Monday, May 21, 2007

I've been tagged twice...

Okay, Paula & CJ - I'll play along :)

Each person starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their eight things and post the rules. At the end of your blog, tag eight people and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. In high school I scared my writing teacher to death on April Fool's day. I walked up to her during a break, then proceeded to pretend I had a seizure. Convulsions and all. When she screamed, "Call an ambulance!" (we didn't have 911 in our rural area), I popped off the floor yelling - yep, you guessed it! April Fools. Uh, Mrs. Campbell wasn't happy with me.

2. Colorguard was my obsession from the time I was a mere child up until... now. I marched 6 years w/ my high school band and winter guard. At the time I graduated, our band and guard was undefeated for 36 consecutive years! Today I'm on my 8th season teaching guard at Sheridan High School. Under my instruction, the guard holds 4 state titles. I've completed my 4th year as an equipment judge for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association. Someday I hope to earn my WGI certification on equipment.

3. I fought a forest fire. Really! I'm not kidding! Between sophomore and junior year in college, I spent the summer in Maine. My roommate's parents owned a sporting camp in the Allegash Wilderness. One day Kim and I sat at the edge of Frost Pond, fishing. (Not much else to do up there). A column of gray-black smoke spiraled upwards somewhere across the lake. Unless someone was trying to signal an airplane, there was no way that smoke came from a mere campfire. We radioed it in to Greenville, and sure enough it was a forest fire! We were the first to report and were asked to volunteer. Kim and I spent an entire day cooped up in a tin can known as "Mission Control". Every communication on scene passed through us. We then radioed in to Greenville. Next day we donned Indian packs (water-filled backpacks) and squirted hot spots until a heavy downpour came rushing through rendering us useless.

4. I think I can sing.

5. I've kissed my cat(s) on the lips.

6. I was nearly squished by a train in a tunnel. About 10 years ago, Stinky, Marlis and I went hiking in Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder. At the top of the trail lie train tracks and tunnel. Being the curious soul that I am, I decided I wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Marlis was game. Stinky was not. "I don't think you guys should go in there," she warned a safe distance away. "Where's your sense of adventure?" I said, my voice echoing off the cut rock. Marlis and I wandered in about 3O feet when we heard a faint rumble. Must be a thunder storm. Seconds later we got excited. We saw the light at the end of the... RUN! Light at the end of the tunnel don't got a horn! RUN! We ran, tripping over the ties. As soon as we reached the mouth of the tunnel, we dove off to the side. The honking train flew out of the tunnel. Stinky stood there screaming. Boy she was mad.

7. I've got a degree in outdoor recreation. Honest! Houghton College has such a degree. I am an expert at camping, backpacking and wilderness stuff. I led several Outward Bound style groups through Houghton and was a ropes course facilitator on the largest ropes course east of the mighty Mississip. Trust me, there are many crazy things one can do from wires suspended 40 -50 feet off the ground. To this day I'd rather be in the woods than anywhere else. I hate cities.

8. I grew up in the REAL Dallas - Dallas, PA which is near Harvey's Lake, the largest natural lake in PA. My buddy Bobby Jones and I pretended there were dead bodies in the woods across the street from our homes. We even used old appliance boxes to create Private Investigator offices on the side of the road. Our price was 25 cents if the mystery was solved. How entreprenurial of us when an average of three cars passed by each day!

I tag Joe, , Megan, uh, I don't have anyone else to tag b/c the only other person I know tagged me a while back (CJ I'm doing this for you too!)


Megan DiMaria said...

Hi Darcie,

Thanks for asking me to play. Been there, done that:

Have a blessed day.

A prisoner of hope,

C.J. Darlington said...

Fun post! Thanks, Darcie. I love camping, too. I didn't realize how much of an expert you are. Cool.

Red Letter Believers said...

Using "Tipping Point" Concepts to Market Your Book
by Dana Blozis

Ever wonder how trends get started? As much as we'd like to think that all trends are Madison Avenue creations propagated by the media, many times a movement is sparked by the action of a few. Then word of mouth makes it spread. Author Malcolm Gladwell examines this phenomenon in his 2000 book "The Tipping Point". There's a chapter where he describes how this kind of movement by a few groups powered Rebecca Wells's 1996 novel, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood", to surprising success. When I read that I sat up and took notice. I realized I could use the same concepts to market my first novel, "All I Need to Get By". You can too! Here's how.

1.) Write Your Book So It's "Sticky"

Don't compromise your artistic integrity, but do ask yourself the hard question: how much will your story appeal to others? When a book is "sticky", it's easy to remember. The story stays with people and they want to talk about it and tell others to read it. "Bridget Jones's Diary" is definitely sticky. So is practically everything that Stephen King ever wrote and all of the Harry Potter books. The topic doesn't have to be upbeat either. Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" was a sensation when it was published despite its grim subject matter. Since I was writing about a family with a powerful father figure I knew a lot of people would connect and see themselves in the characters. What aspect of your book will draw people in?

2.) Be a Salesman

Yes, be a salesman, but not in the way you might think. I'm not talking about being "in your face" like the stereotype of a used car salesman. As Mr. Gladwell points out in his book, it's the little things that can persuade others. For a writer, that "little thing" is confidence and a strong belief in one's work. I recently spoke to a writer having a hard time feeling confident about her work. She's trying to get up the courage to submit a manuscript to agents and publishers but, as I said to her, "How can someone get behind publishing your book if you can't get behind it yourself?"

People are attracted to a person who stands for something, who believes in what they're doing. If you can be that person, people will want to buy your book. They'll know you have something to say. If you're dealing with low confidence, know that working on improving it is just as important as improving your craft as a writer. After all, no one is going to champion your book the way that you can.

3.) Use Small Groups To Spark Your Big "Epidemic"

In the fertile soil of small groups, word of mouth grows. That's what happened with "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". It became a favorite for book groups, especially mother-daughter book groups. Those groups sparked a word of mouth wave that spread like wildfire. As Mr. Gladwell points out, "small, close-knit groups have the power to magnify the epidemic potential of a message or idea". I explored this concept with some success by contacting book groups across the country and offering to visit them if they read my novel. What groups can you reach out to in order to harness the power of those circles? And how can you fan the flame of your message so it will spread?

One Last Note: Why is all this important? Well, if you've gone through all the trouble to write and publish a book, your efforts won't stand up if you don't tell people the book is out there. And the concepts offered by Mr. Gladwell are so simple and organic that you may find the whole marketing pill easier to swallow. So take it--it's good medicine.

About the Author
Sophfronia Scott, "The Book Sistah," is author of the bestselling novel, All I Need to Get By. If you liked today's issue, stay tuned for more because The Book Sistah also offers FREE audio classes, FREE articles, workshops, and other resources to help aspiring authors get published and market their books successfully.


D. Gudger said...

CJ - I'm sure there's a lot of stuff I don't even know about me :)

D. Gudger said...

CJ - I'm sure there's a lot of stuff I don't even know about me :)

Kristine said...

I'm sending you a my space message with details for friday and june.