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It was so much fun participating in RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) during the launch of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I bought the e-book as soon as it was released, and LOVE it.  What a fantastic way to celebrate the birth of an amazing book.  I love how much this helped bring our wonderful writing community even closer, and think it would be great to participate in an annual RAOK. Surprises are always fun, and it's nice to know how much you mean to people (and let them know how special they are to you). 

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my RAOK post...and for entering to win a critique of a picture book or the first ten pages of a chapter book, MG, or YA.  I wish I could give critiques to all of you...but then I'd probably end up a zombie and my manuscripts would complain that I'm neglecting them.  

I wrote all the names on pink pieces of paper and placed them in a bag.  Then, my daughter offered to choose the winner.  Actually, she asked if she could put her name in first, then if she chose herself, I could do her homework assignment instead of giving her a critique (and no...I didn't add her name, but tomorrow morning I'm bringing in bagels and special cookies to thank her for helping me).

Here's Sammi holding up the name of the winner.
It's a little hard to read in the photo, but...

Congratulations, Sue--you won the critique!    

But wait...there's more to the story.  Sammi wanted her friend to pick out a name, too.  And since she pulled it out of the bag and this celebration encourages random acts of kindness, I decided that I'd critique a picture book or five pages of a chapter book, MG, or YA for another winner.  So...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                  Congratulations, Jennifer Rumberger--you won a critique, too! 

This was fun, and I can't wait to read the winning manuscripts.  Did any of you participate in Random Acts of Kindness this week, or have someone honor you with one?  I'd love to hear about it!
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A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

      So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.        

   

                                       Kindness ROCKS!          

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

Wow, where do I start?  There are so many writers I want to thank.  I'm incredibly lucky to have my wonderful mentor, Joyce Sweeney. She's helped me grow so much as a writer (everything from plotting and characterization, to writing a dazzling first chapter and strong scenes that always move the action forward).  She's been there for me every step of the way--celebrating great news, and giving me hugs and pep talks after some heart-breaking rejections.  I'm sending her a bookstore certificate as a surprise thank you for everything she has done for me!

Another huge thank you goes out to Marjetta Geerling who recently gave me an awesome critique that I hope will take my MG from being great to can't-turn-it-down awesome.  Marjetta helped point out that I tend to make things too easy for my main character.  Even though I torture her a lot, I often fix problems too quickly and sometimes have things happen to her instead of having her actions cause bad things to happen.  Wow...my eyes are wide open now!  I'm excited that my revision is almost done, and am thrilled that Joyce, Marjetta, and my critique groups have helped my manuscript shine so brightly. I recently sent Marjetta a special thank you gift, but had to thank her again in today's post.

How do I even begin to fit in the rest of the people who have been amazing friends and critique partners?  I want each and every one of you to know how much you mean to me, and how grateful I am for everything.  You've all helped me improve my writing, have been there to support me, cheer with me, and encourage me every step of the way.  One of the best things that came from the second time I went to Rutgers was getting to know two online friends better, and forming an informal critique group with them.  Thanks so much, Kim Sabatini and Jodi Moore for everything.  And I'm really glad you brought Megan Gilpin into our critique family--I owe the three of you so much.  xoxo  

NI (Novel Idea) has helped me so much through the years.  Thanks to Amie Borst, Ann Marie Meyers, Rose Cooper, Jen Swanson, and all the past members, too!

RQ (Revision Queens) has been a huge help with my picture books through the years.  Thanks Laura Crawford, Amy Dawn DeLuna, Cathy Cronin, Leslie McCrary, and all past members (both in RQ and the previous name, TBA). :)  

Thanks to everyone past and present in The Prose Shop, my weekly group led by the amazing Joyce Sweeney, my monthly Boca group, and all the amazing writers I've swapped critiques with through the years (the picture book crits have been a huge help, and I'm really grateful to those of you who took the time to critique an entire novel, like Karen Schwartz, Shel Delisle, Amanda Coppedge, Heather Burke, and Sharon Pavon--and those who helped me have huge breakthroughs like David Case, Stacie Ramey, Kerry Cerra, and Nicole Cabrera).  I wish I could name more of you, but this post already has enough words to create two to three picture books!    

I hope you all know how much you mean to me.  I'm sending a huge thank you for always pushing me to write the best possible novels and picture books.  You all rock, and I feel so lucky to have you in my life.  (((Hugs)))  I'm also incredibly grateful to all my writing friends who have been there to cheer me on, offer advice, and share all kinds of sweet comments through here, Facebook, and Twitter.    

I wish I could give every single one of you a gift today...but even though that isn't possible, I'm going to close my eyes and wish that you all receive fantastic writing news, and that we'll have tons of reasons to celebrate soon!  And in honor of everything you've done for me, I'll pay it forward by offering one critique of a picture book or the first ten pages of a chapter book, MG, or YA.  Just leave a comment below and I'll randomly draw a winner on Thursday and announce who it is on Friday.  I'll give you an extra entry for each time you share this link (don't forget to let me know so I can add all your entries).   I can't wait to read the winning pages.  Good luck!   


One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to participate is that The Bookshelf Muse has been a fantastic resource for me and other writers (I've given the link to so many writing friends through the years). Becca and Angela have put so much into their fantastic site...and now their e-book.  After everything they've done, I'm thrilled to help celebrate the launch of their e-book and give a huge shout out to people who have made a world of difference to me because they're such amazing friends and critiquers.

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge?  Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way.  Kindness makes the world go round. :)  

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Mindy's head shot
mindyalyse
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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