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I'm looking forward to attending book signings for some amazing authors over the next few months. It must be the most incredible feeling to hold your book for the first time, after all the hard work you've poured into it. So...how do you celebrate each milestone, especially a first book sale?

My weekly critique group has a bean ceremony when a member makes his or her first sale. It's short and sweet--and something every single one of us can't wait to have. You're surrounded by critique buddies and friends, with a few special words, some maraca shakes, and a tiny bean to put in your office or on a necklace. It's something you can hold as a symbol of all that hard work--and the excitement of seeing your book in print one day soon. My mentor, Joyce Sweeney, recently held her 22nd bean ceremony. Isn't that amazing? I'm not sure how long it will take, but I know that one day, I'll be receiving my special bean from Joyce.

On Saturday, I'm going to a novel retreat, and will bring the beginning of my MG for critique and a batch of homemade brownies. I can't wait to do some writing exercises led by debbierfischer. I'm going to a signing for her first book in May. She has a great trailer on her blog, if you want to check it out.

Two weeks from today, I'm flying to PA for the Poconos Retreat. This will be my fourth year in a row. I'm taking two great workshops, and can't wait for my paid critique with Alexandra Penfold. I had the pleasure of meeting her at an Orlando Workshop a couple years ago, and look forward to seeing her again.

Now I'm going back to my MG revisions. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get ADVENTURES OF BRA GIRL ready to sub by May or June. I've received such positive feedback, and can't wait until it's polished and ready to go!
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( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
Just the title alone makes me want to read it! I hope your MG is published SOON and you can have your own bean ceremony
Mar. 28th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, Kim!
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
I love the bean ceremony idea! Thank heavens for my critique group, I don't know what I'd do without them. And I agree with kitlit kim, the title of your book sounds so fun!
Mar. 28th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
Thanks, Angie. :)

How did you celebrate when you recently received amazing news?
(no subject) - angie_frazier - Mar. 28th, 2008 11:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
What a great title!

I love the bean ceremony. What a unique and sweet way to celebrate.

Have a great time at the retreat and at Poconos -
and Best Bean Wishes to you! ox
Mar. 28th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Thanks, Pamela. Hopefully, one of these days we'll get the chance to see each other at a conference. :)

Mar. 27th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
I love the bean ceremony, too. And I can't wait to see BRA GIRL on the shelves! Have a great time at your session this weekend, and I'll see you in the Poconos!
Mar. 28th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
Thanks! And welcome to LJ. I'm glad you finally took the plunge. I love your ghost. :)

I'll see you in two weeks!
Mar. 27th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Your attitude is so impressive -- and I can't wait till you get your special bean, too!! :D
Mar. 29th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
Thanks, Robin. And I can't wait to celebrate when your time comes--which I bet will be soon!
Mar. 27th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
When I sold my first book it went something like this: dead silence, shock, pause, disbelief, screaming, laughing and making a frenzy of phone calls. :) It's the BEST feeling!
Mar. 29th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Jessica! Now...did you scream before or after hanging up the phone?

I read a transcript from a Barry Goldblatt chat on Verla's that said one of his authors screamed so loud when he gave the news, it hurt his ears! (Maybe not those exact words...I read it a while ago, but it was close to that!)
(no subject) - jessicaburkhart - Mar. 29th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
what a lovely way to share the celebration- Mindy, there are some amazing Elsa Peretti bean necklaces at Tiffany's that perhaps you can stick in the can when it's your turn!

I hope you have a great time at Poconos- maybe its your turn to sell the raffle tickets :)
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Thanks, Julie. :)

The Poconos definitely won't be the same without you! I really hope we're able to see each other at a conference soon. I'll let you know in the next few months if I'm applying to Rutgers--it would be amazing to see you there!
(no subject) - juliewinkler - Mar. 30th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mindyalyse - Mar. 31st, 2008 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - juliewinkler - Mar. 31st, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 28th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Alexandra is coming to our local conference in May. I can't wait to meet her!
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
I'm sure it will be an amazing conference, and you'll definitely enjoy meeting Alexandra. If you can, try to have a critique with her. She gives amazing advice.

It would be great to attend one with you again--I miss all our Chautauqua chats! Maybe we can meet at LA one year--I don't think I'll be able to make it this year, but maybe next summer we can both go?
Mar. 28th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)

you will do it, i am sure of it!
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
Thanks, Meg!

I hope you're feeling 100% better now. :)
Mar. 28th, 2008 09:06 am (UTC)
Your book sounds "interesting", your writing adventures sound fun and it's just a matter of time before you're beaned!(a short time!)
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
Thanks, Mona! LOL, the term 'beaned' made me smile. I've never heard it phrased quite like that, but it's perfect!

I hope you have a great time at your upcoming conference--it would be great to meet you at one!

Mar. 28th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
Yay Mindy!
You are coolness personified. Go Mindy go!
::Getting in line FIRST for Adventures of Bra Girl signing!::
Mar. 29th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
Re: Yay Mindy!
Thanks so much, MJ!

By the way, an amazing editor recently said she'd love to see more of my work, so I'm going to submit my PB,FUNKY SOCKS, to her next week. Every time I look at that manuscript, I immediately think of you--and how you inspired me!

Mar. 28th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
I know BRA GIRL will be picked up and can't wait until you are awarded your own special bean!!! (((HUGS)))

Mar. 29th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, Sharon!

And I can't wait for you to dazzle some editors with all your amazing stories you've worked so hard on. It's almost time to send some hope out--and I can't wait to cheer you on every step of the way. :)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 31st, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I hope all of our groups will have a lot of celebrating in the near future!

Cookies and milk sound good! It's also nice to have a permanent reminder of that first magical moment--maybe a pen to sign all future contracts with. Or maybe something you can add to--like a bead for each sale that you can turn into a bracelet or necklace--so you can watch it grow over the years. You could even add in small silver or gold beads for awards.
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for the Poconos. I'll be at the book signing in May too.

See you soon,
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


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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