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A Bad Culinary Decision

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A few days ago, on a whim, I bought a bag of Lay's Potato Chips in their new Chicken and Waffles flavor. I figured my kids (who love both chicken and waffles) would enjoy it, and I was curious to see how Lay's managed to deliver this flavor via a potato chip. Worst. Decision. Ever. The taste can't decide if its chicken, waffles, or some terrible hybrid of the two that ends up just tasting like syrup-drenched roadkill. And the aftertaste? Holy Noxious Swill, Batman! Soooo bad. And it just does NOT fade. Even my boys, who will eat anything and who regularly come up with concoctions no sane person would eat (Chocolate sauce and gummy bears in a rootbeer float, for example. Or pouring the ramen seasoning packet over the UNCOOKED noodles and munching on it for hours.) wouldn't eat more than one chip. Basically, eating a single Lay's Chicken and Waffles potato chip looks like this:

The Creation of an Effective Villain

One of the things I often hear from readers is that the Commander truly scares them. He's been called one of the worst villains in literature by several who've written to me, and this pleases me. Naturally, I live to scare my readers. *cue maniacal laughter* Actually, I live to write effective stories, and that requires pushing my characters to their limits. If the villain isn't worthy of my heroes, then the story no longer matters. Readers don't sign on to read a story about characters who are kind of facing a few irksome problems that are easily dispatched if only they would simply communicate with each other and decide to do the right thing. Readers want stories that sink into their minds and whisper their secret fears. They want stories where the heroes have a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding. Stories where the victory costs nearly as much as it would cost to fail. To deliver that, the villain must be effective. Being evil for the sake of being evil i

Selling Out?

The topic of being a "sell-out" came up the other day while I was talking with one of my kids. For context, he was shocked to learn that I loved the new Fallout Boy single. Mostly because he couldn't believe his mom knew who Fallout Boy was. But also because he and his friends considered the single a "sell-out." When I asked him why that song qualified as a sell-out, he shrugged and said that all the fans were saying it. He didn't really know why, except that the song was different from earlier artistic offerings from the band. That's a strange label in this situation. Usually, when a band gets labeled a "sell-out," fans mean that a band who produced alternative/niche music changed their style a bit and found commercial success. In Fallout Boy's case, they've already found commercial success. Their 2005 album went double platinum, and their 2007 album debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top 200. So, if the outcry isn't based on the

I Really Should Start Paying More Attention ...

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1. I had a busy week last week, mostly because I was trying to fit seven days worth of stuff into five days because I attended a writing retreat over the weekend. 2. We all know I can't leave my house without doing something absent-minded or ridiculous. 3. Usually because I'm almost always somewhere else inside my head while I try to live real life, and that often blows up in my face. 4. My week was fine until I left the house to drive to the retreat. I had to stop by Target for my contribution to the weekend's menu and then by Dress Barn to find a pair of non-denim, non-yoga pants to wear at my daughter's dedication on Sunday and to an upcoming reception for the Nashville literary community. (Although, let's be honest ... any reception for a literary community will probably include at least ONE pair of yoga pants in attendance ...) 5. I think my mistake was in stopping at Target first. Why? 6. Because the automatic doors ruined me for all other doors. 7

Pep Talk Fail & Other Things

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1. Yes, I laughed myself stupid over that pic. 2. Yes, I've been a sucky blogger. Some days/weeks/months I have to make the choice between sucky blogger or sucky writer, though, and writing pays the bills. 3. I am going to try hard to do better. 4. I've even given myself a pep talk. It sounded a lot like YOU ARE GOING TO DO THIS THING, REDWINE. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL. WITH GREAT GIFTS COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. HE'S ONLY MOSTLY DEAD. ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL. AVADA KADAVRA. FOR NARNIA!!!! 5. Clearly, I got a little distracted by the various EPIC movies I love ... so yeah, I am also sucky at pep talks. 6. At any rate, I'm here! Blogging! And also writing under another fast-approaching deadline, so we'll see just how well I can juggle the two. 7. As most of you know, Defiance hit the shelves on 8/28 and it was lovely and crazy and exhausting and fun. The local launch party was a blast, and I was so amazed at how many people showed up! 8

Defiance Trailer!

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Since VH1's exclusive has expired, Harper posted the trailer on youtube so that the regions who didn't have access to view it on VH1 can see it now. Here you go!

AwkwardFlail FTW

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1. Oh, reader. 2. I had my first official author event this past weekend. 3. It was a trial run which should probably be titled "C.J. Tries To Be Authorly In Public." 4. The subtitle is "AwkwardFlail." 5. The fine print reads "If you invite C.J. to an event, and you haven't done your research, you deserve the spectacle you're about to witness." 6. What happened, you ask? 7. I was invited by the lovely people in the Heart of Dixie RWA chapter to host one of the tables at their annual Reader Appreciate Luncheon. 8. The event was wonderful. Fun, high energy, and very well attended. 9. There was a meet and greet beforehand, and then a fancy catered lunch, and then gift baskets and door prizes etc. 10. And there were photo ops. 11. Sadly, I believe my table was treated to more photo ops than anyone else. 12. I should come with a warning label. Something along the lines of "Read her blog BEFORE you meet her, and then sit nea