Saturday, December 17, 2011

The End of MG Revisions. Now, YA Time.



Hello Lovelies!

So I originally had created this post right after finals in December, but somehow forgot to post it...I know bad me.

So I also have a wonderful announcement. I finished the extensive revisions on my latest project! What I mean by extensive is I switched a good 3/4 of the novel to 1st person! Yikes, is right. Took me awhile, but man this kid's voice really flowed. I should also add the male became more of the main character than the girl, who was the main character in the original version.

It really is super satisfying to finish a project. Now, onto my next one. My YA novel is already at 19k and I totally left off at a near death experience :) This past December has been my query agents time and I got some great comments from my beta readers so I'm feeling good.

Anyone else have project goals for the new year?

Cheers Lovelies!

P.S. The picture is one of my failed (instead it's just a fun, funky pic) assignment of a oyster martini glass...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Q & A With My Father, Rene Prats


So I know most of you have followed my blog and enjoyed my posts, but I have a pretty impressive dad too. I figured today would be a nice way to get to know the President and CEO of Sir Pizza S. Florida LLC, Rene Prats.

Oh and if you're ever in south Florida be sure to give Sir Pizza a try.

What got you started in the restaurant business?

A: I needed a job at the age of fourteen to help support my family. I started as a busboy and it worked because you got tipped out nightly with cash.

What are you currently doing?

A: I'm currently the President and CEO of Sir Pizza S. Florida. We are growing a brand that's had its home in south Florida since 1968. It is truly a landmark that we are trying to expose to a wider audience in south Florida.

How many Sir Pizza restaurants do you plan on building?

A: Our hope is to reach 20 by the end of 2012 and 30 by the end of 2014.

I know that you've come to an agreement with the Miami Marlins. Can you tell us more about it?

A: Yes, it's a 10-year deal and we will have four concessions inside the brand new ballpark. Two on the main level, one on the club level and one on the vista level. We are now the official pizza of the Miami Marlins.

You've also struck up another deal with the University of Miami, correct?

A: Yes, we've signed a five-year agreement with the University of Miami to become the official pizza of all UM athletics.

What other ties do you have in the community?

A: We do the Winner's Circle program in Dade and Broward counties, which rewards students 18 and under that have a grade point average of a C or better. We believe that academics are very important to a person's growth along with athletics. We are also the official pizza of high school football in Dade and Broward counties. We also have a program called the Sir Pizza Cares program, which we help raise funds for various organizations in south Florida. We believe in being a good corporate citizen when it comes to our community and giving back as much as we can.

You owned over 30 Papa John's franchises in Dade and Palm Beach counties, did you not?

A: Yes, I did.

Then why Sir Pizza?

A: I sold Papa Johns and was fortunate enough to find a better pizza, in my opinion.

Wow, well, it is true that you've owned over 300 restaurants in your lifetime?

A: Yes, I've been blessed to have owned a lot of different kinds of restaurants in my lifetime and work with a lot of good people. I've owned hamburger, cheesesteak, bbq, Mexican, Cuban and Italian restaurants.

Well, that's quite a variety. I'm guessing that cheesesteak place was before I was born or I must have been an infant. Hah.

A: Yes, you were just a baby.

Who is your favorite child? (You know I had to ask--please remember who's blog this is)

A: I have four wonderful children and I love them all the same. With all their different personalities. I love them all. But you were the closest when you were a little girl. ;)

Hmph. I guess I'll take it.

Well, since they'll kill me for not mentioning them, what are your other kids up to?

A: My oldest Tiffany is 26 and is the women's golf coach at the University of Maryland and is the amateur golfer of the decade in Central Florida. She's also a graduate of the University of Miami. Your brother Kyle, as you well know, is on scholarship as an outfielder at Virginia Tech University and a graduate of Christopher Columbus High School. And your little brother Christopher, age 4, can hit a baseball as if he were 10. Quite the comedian too.

I know, he went around saying he was Justin Beiber, Spider Man then a jockey on Thanksgiving. You sure the kid's not gunna be a writer? Lol.

A: As for you my little girl, you are so talented and beautiful and so persistent as a writer and interviewer. I'm very proud of you and the work ethic that you have established. God bless all four of you always. Love Dad.

Apparently I have mad skills people. Thanks Dad. Love you too.

Now, cake or cookies?

A: Cuban cake. I love the frosting.

Till next time.

Elizabeth signing off.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Twitter, what's with the hype?



So, this post is actually an assignment. Thing is, I’ve never been one to follow the rules, at least not entirely. I’m supposed to talk about Twitter, more so about how it works, what one can do with it and the technical aspects. Thing is, I’d rather talk about my own experience with Twitter. For those few out there who are still reluctant to give it a shot, let me give you my reason for trying Twitter out. Don’t worry, I was once one of those reluctant few. I mean what exactly could 140 character IMs do for one in the real world? Apparently, quite a lot.


I’ve noticed there seem to be two kinds of Ad/PR majors. Those that have just joined the ranks, have finally made it into the program and thought this might be a cool major. Boy are you in for a surprise. The latter are the veterans, the one who have Intern Pursuit and interviews wired and have already figured out the value of Twitter. Don’t worry this article will catch you up to speed.


Now, you might be wondering what made me give Twitter a chance?


Curiosity. Let’s face it. We keep hearing about Twitter being some marvelous social media tool. Would you be reading this if you didn’t wonder what all the hype was about?


I didn’t think so.


Open those eyes. At the risk of sounding cliché, sometimes you just have to open your eyes. Twitter allows users into a new world that their predecessors could never have accessed. What is this world you ask?


Whatever you want it to be.


Dare to dream. You want to be a big ad exec one day? Well, follow Disney’s Creative Director on Twitter, then stalk his blog, then find his LinkedIn. No this isn’t a tool for stalkers but instead a tool to network and learn and keep up-to-date with industries that are ever changing, whether it be advertising, film, trout migrations, or my personal favorite, the publishing industry.


Network baby. OK, so perhaps not everyone uses Twitter to stalk the person with his or her dream job. In fact, most consider it a valuable networking tool. Think about it, Twitter grants access to the Creative Director at Disney or that editor at HarperCollins. Be active, comment and read what these professionals post. As a follower you could be privileged to information others normally wouldn’t have. Say that Creative Director was in quite a good mood and he knew plenty of students followed him. So instead of posting the new internship position available on the company website he gives a shout-out to his followers. BAM—you may have gotten an internship opportunity all from spending some time online. Fun ain’t it?


Don’t believe me? Here’s someone it worked for. Nicole Zoltack answered a Twitter call by a publisher looking for linked short stories. According to Zoltack, “It’s how I got contracted for my ‘What You See Is What You Get’ series”.


“It’s definitely a community,” said Larissa Hardesty, an avid writer and Twitter user. “I love it.”


Twitter is versatile. You can use it to network, to imagine what that dream you’ve been chasing after your whole life looks like or maybe just to open your eyes to something you never thought existed.


All I’m saying is--believe the hype.


Liz


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pursuit of an Internship



Intern Pursuit was a blast. It happened this past Halloween, but sadly school work and editing my latest manuscript has kept me a tad occupied.

This year Intern Pursuit was split into two parts. The morning portion catered to the journalism majors while the afternoon focused on Advertising/Public Relations majors. Seeing as how I love to write and magazines have always fascinated me I decided to try out the morning portion even though I'm an Ad/PR major. During this morning portion we actually sat down and interviewed with up to three potential magazines or newspapers, which was unusual since I was used to the Ad/PR portion where we basically run from table to table in a speed-date-gone-wrong fashion. Quite fun, I might add.

It's a great way to get that first internship or even one of the more intensive ones. The best thing about Intern Pursuit is the fact that there are companies that don't need you to have a lot of experience, which really offers some newbies a chance to get their feet wet. Not only that but the event also has more advanced internship positions for those who have a good idea as to what they wish to do with their lives.

I interviewed with Bonnier Corporation, The Orlando Weekly, and Orlando Home & Leisure. I have to say everyone was very courteous and quite nice, but I absolutely LOVED Orlando Home & Leisure. I think there's just something about two older gentleman who look kinda like rockstars. I felt wiser just sitting in their presence. (I really hope they don't read this). Needless to say, I got the internship with them! I swear as a writer if you can find someone who can banter with you like the best of them, you should do everything in your power to learn from said someone.

Till next time Lovlies,

Liz

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Manners & Woes Involved in Social Media





My teacher has shown me an interesting article titled, “10 things your grandmother can teach you about social media”. The points are quite valid. Twitter is really just an extension of real-life social situations. Manners are important anywhere you go. Some people think that just because you are online your actions don’t count, but in this day and age what you say online is forever and it could impact you much more than some slip of the tongue at dinner that was never recorded.


It really is true what they say, “a simple thank you can go a long way”. Even in social media there have been moments where I’ve followed an assistant editor working at my dream job and he or she has had the decency to thank me for the follow and mention that they liked my blog or twitter handle. You’d be surprised just how touching a simple, human action can be.


Sure, the Internet is a wonderful invention as well as Facebook and Twitter. Just because we’re using a different medium to interact does not mean that the value of face-to-face or human interaction is lost. Social media has its positives, allowing people to connect with, say, a CEO of a corporation or NYT bestselling author who normally would be out of reach to them.


We just need to remember the rules our grandmother taught us; be courteous, be kind, and listen--don’t talk over someone, can easily be transferred and used in the realm of social media. Consider, the people that spam or annoy you. Constantly talking about either their breakfast that morning or like talking advertisements. The loss of that human quality is what we can’t afford to lose if we want to be successful in the social media realm. So if you’ve loved someone’s posts—go thank them.


Cheers ladies and gents,


Liz

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dressing like a Professional Intern




Ah, the lovely moment when you look into your closet and have no idea what to wear.

This Halloween my university hosted its biannual Intern Pursuit. It’s like speed dating, but instead of finding that perfect date, you’re looking for that perfect internship. Now, for some students this may have been their first event and they have no clue what to wear, or maybe you’ve been but you never want to be caught dead in what you wore last time. (You know, those hideous pants grandma bought you that you pulled from the far end of your closet. You could have kicked yourself for not bringing to college that adorable pencil skirt and blouse your mother bought you. “I’ll never wear it,” was your excuse.)




Don’t worry we’ve all been there. Although, my mother chased me around the room with the outfit.



Oh and WRITER's don't think that this won't relate to you, especially if you plan on attending an agent pitch session!






What NOT to Wear








  • Cleavage isn’t cute in an office setting. Do you really want to give a 50-year-old guy a sneak peek?



  • Tank tops are for hanging with friends. Avoid in the office.



  • Washed-out jeans are never okay. If you’re allowed to be semi-casual always pull for the dark jeans. They are great for dressing up an outfit.



  • Men, lose the sneakers. Dress shoes only, folks.


  • Men, for most places you don’t need the tie, but dress shirt is required.



  • Men, if they say you need a tie here’s a tip: Once someone ties that sucker—keep it tied—that way you can just loop it right on in the morning.



Tip: To an interview always OVER dress, even if they say that the office setting is casual.



Wardrobe Essentials








  • You’d be surprised by what jewelry can do. Not enough color to go with that dark blouse and grey pants? Toss on a funky necklace. Learn to Accessorize! Cute purse, necklace, belt, earrings, even a colorful scarf can make you happy you got dressed that morning.











  • Collared shirt. This goes for both men and women. Although, women, try to find one that complements your hourglass shape. (But don’t confuse complement with skin-tight.)










  • Women a knee-length pencil skirt is a must.




  • Men and women buy a blazer. Shell out the cash on a quality one and you won’t have to buy again for a very long time.



  • Women there are blazer-like jackets that give the impression of a blazer but are of thinner material. Check out Charlotte Russe and Dots.




  • Pretty doesn’t always mean functional. Go for the smaller heels. Your feet will thank you.



  • Every girl needs that signature black dress.



  • Dress pants, not the kind that hug your butt, let them be loose but still hold your shape.



Here’s a tip: Avoid always choosing black or gray. Sometimes a splash of color can make an outfit. Also if you’re getting all black and gray it will be hard to match items. (You’d be surprised how a few washes can make a difference between to black articles of clothing.)

There are some key staples to every outfit. I got a few of them here, from the lovely Classy Career Girl. If you’re still not sure. Check out “The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide”. The self-help book has a great section on what to wear if you’re a female. Really, it embodies the dress-for-success motto.



Disclaimer: I own none of these images. I just pulled the off the web for examples.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Knee-deep In Revisions A Revelation


Ah can you smell that?

The pungent scent of desperation, sweat, and is that a hint of blood?

Yup, it's that time. Revisions. Whoop-di-doo. I'm on page 25 out of 161. On top of several school assignments, a test, oh and now a speech, this may be my only night to get something done. Yay for getting sick! It means no class.

But on the bright side, I've FINALLY figured out how to get the ball rolling on this novel! It's been lounging about in the hard drive while I started a YA manuscript. Now, inspiration struck while talking to some YALitchatters. Vampires are out. This I know, and yet, I couldn't help myself. I know, what you're thinking why jump on the bandwagon? In my defense my vampire character existed before the vampire craze in another manuscript. Now, he will be reliquishing that title and becoming a soul sucker. :) Yeah. It's really quite cool. Oh and I'm pulling off a Great Gatsby sort of narration. My boy, Lucas, who has become the main character somehow (people seem to like him better), will narrate the novel during his parts in 1st person, but his crush shall be narrating most of the story in a 3rd person limited kind of way. It's different and either this'll rocks socks or become a jumbled mess. I'm hoping for the first option.

Wish me luck folks.

<3 Knee-deep in Revision

Liz

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Do I Get a Job Nowadays? Even an Internship for That Matter?


Hello all!

I've had some great internship opportunities because I've had some wonderful people give me advice from the cover letter to the resume to the interview or even how to go about looking for one. I must say my major is quite intent on making sure we intern as much as we can, (AD/PR) while my other major, English, has no intention of getting one to intern unless it is the school's literary magazine.

There is one thing everyone should remember. The job prospects out there are shit. Sorry! I've heard it again and again. Seen it. The number one thing we can do to make ourselves more desirable to employers is gain experience. It's that simple, but has anyone noticed that most job postings (for entry-level positions, I might add) state one to two years experience or at least one year's experience. It's like how on earth can we have that experience if this is our first job? Well, an internship or a few could help us plenty in the long-run.

Here's a compilation of some great article's I've found helpful recently:



This one doesn't exactly fit into the realm of getting a job, but it tells you what companies will reimburse you for a masters, well at least some of the masters, which is much better than nothing :) On a side note, I've recently discovered the Classy Career Girl Blog. It rocks!



Please do check out the rest of what these sites have to offer, especially Classy Career Girl and the Levo League. These were just a select few of articles I found helpful, they actually have a ton!

Hope this helps with your job and internship search needs!

Elizabeth <3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Putting Together a Book Trailer

Hello Lovelies!

It has been quite some time since I've posted. Ironically, I've been blogging the last 10 weeks for a marketing research company. Technically, their new website is about to come up, but they have 9 of my posts ready and in the queue for when the blog finally launches. I'll be posting when the time comes!

Today though, I figured I'd talk about putting together a book trailer. As some of you know I've been helping out Stacey Darlington, author of Athena's Curse, with publicity efforts, and of course, her official book trailer. The beauty of a book trailer is the fact that there is either limited or no animation. Instead, it relies on the mood created by the music and images chosen for the piece.

Step 1. Decide the mood you wish to convey. Eerie? Adventurous? Romantic? Terrifying?

Step 2. Decide aesthetically how to convey this mood. For example, would cartoons work? Black and white illustrations with sparse colors, like what I used for Stacey? Or would photoshopped images and photos create a better impression and aide you with the mood you wish to convey? It's really a matter of preference. Also consider what is easier and readily available to you.

Step 3. Do you have a program that you can build this trailer on? Or know someone who does? Figure out what it is capable of before you jump in. Mac has iMovie, not too sure what Windows has.

Step 4. Create a storyboard. This can be as elaborate as a giant poster or as simple as a few thumbnail (miniature) sketches that contain the general idea you want on each slide/scene.

Step 5. This step goes hand-in-hand with Step 4. Consider the copy (words) to go along with each frame. Remember keep this short and minimal. You know those tag lines and elevator pitches we use whenever we go to a conference? Keep it to that length.

Step 6. Once that has been decided, get started on those pictures/drawings/illustrations or what have you.

Step 7. Choosing the music. This step can really be done at any point in the process. Some prefer to know what kind of music they are using beforehand so that they know what works as they created the images. Others, like myself, wait towards the end once we have the idea on paper. Remember to choose royalty free music or music you or a friend composes themselves. Here are a couple sites my tech-savvy cousin recommended I try:



Step 8. The last step is putting it all together using a simple program. My advice: If you don't have a lot of knowledge keep things as simple and clean as possible. Simplicity can oftentimes have a greater impact than those trying to clutter a screen with extraneous details. Trust me. Keep it simple.

Below is the trailer for Athena's Curse. Hope you guys like it!
video

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Internship Advice: Ask Questions


Well, I've started my first public relations internship. I do like it, but as an intern I'm doing a lot of the grunt and base work. So I've begun to wonder after this work is done, what happens to it? What is the end result? What is it the actual PR specialists do with it? Here's an example, I wrote a press release for a restaurant and its new menu and catering/delivery options, but I don't know if it has been sent out yet or not.

What I'm learning is questions are your friends. If you're curious about something, why not ask? Just the other day I asked one of my "bosses" why they chose PR. Turns out they also had an interest in advertising and were themselves a recent graduate from college. PR was just the first opportunity offered and she's ended up loving it. Sometimes we think of our "bosses" as these people so high up we can barely reach them, but they were just like us once. I bet you will learn a lot from their experience and advice because they have been in our position before. So just ask. Questions are your friends and a sign that you are truly interested and hungry to learn.

Cheers!

Liz

P.S. I made that picture senior year of high school for my english teacher's picture book...I just thought I'd post something cute :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Help me win a $3,000 college scholarship. Vote for my essay!

Help me win a $3,000 college scholarship. Vote for my essay!

Guys, I've written a (I promise it's short) essay about Nazarea Andrews who has been a wonderful mentor throughout my experience with the publishing industry. She has truly taught me how to write a great query and how to find and know who are the best agents for my work. Please vote for my essay. :)

Thank you all,

Liz

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Internship

Hello all!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Finals begin this week. I'm not too happy, BUT at least I only have about two...I think. I'm so happy to announce that I have a new internship starting May 4th at TresKoi Public Relations. I will be a Publicity Assistant. Yes, I have a title...makes me giddy! At my old internship, Beloved, I was a Creative Coordinator. You want to make an intern feel special--give them a title!

I just popped in to announce that--hopefully I will be learning a lot more when it comes to social media although I learned a great deal at Beloved and am slowly implementing that knowledge into my own Twitter.

On a side note I'm reading Firelight! It's been so long since I've sat down with a good book. (I have been listening to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series on road trips home & Tamora Pierce's Wolf Speaker)

I should be reviewing Firelight sometime in the coming week...between studying. Beautiful cover I might add--yes I judge a book by its cover--probably the artist side of me.

Anyways,

Happy Writing/PRing/Advertising? (I need a new fairwell...)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taking Things Way Too Far

Some people just take things way too far. I'll admit the Internet is where one can speak freely about their opinion, but damn was this post hard to ignore.

I don't mind listening to someone's honest opinion, but when you belittle the choices of others you come off quite ignorant. This guy, Joe Konrath, basically insults those who pursue traditional publishing. Because we don't have million dollar contracts, apparently, we are wasting our time. At least if we self-published we could make some money. Are you kidding me?

This I do not agree with. Yes, self-publishing is growing and yes it is the right path for some to take, but the bottom line is IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Insulting those who choose the usual route is like me saying those who self-publish are idiots. I understand why some, especially those with non-fiction publish, but for others like some of us fiction writers traditional publishing seems like the better route. It's a matter of choice. I think people should be RESPECTFUL of others choices.

One of his most laughable statements: "Here's the simple math. If your book sucks, you'll never get a legacy deal, but you'll sell at least a few copies by self-pubbing."

Alright, so he doesn't mind publishing crappy work? Maybe this is just me, but as a writer I want to write something people will enjoy, something that'll brighten their day, and move their hearts in ways we never thought we could. Why publish shit and make a quick buck? The publishing industry is in no way easy to break into. I'm still trying. I'm shopping around a second manuscript. Looking back on my first am I glad no one published it? YES. I love the characters and one day I will go back to it, BUT it was my first and a royal mess. Sometimes stories are rejected due to bad timing, but other times it's just not ready, no matter how much we wish it were.

Look, whatever route one chooses to take to publication I commend them, but DON'T belittle those who make a different choice than you. It's ignorant and quite foolish. This coming from a nineteen-year-old. It's sad how close minded some people can be.

Anyway, I wish you all luck in your publishing endeavors whether they are traditional or self-publishing. We aren't enemies here.

~Liz


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog Posts for the Boss Man

So last post I talked about some blogging I did for my internship, Beloved. Well here's two of them. :)

The first one is about Publix's sappy commercials...Oh come on you know you love em'. It talks about what the point of making us cry is. :)

Here's one on an intern's daily life there. Surprisingly, most of us really didn't know how to make coffee. Go figure?

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Torn Between Two Industries & a Swarm of Bees

So today's post is going in a different direction. See I've recently been interning at an advertising agency handling the social media, which includes, yup, you guessed it--blog writing. I'm finding myself torn between two industries: Advertising/Public Relations and the Publishing Industry. So where does a college student turn to? The route that promises you a stable job and hopefully, security or should they take the route that promises rejection and hardship, but where the benefits are even sweeter. Yeah, I want both. You constantly hear writers talk about what if they could quit their day job and just write? That sounds all fun and dandy, but knowing me, I'd be bored. Only an hour or three would be spent writing. What else is there to do for the rest of the day? Besides, the people you meet outside are the best for providing story ideas. Just yesterday, I was in Subway and a cop asked me if I was coming or going from class. I said, both. Then I mentioned that my next class was fiction writing and I was a writer. We had a few laughs and then I left to eat outside. Later, I bumped into him again. He asked, "So will you write me into one of your stories?" (His name..I think..was Eric) I shrugged and laughed--ya know that awkward it-doesn't-work-that-way smile. His response, "I could just arrest you." Um, okay, dude.... My awkward smile returned. His face was dead serious. (I hoped he was kidding) Oh and please note, just down the sidewalk a swarm of bees was, well, swarming. This was a random occurance during my day, and yet, who knows maybe I'll write about a swarm of bees, a girl, and a cop who threatens to arrest her, ya never know. What I'm trying to say is. Why can't we just have it both ways?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Good Contest?

I sure do. I just love it when agents give up their free time for something new and much more fun then the usual querying method. Check out this live, short, pitch contest hosted by Chanelle Gray here.

Here's the catch...tell your pitch in 140 words characters...like a Twitter Pitch. Good luck :)