Janet Sumner Johnson
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Hacky Sack Club

HSC Congratulations: Amy’s Book Deal!!

Aug

27, 2013 |

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As you may know, Amy Sonnichsen, founding member of the Hacky Sack Club [HSC] recently signed a book deal!!!

We’ve been bouncing off the walls with excitement for her. BOUNCING.

So. This is the kind of thing that we at the HSC can’t just let go by without doing something crazy. So Melissa Sarno and I got together. I flew in to New YorkWe Skyped and emailed and Googled and came up with a fabulous way to express our congratulations to Amy while embarrassing ourselves in a HSC kind of way.

As it turns out, Melissa is a sound and video editing genius, so for your viewing pleasure, we present to you our video [And YES! That is Melissa and me singing TOGETHER even though I did not get to fly to New York. She’s brilliant, I tell you!]:

Congratulations, Amy! We’re On Top of the World right there with you. 😀

Speak up:

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Rockin’ My Summer

Aug

05, 2013 |

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I’m back!! And I have so much I could tell you. So much that you’d be astounded by my amazingly full summer. These events might include but are not limited to:

  1. The losing of my dignity when not one bottle of orange soda, but TWO, exploded in my car and all over me. (And yes, children are involved.)
  2. The entering of the wrong sex bathroom . . . and not noticing until exiting the stall to find a MAN at the urinal that I also failed to notice.
  3. The forgetting of my wallet as the only money-bearing person of the travelling group . . . and NOT noticing until I have driven beyond the point of no return. (This “not noticing” thing seems to be a trend)
  4. The epic battling against a swarm of mosquitoes that invaded our vessel when we pulled over for an emergency of the unpleasant-smelling kind.
  5. The helpless watching of my son who not only puked all over the McDonald’s booth, but somehow managed to splatter everyone in our very large group.

Yep. My summers are always epic, and I have rules to share and everything. But I am not going to talk about these things today.

Nope.

Because today I actually have a GOOD experience to talk about. And not just good.

AWE. SOME!

Have you ever met someone online who is the bomb? The kind who inspires and lifts and makes you want to be not just a better writer, but a better person? And then you learn they are not only the bomb, but a kindred spirit . . . and not just any old kindred spirit, but one who GETS your crazy, AND has the same crazy herself?!! Someone who would do this (not to mention this and THIS) for the sake of solidarity and connecting with others?

When Amy Sonnichsen and I “met,” we lived on opposite sides of the country and I never thought I might get the chance to meet her in person. But this summer the stars aligned and it actually happened!

She is even more fun in person. We had a blast together, and as co-founders of the Hacky Sack Club, you KNOW we had to video something. *Big grin*

Alas, blogger is stubbornly refusing to let me post said video, but you can watch it here or here.

Have any of you gotten to meet a blogging/twitter/online friend? How’d it go?

Speak up:

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Running on Empty

Jul

01, 2013 |

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Have you ever hit that point when you’ve got nothing left? You’ve written your little heart out, given it your all, but when you try to keep going the mojo is gone. You just can’t think past the blank page in front of you.

Yeah, me neither. 😉

But if that ever does happen, I present you with . . .

5 Tips for Moving Forward on Empty:

1. Use a bullet point list (suggested by the fabulous Margo Berendsen).

2. Read a book.

3. Take a shower (Because all good ideas come to people as they shower).

4. Go running (or participate in another physical activity).

5. Join the Hacky Sack Club! (Heehee . . . you should do this anyway!)

What do you do?

Finally, with summer here, I’m all over the place with the kids, so I will be taking a blogging break until school starts mid-August. Have an AWESOME summer, and here’s to happy writing and an endless flow of ideas!

Speak up:

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Ice-Cream Eating Celebration Contest!

May

06, 2013 |

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Holy Cow, has it really been a MONTH since I posted?!
Unbelievable. So I stayed busy doing this:

And this:

 

Not to mention THIS:

 

And while I didn’t really think ya’ll would be stagnant
while I was gone, all kinds of good things happened:

One of our very own members of the HackySack Club, MelissaSarno, just SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!!, so head on over to her blog and read about it!

Note: New members to the Hacky Sack Club are always
welcome and we DO seem to have some good mojo going. Just saying.

Also, my Hacky Sack Club partner in crime, Amy Sonnichsen’s
Fablulous CP, Krista VanDolzer [of Mother.Write. (Repeat.)] announced theBOOK DEAL she just signed!!

And JessieHumphries, from my NaNoRevMo group, announced herawesome TWO-BOOK DEAL with Amazon.

Anyhoo . . . so much good stuff going on for our friends that
Amy and I couldn’t just let it slide. We are holding a Celebration Contest!

And since all good celebrations need ice-cream, we are
having an Ice-Cream Eating Celebration Contest! Woo hoo!

So here’s how it works:

Amy and I are going to battle it out to see who can eat the
most ice-cream
in 20 seconds. Too easy, you say? Our 9-year olds are going to
be the ones stuffing the ice-cream in. Still too easy? Another child will hold
our hands behind our backs to keep us from cheating. 

And you’ll get to see the whole thing on video!! How cool is
that?!

BUT, it gets better. There will be PRIZES!!

All you have to do is guess who will win. Me? (uh,
yeah). Or Amy?

Everyone who guesses right (on either blog) will be entered
into a drawing for your choice of

a)     
 a 10-page
critique from BOTH Amy and I,

OR

b)     
Surprise Package D (gosh I love me a surprise
package). Could be a book. Or two. Or a gift card. Or, who knows? Maybe even A
BRAND NEW HACKY SACK! Heehee.

Just post your guess in a comment before
Sunday, May 12, midnight EDT
, and come back next Monday, May 13th,
for the ice-cream eating event! Winners will be posted shortly thereafter.

So go on, take a guess! But just know . . . this is me,
Toughest, Ice-cream eating-est, Brain-freezing-est contestant around! Just
saying.

Speak up:

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Belated Year-end Review

Jan

21, 2013 |

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So, confession. I did not make any resolutions this year. Nary a one.

I had good intentions, but we were on vacation, then life was coming fast, and next thing I know, here I am, 3 weeks into the new year with nothing done.

But if you recall last year’s discussions about resolutions vs. goals, well, let’s just say that I always have goals I’m working on. And I actually did accomplish quite a bit this past year.

So today I’m giving you my top 5 goals accomplished in 2012:

1. I ran a half marathon. To be honest, it still boggles my mind that I ran for 2 hours and 15 minutes straight. That’s a long time. And I don’t know if I can ever make myself do such a thing again. But I did it ONCE! And man was I proud of myself. (You won’t mind a little bit of pride to seep through here, will you?)

2. I started the Hacky Sack Club with the fabulous Amy Sonnichsen. This was not a goal I set, but rather something that grew from connecting with a kindred spirit. I am particularly proud of this one because I tend to be extremely reserved. Did you just die of shock? Yes, despite all the crazy videos I’ve posted in the past year, I am a VERY reserved person. Not shy, per se, but I do tend to keep my talents and deepest passions inside. Breaking out of that just a little, and sharing myself a little more with others has been surprisingly satisfying. So THANK YOU for indulging me with it all. And P.S. It’s still open to members! 😉

3. I moved half-way across country without dying or killing anyone. Overexposure to the question “Are we there yet?” almost did me in, but fortunately we discovered the cure in time: “Here, play with my iPod.”

 4. I finished writing a book. A book I’ve been in love with since the idea first struck me. We shall see what happens with it from here, but let’s just say that IT’S AWESOME! I know, humility and all that. Sorry. But if I don’t love it, how can I hope others will?

5. I signed with an agent. *Heehee* I still giggle when I say that. And I still sometimes go back and read the e-mails to make sure it’s real. In truth, I don’t feel like this is something I really accomplished, but rather something I’ve been working toward for a long time that finally came to pass. But since this IS a writing blog, I thought it should count.

So how about you? What did you accomplish in 2012?

Speak up:

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Hacky Sack Club: Congratulations Edition

Jan

14, 2013 |

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had wonderful holidays and that your new year is already swinging in with all sorts of good things.

I know at least one person who finished the year with a super bang: Amy Sonnichsen! She was offered rep by the fabulous . . . well go read her blog and find out!

Wait!!! Don’t click over yet!

Because you don’t want to miss this. Some of you may recall that the
fabulous Amy did a little video for me when I signed with Agent
Fabulous. I’m ashamed it has taken me so long, but I couldn’t let this
go without returning the favor with a Hacky Sack Club video of my own.

Hope you enjoyed, and Congratulations, Amy! So excited for you. 🙂

Speak up:

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Hacky Sack Club: Ethnic Musical Challenge

Aug

27, 2012 |

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Back in May (when I was busy posting my hacky sack videos (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) as penance for my writing failures), my Hacky Sack Club partner, the amazing Amy Sonnichsen, wrote to me suggesting that we start hosting Hacky Sack Club challenges.

She told me she was thinking that Chinese opera could be fun. So I might have gone pale, and maybe trembled in my knees a little. (I love you Amy!)

Fortunately we came to a nice little compromise and settled on an Ethnic Music Challenge.*

Once that was decided, and she kindly agreed to wait till I returned from my blogging hiatus, the problem became this: How in the world do you compete with Chinese Opera?

After sitting in thoughtful silence on the matter with my husband, we humbly concluded that you don’t.

But then the word “Bollywood” came up. We giggled.**

Then the idea of SOLO Bollywood came up. We giggled a little harder.

And then we started scouring the internet for the perfect song. 🙂

Just a couple of notes: 1) Yes, that is me singing. 2) No, I have not yet signed that million dollar recording contract (too many to choose from, heehee). 3) No, I haven’t accepted any movie offers recently, either (my acting is just that good).

So without further ado and for your viewing pleasure:

Speechless, aren’t you?

And you absolutely cannot miss Amy’s video. She is just . . . wow! SO talented!! This just in!!: Catherine Denton doing Broadway featuring her twin sister. And if you decide to join the fun, let either of us know and we’ll link to you! (Hacky Sacks are still available for new members! I know you want one.)

*Because ethnic music is awesome! (Definitely NOT intended as a put-down. Just to be clear.)
**At the idea of ME doing Bollywood. Not at Bollywood itself. Because Bollywood rocks!

Speak up:

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License Plate Revealed & Hacky Sack News

Aug

20, 2012 |

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 So it has come to my attention that very few people got last week’s license plate.

HMR TIM

My heart is saddened.

Dun, dun, dun, dun . . . dun, dun . . . dun, dun. CAN’T TOUCH THIS. Dun, dun, dun, dun . . . dun, dun . . . dun, dun. HAMMER TIME!

If you are not now singing in your head, then I’m afraid you must have missed the epicness that was MC Hammer. All my sympathy. 😉

And just because I love license plates, here’s another challenge for you: SHKITOF

Now, the announcement you would have all been waiting for had you known about it:

The Hacky Sack Club is back with a new (optional) challenge! And this one is even more embarrassing. Like, I’m already blushing, and the thing isn’t even MADE yet.

Amy Sonnichsen (gosh I love her) and I have committed ourselves to the Hacky Sack Club’s

Ethnic Musical Challenge!

Yes, you read that right. We’re taking this thing to new heights of embarrassment. We’ll be posting videos of ourselves doing something
ethnically musical on Monday, August 27th. And no, you really don’t want to miss this.

If you’d like to join us, let one of us know. Then when you post
your video, also let us know so we can let all our followers know (so
everyone can visit your blog and join in the mirth). I know you’re all dying to take part!

Just remember, we’re not laughing AT you, we’re laughing WITH you!

For the record, I’m an NOT doing this because I lost a bet (this time). We
at the Hacky Sack Club simply believe that life is too short to waste
being normal all the time.

We also believe that part of a fun community is breaking down barriers and being silly every once and awhile.

If you have already joined the Hacky Sack Club, you do not need to take part in this activity, but we’d love it if you did. And anyone else who is not already a member, we will still send you a hacky sack in the mail when you join. Yay!

That is all. No stress. No hacky sacking required. Visit our Hacky Sack Walls of Fame Shame (Amy’s and mine) for more details. 

So if you were going to join us, what ethnic music would you feature? 

Speak up:

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My Final Talent: Video #5

May

31, 2012 |

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This post will be brief since I was up so late last night watching the USA get thrashed by Brazil (4-1). Sigh.

But I couldn’t miss posting my final video. My duty is now fulfilled. Hope you enjoy!

(For those who don’t know, Leigh Moore and I were doing a 30K in 30 days challenge, and the pennance for missing a day was posting a Hacky Sack Club video. I missed 5 times!!!)

So what talent have you been cultivating?

P.S. All the winners in my giveaway have been contacted, and the books are on the way. Thanks for entering, and enjoy!

Speak up:

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Humiliation With a Side of Awesome

May

17, 2012 |

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As promised, video #3. Here I reveal some of my lesser-known talents. What are they? You’ll have to watch to find out! *cue evil laughter*

(For those who don’t know, Leigh Moore and I were doing a 30K in 30 days challenge, and the pennance for missing a day was posting a Hacky Sack Club video.)

Oh! The subterfuge of it all!! Sneaky little beggar.

Despite appearances, the side of awesome I mentioned is not my son (though even I have to admit it was pretty funny). The side of awesome is that I am giving away a boatload of books!

Since we are moving, I’m trying to clear off my shelves. Rather than give my precious books to just anyone, I thought I would offer them up to my lovely followers. Unfortunately, and I hate to do it, but since there are so many, I just don’t think I can afford the international postage on that many items, I’m going to have to limit it to US/Canada.

Okay, but now I feel too bad, soooo, I will draw the name of one international commenter and send them a book. So here are the rules:

  1. You must be a follower.
  2. Leave a comment with your e-mail and please mention if you are international or US/Canada.
  3. For international participants, you have until May 29th to enter, and hopefully I’ll have the winners posted by Thursday.
  4. For the rest of you, the contest is on-going until the books are gone and I announce the end. I’ll start picking winners at random very soon. Tomorrow maybe? Don’t you just love the randomness of it all?

No extra entries for tweeting or passing on the word, but I would love it if you did!

There will be as many winners as I have books to give away (which is a lot), and as a thanks to pay it forward (NTM, you’re the best!), one lucky random person will also win a $10 Starbucks card (I don’t drink coffee, so when my husband won it at work, I knew just what to do with it!).

Please note, the books are used (read at least once), but they are all in very good shape, and most are pretty recent. Most.

And since it will be a media mailer, there won’t be a warm, fuzzy note with it, but know it’s there in spirit.

Love you guys! Thanks for reading my posts, and laughing at my crazy videos (you DID laugh, didn’t you?!!!). Thanks for your support and for generally keeping me sane in this Wonderland World we call Publishing.

Speak up:

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