Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oookaaay

Today, I read this article discussing a new initiative the Swiss recently voted into law which authorizes government dispensed heroin to heroin addicts. Never mind the jaw-dropping idea of taxpayers and health insurance money funding heroin addictions--the part I found fascinating was the fact that the voters, who overwhelmingly approved the initiative, also voted down an initiative to make marijuana legal.

*scratches head*

Soooo, marijuana use is taboo, but heroin you're okay with? And yes, I get that the idea behind the program is to somehow minimize the addict's craving with regulated doses without producing a big high so they can learn to function in society despite their addiction, but seriously...am I the only one who thinks the obvious pitfall here is that addicts want the high and will take the regulated doses and then go find more on their own? It's like joining weight watchers, eating sugar-free cookies at the meeting, and then hauling your jiggly behind through the nearest drive-through as soon as you leave the building--it happens.

One voter, when asked to explain his position, said that the heroin law would vastly improve the life of addicts, but he couldn't vote to legalize marijuana because he didn't approve of facilitating drug use.

*takes a looong moment to consider this piece of logic from all angles*

There's enough irony in that statement to keep a sardonic girl like me happy for months, but I doubt that voter can see it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

35 Good Reasons



Today my hubby turned 35. To honor his birthday (especially since we barely saw each other today!), I've decided to make a list of 35 reasons why he's absolutely wonderful.

1. He repainted the entire downstairs (4 different coats for the dining room before I was happy with the color scheme) without (much) complaint.

2. When I said I'd start working days to help our bank account, his first response was "But what about your writing?"

3. Speaking of writing, he believes in me completely.

4. He's loyal.

5. He makes me laugh.

6. He understands and shares my near obsession with Batman: The Dark Knight.

7. He's incredibly talented. (Hello?? Cake anyone?)

8. He likes to really discuss movies and books.

9. He does most of the driving so I don't have to. (Or so he doesn't have to ask me to slow down...)

10. He gives of his time and resources to anyone who needs him without thinking twice.

11. He'll do laundry when asked.

12. He plays with his kids.

13. He never takes me out for pizza on our dates.

14. He always puts effort into the gifts he chooses for me.

15. He brags about me.

16. He works hard at whatever he does.

17. He remembers people's names and faces (a skill I certainly don't possess).

18. He loves sports but doesn't expect me to love the stuff I just don't get. (Like golf. Or curling. Or other "sports" that involve no risk and no physical contact.)

19. His favorite activity is spending time with me.

20. He supports my interests and hobbies even if he doesn't share them.

21. He has integrity.

22. He is punctual. (Unless I'm part of the equation...even then, he's punctual. He's just waiting for me.)

23. He's not interested in stuff that takes him away from his family.

24. He wants to know what I think about stuff.

25. My opinion is important to him.

26. When he wants to be romantic, he pulls out all the stops.

27. He doesn't leave the seat up.

28. He risked his life to hang Christmas lights along our roof...for me.

29. He is respectful.

30. He unloads the dishwasher because he knows I hate to do it.

31. He's smart.

32. He gets the finer points of my sarcastic sense of humor.

33. He appreciates what I do around the house.

34. He's a man of faith.

35. He's my best friend.

=) Happy Birthday, Clint!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shhh...



I've noticed that a few of you have voted on my most recent poll to see more of Juan Pedro on this blog. I agree that our metallic friend has been notably absent the last few months. The blame for this can be laid directly at Paul's feet.

Paul moved thirty minutes north of me. He took Juan Pedro with him. I've asked, even begged, for JP pics to no avail.

Tonight, Paul and Kelly leave town for the entire weekend. *cackles and rubs hands together in glee*

I have a house key.

Here's the plan: I'm going to sneak into their condo, abscond with Juan Pedro, and take him on some wild adventures before Paul goes on a rampage to reclaim his property.

Of course I'll keep a detailed pictorial record of the entire thing.

Stay tuned...

Random, Ridiculous, & Sentimental



My List of What I'm Thankful For This Year:

1. My hard-working, supportive, talented husband.

2. My creative, loving, interesting, death-defying boys.

3. A kitchen with plenty of counter space.

4. My Pixie Chicks.

5. My CPs: Katy, Keli, Kris, Courtney (WHAT? No 'K'?)

6. Mashed potatoes made from scratch.

7. Food fights.

8. Really good books.

9. Agents who are both professional and generous with their time.

10. Amazing movies.

11. Peach pie.

12. My country.

13. My iPod.

14. Incredible friends (Paul, Kelly, Derreck, Tricia, Luke, Sandy...and others too numerous to list here)

15. Music I love

16. My imagination

17. The ability to write well

18. Oatmeal cookies

19. Everyone who has contributed toward our adoption fund

20. Flavored coffee drinks

21. My sense of humor

22. My cat

23. Christmas

24. The fact that my family has clean water and plenty of food

25. My church

*Yes, I noticed the inordinate number of food-related items on this list. I also noticed the lack of goats.*

Monday, November 24, 2008

Get Me Started! - #3

*From Kerry Allen's first sentence.*

As I lay dying in a stew of my own blood and guts, she had only this to say: "The profanity is uncalled for."

I rolled my eyes and slammed the book shut, barely resisting the urge to fling it across the room. Whether it was the implausibility of the plot, or the fact that I could barely sit still, this novel wasn't going to cut it. Not today.

I needed thirty minutes--an hour tops--where I could climb beneath someone else's skin and breathe without pain. Without uncertainty. Without the cloying smell of antiseptic unsuccessfully trying to mask the stench of approaching death.

The orange vinyl chair, stiff and creased with use, squeaked beneath me as I leaned forward to place the book beside the water pitcher and the vase of yellow daffodils, their sunny faces pretending cheerfulness that suddenly seemed obscene.

Careful not to look at the woman huddled on the bed, anchored to this world with cords and tubes, I snatched the vase and stalked to the adjacent bathroom where I dumped them in the trash and stared in the mirror.

My eyes, red-rimmed from tears that had dried hours ago, were bruised with fatigue and still looked like hers. My mouth, too wide to be considered beautiful, was hers too. The rest of what she'd left me was buried within, wrapped around the woman I'd become until most days I couldn't tell where she ended and I began.

But she was ending. I knew it. Felt it in my bones that ached like I'd been the one hit by the car instead of her. She was slipping away, every moment easing her tenuous grasp on this life until time hung heavy between us as I waited to catch the last sigh.

There would be no words. The doctor was clear. Precise. I hated him for it. Or I would, when I had the energy to feel anything beyond the yawning pit of despair sinking it's teeth into me with every tortured breath she took. My throat was raw, ravaged by the frantic stream of words I'd aimed at the doctor, at God, at my mother--begging all of them to somehow return life to the way it was supposed to be. To somehow fix this.

I left the bathroom, drawn to the bed though I couldn't stand to be there. Helpless. Useless. Holding her hand--still unbruised, though the rest of her was ravaged--while I clamped my lips shut to keep from screaming.

Her hand was already cool, though the machine monitoring her heart assured me with slow, erratic spikes of neon green that she was still with me. With nowhere left to go, and nothing left I could say, I sank back down into the stiff orange vinyl chair, laid my head against the back of her hand, and counted her heartbeats until there was nothing left for me but silence.

Useful Site

I'm adding Query Tracker to the list of Writer's Resource links on the sidebar. It's a site (approved by P&E and other reputable sites in the publishing world) where you can look up agents/agencies, see how they like their submissions and if they're accepting queries, read comments and feedback from other authors who've queried them, and keep track of when you send queries and the responses you get.

It's nice to have all that info in one place.

A Fishnet In A Pear Tree


1. This weekend I noticed several homes in my neighborhood have their outside Christmas lights up already.

2. I am surrounded by over-achievers.

3. I can assure you, our lights won't be up for a while.

4. Our school district threw in the towel this year and gave the kids the entire week of Thanksgiving off.

5. They're thrilled.

6. I'm trying to type this blog while Starshine watches a Backyardigans movie.

7. There are more mind-numbing options, of course, but at the moment, it's hard to think of any.

8. Last night, I fixed SF's synopsis and queried four more agents.

9. Today, after doing laundry and excavating the Scientist's bedroom, I'll write a bare-bones synopsis for Twisting Fate and send my Golden Heart entry out.

10. I took Starshine on a grocery-shopping trip Saturday--the boys think that's a treat because they get one on one time with me.

11. We stopped at McDonald's for lunch (his choice, not mine!) and they had huge Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling.

12. One of those was a bright purple ball wrapped in ... fishnet.

13. Nothing says happy holidays like a classy fishnet stocking.

14. On the blog this week: my review of the Jordan Almond samples sent to me, at least one Get Me Started entry, thoughts on what to do to advance your writing career during the month of December, my hubby's birthday post, and other assorted random entertainment.

15. Reader Question: My friend Paul loves music featuring bagpipes. He's looking for artists or albums to add to his collection. Do you have any recommendations for him?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shiny New Laptop Fairies DO Exist. Right?



Current mood: Tired, longing for bed.
Currently playing on my iPod: "Stranger Than Fiction" by Five Finger Death Punch

1. I have my laptop back now and though it still doesn't always want to acknowledge when it's plugged in, it's much better than it was and I have hope it will hold out until the Shiny New Laptop Fairy visits.

2. Yes, there's a Shiny New Laptop Fairy.

3. No, you may not burst my bubble.

4. I was told recently that I have nice, tight eyelids.

5. ...

6. In the realm of Potential Compliments, I admit this is one that never crossed my mind.

7. I suppose I should be grateful after three kids that something on me still qualifies for the "nice, tight" description.

8. My To Do list for the next three days is a scary beast with jagged little teeth.

9. Any blog readers live near Pelican Bay prison in California? Del Norte County, near Crescent City...I need weather, foliage, and basic scent and atmosphere descriptions for Twisting Fate.

10. I really don't like the character I'm introducing in chapter one. He scares me.

11. Of course, if he scares me, he's going to keep YOU up at night.

12. *cracks knuckles and gives evil little laugh*

13. Seriously, though, some minds are more difficult to inhabit than others.

14. I'm going to be interviewing the incredibly smart and talented Danielle Marie soon. She's an actress (who's also been a director, a teacher, and a writer...what an invaluable resource for a writer!) who is familiar with several techniques useful for getting inside her character's head.

15. Since I write by getting inside each character's head and listening, I resonated with many of her techniques.

16. Writing is, after all, like acting out every single part in the play.

17. I'm going to continue the Get Me Started entries again next week.

18. Thank you, Jake, for the ridiculously difficult first line you handed me. I'm going to make John McCain a donkey. See if I don't.

19. Btw, you'll notice in #9 I didn't solicit first-hand descriptions from anyone with insider's experience with Pelican Bay prison...this may be an oversight on my part since I will be writing about the inside...

20. If you're a prison guard, feel free to respond. If your Internet access is limited to one hour a week and you know exactly what Monday's lunchtime surprise tastes like, don't feel obligated to answer my query. I don't need to be that accurate. It's always good for a girl to flex her imaginative muscle, know what I mean?

21. Reader Question: What qualities in a villain scare you, stick with you, and haunt you days or weeks after you've finished the book?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top Ten

I found an article tonight listing the top 100 comedic movies of all time. Actually, I think it was more like the top 130. I don't know when it was last updated but it must have been before this summer since Get Smart! didn't make the list.

Here are the top ten (in someone's opinion):

1. Duck Soup
2. Some Like It Hot
3. Monty Python & the Holy Grail
4. Airplane!
5. Dr. Strangelove
6. Blazing Saddles
7. What's Up, Doc?
8. National Lampoon's Animal House
9. A Night At The Opera
10. The Odd Couple

I'll freely admit I'm not the most up-to-date on my movies so it's possible I haven't got a clue what I'm talking about, but this list surprised me. I guess because I love intelligent humor mixed with slapstick so stuff like National Lampoon and Airplane! gets a few chuckles but starts annoying me pretty fast. Loved Some Like It Hot and The Odd Couple and Monty Python is, of course, a shining example of British genius (and I do love British humor).

Any thoughts? Movies you'd nominate for the top ten? Here's mine (using the criteria of movies that made me laugh so hard I cried):

1. Get Smart! (I loved every second.)
2. My Fair Lady (Why can't a woman be more like a man? Gets me every time.)
3. The Whole Nine Yards (I literally fell off the couch laughing when Matthew Perry's character ran into the sliding glass door.)
4. It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (This is a perfect comedic feast.)
5. Shanghai Knights (Owen Wilson waking up to the goats was my undoing.)
6. Arsenic & Old Lace (Just a glimpse of what I'll be like when I'm in my dotage.)
7. Tommy Boy (The deer in the car. Priceless.)
8. My Fellow Americans (Good to the very last word.)
9. Maverick (Mel Gilbson at his finest.)
10. How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days (I know, I know. It's a chick flick, so it's weird to see it on my list, but I laughed throughout the entire thing and even watched it twice.)

Must. Stop. Twitch.

I swear there aren't enough hours in the day to make finishing my To Do list even a remote possibility. I'm hoping my laptop will be fixed and in my hot little hands again tomorrow night so my Internet-free mornings will be a thing of the past.

Today my right eye developed a twitch. Most annoying. I chalk this development up to the following things:

1. Being without my laptop since Friday night thus causing me to be unable to access my submission packet for Shadowing Fate, fix my SF synopsis, dive into my previously brainstormed ideas for Twisting Fate, do critiques on material saved on my laptop, blog daily, or answer email consistently as the hours I have slotted and available for online time are in the morning when my hubby has his own laptop with him at work.

2. The woman who walked up to me at work and informed me that she'd had "the diarrhea" and I would need to go clean the bathroom.

3. Every single person who thinks joking with their waitress about not wanting the check is somehow unique or funny.

4. My boys who unfailingly remember to save their video games to a memory card but can't recall the basic rules of the house. Like don't stuff dirty socks behind your bed. And always take your shoes off before going to sleep for the night. And do not, under ANY circumstances, flush objects that did not originate from your body.

5. My upcoming Friday in which I will be on my feet at work from 8:45 in the morning until about 10 at night.

6. The man I tried to seat at a table today who kept a running commentary on the daily special (chicken pot pie) because he didn't like chicken or pie and thought I would somehow be fascinated by his ridiculously loud discourse on the faults of each. I wasn't. FYI...I don't give a flip what you can or can't eat, what you do or don't like to eat, or what you had the previous day that precludes you from ordering a similar item within a 24 hour period. I really don't. Just order and eat. That's it. Order. And. Eat.

7. My friend who now has a pet goat IN HIS HOUSE, for Pete's sake, and insists on showing me pictures. Today, he was less than enamored of his little piece of sunshine because the goat, assured of her welcome in her new environment, has reverted to her true nature and is now eating everything in site and slamming her head into the household's occupants at the most inopportune moments. You will not be surprised to learn that I warned him this would happen.

Things that are working hard to cure my eye twitch:

1. My boys who, despite their proven streak of testosterone-induced insanity, are loving, creative, and always happy to see me.

2. My hubby who is always my biggest fan.

3. My cat who has proven herself to be infinitely better than a goat.

4. The fact that my hubby and I are taking a quick overnight trip to Chicago next month on someone else's dime (love the perks of his job!).

5. Good writing I've read recently from two of my Pixies: Keli Gwyn and Kerry Allen.

What I need to accomplish after I get my laptop back:

1. Clean up SF's synopsis and send out more submission packets.

2. Finish critiques for Erin and Katy.

3. Loosely plot TF and start writing.

4. Finish my Get Me Started blog entries.

It's late. I'm going to find the motivation to get out of this over-sized comfy chair and haul myself up to bed. What's on your To Do list this weekend?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Belligerent Technology vs. Horrendous Mom



1. My Monday post is waaaay late but I have an excellent excuse.

2. In the continuing saga of Technology Hates C.J., my laptop refuses to turn on.

3. It isn't a virus this time. The hole where I plug the cord in refuses to acknowledge the presence of the cord, no matter how many times I threaten its mother.

4. Hence, the battery refused to charge and now it's dead.

5. I'd blog from my office computer but it recently went on an Internet strike and even though everything says it's online, it really isn't.

6. So, I'm stuck waiting for a chance to borrow my hubby's laptop after he's finished with it.

7. Good times.

8. In other news, Starshine asked me today (apropos of nothing but sheer Starshiney-ness) "Mom, why do some girls go around acting like they're sooo fabulous? They just walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, and walk some more and think they're fabulous."

9. Me: "Well, if they aren't fabulous, what are they?"

10. Starshine: "Annoying."

11. Last night, Starshine decided to style my hair by forcibly inserting a hair clip at angles my scalp would pay good money to never repeat.

12. When he was finished, he announced "Now, let's see how it looks!", walked around to the front of me, took one look and gasped (yes, literally) "You look horrendous!"

13. Good thing he's cute.

14. Last night, I came up with a freakin' brilliant way to teach other writers how to use deep POV.

15. I'd forgotten the idea by morning.

16. THIS is why I usually keep a notepad by my bed. Alas, since I'm not currently working on a manuscript, I didn't think I'd need one.

17. Maybe it'll come to me again tonight.

18. I watched Untraceable today with Paul (I know, I know...finally, right?).

19. It was entertaining, despite the predictable ending and the various incidents of heroine stupidity (An FBI agent knows a serial killer who has already murdered her partner is on the loose but she doesn't bother to lock her car door when she leaves it in a darkened hotel parking lot? Really??) wedged into the plot to get the desired outcome.

20. Which reminds me--don't ever do that in your book. A reader can sense when she's being manipulated for the sake of the plot and, if your reader is anything like me, that's enough to ban you from her must read list for life.

21. Reader Question: What makes an author a "must read" for you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Writer's Block?

Suffering from writer's block? (Or just want to be amused?) Go here.

*Thanks to Keli Gwyn for the link.*

You Might Be My Next Corpse



1. When I informed my children that I'd finished Shadowing Fate, Daredevil jumped up and down and said "WoooHooo! We're rich!"

2. Ah, to be that young and naive again.

3. Last night, I hosted a candle party. I'd booked the party through a consultant I'd never met face to face.

4. The party was fun, the consultant was great, and then as we were sitting around my table chatting while my friends ate pie and browsed catalogs, I glanced at the the label on my own catalog--the one listing the consultant's full name--and realized why her name looked so familiar.

5. I'd borrowed it (without remembering where I'd seen it) for one of the victims in Shadowing Fate.

6. I started laughing and told her, "I'm so sorry! There's a corpse with your last name in my latest novel."

7. She thought it was pretty cool.

8. So much for thinking I'd pulled that particular name out of thin air.

9. The moral of this tale, of course, is that if I know you, I might kill you at some point.

10. Figuratively speaking, of course.

11. I think I'll be mentally prepared to dive into Twisting Fate on Monday.

12. Of course, first I need to research hypochondriacs, anti-social disorder, gene-splicing, and how to break out of maximum security prison.

13. Piece of cake.

14. Ugh, cake.

15. My hubby's birthday is coming up the day after Thanksgiving.

16. I don't even think he wants a cake, but it's a tradition my boys won't allow us to skip.

17. He gets two round cakes stacked on top of each other with store bought icing and sprinkles. (The boys are in charge of the sprinkles. This explains why last year you could barely taste the cake past the stale-sugar crunch of Christmas themed--hey, I don't censor their sprinkle choices!--sprinkles.)

18. The word you're looking for is "yum."

19. At least he'll like his present.

20. Three weeks after that is our 14th wedding anniversary, a week after that is Christmas, two weeks later is my birthday, five days after that it's Starshine's birthday, and a mere three weeks later we have the Scientist's birthday.

21. Yes, this shows a distinct lack of planning on our part.

22. Hang on to your wallets, folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

22. Reader Question: What do you think I should get my hubby for his birthday?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snort Goat Eyeballs Idiot

Yes, it's that time again. What interesting, odd, or downright disturbing google searches brought new readers to this blog?

1. what are some three letter words for the word death: Die. That's pretty much all I've got for you.

2. final fantasy 7 kris kennedy: lol I'm going to have to ask my friend and CP if she plays final fantasy in between writing novels and raising her son. Perhaps she's holding out on me?

3. caffeine bad steroids: If you've taken bad steroids, the last thing you need chasing them through your system is caffeine. Unless, of course, you've always had a yen for losing complete control of your vocal chords, your temper, and your flimsy grasp on common sense.

4. out of gas idiot: I'm a bit unclear as to the purpose of this particular google search. The phrase seems pretty self-explanatory. It is nice, though, that every time someone googles ANY phrase with the word idiot, they invariably end up here.

5. procrastination dying last words: Some advice for you--if you're at the point where you need to deliver your dying last words, procrastination is not your friend.

6. what to do with shredded cabbage: Does it have to be legal?

7. mucinex snort: Ooookaaay...

8. tylenol extra strength snort: I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you're the genius snorting mucinex as well. You may want to re-think your drug-taking strategy. It helps to remember that drugs of the legal variety rarely go up the nose.

9. goat's eyeballs: Get thee to another blog, forthwith.

10. "if you have any poo, fling it now!": A worthy sentiment, one I often endorse.

11. you have heard of me: Yes, yes you have. I'm sure your life is more edifying as a direct result. (Except you with the goat eyeballs. You can go.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Write YA?

Or have a YA idea? Then check out what YA publishers are looking for here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You Can Take My Dad's Money! I Promise!


1. In case you missed the post below this one (the one with ALL CAPS FOR A TITLE), Shadowing Fate is finished and in the hands of the agents who requested it.

2. I did heavy revisions, mostly because a really cool (and very twisted) plot idea came to me--one that would carry through the entire series--and I had to go back and work it in.

3. The end product is hands down the best work I've ever done. I'm so excited to share it with others!

4. I wrote like a crazy woman this weekend with literally about 10 hours of sleep over the course of three days.

5. *wanders off to collapse*

6. This weekend, I'm teaching a Query Writing workshop at my local RWA chapter meeting, so I'm going to start pulling together material for that.

7. In March of 2009, I'll be teaching an online week long course in query writing, so will pull from much of the same material.

8. I think hands-on learning is best, so my workshops are geared toward making sure everyone leaves with a working query letter they can immediately send out.

9. I got my shipment of candy to review on this blog and will be selling my so ... er ... blogging about it soon.

10. My house looks like I spent all weekend writing.

11. My kids have rediscovered their love of Lincoln logs after finding a box of the things hidden ... I mean, kept in their sister's closet.

12. I've rediscovered why I hid the box in the first place.

13. It hurts to step on chunks of wood at night in your bare feet.

14. Daredevil recently campaigned for president at his school. Every kid in his class had to put together some sort of campaign, complete with promises.

15. Daredevil did a video, shot at home, where he wandered around our house promising all the things he would give anyone who voted for him (he has yet to embrace the concept that a true leader doesn't have to bribe others to vote for him).

16. Among the items promised to his voters: chocolate drinking fountains at school, all the money in his dad's wallet (Ah. A true politician! Bribe your voters without using your own money!), every game system we own, and the cat.

17. We'll see how successful he is.

18. I'd love to type more, I really would, but my eyes are crossing (even though I slept last night) and I think a nap is in my near future.

19. Reader Question: Do you ever attend book signings? Why or why not? What would make you go?

Monday, November 10, 2008

IT IS FINISHED!

It's official, folks. Monday, November 10th, 2008, Shadowing Fate is finished.

Whew. Off to put my kids to bed and collapse.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Perfectly Simple



Current Mood: Anticipating the weekend

Playing on the iPod: "Indestructible" by Disturbed

1. Tonight, I gave Starshine explicit instructions after dinner: "Go upstairs, brush your teeth for TWO MINUTES, then get in bed and do your reading."

2. Starshine managed the first, then got sidetracked with the idea of messing around with Daredevil in my bathroom (Daredevil's explicit instructions included taking a shower.)

3. This required me to go upstairs and intervene to get everyone back on track. I shooed Daredevil into the shower, then turned to Starshine and said, "Go brush your teeth."

4. He replied, "Okay, but first I have to destroy Massachusetts."

5. Of course.

6. However, Starshine learned a valuable lesson: Dental Hygiene and Appropriate Bedtimes trump plans for World Domination (everyone knows you have to conquer Massachusetts to get anywhere) every time.

7. I was awarded an "I Love Your Blog" nomination from one of my readers (Chiron).

8. I'm honored!

9. The instructions include copying the icon, pasting it on my blog, then nominating other blogs I love and going to their blog to leave a comment so they know about their prize.

10. I've been too busy to pull it all together, but I will. I don't know if I'll choose 7 or more blogs like others have done, simply because I rarely have time to consistently read so many, but I'll certainly bestow the honor on my particular favorites (Brace yourself, Florida Girl, you're on the list.)

11. I'm pulling a looooong night of writing tonight to make up for the shambles of a schedule that was my pathetic attempt at revision this week.

12. I promised a particular agent I would get this ms. to her this week, and I have three others patiently waiting so I'll prop up my flagging energy with caffeine (though not toooo much...I want my writing to actually make sense) and stay up as long as I can manage, then finish it off in the morning if necessary.

13. Tonight, Daredevil needed math homework help.

14. It's a bit humbling to realize that much of 3rd grade math is beyond me (at least if you need to know the PROPER way to show your work...), and facing 5th grade math (for the Scientist) is an excellent way to inspire a mass extermination of brain cells I'm pretty sure I need.

15. My hubby handles all the math questions around here. I'm the go to girl for speech writing, paragraphs, vocabulary, and spelling.

16. Also, my hubby handles arts and crafts, but that's another post entirely.

17. Anyway, my hubby was helping Daredevil with his math homework, getting him to show his work (using the teacher-prescribed method), when he hit a stumbling block.

18. He spent another minute on it, then turned to me and said (in what MAY be his famous last words): "I need a simple math mind for this. Come here."

19. Turns out, he was making the solution too complicated. I don't have that problem.

20. He's lucky he has so many redeeming qualities.

21. Reader Question: What was your favorite subject in school? Does it still influence your life in any way?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hoist The Bobble Heads!

I've decided the undergarment industry could do with some "Change We Can Believe In" campaigns of their own. For starters, I'd like at least one company to realize that gravity is a harsh mistress who attacks more than just the breasts.

Furthermore, my breasts are not the only things than need lifting and separating. There's the matter of my derriere. Also, I believe I'm passing the point where the lifting and separating of my breasts is any kind of solution at all.

Separation is no longer a problem. It's corralling them both into a semblance of their original position and then holding them there that causes difficulty. And I don't need a garment that promises lift. I need one that is prepared to hoist.

I need NASA to take on the undergarment world. I figure if NASA can master g-force and rocket thrust, break through our atmosphere and defy gravity, they ought to be able to design a bra that makes me look like my breasts aren't going south for the winter. Perhaps they could use some sort of pliable metal so that I'm not only hoisted into position, I'm not in danger of catching a stiff breeze and poking out the eye of someone behind me as my breasts fly willy-nilly over my shoulders.

It's like having two organically-grown bobble head dolls permanently attached to my body.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting, Public Service Announcements, & Cake



1. I think it's cool that my local bookstore is giving away free drinks from their coffee shop to anyone who votes today.

2. Unfortunately, by the time I work all day, then stand in line to vote, then run home to make dinner...I won't have the time or energy to run out for coffee. :)

3. Worked on more revisions last night. Most of it is little stuff now. Just a few plot points to clean up.

4. I've opened a new doc and am copying and pasting each chapter, reading through it, making any corrections, then moving on.

5. I didn't use this method for polishing up DTR, but then again, I barely revised DTR, more's the pity.

6. I'll be entering SF in the Golden Heart this year, though I don't know if I can attend the conference ... might conflict with our trip to China.

7. I've asked my hubby to make a castle cake for me for my birthday.

8. He seems less than thrilled with that prospect.

9. Perhaps if I offer to pay?

10. I need to take a trip to Chicago sometime in the next year as research for the series following Fate.

11. I know, tough life, right?

12. I'm getting emailed offers from various people asking if I'd like to feature this, that, or the other on my blog.

13. Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say no, but here's a little piece of instruction for anyone hoping to be interviewed/have their product featured/experience their 6.3 seconds of fame (It's only 15 seconds if you make it on something like Letterman):

14. When I ask you for specific details/dates etc., GIVE THEM TO ME.

15. When I ask you questions to potentially be put up on the blog, ANSWER THEM AS IF YOU ARE A DECENT, INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEING.

16. If I follow up on my initial email with yet ANOTHER email asking for clarification and/or details you failed to give me the first time around and you STILL don't comply, feel free to read this blog 'til I turn 89, accept my crown as the Geriatric Sequined Wonder, and cut myself off from the ethernet--you still won't see mention of your name here.

17. Also, it's okay to say you've stumbled across my blog through my link on [name appropriate writer's site]. It's not okay to pretend to be a reader of the blog when you aren't.

18. If you're a regular reader, you should know the definition of the following words: Starshine, 9-4, and Zooweemama. Also, you should know the name of my current manuscript.

19. This has been a public service announcement.

20. Reader Question: What kind of cake should my hubby make for my birthday? All ideas are welcome.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get Me Started! - #2

*From Jen's first sentence.*

Some days, life hands you roses. Other days it manhandles you, bludgeons you over the head, then dumps you face first in the crapper.

This day was shaping up to be the latter. Not that many of my days recently have been anything to write home about--as if Dad would let Mom open my letters--but still, on a Days I'd Love To Erase scale of one to ten, this one was heading for twenty.

Fast.

It all started at seven a.m. with the goat. Not that my useless boss, so far into a bottle of Jack Daniels he could've given a brewery a run for its money on smell alone, didn't contribute. And I'm not discounting the obnoxious blonde with her I Took Out A Loan The Size of Kentucky breasts. Her little rat-dog holds a fair amount of responsibility too.

Still, at the heart of my problems lurked a barnyard animal with horizontal eyes, teeth the size of nickels--all the better to rip your Coach handbag apart, my dear!--and zero respect for anyone's personal space. It was the goat's fault. I was sure of it.

Trying to convince the irritated police officer facing me across the smooth steel surface of the table in Interview Room A was another matter. He was the no-nonsense, wear a badge for life type who'd heard every excuse in the book and wasn't buying any of them.

"A goat?" If he'd been trying to scrub his tone clean of any trace of mockery, he'd failed.

"Yes. A big one." My fingers drummed against the table until I ordered them to stop. When they started again, I shoved my hands in my lap and put on what I hoped was my best I Am Not A Crazy Person face.

"And where is this goat now?" He asked, shuffling the many witness statements piled in front of him, as if the goat's location would magically appear.

I was pretty sure most of those statements said things like "set an historic monument on fire," "screamed nonsense at the top of her lungs," or--and for this I had no regrets--"stuffed an I Heart NY bandanna into an irritating blonde's mouth, thus silencing her for thirty blessed seconds."

"I don't know."

"Do you usually walk around Manhattan with a goat, Ms. Ledbetter?"

"Of course not."

"Could you identify the goat in a line-up?" He asked, his tone thick with amused sarcasm. "Maybe work with our sketch artist to put a composite together?"

"Very funny."

"No, it isn't funny, Ms. Ledbetter. You've destroyed a chunk of property, much of it historic, offended the sensibilities of the mayor's wife--"

"That shrieking harpy was the mayor's wife?"

"Singed most of the hair off her dog," he went on as if I'd never interrupted, "and robbed her of a diamond ring worth well over a million dollars. There's nothing funny about that."

"The dog part was sort of funny," I said, before the realization kicked in that sarcasm was unlikely to earn me a Get Out Of Jail Free card.

"I don't want to hear another ridiculous story about goats knocking over Jack Daniels and chewing through purses. I want to know where Mrs. Harper's diamond ring is. Turn that over to us, and we can cut you a deal." His dark eyes were stern.

"That's easy. The goat--"

"No more about the goat!"

"Swallowed the ring," I finished and watched his face turn an unbecoming shade of red.

"Are you telling me you fed Mrs. Harper's million dollar diamond to a goat?" His voice rose on every syllable until he was shouting in my face.

"No. I'm telling you Mrs. Harper dropped the ring while scrambling around trying to control her miniature terror--"

"Terrier."

"Terror. And the goat was already eating everything in sight. He swallowed the ring, the fire started," here I decided to remain rather vague as to the cause, "and by the time you all decided to arrest me for theft and vandalism, he was gone."

"Ms. Ledbetter--"

"I'm telling the truth. Find the goat and you'll find the ring."

He sighed, scrubbed his hands over his face, and stood. "Stay here."

"I didn't realize I had a choice," I said.

He scooped up the witness statements and walked toward the door. "I can't believe I'm about to put out an APB on a goat."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Smell New York City

This idea is just strange enough to be alluring. I wonder what scents they'd have to box up to encompass Nashville?

Want Me To Test Drive A Mustang For 7 Years?


Yesterday, I mentioned on my facebook status (Hot Tamales!) and on a Twitter update (Yes, I've finally caved and am on Twitter. Please do NOT expect me to ever utter the asinine statement "I'm twittering." That's not a verb.) ... where was I? Oh, yes, I mentioned that I don't think I actually like Jordan Almonds (Chanel Pistol Heels!) all that much, but I find them addicting.

I think it's the crunch and the combination (Hot Tamales!) of sweet and nut. I don't know. I don't think I care. (Chanel Pistol Heels!) I'm pretty sure you care even less.



Anyway, I got an email from someone who does marketing (Hot Tamales!) for ohnuts candy company wanting to send me free samples of Jordan Almonds so I could review them on my blog. I browsed their site, (Chanel Pistol Heels!) found two flavors of Jordan Almonds that looked interesting (cappuccino and cinnamon) and agreed.

Then my devious mind (Hot Tamales!) began scheming...are other marketers googling their product names, (Chanel Pistol Heels!) hoping to find a fan who will agree to sample stuff and then blog about it? If mentioning Jordan Almonds just once on this blog gained a marketer's attention (Hot Tamales!), would subtly mentioning other products (Chanel Pistol Heels!) work as well?



I decided it was worth a try. There are many worthy products out there, (Hot Tamales!), but only a few so amazing, I'd be willing to sacrifice my dignity (Chanel Pistol Heels!) and sell my blogging soul to own.

If this works, I may have to work in product names throughout various posts more often. Just think of the opportunities! Yankee Sparkling Cinnamon candles. Williams & Sonoma (any product will do). Cherry-red Mustang Convertible.

The possibilities are endless.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shredded Cabbage, Anyone?



1. We have 543 pieces of candy in our house.

2. 543. Starshine and I counted them this morning.

3. That's obscene.

4. What's especially obscene is that a few misguided souls in our neighborhood thought Raisinets were an acceptable Halloween offering.

5. Raisins, little dried up globs of grape, are not candy. Not even if they're partially disguised with a chocolate coating. Or, perhaps, especially if they're partially disguised with a chocolate coating.

6. Although, that's hardly the worst thing I've ever seen plopped into an unwitting trick-or-treater's bag. One year, my gym teacher gave all of us a sandwich baggie full of raw broccoli.

7. That's an excellent way to get one's home egged.

8. Not that I ever did anything like that.

9. I'm in the final re-arrange, edit, polish stage for Shadowing Fate.

10. I'm very excited about the finished manuscript. It rocks.

11. In my humble opinion.

12. I'm scheduled for 34 hours at work this week.

13. Yay! for the money. Boo! for the time wasted there that could be spent writing, cleaning, ironing ...

14. Oh, alright. NOT ironing.

15. When I have a conversation with an agent offering representation and she asks me my career goals, one of the first things out of my mouth is going to be "One day I want to be able to afford weekly maid service."

16. Followed closely by, "Then, I want to be able to afford the World's Most Amazing Stiletto Collection.

17. Since my plan to take over the world using nothing but a ball of twine, a cloak, some pickled okra, and one very recalcitrant goat doesn't seem to be going anywhere, I'll have to sell my writing to get what I want.

18. Yesterday, I learned how to make enough coleslaw to feed 250 people.

19. I can't imagine how that skill will ever come in handy.

20. Reader Question: Where is the most interesting/amazing place you've ever been? What made it special?

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