episodes on the SOAP network. Now, I'm hooked and Ti-Voing every single re-run. Right now, I'm caught up to the 2005 season. And of course, as a teen of the nineties and huge 90210 fan, I'm so excited to watch the new 90210 tomorrow night. Did you hear the rumor that Kelly has a son and Dylan is the father? Great stuff. :) 

So, what television show are you excited to watch? Or if you're not a television junkie, what's your favorite thing about the month of September? 

Here are the contest rules: 
1. To enter to win the above mentioned three books, leave a comment about the television show you are most excited about or your favorite thing about September. 
2. The contest ends at midnight on September 30, 2008 and the winner will be posted on October 1st, 2008. My daughter or dog will pick the winner. :) 
3. The contest is open to everyone. Don't be shy my writer friends. :) 
4. If you post the contest on your blog or MySpace, you automatically receive two entries. Last month's winner was a poster. :) 

Good luck everyone and thanks for entering!! :) 

YAY FOR YA AUGUST GIVEAWAY WINNER

The winner of the Yay for YA August Giveaway is.... 

YA BOOK REALM!!!

We tossed the entries on the floor and my dog started munching on YA Book Realm's name first. Congrats!!! :) Thanks for entering everyone! Check out this month's Yay for YA September Giveaway. Great books. :)