29 September 2012

Sports Sunday #3: Golf is NOT a sport...

An early (and quick) Sports Sunday post, because what I'm writing about actually takes place tomorrow. If I pique your interest, I don't want you to miss out!

Golf is not a sport. It's a position I've taken a firm stance on since I was old enough to understand what I was looking at. Golf is an activity, one that requires a tremendous amount of skill and patience, but it is distinctly not a sport. Baseball, soccer, football, hell - CURLING requires more physical activity than golf does. Plus it's the most bloody boring thing to watch in the history of all the things to watch.

There is one notable exception to this rule. Ryder Cup. 

Every two years, the United States and Europe send their best to a golf course to compete against one another in an epic showdown. The highlight of these competitions is the four-some format. Two teams of two men play a round of golf, taking alternating shots and competing head to head, trying to gain a point for their country/continent. 

The best thing about the Ryder Cup isn't the golf - it's the atmosphere and what it means to the players.

A quick overview:



So tomorrow morning, if you're so inclined, turn on NBC at Noon EST and watch the Americans and Europeans go at it just outside of Chicago. Golf is STILL not a sport, but the Ryder Cup is a lot of fun to watch!


27 September 2012

THE BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT OF ALL THE ANNOUNCEMENTS EVER

GAME. SET. MATCH. 
IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!!

I was thinking about starting this post of all poetically, leading with an analogy of some kind, but then the excitement totally overwhelmed me because GAME. SET. MATCH. IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!

Okay, I think I've finally got that out of my system. 

On to the second half of the really big announcement: It's a THREE BOOK DEAL. Yes, you read that right. Three books. That's just over 200,000 words of GSM goodness that you will be able to download to your Kindle, Nook, Android device or really any computer or mobile device if you download a free Kindle app. That's right, the deal is for digital rights. I'm signing with a publisher called Coliloquy. They are doing some super-cool techy things with storytelling (that you can read about here) and if you couldn't already tell, I'm beyond excited to be working with them!

So the major players here:

My amazing Super Agent, Michelle Wolfson (right). She kept me sane through this entire process. I'm so blessed to have Michelle in my corner - and not just on days like today when I have super exciting news to share! I know I'm a writer and I should be able to come up with words to describe just how amazing my agent is, but I really can't. Just trust me, she rocks. She beyond rocks. She rocks my multi-colored toe socks. There, does that help you all understand? 

Lisa Rutherford (left) over at Coliloquy. Have you ever met a person and you're instantly struck with the idea that this is a person you just NEED to work with because they are beyond brilliant? That's Lisa. Her enthusiasm for what she does and for the little world I created in GSM blows me away. Plus, she has a real life Alex at home that she calls "husband." Seriously, folks, she wins at life.




Georgia McBride and the entire crew at YALitChat. It was through their Submissions Mailbox group that my manuscript caught the attention of both Michelle and Lisa, so obviously I will forever be in their debt.


My amazing critique partners: Jess, Kaelyn, Trish, Rachel and Megan. You guys were my ROCKS through this process. GSM would not be what it is today - or what it will be - without each of you. Thank you so much!

And last, but certainly not least, YOU. Yes, you reading this. I can't tell you how much the support of you all has meant to me. Most of you popped up on this blog long before there was even a completed manuscript. You all are amazing and I hope you stick with me because the journey doesn't end here! It's just the beginning!







So just to whet your appetite a bit, here's a short teaser trailer I put together for you all because GAME. SET. MATCH. IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED! (Yeah, that's never going to get old...)





*Credit for the lovely photo of Michelle goes to Erin Summerill

25 September 2012

Doppelgängers, Ahoy! Part Deuce: A Gleek and a GSMer

So I know I've been doing this a lot lately, but unlike what happened with the girls of The Vampire Diaries, this one slapped me across the face IMMEDIATELY.

I wasn't all that excited for the season premiere of Glee this year. The show hit a wall in the last few seasons, but as someone who was a singer in high school, it held a special place in my heart, so I decided to stick with it.

I'm glad I did, if only because apparently one of the main characters from Game. Set. Match. is actually IN IT. Okay, not really, but check this out:


I mean, they're even playing his song! Teddy is SUCH a ladies' man - a total womanizer - although one with a heart of gold buried deep. Plus, the actor. Hello, Jacob Artist aka Teddy's Harrison's doppelgänger.


I'm actually a little afraid to turn on the TV again...who's doppelgänger will turn up next?! 

Also, that news I promised you guys...it's coming...I swear! *cough*endofthisweek*cough*


23 September 2012

Sports Sunday #2: A Truly Wild 'Wild Card'

Ask any baseball fan about the last day of last season. No matter which team they root for they'll use words like, "EPIC" or "FANTASTIC" or "BEST DAY OF BASEBALL EVER!!!11!one!elventy!" Those descriptions are not hyperbole (Side Note: you don't not want to know how long I pronounced that, hi-per-bowl, but I digress). Four teams, FOUR TEAMS entered the night still fighting for two playoff spots.

Entering the final day of the season the Red Sox needed to beat the Orioles. The Red Sox - after what could only be described as a pathetic month of September - also needed some help from their historical rivals the Yankees, who were playing the Rays.

The Atlanta Braves - who formerly held an 8.5 game lead for the NL wildcard spot, needed to beat the Phillies. The St. Louis Cardinals needed to beat the Astros and hope for a loss from the Braves.


Here's how it all went down:





Major League Baseball loved it. They loved how hyped the fans were. They loved the momentum the league gained headed into the post season and most of all, they loved the advertising dollars that rolled in while people were tuning in to the games. They sought a way to reproduce those results every year. The result? Creating a second wildcard spot in each league and a one game playoff to determine which of those Wildcard teams gets the honor of facing down the team with the best record in the Divisional Round (aka the First Round) of the Playoffs.

So now it's September again, nearly a year removed from The Best Day of Baseball Ever and we are headed towards the same sort of craziness. Here's where all the "wild" will factor in:

American League East
1. New York Yankees 88-63
1. Baltimore Orioles 87-64 (1 game back)

American League Central
1. Chicago White Sox 81-70
2. Detroit Tigers 80 - 70 (.5 games back)

American League Wild Card
1. Baltimore Orioles 87-64 (tie)
1. Oakland Athletics 85-66 (tie)
3. Los Angeles Angels 83 - 69 (2.5 games back)

National League Wild Card
1. Atlanta Braves 87-65
2. St. Louis Cardinals 81-71
3. Milwalkee Brewers 78-73 (2.5 games back)
4. Los Angeles Dodgers 78-74 (2 games back)
5. Philadelphia Phillies 77-75 (4 games back)

Right now, not even counting the teams who've clinched - or nearly clinched - their playoff spots (Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and the San Fransisco Giants) there are ELEVEN other teams that have a reasonable expectation to make the playoffs. ELEVEN. You guys, there are only THIRTY total teams in the Major Leagues. The season only has two weeks left to go and more than one entire third of the league might make the playoffs. Eleven teams fighting for the last seven spots.

If you're not a baseball fan, but you've always been curious about what draws people to the sport, now is the time to start paying attention. Pick a team - maybe one of the teams that wasn't supposed to be here like the Oakland A's or the Baltimore Orioles - or a team with a storied history and easy to follow like my fav, the New York Yankees or the Washington Nationals who haven't had a team make the playoffs since before World War II or the Atlanta Braves as their third baseman, Chipper Jones, looks to finish up his Hall of Fame career with one last World Series or  even last year's defending World Series Champion, St. Louis Cardinals who are scraping and clawing to get back to the Promise Land. Pick a team and start cheering, it's going to be a WILD ride.


16 September 2012

Sports Sunday #1: What to Expect



I’m a bit of a walking contradiction. I’m a sports-obsessed librarian. On every job interview I’ve ever been on, the interviewer is generally more fascinated by my coaching experience than my plan to incorporate 21st century learning into the school’s curriculum. So I thought if my love of sports bleeds so well into my professional life, it might be something that translates well onto this blog, especially since my first novel is sports themed…

So here we go, the first of my “Sports Sunday” posts…

I can’t imagine you’d be reading my blog unless you love a good story. I’ve met most of you because of our shared love of stories. That’s exactly what I love about sports. There is inherent narrative to all sports that pulls me in every time. I could be watching a game in which I have no rooting interest – say the Kansas City Royals are facing down the Minnesota Twins – and I would choose a team I want to win based on the score or a particular player or even if the starting pitcher’s wife just had a baby. There’s a story in every game and those stories create the overarching plot of a season.

Sports stories – the great ones – resonate with all audiences not just sports fans. Look at the success of A League of their Own, a movie telling the story of female baseball players during World War II:






Or one of the finest television shows to ever grace our airwaves, the story of the Dillon Panther’s football team in Friday Night Lights:







And so, I plan to bring you the best sports stories I can find, the real life kind, every week. 

Sometimes we’ll talk about the the favorites, like my team, 

the New York Yankees:


 And sometimes we’ll talk about the underdogs, like my other team, 
the New York Giants:

 


And sometimes we’ll talk about the quieter moments, like a love affair between a city and a player… In the 2001 World Series – made famous for far more than just this moment – the Yankees were losing 2-0 in the 9th inning. Their right fielder, Paul O’Neill, a passionate fan favorite was likely going to retire at the end of the season. Regardless of the score Yankee fans wanted to show appreciation for a man who’d earned their respect for nearly a decade.  For an entire half-inning the entire crowd stood on their feet and chanted his name over and over again.




So that’s my first Sports Sunday. What do you guys think? 

15 September 2012

Doppelgängers, Ahoy! Game. Set. Match. and The Vampire Diaries

The C.W. show, The Vampire Diaries has been airing for three seasons, coming up on its fourth and up until two weeks ago, I'd never watched an episode.

I resisted for a REALLY long time. Everyone told me it was something I would enjoy, but I didn't believe them. I wasn't a huge fan of Twilight or True Blood. Never really got into Anne Rice at all. Vampires weren't my thing. I watched the first episode and I was totally unimpressed. Even more so because EVERYONE had said I would like it and I really am in the market for a new show to obsess over since Make It or Break It was cancelled and I can't stand most of what's on television now as it's just a constant reality TV loop and I'm not sure there's anything I hate more than reality TV. So with that thought in mind I gave The Vampire Diaries a second chance. 




I watched the second episode, then the third, then the fourth. It improves DRASTICALLY after the first few episodes. I love the intrigue, I love the relationships between family, friends and *cough* more than friends. The guys are just ridiculously hot - especially Ian Somerhalder who makes being bad look so damn good, but I digress. My sister, who rec'd it in the first place has been I Told You So-ing for days and since she so rarely has the opportunity to do so, I'm allowing it. Now that I'm through all of Season 1 and blasting through Season 2 at what I'm sure is a record pace, I'm no longer in any way unimpressed. I'm totally hooked. Mostly, I was having a lot of fun watching it because it's so completely different from what I've been working on with my writing. It's very much an escape if you will. 

Then I thought about it and I thought about it some more and I started REALLY paying attention and yeah, it was staring me right in the face the entire time:


Um, you see it now, right? Hello Penny, Jasmine and Indy...pretty much straight out of central casting. I mean I know it's not unusual these days to have a multicultural cast, but it's just so damn spot on. So yeah, a little less of an escape than I originally thought, but still. It's especially weird since there's a whole plot line in TVD about doppelgängers. I mean for frack's sake, Kat Graham, who plays Bonnie is a biracial actress with green eyes. Too perfect.

So, if you haven't watched Vampire Diaries, I highly recommend it - even if you're not a Vampire Freak - all three seasons are up on Netflix Instant right now. 

And if you're still with me at the end of this post, stay tuned in the next couple of days... 

*nudge nudge wink wink* 

...I may have some news to share.