Friday, January 14, 2011

McMahon Madness!

Contest links down at the bottom today :)

Let's talk about Shannon McMahon a fabulous blogger (a badass far away friend) for several reasons. But I'm here to talk about one reason in particular...

Annonymous Critiques!

Fun facts about Shannon (cuz this will entice you even more to stop for a visit)...

1. Who is Shannon?
Ack! This sounds like an interview question! Last year during an interview I answered “use three words to describe you?” with, “direct, tenacious and…goofy.” Yup. I used GOOFY to describe myself during a job interview. Loyal? Hardworking? Pfft…who needs those adjectives when there’s “goofy.” /smack head.

I’m a California transplant living in Southern Maine with Michael, the love of my life. When not working, I’m either writing, consuming copious amounts of wine, experimenting in the kitchen, or exploring the area.

2. Give us one random and unnecessary fact about yourself.
I’m pretty sure some part of my brain is convinced that my life is a musical. I break into song, making them up as I go along. There’s the “I am so bored” song, the “have you seen my glasses” song, and “I love Michael more than chocolate” song. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I could carry a tune.

3. Why did you come up with free critique sessions? Did you pose as Annonymous for one?
Not too long ago I handed my manuscript over to my new CP. The moment I sent her my pages, I became an absolute wreck. I fretted over my decision until self doubt poured a cup of coffee and made himself at home. What if my writing is too clunky? What if my dialog feels forced? What if my characters are flat? What if the story is boring? What if I’m just not good enough?

I beat myself up most of the day until I finally got an email from her, telling me that she absolutely loved it. I raised an eyebrow. Oh really now? Loved it, huh? Was she being honest? How could I be sure? What if she just didn’t want to hurt my feelings? What if she was just trying to be NICE?

Ha. Welcome to my neurotic mind.

I decided that if I felt this way about sharing my work, other writers must, too and BAM! The Anonymous Critique solution was born.
I haven’t submitted any of my own writing (yet).

4. What world of writing do you hail from (aka genre)?
Young Adult

Fun & Random Facts:

What you couldn't live without
1. Cable or Internet - Internet
2. Home phone or Cell phone - Home
3. Soda or Coffee - Coffee
4. Music or Television - Music

Sweet Tooth
1. Sweet or Salty- Both!
2. Favorite treat – Pretzel M&M’s
3. Best snack hour – 9:00pm

Who would win
1. Bear or Mountain Lion – Da bear
2. Dragon or Dinosaur – Dragons breathe fire. F-i-r-e!
3. Cat or Dog – Cat
4. Pirate or Ninja – Pirates. Wenches, gold, and rum = win

Book & TV Power
1. Fav Author - William Shakespeare
2. Fav Read - I can’t possibly pick one
3. Fav Character- Claudia from Interview with a Vampire
4. Fav TV Show - Survivor
5. Fav Actor/Actress - Hugh Jackman

Isn't she awesome?! Like seriously?! Go and enjoy her blog and the critiques!

cOnTeSt ReMiNdErS:
For the love of Gifts Giveaway - contest closes Jan 19th. Get your name in now!
A.B. Keuser - Serious awesome contest! Her book (cover to die for) up for grabs!
Cristina - Water for Elephants Giveaway!
Elena - $100 for 100 words blogfest (I haven't forgot! I still need to do mine! Ah!)


Matthew MacNish said...

So first of all, Shannon rules. She is one of my very first blog buddies and we've been through thick and thin together (as in miring in the anonymity that is having NO ONE read your blog for the first several posts). Little did we know how awesome things would eventually get.

Anoncrit has to be probably the coolest writing blog idea ever. I have not submitted yet, but I intend to at some point. I mean I thought I was cool when I came up with the successful query feature on my blog. This is better.

Hi Michael.

Today's guest blogger is K.M. Walton!

Laura Pauling said...

Thanks for letting us know about her. I'll go check her out! :)

Shannon said...

Thanks for the interview, Jen. I had a lot of fun doing it! =)

@Matt - You're so freaking squeezable! Thank you so much for the shout out and the compliment.

@Laura - It's nice to "meet" you. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Jessica Bell said...

hehe. Shan Shan Bana-non Nan Nan Sha-ban non :o) Just doing a little shannon dance here. You rock sugar plum! Thanks for the interview Jen!

Vicki Rocho said...

Shannon is Sensational. Not only that, she WILL be published someday. Mark my words and start sucking up now.

Tracy said...

Yay for Shan!!

As someone who has been one of the Anon's I can tell you it's definitely a GREAT experience. Those who posted suggestions helped solidify things I had a feeling weren't working. And to support Shannon's claim, praise for the things you've done well rings a little truer when you know people aren't saying it because they like you and are trying to "soften the blow".

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I love goofy! And I'm going to check out the blog.

Angela said...

What a great interview!

Joanne said...

I had to laugh at your musical thoughts. We do that too, break out into random, spontaneous song during the day, even if it's just a line or two. It has a nice way of getting a point across!

Leigh Hutchens Burch said...

I love the idea of anonymous crits. I can't wait to check her out.

P.S. My husband and I have been singing made-up songs to baby Stella. My favorite is one that hubs composed, "Stella saves all the poopy diapers for daddy..." lalalala.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What's wrong with goofy?
And finally, someone who doesn't pick a cell phone!

Meredith said...

Love this! I definitely understand the neuroticism that comes with getting critiques back. And I clearly need to try pretzel M&Ms!

Christina Lee said...

YAY Shannon!!!!!!

And can I just add what a FANTASTIC writer Shannon is? I've had the honor of reading a teeny something-something once.

Stina said...

I keep forgetting to check out Shannon's anon crit post. It's on my non-blogging days. But what a brilliant idea. :D

Unknown said...

Shannon's a sweetheart, like you! Thanks for spotlighting her today. Happy weekend!

Laura S. said...

Yay for Shannon!!! I know about her anonymous critiques but I'm always MIA when one is posted. My internet presence has been rather scattered lately (shame on me!). Are her anon crits on a specific day? That'd make it easier to remember to stop by!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm a huge Shannon Fannon! Great idea with the anon crits and great interview Jen! Loved learning more about Shannon!

Carolyn V. said...

Great spotlight! I love the idea of Anonymous critique. I'll have to check it out!

Joanna St. James said...

I love her anon crits it gets the most honest feedback I have ever seen in blog world

Karen Lange said...

Love Shannon's idea! Which reminds me, I haven't been over to her blog in some time. Thanks to both of you for sharing this.
Happy weekend,

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss jen and miss shannon! me and miss shannon been followers for each other for a while and for sure she sooooo cool and sooooo nice. she does the most neat mg reviews on every monday and she got my wanna read list so long i could ever see the end of it. ha ha. miss shannon rocks!!
...hugs from lenny

Jennifer Shirk said...

FUN spotlight! Go, Shannon!

Shannon said...

@Jessica - I so want that song! You're my Pisces soul sister. <3

@Vicki - Girl, you crack me up. I am so grateful for your support (and honest critiques!).

@Tracy - One of my first blogging buddies! Thank you for being brave enough to be one of the first Anon Crits - and for stopping by each week w/o fail to comment. You're the most awesomest!

@Samantha - Agreed, goofy is a good thing. Looking forward to getting to know you

@Angela - Aww. Thanks! =)

@Joanne - One of my newest blogging buddies! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who makes up silly songs!

@Amber - Glad you like the idea. I hope you're able to participate! (And that song just plain rocks!)

@Alex - Hurray for the non-cell users! =)

@Meredith - Thanks for the compliment. And yes, you must try the M&Ms. You won't be disappointed.

@Christina - Dude, you made me blush. Thanks for the compliment. That really means a lot coming from you. <3

@Stina - Another one of my first blogging buds. What days do you blog? I post it Wednesday through Thursday. Also, you can always go back a day or so and add your feedback. I know, I know...more to do. But it's a good cause - helping another writer!

@Nicole - Aww, shucks. Thanks. =)

@Laura - Good to see you, Laura! I understand the hectic schedule. Hell, I think we all do. :) You can catch the crits on Wed and Thursday of each week.

@Katie - Katie! You're such a sweetie! You're a rock star.

@Carolyn - Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you over there!

@Joanna - Wow, that's a huge compliment! I agree, the crits have garnered a lot of great feedback. There are so many talented writers in this community willing to freely give their feedback. Glad you're enjoying the series!

@Karen - We've been so naughty...I don't think I've been to your blog in a while, either. We need to catch up!

@Lenny - you're such a ray of sunshine! Thanks for making my day with your comment.

@Jennifer - Thanks! <3

Whew! Thanks for the comment love everyone! And, again, to Jen for telling everyone about the Anon Crit!

Jillian said...

oooh she had me hooked at favorite author.... I tend to quote shakespeare.... he just has something fitting to say about everything haha

Abby Minard said...

These are great questions! I LOVE peanut m&ms' and polished off half a bag the other day (not a regular size bag, like one of these big ones you get for parties). The anonymous crit sounds great!

Melissa Gill said...

I've got to check this out. I have been thinking for a while, that I'm not sure the sunshine my crit group partners keep blowing up my ... is realistic. Not that I don't love them, I do, but sometimes it's hard to give honest feedback to someone you know. So great idea.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Shannon, you are made of win! I love that your mental process while submitting to a critique partner and receiving feedback looks just like mine! We are all crazy.

I'm a fan of the Anonymous Critiques and impressed by the caliber of writing that's submitted. Looking forward to more!

Lisa Galek said...

Cool interview - I'm going to check out her blog now!

Oh, and I also think my life is a musical. I have songs for every occassion. I even made up a song after I finished reading Twilight that I sang to my (then) 1-year-old:

If Mommy was a vampire
And Daddy was a vampire
We'd turn you into a vampire
And then we'd all be
One big happy
Vampire family.

I'm weird.

Lucky Press, LLC said...

How we luv ya
How we luv ya
Dear bloggin' Shannon...

...We'd walk a million miles
Through awful slush piles...
To read your awesome blog!

Thanks, Shannon (and Jennifer) for creating (and publicizing) the Anonymous Critique.

Candyland said...

Aw, I <3 this! Yay for Shannon!

Colene Murphy said...

Shannon is awesome! So enjoy her blog! And can't live without a home phone not a cellphone?! That is unusual!

Melissa said...

I totally break out into song all the time too! haha! And, I can't carry a tune to save my life!

I'd pick pirates too. They have Johnny Depp

Diane J. said...

I've been missing from commenting lately, and I remember why I just love reading your blog. It's like a mini party, great posts and links to contests. Really I just need a beer and the party is complete, LOL.

Shannon sounds great, I'm off to check out her blog.

Shannon said...

Hi Again. I'm back. =)

@Teenage Bride - you have great taste in authors. =)

@Abby - Agreed. Jen's questions are great! Looking forward to seeing you at the AnonCrit!

@Melissa - Glad that you like the idea! I'm looking for more submissions. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!

@Katrina - Aww, thank you. And I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone with my freak out sessions. Not that I want others to freak out. Oh, you know what I mean. Looking forward to seeing you for some Anon Crits!

@Lisa - You're not weird at all. I dig your song. =)

@Lucky Press - Your song is full of win. You made me blush!

@Candy - You rock. Much love to you! <3

@Colene - One of my newer blog buddies! Yay! Thanks for the compliment!

@Melissa - Another new blog buddy! Agreed about Johnny Depp. Yummy.

@Diane - Jen's blog is like a party isn't it? She creates a great mood here. Looking forward to meeting you!

LTM said...

Hey, Jen! And Shannon! You are supercoolio! I'm a new friend, but Jen just confirmed you are very awesome.

So I'm really diggin you living in So. Maine and calling yourself goofy in interviews. Funny girl~

And your anon-critiques are so cool and helpful~ All the best to you! :o) <3

Janna Leadbetter said...

Shannon is EVERYWHERE!

Jemi Fraser said...

Shannon is amazing! I love her crit posts! And, Shannon, I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who breaks out into random songs!!! :)

Donea Lee said...

Jen - this is so nice of you to promote Shannon's Anon Crit series!! I'm a fan - it's wonderful for the volunteers and a great exercise in critiquing! Some wonderful words have been posted. Thanks to both of you ~ :)

Jennie Bailey said...

I LOVED this interview. Jen!! You rock it. And I love Shannon's comment about some part of her brain being convinced her life is a musical. Off to check out her site now!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

woohoo for Hugh Jackman. I love that guy.

alexia said...

Love this! I'm going to check out this anonymous critique thing now... and yum Hugh Jackman :)

Shannon said...

Back after spending most of the weekend unplugged.

You have some of the nicest blog followers - thanks again for this interview and allowing me to meet so many of them. <3

@Leigh - Aww, thanks. I'm enjoying getting to know you, too. And if I haven't told you yet, I *love* your comment photo. It's fab!

@Janna - I am? =) Cool! Hope I packed a sweater.

@Jemi - You're so sweet! One of first blogging buds and you're still so supportive. <3 Good to hear that you're a songster, too.

@Donea - Another one of my new blogging buddies! Thanks for all of your participation with the Anon Crits!

@Jennie - Thanks for the compliment! I look forward to getting to know you.

@Susan - Agreed. He's a hotty McHot. =)

@Alexia - Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you over there!

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