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Showing posts with label AJ Lauer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AJ Lauer. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Woohoo! Almost survived the #atozchallenge!

Can I get a Woohoo?!

Y'all, Way to go! Only three more days of the Challenge. You've almost made it!

At the end of the Challenge here, I'd like to take a moment to thank my wHooligan team. Hopefully many of you have met my wHooligans, but if you haven't, here's a great chance! Stop by and thank these lovely ladies for all the work they've done to make the Challenge a welcoming place :)

Shilpa Garg @shilpaagarg
LuAnn Braley @kentuckygal
Geetika Gupta @Geetika0718

Have a fantastic last few days of the Challenge, everyone! We're so impressed by the comaraderie, support, creativity, and general awesome'ness you all have exhibited this month!

Keep an eye out for my end-of-Challenge survey, coming soon to the email address you used to sign up for the Challenge :)

~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! She's made it this far writing EVERY DAY of the Challenge. Stop by, share some love, and cast your vote for the ending!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mid-way through the #atozchallenge!

So I'm actually writing this in Mid-March. I've just painted my toenails and it is taking a reMarkable amount of energy to not wiggle them around (who knew I had fidgety feet while writing?? Try holding your feet perfectly still the next time you write - it's hard!).

One of the beauties of blogging is that you can pre-write posts, get them scheduled, and instead spend your time coMMenting and visiting other folks. It is the Middle of the Challenge and this is about where we start to see folks lose Momentum - comments slow down, people who didn't pre-write start to Miss letters, we all start to drag a little.

So this is my Mid-Challenge pep talk!

You, intrepid blogger, have totally GOT THIS. No Mid-April slump for you - no! You will Masterfully, Mindfully, and Maybe Maniacally (Mwahahahah...) Make it through this Mayhem.

And for your cheery enjoyment, I present Mork as a Male cheerleader :)

Robin Williams, aka “Mork,” made Broncos... by italiaradio1

You're gonna Make it!

~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! Stop by and join the story!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Excellent start to the #atozchallenge Everyone!

Here we are, five days in - how are you all doing?

I think we're off to an Excellent start!

How many of you just made the
wee-ooh-wee-ooh noise after reading this?

Part of what I love about the Challenge is all the Encouragement everyone gives one another. Whether to help folks keep going, or even when they just leave a comment to say 'Hey I liked your post!' Whether you are visiting one other person per day or one hundred, us co-host types love the Energy, Empathy, and Entropy.  Keep it up, team :)

~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! Stop by and join the story!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#atozchallenge -- Introducing co-host AJ Lauer

author AJ Lauer at Montserrat in Spain
Montserrat Monastery, Spain
September 2014
Hello friends! Nice to meet you!

My name is AJ Lauer. I am an author and educator living in the Front Range of Colorado, USA. This is my fifth year participating in the A-Z Challenge and my third year as a co-host. Can't believe it's been so many years already!

In general blog about whatever I want - hiking/travel, gluten-free baking, education, writing. The same goes for my A-Z themes. I've done writing prompts, 'Things That Make Me Happy', random interesting things, and last year's super-fun interactive A-Z Pick Your Plot story.

On the Challenge Team I am a scheduling master - so I help our team keep track of all the things we have going on, including posts, our own A-Z Challenge participation, and timing of other A-Z related events (Theme Reveal Day, etc). I'm also a bit of a data hound, so the participant survey you'll get at the end of the event is a care package from me - please fill it out! :)

Here are all the places you can find me. Stop by and say hello:
The blog
FacebookTwitter @ayjaylauerBuy my book! Armageddon: Pick Your Plot
Join my email list! New subscribers get a free ebook novella. Hooray!

Have a wonderful Challenge, everyone :)

And! Don't forget, our first A-Z Twitter chat is tomorrow, February 18! Join us at 9pm Eastern time (USA) at #azchat. Co-hosts will be around to answer questions and share in general excitement. See you there!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let's have a dance party!

Congratulations, everyone! You're almost halfway through the Challenge! How are you feeling?

I think... it's time for a dance party!

Let's dance! Let Loose, and check out the dancers in this incredible A-Z of dance video:

Keep it up, y'all :)

AJ Lauer blogs at her author site. Her theme this year is interactive fiction, so you should stop by and help shape the story she's writing this month. Her book Armageddon: Pick Your Plot is available on Amazon, and you can get a free prequel to the book by signing up for her email list!

She's also interviewed as the L post today at Lloyd of Gamebooks (so many L's!!).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meet the wHooligans!

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the day of green, orange, and blarney! Since my team is the wHooligans, and hooliganism is a favorite Irish pastime, I figured today to be the perfect day to introduce ourselves!

My name is AJ Lauer. I'm an author and educator based in the Front Range of Colorado. You can find me at my site, or on Twitter @ayjaylauer. I wrote an interactive apocalyptic fiction novel called Armageddon: Pick Your Plot in a crazy two week writing spree with a friend. It's great fun. You should check it out :)

Here are my answers to some of the questions posed by our readers a couple weeks ago:

Q: What is THE Tip you would like to share with the people who would be doing the A to Z Challenge for the first time?
A: Visit, visit, visit! Our list contains so many talented people with great ideas. Go see what is out there :) 

Q: How do you manage your time during the A to Z Challenge? 
A: Very carefully! So usually I've got about 60% of my posts written before April starts, and I do the other 40% on the fly. This year my theme involves audience participation, so I'll be writing every evening. I find that visiting folks is great to do during my lunch hour at work. It's a nice way to pass an hour.

Q: After you successfully complete the 2015 A to Z, and they stick television cameras in your face and ask "So, what are you going to do now", what will you answer?
A: I just did something that is perhaps a little crazy. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, which is also occurring in April. So I will probably just grunt and grumble something about words before shoving my head under my pillow.

Q: Isn't it phenomenal?
A: I am awed by how phenomenal it is. I get out to appreciate our world whenever possible. (see the above picture!)

And now... A brief introduction for my wHooligan team!

TaMara Sloan @peedeemama
Shilpa Garg @shilpaagarg
LuAnn Braley @kentuckygal
Kripali Kulkarni @precarious_me

These ladies are fantastic. They'll be working hard all month to say hi to as many participants as possible, so go pay them a visit to say thanks in advance! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AJ's "About Me"

Scene: A coffee shop back room, patrons buzzing with excitement and caffeine. Non-descript indie rock music is heard coming through the door to the front of the shop. A microphone in front of a slightly ratty armchair on a small 'stage' and an author/blogger stands to the side, wringing her hands with discomfort at the thought of 'introducing herself' to a room full of people. The coffee shop manager welcomes everyone and the author sinks down into the chair...

"Hi everyone! Thanks so much for coming today! I've never thought it was fair that the intro person just has to say your name and then leaves you all alone on the stage. I mean, us writing types like the written word, which generally means long hours alone tip-tapping at a laptop, and does not mean standing on stage in front of a room full of people who expect us to say brilliant things because they like what we wrote, which really is an unfair expectation because written words can be crafted and fixed after they come out of your brain and spoken ones cannot.

...But anyway.. I'm here and have already started rambling, so I should probably get to it. My name is AJ Lauer. I blog at Naturally Sweet and am very excited to be a co-host for this year's A-Z Challenge! I'm so happy I stumbled upon the Challenge in 2012 as it's been one of the most fun writing-related things that I do every year. Welcome to the Challenge, everyone :)

Me and Dan at a book signing.
Dan's the one with the beard :)
Last spring I published my first book, Armageddon: Pick Your Plot with my good friend Dan. Pick Your Plot books are interactive fiction, which means that you, the reader, get to decide where the story goes. Fun, huh? Armageddon explores end-world prophecies and has 42 story endings - you die in 33 of them. Hey, it says Armageddon! What did you expect? For a taste of it, try out this blog post from last year's Challenge. We are currently finishing a second book called Sky Pirates: Pick Your Plot which will come out this year.

If I'm not writing (or at my "real job") I'm usually outside gardening, hiking or running. I have the great fortune of living in a beautiful state where it's not too hard to get to scenery like this:

Near Lake Bierstadt, while snowshoeing this weekend.
You guys asked some great questions, so I'm going to answer a couple of them and then leave you to your caffeinated beverages!

"What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Cone or cup? Sprinkles or hot fudge sauce?" from Tracy Bermeo, A2Z Mommy
I pretty much love all kinds of icecream. I grew up in Wisconsin, so am partial to frozen custard but really it can be any flavor, in a cup. Definitely hot fudge rather than sprinkles though. And yes I'd like whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, please!

"Would you EVER tell anyone your darkest secret?" from Susan Scott
Yes, absolutely. But not here ;) Our secrets are part of what makes us who we are, so if you really want someone to understand you, eventually you have to share even the deepest and darkest.

"What brought you to blogging and how did you find yourself doing the A-Z?" from Hilary Melton-Butcher
I started blogging in college as a way to keep in touch with my friends from home, and also as a catch-all for random bits of story and poetry that came to mind. A lot of crazy stuff happened in those first couple years so it was an important outlet and place to process. So far as the Challenge goes... In the spring of 2012 I had a terrible cold and after a couple days of lazing on the couch was bored out of my mind, so I challenged an English Professor friend to a writing duel that involved writing every day for a month. That was a great experience so I looked for a way to do something similar with my blog and found A-Z! And the rest, as they say, is history.

And I think that's enough from me. Thanks so much for coming by today! It was lovely to meet you all and if you have more questions feel free to ask them in the comments section or stop by for a visit!"

Polite applause. Blogger scoops herself carefully up out of the armchair, turns off the microphone and walks off stage. Coffee shop manager beams and offers water. Patrons go back to their reading, work and friends. End scene.