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Meet 2013 Golden Heart Finalist AE Jones

Today we’re welcoming the third of our guest bloggers from the Lucky 13s–the Golden Heart Finalists of 2013.  AE Jones is a finalist in the Paranormal category with her manuscript MIND SWEEPER.

Here’s a blurb:

Born with the ability to erase memories, Kyle McKinley is summoned to cover up a supernatural smack down between a sword-wielding angel and a demon. When the police step in, she is partnered with Joe Dalton, a by-the-book human cop with the sexiest turquoise eyes. Together they protect humans from becoming pawns in an apocalyptic showdown by unraveling the events that forced an angel to pick up a sword.

Doesn’t that sound like an incredibly fun read? I’m not surprised to learn that AE has been hooked on strong narrative since she was a kid: growing up as a self-confessed “TV junkie,” she often rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. (Raise hands, folks–how many of us did that?? Yup, me, too.) She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen (don’t talk to her about the movie, it still gives her nightmares) she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural – both their angst and their humor. “After all,” she says, “life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.”

 

Today she’s going to talk with us about another story she strongly identifies with–and it may not be what you’re expecting.

 

Take it away, AE!

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 get-attachment.aspxWhy the movie A Christmas Story should also be called A Writer’s Life

The day after I received ‘the call’ letting me know that I was a Golden Heart ®Finalist, a line from A Christmas Story, one of my favorite movies of all time, jumped into my head.  Let me describe the scene for you. The Father (and we never do know his actual name) receives a telegram and he starts dancing a jig and announces in a sing-song voice “I’ve won a major award.”  And that line has been running through my head ever since. That’s when I realized that not just the scene, but the entire movie, was a great metaphor for a writer’s journey.

If you haven’t seen the movie and are looking for an excuse to laugh for 2 hours, then I highly recommend it. The movie was filmed in the 1980’s but takes place in the 1940’s in Cleveland, Ohio. Since I am a North East Ohio native, this holds a special place in my heart.  The main character is little Ralphie Parker. The audience spends the entire movie in Ralphie’s head (or actually we hear the narrator’s voice who is the adult version of Ralphie reminiscing). Right there should tell you that this movie is a writer’s life. Let’s face it; we are probably the only professional group who doesn’t flinch when we tell each other we hear voices in our heads!

So how does this quirky little movie equate to a writer? Let me elaborate (you knew I was going to, right?).

All Ralphie wants for Christmas is an Official Red Rider BB Gun, to the point where he is obsessed by it. I equate the BB gun to a writer’s goal. For me as an unpub, it is getting published. For those of you who are published, maybe it is a new contract, publishing with the Big 6, seeing your name on a best seller list. Oh yeah, making goo gobs of money. Don’t want to forget that one. We are obsessed by the need to write and let others share our worlds.

Throughout the movie, Ralphie’s goal is thwarted at each turn by adults who insist he doesn’t need a BB gun because they argue, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” As writers we face opposition at each turn. You know what I mean. People who give you ‘the look’ when you tell them you’re a romance author. Or raise their eyebrows when you tell them you are an author but aren’t published yet. (So that means you’re not really an author right? Mental karate kick to the stomach for that heartless question.)

xmasThere are 3 adults in the movie that beautifully represent our writing hurdles:

1)     The Mother aka ‘Friends and Family’ – now don’t get me wrong, most of us have supportive friends and family, but it is interesting how the enthusiasm for your announcement that you are a writer diminishes the longer you go unpublished. Those people outside the writing world do not understand how long this process really can be!

2)     The Teacher aka ‘CP’s/Contest Judges/Agents’ – in the movie Ralphie’s teacher assigns homework to the class. He has to write ‘a theme’. Ralphie uses this as an opportunity to talk about an Official Red Rider BB Gun. He proclaims that the words leapt onto the page and they were brilliant. He imagines his teacher giving him an ‘A+’ and his classmates lifting him on their shoulders in celebration. But when he gets the homework back, he receives a ‘C’ and his teacher writes ‘You’ll shoot your eye out’ in the comments!

I laugh out loud each time I watch this scene. How many times as writers do we love a particular character or chapter, thinking it is the most awesome thing in the world only to have our critique partner tell us it needs a rewrite? Or we get those scores back from a contest judge and want to spend three days in bed with a bag of peanut M&M’s? (The giant bag you can buy from Sam’s Club or Costco. I’m not messing around here.) Or open our emails to get that wonderful one-liner from an agent. ‘Thanks for submitting your material; unfortunately I do not feel this is right for me.’ Each one of these is a ‘You’ll shoot your eye out moment’.

3)     Santa aka ‘Publishers’ – When Ralphie does not have any luck with his Mother or his teacher, he pulls out the big guns and asks Santa for an Official Red Rider BB Gun. I mean, if Santa can’t deliver it, who can? But Santa shrugs at him and tells him, you guessed it, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” When we pitch or submit our work to a publisher and we don’t sell, it does feel like Santa didn’t deliver. I mean, we are right there in touching distance to the editor who could fall in love with our work and give us a multi-book deal. But it doesn’t always work out that way. So for me, I walk away from that department store Santa and head to the next store.  There’s more than one Santa in this scenario (and for many of us we need to remember that there are more than 6 Santas in this scenario). Maybe the Easter Bunny can help us out? Tooth fairy?

At the end of the movie when all hope is lost of Ralphie getting a BB gun for Christmas, an unlikely benefactor steps in. Ralphie’s father, who is one of the most clueless parents ever to grace a movie screen, is the one that buys Ralphie his treasured Christmas present. I look at this as an example of never losing hope. If I work hard and not let others deter me, I can finally attain that elusive goal and publish my manuscripts.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when Ralphie goes outside to shoot his gun for the first time. He pulls the trigger and the BB hits a metal sign, bounces back and scratches his cheek knocking off his glasses. His first thought is ‘Good Lord, I shot my eye out!’ Our careers will not be free of obstacles or stress even when we meet that first goal. We have to set new goals and continue forward with band aids and antibacterial ointment at the ready (and aspirin, and chocolate, and martini’s… well you get the idea). But I think, no I know, it will be worth it in the long run.

So what does your Official Red Rider BB Gun equate to in your writing life?

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Find AE Jones online at www.aejonesauthor.com and on Twitter at @aejonesauthor

One lucky commenter today will win a $10 e-gift-card from Amazon.com!!

 

94 responses to “Meet 2013 Golden Heart Finalist AE Jones”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, AE! We’re delighted to have you here today!

    You know, I STILL haven’t managed to see a Christmas Story, despite having about a million friends slap me around for not already knowing all the inside jokes.

    I have a question for you about the TV you loved as a kid…were your favorite shows paranormal in nature, or did you have to go with more mainstream narrative? Inquiring minds want to know.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Elisa –

      First of all, I want to say how honored I am that the Rubies asked this year’s finalists to blog on your site. Your group is an inspiration to us all. Also, a special thanks to you for coordinating this for ALL of us.

      As for you not seeing the movie, all I can say is tsk, tsk, tsk (that’s me cluckling my tongue at you). Take the time to watch it if you can. I could write an entire book about this movie. I only touched on the surface. There are sooo many wonderful scenes and I never grow tired of it, but then that’s what good writing is all about!

      So you want to know what I watched as a kid… I loved drama, but not necesarily the kind you may be thinking of. One of my favorite shows growing up was Emergency! I don’t know if you remember that? Loved the fact that someone was hanging from a rafter 20 stories up or bit by a snake each episode. I also think one of the best bro-mance EVER was Starsky and Hutch. I love life-risking, smart talking men! Maybe that’s why I love paranormal – there are a ton of alpha smarties out there!

      Thanks again for this opportunity!

      AE

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  2. Great blog, AE! My “Official Red Rider BB Gun” equates to wanting to find the time every day to write and (after many days) finally finishing my manuscript in progress. These days me wishing for anything beyond those two things feels like a definite “you’ll shoot your eye out” scenario.

    Yes, I’d love to hear more about the TV shows you enjoyed as a kid, AE! And while we are sharing, here are a couple of mine: “Space: 1999,” “Six Million Dollar Man,” and “The Bionic Woman” (the 70s TV series of course). Hmm, I think I’ve just dated myself 🙂

    Congratulations again on your Golden Heart final, AE! Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Jacqui –

      Thanks for stopping by! I think your goal is a great one. It is amazing how my goals change all the time. When I first started writing it was – type your first page, then your first scene, chapter, and finally book. Then it was edit my book. Then it was realizing that I needed to learn MORE about writing. And the list goes on! Our goals have to be flexible. Keep writing!

      I LOVED the Six Millon Dollar Man and Bionic Woman. I was addicted. My favorites were the cross-over episodes for those two shows.

      Congrats to you on your finals as well! Counting the days to Atlanta.

      AE

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Jacqui, your Official Red Rider BB Gun sounds just like mine!!

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  3. Great comparison, AE! And you’re right. Christmas Story is a fabulous movie. My Red Rider BB Gun is to get the first draft of my WIP finished. I used to just pound out books. In the last few years, though, I’ve had a lot of trouble sticking my internal editor in the corner and keeping her quiet.

    For example, when I began reading this blog, the first thing that jumped out at me was the term SMACK DOWN, written as two words, didn’t seem right.

    So the compulsive idiot that I am had to go check to see if it should be hyphenated or one word. Merriam-Webster Online dictionary says it’s one word. I just thought you should know since it’s the blurb you’ll probably use to submit. I know I’d want someone to tell me.

    See how much time I wasted on just this? I make myself crazy while I’m trying to write and start wondering if a word is the best one or if I’m punctuating a sentence properly. I just want to vomit the book onto the page the way I used to!

    Incidentally, I had to go back and edit this post twice before I sent it. I need therapy.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Laurie –

      Hello! I totally understand how our internal monologue can be our own worst enemy! Maybe you can calm your voice down by promising it time alloted each day (15-20 minutes) to review what you have written that day? Getting it on the page is what we all want to do!

      Thanks for the heads up on smackdown. It’s funny, I had written it as one word and then Word underlined it in red LOL. I will have to pay more attention to that.

      Thanks for commenting!

      AE

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    • June Love says:

      Laurie, if you find a cure for this, please, please let me know.

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  4. Sonali Dev says:

    I love it, AE!

    I just got the bullet to rebound and hit me in the cheek. So, yes I can testify that getting your BB doesn’t mean all your struggles are done. You’re right, you’ll always want a bigger/better one, but the first time you hold that Christmas present in your hand, it does feel really good and here’s to seeing you with it in your hands soon!

    Congratulations on the final! Hope to see you in Atlanta!
    Sonali

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    • AE Jones says:

      Sonali –

      I’m sorry you recently got a scratch on your cheek. Hopefully you have some hydrogen peroxide at the ready! If not, talk to your critique partners or vent to us (Lucky 13s). We can help you out!

      I hope we are all holding a BB gun in our hands soon too.

      Congrats on your final as well and I can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta.

      AE

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  5. Kimberly MacCarron says:

    AE,
    What a fun and inspirational post.
    For me, the scene that most relates is Ralphie’s pink bunny costume. Don’t we all change something that we don’t want to in order to please others? And sometimes, when it feels uncomfortable and makes us want to crawl under a rock, it’s okay to take it off and go with your gut instinct.
    So, for those of us who’ve been given advice from twenty different people telling us forty different changes that we need to make…take what you really feel is beneficial and then…TAKE OFF THAT PINK BUNNY COSTUME and stay true to your story.
    Look forward to meeting you in person in Atlanta. Lucky 13s rock!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Kimberly –

      Thanks for your comments!

      I totally agree with you about changing things when they don’t feel right. Some of that is our own self-doubt that comes to the surface. Stick to your guns (no pun intended).

      I have to tell you that I actually dressed up as Ralphie in the bunny costume one year for Christmas. It was a riot! Of course the people who had seen the movie knew who I was immediately. Everyone else thought I was the Energizer Bunny – hello??? I wasn’t even carrying a drum.

      Can’t wait to meet you! Lucky 13s do rock!

      AE

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  6. Dyanne Conner says:

    Just wanted to stop by and say “HI” before heading off to the EDJ(Evil Day Job). Great blog. I never thought of the movie in wrters terms. You make excellent comparisons.

    Looking forward to cheering you on at Nationals.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Dyanne –

      Thanks for dropping in before EDJ! Love that – will have to remember it for future use.

      I need all the cheering I can get at Nationals – thanks my fellow chaptermate!

      AE

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  7. Leslie Lynch says:

    GREAT blog, AE! Thanks for starting my day out with a belly laugh! 😀 I have missed The Christmas Story for a few years, since the kids aren’t at home any more, but I’m going to make it a priority this year. My son probably has it on DVD, so I don’t even have to wait!

    I love your book blurb! I can just SEE the angel/demon smack down and what poor Kyle (and Joe!) are up against!

    Best of luck, AE, with both the Golden Heart path and your publishing career!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Leslie –

      Hello! Yes, you definitely need to pull the movie out again and watch it. Thanks for the kudos on my blurb. It’s nerve-wracking to try and come up with a couple sentences to describe a whole book (argh!).

      Best of luck to you too, Leslie! I hope to see you in Atlanta!

      AE

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  8. I can’t help noticing this is packed with your usual wry sense of humor…just like Mind Sweeper, my fellow chaptermate and Lucky 13!
    What a fun way to inspire us to not give up on the dream. Congrats on the GH final and may you receive your own Official Red Rider soon!!!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Miranda –

      I’m so glad you came to visit me! I’m glad you liked it – I was going for funny (really, I was). I am so happy that you are on this journey with me, fellow chaptermate and Lucky 13! It makes it that more special.

      And here’s to you getting your BB gun soon as well!

      AE

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  9. Piper Huguley says:

    What a cute column! And I do have to admit that I’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Christmas Story, and I have never seen it from beginning to end. I need to make some prime time to do this next Christmas Eve during the marathon time….

    A very enjoyable post–see you in Atlanta!

    Piper

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    • AE Jones says:

      Piper –

      Yay, another Lucky 13! I’m glad you stopped in for a second. Yes, make a point to watching the movie. I can almost quote it at this point and I still watch it.

      I can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta.

      AE

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  10. Becky Lower says:

    Great post, Amy. I appreciate how you picked a movie filmed and set in your neck of the woods to use as a comparison for your writing journey. Good job with the analogy.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Becky –

      Thanks! I like to reference things close to my world, it makes them all the more real for me.

      My Mind Sweeper series actually takes place in Cleveland, OH which is a GREAT city – honest, it is! (just because the river caught on fire 30+ years ago, people can’t seem to get past that).

      Thanks for your comments!

      AE

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  11. Liz Talley says:

    I love A Christmas Story. Stupid Bumpesses! I don’t even know how to spell their name, but that’s our favorite thing to yell when something goes wrong.

    Trying to pin down my red ryder bb gun is hard. I think the thing I want most is recognition I don’t suck. I want people to like my books. Never fails that when I’m feeling like gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe that a nice reader letter comes my way. Talk about flip my attitude. One person saying, “I loved your book” makes me glow. Somehow, that seems wrong, but it’s true. I probably need therapy or something, but I’m going to stick with acceptance of not sucking as being my bb gun.

    Nice post 🙂

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    • AE Jones says:

      Liz –

      OMG, those crazy neighbors with the hound dogs. I don’t know how to spell their names either! And that makes me think about when the father swears at them in that crazy ‘swear-pig-latin-language’ he uses. I am laughing as I type this!

      I don’t think you wanting recognition ‘you don’t suck’ is a bad goal. When someone likes what you write and ‘gets’ it, that is a wonderful feeling!

      I just checked out your profile on the Ruby Blog and took a gander at your website – how awesome! Your release in June with the jazz pianist sounds yummy! Congrats to you!

      AE

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  12. At my house we watch A Christmas Story on twenty-four hour loop on Christmas Eve. My husband introduced me to it the year we got married (at Christmas) and it’s been a tradition ever sense. I don’t think I would ever have made the comparison you did, AE, but how apt! Now I have a whole new way to look at my favorite Christmas movie (and a way to explain to my husband what this writing journey is really all about c;).

    As a fellow Lucky 13s paranormal finalist, I have to say that what impresses me most about your writing is your humor. I’m not funny. Seriously. I’m all angsty and dark and sinister, but I’ve always admired the ability to add humor in among the dredges, to lift the reader up even when things are going really badly. And I can totally see that in your writing. Great job, AE! I look forward to having a hot little copy of Mind Sweeper in my hands someday soon!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Ella –

      Thanks so much for the compliment on my writing! That means a lot coming from a fellow paranormal finalist. Writing ‘funny’ can actually be quite scary. I mean, what if I am the only one who thinks its funny???

      I love angsty writing! So I can’t wait to get a hold of your book, Unbroken, as well!

      Let’s keep praying to the publishing gods for all of us!

      Hope to see you in Atlanta!

      AE

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  13. Elise Hayes says:

    I love the _Christmas Story_ analogy, AE! I’ll confess that I finally sat down to watch the movie for the first time last December. One of my students referred to the movie in class and I was the only one who didn’t get the joke…at which point we did a survey and every single one of my students–whether they celebrated Christmas or not–had seen it. So I promised I would (and did).

    My Red Rider BB gun is definitely to get published. I’m almost done with the current WIP–and itching to start the next project, so hopefully the one I’m finishing will be the one to get ‘the call!’

    Best of luck to you and the other GH ’13 finalists this summer!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Elise –

      I’m glad you finally got to see the movie. It’s pretty bad if all your students saw it and you didn’t, so now you will know what the heck they are talking about in the future. The movie is somewhat iconic at this point and quotes abound, so don’t be surprised if you hear about it again.

      Good luck on getting published! It is amazing how soon after I finish writing something that my fingers start itching again to start something new! We’ve both definitely got the writer’s bug!

      Thanks.

      AE

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  14. Vivi Andrews says:

    LOL. I love it. And I’ll never watch The Christmas Story the same way again. 😉 Congrats on the final, AE, and good luck in Atlanta getting your Red Rider BB Gun! Mine, at the moment, is a contract in a new subgenre.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Vivi –

      Thanks for the congrats. I’m glad you will be thinking about the movie in a new way.

      That is an awesome BB gun goal – writing in a new subgenre. How cool! Writer’s branching into new areas is great. I mean, if the story is good, it doesn’t matter if the characters are dukes, doctors or demons, readers will still follow you!

      Good Luck.

      AE

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  15. Darcy Woods says:

    Omigolly, AE, this is great! This movie IS a wealth of inspiration to writers. Wishing you all sorts of Red Ridery success on your path to publication!!!

    A week ago today, I dove into the submission process with my GH finalist. And I even have the short, stubby nails to prove it 🙂 The Christmas Story scene that popped into my head was when the one friend was “Triple Dog Dared,” to stick his tongue to the freezing pole on the playground. The curling lip and sweaty forehead portrayed EXACTLY how I looked as I began to hit send with my queries. Not pretty.

    While my ultimate Red Rider BB Gun hope is publication. For now, I’ll settle for a cap gun…AKA an agent 😉

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    • AE Jones says:

      Darcy –

      Hello! Sounds like you have been busy. Yes, the scene with the triple dog dare is awesome and so appropriate! Remember when he comes back to the classroom and his tongue is wrapped in gauze. God that movie is so funny…

      Good luck in your submission process. I have got to start sending out some teasers as well. (gulp)

      I wish you Red Ridery good wishes to in both finding and agent and publishing your MS.

      AE

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  16. Gail Hart says:

    Great post, AE. I haven’t seen A Christmas Story, but now I’ll have to make a point to.

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  17. Nan Dixon says:

    This was just too funny and too true!
    My husband loves this movie more for the Dad’s swearing. That must be when we get those East German judges in contests.
    Can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Nan –

      Every time I think about the father swearing I laugh out loud. When he battles the heater in the basement and you can hear him through the vents with billows of smoke coming through the house…how can you not love it!

      I am so looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta as well. Our Lucky 13 group is amazing!

      AE

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  18. Great post, AE. I so relate to everything you said. I’ve not seen the movie, but our little local theater did the play this past Christmas. I quess my Official Red Rider BB Gun equates to finding a publisher for my GH entry. *fingers crossed*

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    • AE Jones says:

      Dawn –

      Thanks for visiting today. I’m glad you saw the play, but make a point of seeing the movie too if you get a chance!

      My fingers are crossed for you, my fellow paranormal finalist. I hope Sea Panther makes to bookstores and e-readers soon!

      AE

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  19. June Love says:

    AE, welcome and congratulations on being a GH finalist! The Christmas Story is my husband’s favorite Christmas movie. We have various sizes of Leg Lamps, and the word FRAGILE is rarely pronounced correctly in our home. Dear ol’ dad is paying more attention than we give him credit for…maybe it’s the same with some editors and agents.

    Since I’m unpublished, my first reaction is to say my Red Rider is to be published, but at this point in my life, it’s just to gain enough focus and momentum to finish my ms.

    Thanks for a fun post!

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    • AE Jones says:

      June –

      Hello! I love that a lot of those posting are telling me that their husbands love this movie! The leg lamp is a hoot and I didn’t dare even talk about it in my post or it would have turned into a novella.

      And fragile…I don’t know how it translates in print, but the closest I can come is ‘fra-GEE-lay’. How awesome.

      As for your goal, I think it makes perfect sense. You need to finish BEFORE you publish (cart before the horse and all that). Good luck!

      AE

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  20. Di R says:

    AE-

    I LOVE this comparison!
    My Red Ryder BB moment is when Ralphie finally gets his decoder ring and waits to receive the code. And it is such a let down when he reads the message.

    I cannot wait to cheer you on in Atlanta!

    Di

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    • AE Jones says:

      Di –

      Thanks for stopping by. You know, it is funny, but I almost included that scene in my post. I mean, here Ralphie waits weeks for his secret decoder ring only to find out the messages is ‘Drink your Ovaltine’. As writers, we all face disappointments as we head down the path. We just need to remember to pick ourselves up and keep moving.

      Remember the scene where he stands up to the bully and beats the snot out of him? That is Ralphie’s triumphant scene. And I remember that when I get down in the dumps on my writing.

      Thanks for being one of my cheeleaders, my chaptermate!

      AE

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  21. Awesome post, AE!

    I love A Christmas Story, and I love how you’ve compared it to writing. My Red Rider BB Gun was getting on the GH finalist list, but now that I’m with you as a Lucky 13, my new RRBBG is finding an agent and/or editor.

    Now I have to explain to my coworkers why I’ve been laughing. 😉

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    • AE Jones says:

      Bonnie –

      Hello fello finalist! I am so glad you have accomplished your GH goal and have set sights on a new one.

      This movie resonates with me, so I can’t help but compare it to writing.

      I love that you have to explain why you are laughing to your coworkers – heaven help we ever laugh at work!

      AE

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  22. Addison Fox says:

    AE:

    What a wonderful post!! I absolutely LOVE A Christmas Story and love how you’ve aligned it with the writers life!

    Congratulations on your GH final!!!!!
    Addison

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    • AE Jones says:

      Addison –

      Thanks for stopping by today and your congrats on my final. I’m glad that my alignment with A Christmas Story is making sense to everyone. Yahoo.

      Oh,I need to gush a little. I have one of your Sons of Zodiac books sitting on my bedside stand. As soon as I come up for air, I am starting to read it!

      Thanks

      AE

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  23. Sandra Owens says:

    Great post, AE. Loved how you tied the movie to our writing. There isn’t a scene in The Christmas Story that isn’t funny – all the ones you and others mentioned. I also loved The Lamp. I actually know someone who has one!

    For me, my Red Rider BB Gun is getting that first draft finished. Some days, it flows, but some days it just shoots me in the eye!

    See you in Atlanta!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Sandra –

      Thanks! I can’t wait to meet you too.

      I know quite a few people who have the leg lamp. In Cleveland there is actually a museum set up in the house that was used in the movie. You can go there and tour the place and I am sure they have plenty of leg lamps on sale!

      AE

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  24. Welcome, AE – your novel sounds great!

    In our household, we have a handful of movies that are must-sees every year. A CHRISTMAS STORY is one of them. It’s been a tradition for years.

    My BB gun? I suppose that would be finding a balance. I’m constantly searching for it, but once I find one, I push myself to work harder, produce faster, etc. I need to just relax and enjoy the ride! 😉

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    • AE Jones says:

      Anne Marie –

      Yeah your BB gun is one we all carry around. How the heck do we balance our personal and professional lives? And for many of us our professional lives include our day jobs (or evil day jobs as someone commented earlier) and our writing jobs. Throw friends and family into the mix and hello, you’re telling yourself that sleeping is overrated.

      You are right, find a way to relax, even if you have to schedule time to do it!

      I see that you are a Romantic Suspense writer too! Yay. Your site is great. I don’t know when I am going to get all of these new books read!

      AE

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  25. Great post! I love A Christmas Story! No matter how many years pass since its release, it is still as funny as ever.

    My Official red rider BB gun…hmm…I guess I’d say it’s validation. There are days when I feel like such a failure. I’d just like to know that I’ve accomplished something worthwhile. 🙂 And then, of course, I have to stop and re-frame my validation and realize that I can’t keep waiting for it to come from the outside, I need to find it within. That’s my zen thought for the day!

    My immediate red rider is to pound out the draft of my WIP. I’ve made a deal with myself that it’s time I start learning to write faster. 🙂

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    • AE Jones says:

      Cynthia –

      Somehow my fingers got ‘click happy’ and I didn’t attach my response to your comment. Please see my comments further below to you.

      AE

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  26. Kay Hudson says:

    I dearly love that movie, watch it every year, usually more than once. I have always identified with Ralphie: his borken glasses, his wild imagination, and especially his ambitions for his theme. Thanks for a truly fun analysis.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Kay –

      Thanks for stopping in, my fellow paranormal finalist. I thought you would like this movie since your writing is humorous as well. If we keep working at it, maybe humorous paranormal books can take over the world!!

      Boo hah hah

      AE

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  27. AE Jones says:

    Cynthia –

    Hello! Yeah, I totally get the validation BB gun. We spend so much time in our heads as writers that it can become our arch nemesis. And I am glad you’re zen – I believe in it all if it keeps us on the right path!

    Your immediate BB is a kicker too. I have a number of published writer friends who struggle with writing faster and not angsting over things like they did as unpubs. They don’t have years to finish a WIP, and neither do I come to think of it!

    I checked out your site, I have read romantic suspense for years so yahoo for me, I found a new writer.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    AE

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  28. Kevin DeLury says:

    I’m really enjoying your writing style and sense of humor today. I needed a good laugh on a Monday during a break at my “evil day job.” Do you have a website, blog or twitter account of your own that I can follow you on? Congratulations on being a finalist and good luck!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Kevin –

      Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats. I’m glad I can provide you some comic relief if your evil day job is getting to you today! Mondays can be a beast.

      my website is http://www.aejonesauthor.com and my twitter account is @aejonesauthor

      Hopw to see you there!

      AE

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  29. HLF says:

    This is a personal message, hope you don’t mind…

    You had me in stitches as I read your blog this morning. You are truly talented. As I’ve told you before, it is only a matter of time before you become a famous, published author. All your hard work and perservance will pay off!

    Well, I better get back to work before my boss catches me. LOL

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    • AE Jones says:

      HLF –

      Thanks for dropping by! You are a great friend and a cheerleader which I need as I head down this very windy road.

      Thanks for your support! Get back to work, we don’t want you to get in trouble!

      AE

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  30. Sharon Wray says:

    What a wonderful comparison, AE. I loved that movie but never thought about it in those terms.
    My red rider BB gun is finishing the draft faster. I love revising and find the drafting so much harder. But if I can push through to the end, then I can reward myself with the revisions. So I tell myself that the less time I spend drafting, the more time I have for revisions. Like dessert after eating broccoli!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Sharon –

      Thanks for stopping by my fellow Lucky 13! That is a good goal to have. I do have to say though that I am the exact opposite of you-LOL. I love to write the draft and HATE to revise. Don’t get me wrong, I do it, but it is hard not to shut off the voices in my head of the next story that is bursting to flow through my fingertips.

      So I guess I love to eat the broccoli and not the dessert which is really funny since I’m a vegetarian!

      AE

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  31. Great post!! Love the comparison. Brilliant and funny and inspired.

    Am I the only person on the planet who didn’t love that movie? Yes? Okay then. Reading your post makes me wish I had liked it, if that helps!

    My personal goals are probably not dissimilar from other writers’. Mostly, it comes down to a desire to be read, doesn’t it? To give other people the experience we have when we sink into a book and wish it would never end while simultaneously madly turning pages to find out what happens in the end. Everything else is just means to that overarching goal. Not saying we shouldn’t look at the steps along the way as goals in themselves, but this is where my thoughts go these days, to that larger goal.

    Oh, and a living wage. Which, of course, is trickier than it sounds.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Welcome Talia –

      That’s okay that you didn’t like the movie. As writers, aren’t we used to likes being subjective?

      I agree that we ultimately are looking toward that larger goal, but sometimes for me I have to break it down in pieces or I drive myself insane!

      I think what you said is so true, ultimately we want to be read! And the best books are the ones that we don’t want to end but can’t stop reading – well said!

      Look forward to meeting you in Atlanta!

      AE

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  32. Amy DeLuca says:

    Hey Amy! I watch the movie every Christmas season, and I enjoyed your post. Your blurb sounds fantastic! Can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta.

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    • AE Jones says:

      Amy –

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you watch the movie. It is a tradition in my house.

      Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta.

      AE

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  33. Welcome, AE, and what a great post!!! I loved your analogy! You have a great style and sense of humor. Thanks for being here and sharing the laughs with us! Much needed today! lol

    And congrats on the final! Woot!!!!

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    • AE Jones says:

      Darynda –

      Thanks for posting and the congrats! I’m glad if my post made you laugh. I think humor has a wonderful place in writing even if we are writing about scary, not so funny things. Your humor in your Grave Series is a perfect example. I read the first one not too long ago and your others are on my list (and is my list getting long!).

      Thanks for stopping by, us ‘Jones Girls’ need to stick together!

      AE

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  34. PAS says:

    Congrats AE Jones! Great blog!

    It was a wise move to stay home today or your evil day job would’ve gotten in the way! It looks like your blog provided a good distraction for several of your evil co-workers today too!

    All fingers and toes are crossed for you!

    p.s. i waited until after work hours to respond so the boss wouldn’t catch me!

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    • AE Jones says:

      PAS –

      Thanks for dropping by. Yes, you are right, I would have been too distracted at work today to have gotten much done. Plus each time I post the day and time show up so I couldn’t exactly say I was working during that time now could I?

      Thanks for the well-wishes! And I am proud of your ‘self-control’ waiting until after work hours to post your comments!

      AE

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  35. Loved you post, AE. Now I’ll always think of your blog when I see The Christmas Story. Perfect analogy. Thanks for the smiles.

    Congrats on your final and have fun in Atlanta!

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  36. Sheri says:

    Hi Amy,
    I’m so excited for you and the fact that you finaled in the Golden Hearts. Today was yet another high point. What a fabulous article! I love that you wrote about one of my favorite movies. I especially love the part where Ralphie imagines himself blind from having his mouth washed out with Lava soap! Woe to the parents!
    The movie has tons of elements that appeal to writers, and we have it running in the background every single Christmas.
    Sheri

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    • AE Jones says:

      Sheri –

      Sorry, I just responded to you and somehow it did not link to directly to your comments so please see below!

      AE

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  37. AE Jones says:

    Sheri –

    Thanks for your comments! Nice to see another chaptermate here on the blog. You’re right, the soap scene is awesome. I can watch it over and over again myself.

    Thanks for the congrats!

    AE

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  38. Joanna Shupe says:

    Great post, and wonderful comparison! I must cop to the fact that I’ve never seen that movie. I also grew up in Ohio (Columbus) so I know I *should* watch it. But then I get sucked into everything else that happens around the holidays and I forget about it.

    But I think writing, in general, is like a BB Gun. Sometimes you’re on target, sometimes you’re not. And it can sting like a b*tch!

    Congrats again on finaling, and looking forward to meeting in person in ATL.

    0
    • AE Jones says:

      Joanna –

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I love what you said… “Sometimes you’re on target, sometimes you’re not. And it can sting like a b*tch!” So true! I wish I had thought of it.

      And yes, you have no excuses OH girl for not seeing this movie!

      Can’t wait to meet you at Nationals!

      AE

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  39. AE Jones says:

    Hello everyone –

    It is the witching hour for me and I need to be heading to bed since unlike today, tomorrow I have to go to work.

    First though, I would like to thank the Rubies for having me on the blog today. To say I had a kick-butt time is a huge understatement. You all rock!

    Thanks to my chaptermates for stopping by and my friends, including some of my CP’s and beta readers.

    A special thanks to my fellow GH Finalists – the Lucky 13s. What an AWESOME group of women I have been fortunate enough to be grouped with. I can’t wait to meet you all in Atlanta!

    Keep blogging! I know that a new blog will probably go up at midnight tonight on this site, but I will check tomorrow to see if any of my west coast friends left me any messages here tonight.

    Thanks again!

    AE

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  40. Elisa Beatty says:

    And the winner of the Amazon e-gift card is Sheri!!

    Sheri, I’ll pass your email address along to AE, and she’ll get in touch with you.

    0
  41. Popping in extremely late to say a congratulations, AE, on your GH final, and for a great post!

    0
  42. Every weekend i used to go to see this web page, because i want enjoyment, as this this web page conations genuinely nice funny stuff too.

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