First Great “Haul of China” winner announced, are you next?

Heads up, everybody. The First Great Haul of China winner was announced at One lucky contestant gets to take home a genuine Terra Cotta warrior souvenir straight from Xi’an, an autographed copy of THE GREAT CALL of China … AND… a gift certificate to ARE YOU NEXT?! If you have not entered, you have until tomorrow, March 1st, 11:59PM CST.  P.S. EVERYONE TAKES HOME A SWEET PARTY FAVOR.

Ack! Apologies for the series article hiatus!

Hey everyone,

So sorry about the series article hiatus. I was swept up in a publicity frenzy over the weekend, and I’m pushing some serious deadlines to get some stuff done for the release!

Stay tuned to learn more about the parties happening TOMORROW for writers, friends and Snoop fans! (DID I HEAR FREE-TIQUES?!)

We’ll pick up where we left off  on the article series when things die down a little.


Cynthea (and Snoop!)

I am cool by association!


In case you haven’t heard yet, my illustrious critique partner Beberly is co-pres of the Class of 2k9! (whoot-whoot!). And in case you also haven’t heard, my other illustrious critique partner Tamarak was featured in this issue’s SCBWI bulletin! (OMG!)

I am cool by association!

Congrats, gals!

Jarrett Krosoczka’s PUNK FARM raffle RAWKS!

I thought this was such a kewl idea, I had to blog about it (EVEN THOUGH MY REVISION IS DUE TOMORROW. Yes, I’m working, I swear!) If you like Jarrett Krosoczka’s PUNK FARM books, you’ll LOVE THIS–your chance to win an original PUNK FARM character painting! Enter the raffle now.
BUT now that I told you about this, YOU CANNOT ENTER FOR THE PIG. THE PIG IS MINE. SO LAY OFF THE OINKER, alright?

Guess who’s on The Purple Crayon?

In writing news:
Harold Underdown, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, Second Edition just featured one of my articles on his website The Purple Crayon! If you’ve never been there before, do check it out for a plethora of free children’s articles and tips. And don’t forget to stop by my own site for new articles on How to Interview an Agent and How to Avoid Children’s Book Scams.

Snoop says:


Costco is SO DEEP!


I rarely do any leisure reading these days, but when I do, I am amazed by what I find.

In this month’s COSTCO CONNECTION (the mag that goes out to devoted members like me), I read an old adage I had never heard of before. Here it is.
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

Wow, Costco is so deep, man.


“The grass is always yummier on the other side.”

I’m in!


All this conference talk has made me feeling a bit left out. So I promptly registered for the SCBWI-LA conference this summer. Look out, folks, I’m joining the party!


What about me?!

We broke Snoop’s email!

K, tiny technical difficulty here. Snoop and Cynthea’s email boxes are both down. I have no idea when they’ll be back up. If you are competing in RLGL, please go ahead and send your next page. Just send it on by 9PM CST.  If my email is up, I will announce both rounds’ results somewhere after 9PM CST.  If I can do Round 3 sooner, I will.
If you need to communicate with me now, you can try leaving a public comment on this post.

RLGL results: round one

First, if you saw the password protected page, that’s your signal that I’m working on the results. Do not ask me for a password. You won’t need it. Just wait until I publish the page, my dears.

Second, if you don’t advance to the next round, you should not feel upset or rejected, even though your mind and body might try to tell you you should. You’re looking for a match. And if Snoop isn’t it, c’est la vie. He’s a fickle bunny.

A fellow tiquee would like some help…


A fellow tiquee asked Snoop for help on a manuscript title based on a query letter synopsis. As Tamarak and Snoop’s agent know, Snoop really really stinks at titling. So without further ado, can anyone help this writer with a title?

Melanie Ratsnester never, in a million years, imagined she would be teased about anything other than her name. But then her single mom since forever decides to completely ruin her life by marrying a Mortician.

Congrats to Cynthia Lord

Soooo, did ya hear? Put your paws together for Cynthia Lord. A Newbery Honor for RULES. A Schneider Family Book Award. Double whoopee!
I can only hope I have more in common with this talented woman than just my initials. Cindy, donate some of your talent to me–puh-lease?!!!


Do I get to wear Cindy’s Newbery sticker? Across the chest, like a badge–that would be turr-iffic!

Snoop makes postal history…

You won’t believe this but Snoop got his first piece of mail today.


For me? It’s for me?! Wow!!!!
Hey, do I have to wait until Christmas to eat it? Huh, huh?!

Maybe I could just start with the envelope…


If you haven’t voted for Snoop’s best carols 2006, get on it. Enjoy what your fellow writers have shared with all of us this holiday season.

Congratulations, Tamarak! and who wants a free-tique for Christmas?

Well if this isn’t another piece of fabulous news from one of my esteemed critique buddies! Who had any doubt she’d hit yet another homerun in the picture book category?! (that makes three, in the last twelve months, baby. Count ’em. THREE! Holy cow.) And they said the PB market was bad. WhatEVER!


Who wants a free-tique for Christmas to celebrate Tammi’s good news? GET READY. Doors are not open just yet. But they will open today.

Five vet visits, thirty-six dumplings, and a 20-hour plane trip later…


Look, guys, I’m back. Just wanted to say…five vet visits, thirty-six dumplings, and a 20-hour plane trip later, things are finally under control.

  • Snoop may have a bacterial infection of sorts but the good news is, it doesn’t look like he’ll be a reliving the movie ALIEN. (Initially, the vets thought he might have cuterebra. Google the word and prepared to be horrified.
  • shameless promotion for Yoo and a free-tique round

    People, will you quit it with the good news?!

    I have one more announcement to make. David Yoo’s GIRLS FOR BREAKFAST is out in paperback. If you haven’t read this book, well WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? This one is a must-buy, must-read! And NO, Dave and I are not related (but we might look alike.) And yes, he did pay me to say this–somewhere there’s a free fountain pen in it for me.
    And now Yoo’s brilliant novel can be yours for $5.99.

    congratulations, beverly patt!

    You know her as Beb. Bubba. B.

    I know her as the woman who just landed a Blooming Tree Press contract for her novel OF ATVS AND ANGELS!

    Bev will be coming to an LJ near you. But until that time, feel free to leave your Whoot-Whoots! here.

    Bev, as some of you may know, is also my treasured crit partner. (Yes, that’s right. She gets Free-tiques whenever she wants. Everyone, be jealous.)

    And get this, I had the honor of taking Bev out to celebrate.

    anyone hungry? photo of the feast

    Hey everyone (pardon for the interruption again. I’m learning how to use FLICKR. Neat!),

    Anyhow, here’s a photo of the “I need an emergency dessert” feast I held a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and recipes. Just wait until the next party. Oh-la-la!

    (Click it to make it big). Anyone hungry?

    Now I must get back to work. For reals.


    Enh. Paper tastes better.

    snoop in action

    This is why I love Snoop doubly much. Guess what I’m feeding him?

    Snoop, you ready?

    Get set! Go!

    Now how can you beat that? (Click a photo to see a larger version.)


    BURRRRPPP! Now I must clean up.
    P.S. I’m not full yet. Watch for a Traffic Cop Free-tique round today.

    free-tique round: doors are closed!


    1) Tell me if you are a re-tiquee or a new tiquee. See if you don't know what you are.

    2) In that email, ATTACH, ATTACH, ATTACH your FIRST three chapters OR your full PB/ER to cynthealiu AT gmail DOT com. <note the new address>

    3) I will check my email during a 24 break (I'm watching the show on DVD right now) and I will declare winners by email.

    scbwi-la: part deux and a word about firedrill

    Ah yes! I just finished another round of free-tiques. People, you're making my brain hurt with all this fabuloso writing. AGH.

    Which brings me to talk about SCBWI-LA again. Since I can't blog about tiquees without exposing their identities, I will do a shout-out for SCBWI-LA'ers I haven't blogged about yet.

    (in no particular order)

    • Michelle Lin – You are so freaking smart I could see the neurons firing in your brain as you spoke.

    top ten from scbwi-la and a chance to win a full-tique


  • Saw my first taping EVER. (Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, featuring guest Carlos Mencia). And apparently I was cool enough to sit in the front row. Woohoo!  AND there's more. I won a whole six-disc DVD set of the hit show 24!  
  • Met up with Tammi Sauer and Flora Doone for dinner where I missed the entire meal (I was late–too busy whooping it up with famous people and winning free DVDs, yanno).
  • congrats tiquees: you rocked W.I.N.!

    Well, well, well. Snoop does the Tiquee count. How many W.I.N.ners does Snoop personally know as tiquees? Can you guess?

    Six! No, Seven? Or Eight?

    Of course Snoop has not personally tasted all the winning tiquee works. BUT he will say TWO of the authors were also recent RLGL winners!

    Can anyone out the tiquees for Snoop? Speak up so Snoop can post their names in all their glory!

    One person has been outed.

    my precious seven days

    In case you were wondering, I'm back!

    Here's what happened to my precious seven days:

    • Day 1: Ah. I am free of email, tiques, etc., Time to work on my own stuff. That I did. And I checked Verla's and LJ 80 million times.
    • Day 2. Ah yes! I am free of email, tiques, etc., I shall work on my own stuff. That I did. Put a few chapters under my belt. Checked Verla's and LJ 160 million times.
    • Day 3. Oh my, I am missing the emails and the tiques.

    taking a week off

    Snoop and I are taking a break. Snoop already went hiking but now he wants to wear mudboots and a fly-fishing vest. He's hung up the Gone Fishing sign and set out for a river somewhere. Meanwhile, I will be hunkering down to meet some deadlines.

    This means I will not be accepting free-tique redemptions, Why, why, whys, or emails which require my immediate response. No free-tique round this week either.

    morning coffee with Cynthea: topic? editor interviews, blogs, and more

    FIRST, I want everyone to know I have finished a manuscript and it's gone off to the agent for a look. There is real work going on over here. Seriously!

    SECOND, in my second largest procrastination effort yet, I've compiled a monster list of children's book editor interviews, blogs, and more.

    THIRD, the list will be updated as I go along (I'm only about a third-done). But IF YOU have something I can add, feel free to let me know.

    mid-afternoon COFFEE with cynthea: topic? status updates

    This is a rush job, so pardon the more than usual typos, etc.,

    The topic today is STATUS UPDATES. When to bug editors and agents….

    Now I must get cracking on some more work.   


    Excuse me. *tap, tap* EXCUSE ME!!!!!!! When are you going to _______?!  (you fill in the blank).  

    holy moly: am I allergic to caffeine?!

    I've just made a brilliant discovery. I drink Diet Dr. Pepper. I break out into hives. I drink coffee. More hives. I guzzle more DDP. MORE HIVES!!!

    For the last week, I've been suffering from this problem. Now I've finally put it together. 

    Have I developed a late-bloomer allergy to God's greatest gift to mankind?!

    SAY IT ISN'T SO!!!!!


    Caffeine? Can't touch the stuff.

    top ten highlights from my trip to the caribbean


    Top ten highlights from my trip to a Spanish-speaking island in the Caribbean…

  • A vacation is never complete without a visit to the medics (Do you-o have-o crutches-o?).
  • Real orange juice, real ham, and real coffee! (what are they feeding us in the U.S.?)
  • A room with TWO views– ginormous pool AND the ocean. At no extra charge. Woo-hoo!
  • My husband learns how to sail.
  • I learn how to become a back-seat sailor.
  • coffee with cynthea: talking animals and free-tiques


    Today on Coffee with Cynthea, I discuss talking animals: Snoop's favorite subject.

    ***Also, I am closing shop for a week to do some INTENSE relaxation.***



    A SPECIAL "RESERVED" FREE-TIQUE ROUND IS OPEN AS SOON AS YOU READ THIS ENTIRE POST. Five slots people. First come, first "reserved".

    mid-day coffee with cynthea: anatomy of a synopsis

    Hey everyone, here's my contribution to fellow mankind:

    anatomy of a children’s book synopsis

    I'm going to reward myself with a cup of coffee and jog around the kitchen to get my foot back into shape! ALSO, please leave me some nice words on my website if you read any article and enjoy it. I'm beginning to wonder if more than two people find the information useful.  If I don't see comments pouring in soon at http://www.cynthealiu.

    It’s that time again….


    No, it's not time for a free-tique round. I just finished the ones from last week.  So if you didn't get yours for some reason, let me know. 

    I have to go back to my writing now.

    But the TV is calling my name….Oooooh!


    I'm up for it. 

    I’m procrastinating again…


    In a massive effort to procrastinate, I finally started working on my website.  Please take a peek. Leave a comment and tell me how stinky or fab it is, and I'll promise only to post the FAB comments. 🙂   If you know of any beginning writers, I'd love to hear their feedback. This isn't a finished website by any means, but it's a start.

    The Grinch lives at the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

    So today I had the courage to go to the USPS. I made sure my packages were sealed, addressed and so on, before I got there. But did that matter? NOOOOOOOOOO! You want to know why? Because the BLEEP! at the counter was kicking everyone out of line to exert her power over us Underlings who, God Forbid, want to MAIL something.

    “YOU!” She pointed. “You can’t use tape on a priority mail package.”
    “YOU!” She pointed at someone else.