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A Beastly Weekend

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I had an amazing time celebrating the opening of the Beastly movie with local author, Alex Flinn, who wrote the novel.  Wow!  I don't even know where to start.  It was such an incredible event.  A few of us got really dressed up and I brought my family (my girls each brought a friend, too). 

Before the movie started, our wonderful SCBWI RA, Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld, made a sweet speech.  We're lucky to have her leading our region--she not only puts together amazing conferences, but organized this special Beastly viewing party.  Thanks, Linda!  Then my incredible mentor (and fairy godmother to many writers) Joyce Sweeney spoke about how proud we all are and gave Alex a special gift.  We celebrated with incredible cinnamon vanilla cake made by Gaby Triana.  Check out this photo--Gaby should have her own Cake Boss type show on TV.  I'm always amazed with the designs she makes. 

We all cheered when we saw Alex's name up on the screen.  I LOVE the movie!  The stars were great--Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter Krause, and Mary-Kate Olsen.  I definitely plan to see it again (and again, and again).  I can't wait to read the book again, too--the writing is awesome.  Definitely read it! 

We each went home with all kinds of swag...t-shirts, a poster, pins, some people got a copy of the Beastly novel with the movie tie-in cover (I have the original cover on mine).  They also gave out boxes of candy with a Beastly picture on one side.  You can check out more of my photos here.

It's been a whirlwind of incredible movie news in South Florida!  Beastly was spoofed on Saturday Night Live, with Miley Cyrus playing Lindy.  Here’s a blog post where Alex shares photos and fun details about the Beastly premiere.  And I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, but if you’re like me and just can’t see it enough, here’s a link to the trailer.  And here’s a great article in the Miami Herald.

So...what happens when you take an amazing book and turn it into a movie?  I've been having so much fun shouting out all of Alex's fantastic news.  Beastly is #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List for children’s paperback books and is #26 on the USA Today Best Sellers List.  Wahoo! 

So huge congrats to Alex Flinn for her novel, Beastly, and the movie based on it being so successful!  And congrats on the recent publication of her newest novel, Cloaked.  It's sitting on my bookshelf now, begging me to finish up the novel I'm reading so I can dig into it.  I can't wait!

Time to stop blogging and get back to my synopsis.  I had to put my Mom Wars revision aside for a few days so I could whip the synopsis into great shape and send it along with the beginning of my middle-grade novel for the SCBWI WIP Grant by Friday.  It's amazing how much more difficult it feels to write a synopsis than an entire novel!  I think the bones are all there now.  I'm waiting on some more feedback from my wonderful critique groups to make sure I have enough of my main character's personality shining through, and that everything is as streamlined and clear as possible.  Critique groups and crit buddies rock!

Good luck to all of you who are applying for a grant.  I hope to see many of your names on the winner's list!    

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Mindy's head shot
I'm so excited! I finished running Adventures of Bra Girl through my weekly group with Joyce Sweeney, and am working in suggestions from another critique group over the next week. A third group, who has already seen this in twenty page segments, offered to critique the full for me. I can't wait to bring the polished version of Bra Girl to a Writing Intensive on June 6, with Nicole Kasprzak (G.P. Putnam's Sons), Michael Stearns (Firebrand Literary), and Nancy Springer. I'll also print up the first page, hoping it will get chosen for a critique in the Middle Grade Track with Andrea Tompa (Candlewick Press), Michael Stearns, and Bruce Hale, on June 7th.

I've made some fairly large changes to the beginning of Bra Girl, thanks to a local retreat and feedback from the first pages at the Poconos Retreat. I had already made many of the changes by the time the first page was read in the Poconos. I made a few more after, and was thrilled that two editors praised my voice (and gave examples of lines they loved). That was extremely helpful, because I had cut one of them, and immediately worked it back in. I should be able to submit Adventures of Bra Girl by the end of June!

Besides writing, revising, and critiquing, I've been busy attending signings. On May 8, I went to a signing for three talented authors from my group with Joyce. It was Debbie Reed Fischer's first reading and signing for her debut novel, Braless in Wonderland. She did a great job! There was only one question she didn't answer--in front of everyone, her son asked how much she weighed! Debbie just smiled, and handled it like a pro. Dorian Cirrone read from Prom Kings and Drama Queens, and Gaby Triana read part of The Temptress Four. They're all great books, if you're looking for some fun new YA to read! Both Debbie and Gaby are on LJ, so you can shout out congratulations for their new books: debbierfischer gabytriana

On Saturday, I was thrilled to attend a signing for How To Be Bad. Sarah Mlynowski, E. Lockhart, and Lauren Myracle each read a scene from the POV of the character they wrote. They were down to earth and funny (especially when Sarah had to read a pee scene over the microphone at Barnes & Noble), and shared their experiences with us. I was almost in tears listening to Lauren's story...I'm really glad she hung in there and kept writing, no matter what others said, because her books are enjoyed by so many people.

I haven't had a chance to read How To Be Bad yet, but after hearing parts of it, I can't wait to dig in!

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Mindy's head shot
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.


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May 2014


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