Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Start of Something New

It's that time of year again! The time of year when many sit down and come up with goals or resolutions for the coming year.

I'm actually not a goal-setter. I don't recall making resolutions before, and if I did, I certainly never wrote them down. However, I think I'm ready to take that step this year. I may even come back and cross them off as I accomplish them. ;-)

Per Maggie Stiefvater's recommendations (on her own recent goal setting blog post, which was awesome, by the way…go read it) I am going to try to stick to goals that I can control.

My goals for 2010:

1. Finish YA WIP (was supposed to be my NaNo novel, but I never got further than 1K - lol).

2. Revise other YA again and submit (I'm letting it sit right now).

3. Draft other YA idea.

4. Polish at least three PBs and submit.

5. Blog at least once per week.

My two goals for next year that I can't control are to get an agent and to get something published.

Here is a great article on writing resolutions, too:

So, what are your writerly goals for 2010? Let's cheer each other on!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Contest Awesomeness

Wow! The following contest is for a LOT of great YA books! You should go enter!

(Keep an eye on this post. I will use it to post any other contests I see this week...)

OMG, OMG, OMG - I just found another contest (I told you I would)!

This one is just so neat and so much fun, I cannot even describe it! Go now and check it out! (It involves sending ARCs of The Timekeeper's Moon by Joni Sensel on a quest - woot!)

Found another at Sharon Loves Books and Cats!

Here's another:

And another! Yay for new books!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Funny Parenting Moment

Hello everyone! I just wanted to share this funny exchange between my husband and my six-year-old son. Enjoy!

*Son running around.*
DH: Son, come here.
*Son still running around.*
DH: Come over here! What are you supposed to do when I say something to you?
Son: Stop.
DH: Then what?
Son: Drop and roll?

--Yes, I had to leave the room, I was laughing so hard.--

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Give Up the Ghost Trailer and Contest

Check out the cool trailer for Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe! She's having a contest here:

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tidbit and Twilight Tuesday

Hello all! Just a quick post today, since I don't feel wonderful.

I thought I'd post two snippits from LURE for your enjoyment, since I just posted them in Kiersten White's GiveAWAY contest.

Lemme know what you think!

"Let me tell you – walking into a movie theater with no popcorn smell is like walking into your favorite restaurant and smelling dog poo. It just doesn’t work."


“If you want to read it so bad, then just read it already,” I snapped without looking at her. “As soon as we get Dad some help, we’ll go back to my house, I’ll give you your copy back, and you can become a book zombie like everyone else. Just don’t expect me to clean up your pee.”

I also promised you some Twilight funnies, so here they are:

Buffy vs. Edward

New Moon Action Figure re-enactment (it's spoilery if you haven't read the book/seen the movie)

How Twilight Should Have Ended

Thanks for stopping by! I love comments, too...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Contest!

This is a fun one! The Enchanted Inkpot is giving away a smorgasboard of books!

First row - Basket 1 - FAIRY TALES AND FOLKLORE
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagen
The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs
The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs
Shadow (ARC) by Jenny Moss
Faery Rebels by RJ Anderson
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Ash by Malinda Lo
Second row - Basket 2 - ADVENTURE AND WITCHCRAFT
The Emerald Tablet by PJ Hoover
The Navel of the World by PJ Hoover
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem
Wicked 1 by Nancy Holder
Wicked 2 by Nancy Holder
Wicked : Resurrection by Nancy Holder
Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
The Owl Keepers (ARC) by Christine Brodien-Jones
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by RL Lafevers
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by RL Lafevers
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by RL Lafevers
There will be a grand prize winner and 2 runner ups. Winners will be based on the following criteria:
1. The Grand Prize winner will have first pick and choose one of the book gift baskets AND will also win a $25 gift card to Powell’s Books AND a copy of ICE by Sarah Beth Durst. The winner will be chosen based on who provides the most online promotion points for our contest, via blog, facebook, twitter, etc. One point is awarded for the type of promotion and the number of times such promotion is provided. For example, a person who tweets and blogs about it for all 14 days of the contest will earn 28 points. Honor system is in place so you will be required to tally up your points yourself and we’ll check’em. YOU MUST COMMENT ONLY ON THIS ORIGINAL CONTEST POST IN ORDER TO QUALIFY.
2. Second runner up will choose from the remaining 2 baskets. The winner will be the person who comes in second with the most online promotion points.
3. Third runner up will win the last remaining book gift basket and will be chosen from a lottery. Anyone can enter the third prize drawing. All you have to do is answer one of the following questions. What MG/YA fantasy would you like to read over the holiday break? What fantasy book most reminds you of the Holiday or New Year season?
Contest ends on December 9th, 2009. And our apologies, but due to the large size of the prizes, the contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. Don’t forget, all contest entries are accepted only in the comments section of this contest post. Comment as much as you like and help spread the word!

Go here:

Let’s Be Thankful

Again with the interrupting of my planned post, but yanno, things happen. Oh, and this may be a bit random, but that's how I roll.

So, it has been a bit of a depressing week in some circles I frequent. First, there was a post about quitting on the Blueboards. Then, another post about losing faith in your writing on the Blueboards. And, even Natalie Whipple is feeling it!

The nice thing about all of these is how we writers rally around each other. There is lots of morale-boosting in those posts. I had a bit of a rough week, myself. I got a rejection that was a little tough because I had high hopes for that query. *sigh* Amazingly, I checked my blog roll shortly after getting the R and found this post by Maggie Stiefvater. Who knew Maggie was psychic?

Anyway, one of the best ways to fight the blues is to concentrate on what we are thankful for. So, I am posting five things I am thankful for – one set for writing, and one set for just me. J

Things About Writing I Am Thankful For:

  1. The Blueboard Community: I have never seen a more supportive and helpful community anywhere. Someone on the BBs once mentioned that we are essentially each others' competition, and yet it doesn't feel like that at all. I don't think I would be writing if not for the Blueboards.
  2. A Creative Outlet: I am not one of those writers who has been writing my whole life. I am relatively new to it. But now that I've started, I don't think I could stop! It is such a great outlet for my creative energy (I have been told how creative I am my entire life). Plus, I have always had these random thoughts floating through my mind: imagined conversations, weird scenarios, etc. How awesome to discover a purpose for them!
  3. Learning: I literally learn something new everyday. Whether it is about my writing, writing in general, publishing, or even myself. I love to learn! (I actually went straight from graduating from college into classes for my Master's – over the summer - simply because I liked learning).
  4. Blogs: This kind of falls under learning, and it is a bit of a community itself. I love reading your blogs, and the ones on my sidebar, and lots more that don't fit over there (I think I follow over 100). It is fun, informative, and great to support and get support from others!
  5. Twitter: There is a fun community on twitter, as well. Many of these communities overlap, but my favorite thing about twitter is the speed of it. It's super great for when I am feeling stuck or frustrated with my writing. I can just click over to twitter, read my feed for a bit, and then jump back into my WIP.

Things About My Life I Am Thankful For:

  1. My husband: Of course. He is so loving and understanding. I am the world's worst housekeeper, and he comes from a family of OCD super cleaners, but he only complains about once a month. He works uber-hard to support us and give both me and the kids things that we want (not just things that we need). Amazing doesn't even begin to describe him.
  2. My children: Three energetic mini-tornados. They are almost always happy and cheerful. They play together more smoothly than I have ever seen siblings play. They have the best smiles and give the best hugs.
  3. My parents: They are so generous and supportive. They are really the best parents I have ever seen. I am so lucky to have had them raise me.
  4. My jobs: I grumble occasionally because they take me away from writing, but they also provide a break and the funds to allow me to attend conferences and buy new books.
  5. My laptop: (I had to be a little materialistic). As an example of #3, my laptop was a gift from my parents. I use it almost all day everyday. Whether going to the three places mentioned in my writing thanks, playing itunes, composing a new story, or allowing the kids to watch a DVD, I don't know what I would do without it.

So, I will leave you with those and ask you to leave 5 things you are thankful for.

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Check back tomorrow for three funny videos poking fun at Twilight…

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay - sorry to post twice in one day, but I have some fun contests I would like to share with you (although if you win, I will be mad - just kidding)!

First, the contest at The Bookshelf Muse. If you don't follow them, you should. They have some great resources on their blog! Here's a link to the contest:

Adding more contests in a sec...

'Kay - here's another - Number One Novels - a blog supporting debut novelists (how awesome is that?). They are giving away Kelly Meding's new novel THREE DAYS TO DEAD:

I may find more...

Shelli at Market My Words is having a fun contest, too! Go follow her and enter!

Found another! Agent Suzie Townsend is giving away a signed copy of PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle on her blog: Oh, and if you enter, tell her I told you about it, and we each get three extra entries! Woot!


I was planning to post something else, but title talk is all over the internets, so I thought I'd join in. J

Basically, the point of most of the talk is that your title is your first impression. Whether we're talking about a query to an agent, a submission to an editor, or even the book on the shelf, the Title is one of the first things people are going to notice about your book.

Jill Corcoran calls titles and covers "your book's billboard." There are some great links and great information (there's even a graph!) in this post. She also links to the Editorial Anonymous post on titles, in which Ed Anon breaks down what will happen to your manuscript based on the awesomeness (or lack thereof) of your title. What I love about Ed Anon is how she can cover an important topic in a humorous way.

Apparently I missed it, but back at the beginning of October, Jean Reidy posted about titles, too. I love her point that a title is "a promise of the story to come." She has a fun exercise and three more links in her post, as well!

I agree with the points made in the posts linked here, but I have also heard that many times titles are changed either by the agent or the editor. Agent Elana Roth commented in a kidlitchat on Twitter that she had changed the titles of almost every book she'd sold.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't try to find the best title possible for your story. Absolutely, you should. But – maybe try not to get super attached to it. LOL.

Okay, now I am going to ask for your help, readers. All this title talk has reminded me of title issues I have with my novel. When I started writing it, I had one title in mind. Then, a couple of writerly friends commented that it maybe wasn't a good title, so I changed it. Unfortunately, I cannot get the first title out of my mind. I still like it better than the current title. So, I am going to post my pitch and the two titles, and you can give me your opinion. (And I really appreciate it!)

Pitch (Upper MG):

Yet another idiotic book has taken over Mitch's hometown. Just another craze, he hopes, like last year's obsession with vampires, because Mitch would rather pound a nail through his thumb than read. He's got better things to do, like hang out with Jen, or work on the shelf he's building for her in his workshop.

But then, even the people he loves most get sucked into the book. His dad, for instance. Mitch has to pull him out from under a fallen truss while he--and everyone else on the construction site--continues to read. And even when Mitch and Jen realize people are reading themselves to death, Jen succumbs to the book's mysterious pull. With Jen now under its spell, Mitch is the only one left to find some way to break the obsession...before he loses everyone he loves.

Titles (The title of the book in the story and the novel itself are the same):

First title: THE BOOK

Current title: LURE

Thoughts? Opinions? Also, if you have any good links about titles, please share!



ETA - Found another link to share: Lisa Schroeder talks about Titles:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thoughts on Writing – Part Two

Today I want to share three interesting posts about Critique Groups. Now, we all know that having another person or persons read your writing before you send it out into the world is essential, right? We know this, and yet, it seems to be so hard to find the right people or the right combination or the right personalities…Oy!

Tara McClendon recently had a great post on her blog about this, and about what type of group one should be looking for. I love her distinction between a cheerleading group and a critique group. I have definitely met those people who are looking for a cheerleader rather than a critique.

But then, sometimes even when you are ready for a true critique, it is hard to find the right group or partner. You have to find someone who "gets" your writing (style, genre, voice, etc.) and who can give you helpful information in the critique. You have to find someone who is available for critique on the same or a similar schedule as you. It can really be overwhelming! Natalie Whipple recently posted some great tips on finding a critique group, and I think her tips on what to look for in a crit partner are spot-on.

What I have found amazing (although I probably shouldn't have been surprised by it), is how diverse opinions really are. I have an online critique group, and I was shocked that one member just really didn't like my main character, Mitch. He said he found the best friend, Jen, much more interesting. But then I had other members telling me they love Mitch. So, what to do?

Well, Tara McClendon had another great post on what to do when you get a critique. She had some great "What if?" questions to ask yourself after a critique. She also emphasizes looking at the comments objectively, which can sometimes take a day or so of "cooling off" to accomplish.

What I think is important to note is that you can learn something from just about every critique. Even if you disagree with the comments. A couple of great things can happen if you disagree with the comments a critique partner makes.

  1. You can gain renewed confidence in what you've written. Take my example above. I listened to what that one member said about Mitch, and I looked at Mitch again as a character and why he was the way he was. And I decided that I was happy with Mitch as he was, and that he needed to be that way for the story to work. I actually gained confidence in my character because the critique questioned him.


  2. You can disagree with the specific comment, but realize that something in your manuscript made the reader feel that way and perhaps make a different change that improves your manuscript. I had a critique once that said the reader felt that two of my characters were too similar – they seemed like the same person. Well, I super-duper disagreed with that! LOL. But, there had to be a reason that person felt that way, so I went back and looked deeper at the characterization of both and also scenes where they were together. I realized that while in my head I had been writing from one POV, in reality, I had slipped a little into another. When I fixed that, my story and my characters were able to shine through more clearly.


So, what kinds of "AHA" moments have you had from critiques? Have you ever felt you learned from a critique you disagreed with?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts on Writing – Part One

Hello Readers! Sorry I haven't been a very good blogger lately. I'm really new to this, so I hope you'll cut me a little slack.

Anyway, I am going to try to be better about posting regularly, and hopefully not so randomly. (Seriously, though, if you look at my profile description, how could I possibly be anything other than random? I have four part-time jobs, plus writing, and THREE small children. My brain works in random, mysterious ways. I blame that on God, who also works in mysterious ways. Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, right…less randomness.)

Today I'd like to start with some great recent blog posts about writing. They aren't MY blog posts (obviously), but they are awesome, and I will add a thought or two with each link.

Now, you may be thinking, "Gee, Larissa, this is awesome! Thanks for all the great info!" OR you may be thinking, "Darn it, Larissa, I read all of these yesterday (or the day before)." If you're thinking the first, you're welcome. J If you're thinking the second, great! I would love to know your thoughts on those posts. Also, I am partially doing this out of selfishness. If I post all of these on my blog, I will have a great reference if I ever need it! ;)

So, to the blogs of awesome we go!

I'm going to start with this one by Natalie Whipple.

I found this post very interesting, because I have fallen prey to this "good enough" syndrome myself. Of course, I also found myself asking the obvious next question, which luckily Natalie answered over the next two days. First by addressing self esteem and then how you know you're ready. (Hint – it has a lot to do with your gut). I really feel like I needed to read all three of these posts together. And, together, they are super-duper awesome (yes, I really like the word awesome and I use it too much. No, I'm not going to stop).

Here is my favorite part of what Natalie wrote: "Don't tie your writing talent to your writing skill. Because talent is something innate inside of you that will never burn out. It's where your ideas come from, your voice, your passion. You can have confidence in that. Hold on to it and cherish it. And it is, though sometimes it might not feel like it, separate from your writing skill.

And therein lies the beauty of all this—you can always get more skill."

I really think that sums it up right there. Thanks, Natalie!

Well, I was going to include a few other posts about writing, but I think today's post is long enough! I will post more thoughts on writing tomorrow. Please leave YOUR thoughts on writing in the comments! Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week

I've been following a bit of drama the past couple of weeks regarding banned books, mostly involving banning of books my Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson (you can read more about their stories on their blogs, linked in their names). I was mostly watching the events unfold via these authors' twitter feeds (@EllenHopkinsYA and @halseanderson), in which they linked to blog posts describing their experiences with banning, and even news stories about the bans. Each time I read another instance of banning or watched a newscast about it on You Tube, I rolled my eyes and shook my head at the ridiculousness of it all.

Then, last night, I was shocked to hear a news teaser about a local attempted banning (story here). I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. I watched the story (even though DH really, really wanted to change the channel), and I think my mouth just dropped more and more as the story continued. Book banning makes me mad, period, but I really lost my cool when a woman came on and said (paraphrased), "I don't want my daughter reading that kind of stuff."

I actually yelled at the TV at that point, and I think DH thought I was nuts.

How is it a library's responsibility to control what *your* child is reading? What happened to actually *parenting* your own child?

Bottom line, I think that this is exactly what is wrong with society today, in general. People are lazy. They want others to control what their child reads. If their child isn't doing well in school, the school is failing the child. People want everything handed to them without doing any of the work themselves.

Ironically, the lead story on another news channel was a child who died from an overdose, and 8th grade girls who overdosed on prescription meds at school. But, no, these kids are too young to read books about the consequences of doing drugs.


Anyway, go out and read a few banned books this week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

They Cut the Climax!

    I was flipping channels the other night, and go ridiculously excited when I saw that Spacecamp was on. So I made Son watch his show (iCarly – I think he has a crush on Miranda Cosgrove) in another room so I could watch Spacecamp.

    Now, I know as well as anyone that when they put a movie on TV, they edit for time and content. I expect it. What I didn't expect was for them to cut one of the most important scenes in the movie. Lemme say that again.

    They cut one of the most important scenes in the movie!!!

    At the end, as they have to re-enter the atmosphere, Kathryn (the female main character) is piloting because Andie (their instructor) got hurt. The ship goes into a flat spin, which is the situation Kathryn was unable to handle in the simulator and the multi=axis trainer during camp. Kathryn's big triumph is that she gets them out of the flat spin and gets them home, proving to herself that she can do it, and that she is meant to be a pilot (something she fights throughout the movie).

    Yeah. They cut that. They cut the whole flat spin.

    Hel-looooooo? Why would you do that? Why cut there? It makes no sense.


    Oh, and they also cut one of my favorite lines of all time. Kelly Preston plays Tish – a be-bangled and be-jeweled poster child for 80's Valley Girl. When NASA finally responds to her Morse Code, she says, "Whip me, beat me, take away my charge card – NASA's talking!" Classic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In which I sing the praises of Walgreens

Today I’d like to take a moment to talk about the awesomeness that is Walgreens. Seriously. It is my absolute favorite store. You can get just about anything you need there.

Run out of diapers? They’ve got ‘em.

Basic condiments? Check.

Lotion? Check.

Cosmetics? Check.

OTC meds? Check.

Prescriptions? Check.

Photo developing? Check.

Need a gift? They’ve got gift cards for just about anywhere, cute seasonal items, toys, cards, and even gift wrap.

Don’t know what to make for dinner? They’ve got canned and boxed solutions and even frozen foods (pizza, anyone?).

You might argue that I can get the same things at Target or Walmart, and you’d be right. Except. Both of those stores are something like five times bigger than Walgreens…at least. It would take a person at least three times longer to run into Target or Walmart to grab something as it takes to run into Walgreens. Another argument against the bigger stores is exactly their largeness. I can’t go into Target without spending at least $100 and well over an hour of my time. Walgreens has lots of cute stuff, but I just don’t find myself grabbing it and throwing it into my cart like I do at Target. I can walk through Walgreens with a list and leave with only the things on my list. As far as Walmart…well, I’m just not a fan. We’ll leave it at that.

Plus, Walgreens has great prices and awesome specials, including the amazing monthly Easy Saver catalog. There have been months where I have gotten $35+ back on products I was already buying.

At this point you’re probably thinking, Wow, is she getting paid by Walgreens or something? No. Just thought I’d share the awesomeness. If you don’t shop at Walgreens, you should. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Writing Compliment So Far

I just got the biggest compliment I have had so far in my writing career! I'm so ridiculously excited!
One of my critique group members told me that she was so into reading the first three chapters of my story, she almost fell out of her chair when the phone rang!


(How pathetic am I?) LOL.

Off to write more gripping stuff! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Muse

So, someone on the blueboards posted this link to a speech by Elizabeth Gilbert:

I watched it last week, and really enjoyed it. Then, it happened to me!

Last night, I went to bed around midnight. I had to get up at 7am for the first day of school for everyone (me included - I teach 2 year olds). Suddenly, As I was trying to fall asleep, full portions of text and dialogue for my wip popped into my head. I'm not talking about a quick idea or something. I mean two full on word-by-word passages in the story.

Are you kidding me?!?

I seriously contemplated getting up to write, but then I wondered if I'd ever get back to bed. So, I tried what Elizabeth had said in her talk. I actually addressed my muse/inspiration/whatever directly.

"Now is not the time. I appreciate the great ideas, but if you could hold that thought and come back tomorrow afternoon, that'd be fantastic."

I'm about to hit my wip now, so here's hoping it listened! LOL

What do you do when the muse/inspiration appears at an inconvenient time? Do you give in and write? Ask it to come back later? Ignore it and hope you remember the ideas later? Other?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Radom Funnies

Thanks to Anne for posting these. Hysterical! Comment on your favorites!

Thanks to Aaron Karo at Ruminations for these gems. I'm still laughing over #8...

1. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.
2. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.
3. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
4. I don’t understand the purpose of the line, “I don’t need to drink to have fun.” Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they’ve invented the lighter?
5. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
6. That’s enough, Nickelback.
7. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
8. The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.
9. Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ’s. We just figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.
10. There is a great need for sarcasm font.
11. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the hell was going on when I first saw it.
12. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I’ll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone’s laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I’m still the only one who really, really gets it.
13. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
14. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
15. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
16. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.
17. A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
18. Was learning cursive really necessary?
19. Lol has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.
20. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
21. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
22. Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.
23. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?
24. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G as in…(10 second lapse)..ummm…Goonies”
25. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
26. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.
27. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
28. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
29. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
30. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
31. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.
32. Bad decisions make good stories.
33. Whenever I’m Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!
34. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
35. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem….
36. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
37. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.
38. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
39. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
40. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.
41. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?’
42. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Aghh!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
43. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
44. When I meet a new girl, I’m terrified of mentioning something she hasn’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
45. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
46. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles…
47. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
48. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
49. It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
50. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
51. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to with it.
52. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…
53. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day “Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?” How the hell do I respond to that?
54. It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
55. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
56. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
57. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
58. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BALLAD trailer

Check out the trailer for BALLAD by Maggie Steifvater!! Yay!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bookshelf Muse Zombie Haiku contest!

How fun is this? Write a zombie haiku. You'll thank me later.

Warning: Zombies Ahead

Guurrgh....uuurgh...brrraiiins.... sllluurp.

Translation: Angela is in Idaho, amassing a zombie horde for world domination vacationing with her family. Normal Thesaurus posts will be suspended until her return August 16th.

Lucky for you, she's left a few of her favorite lieutenant zombies in charge, and our first official act is to announce a little contest. We think you'll like it.

First Annual Zombie Haiku Contest

Oh yes--you read correctly. Sure, Zombies eat brains. But don't we also have an inner soul, a burning desire to unleash pent up emotions in the form of, erm...poetry?

Let's face it--Zombies? Poetry? Someone needed to go there. Angela is that person. The question is, are you up to the challenge? Can you get in touch of your inner Zombie and make Angela tear up or better yet, laugh out loud? We hope so, because you could win an in depth first chapter critique.

This is quite possibly the most awesome contest on the web. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised at all if the talent rolling in is so gut-spittingly awesome that more than one critique will have to be awarded.

So for the Haiku challenged, the format is scary simple: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Like so:

Hungry moans outside
Fingers scrabble at the door
Time to get the axe

Look, the ice cream man
Only has one flavor left
What's Head Cheese Surprise?

My silent boyfriend
We hold hands in the moonlight
Likes me for my brain

Is there a Zombie Epic inside you, longing to burst out? Set it free and post your haiku in your comment section! The contest will run until Angela returns, dead or alive. Followers can enter as many zombie haikus as they like.

For extra chances to win, post a link to this contest on your blog and let me know in the comments section where you spread the word. Each time you post a link to this contest you'll earn an additional chance to win a bonus critique!

So, what are you waiting for? Let's see some poetry, people!

Friday, August 14, 2009


My husband's stupid alarm went off this morning, and he was, of course, in the other room because V had woken up in the middle of the night. So, I push myself out of the covers and set my left leg on the floor to stand up. Crash. My leg goes right out from under me.

It must have been asleep - so asleep that it wasn't even tingling. It took me a good minute to minute and a half of flailing around to even be able to stand up (on the other leg) and hobble to his phone to turn the stupid alarm off.

When I managed to get to him to let him know his alarm had gone off, I told him what had happened. His response? "Oh, that happens to me all the time."

Really? Really?!? No concern for your poor wife? Plus, I have never seen you flopping around on the floor like a fish, unable to stand up. Seriously!

I'm okay, by the way. My ankle is a little bruised, but overall I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


OMG - this blog is hilarious!

Go check it out, and then come back and tell me what you thought!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Win a 10,000 word Edit from Tara M!!!

Win a 10,000 Word Edit

I know that many of the people following this blog are fellow writers, and I’m excited to be a part of this online community. So, I’m going to offer my first contest. That’s right. I’m giving away a 10,000 word edit, which equates to a $300 value. I’m going to host this for an entire month, so I’ll draw a winner on September 1, 2009.

Here’s how you enter:

  1. You must sign up to follow my blog. (If you’re already signed up—a huge thankful for finding me interesting, and consider this step done.)

  2. Leave a comment on this blog stating that you’d like to be entered.
This will get you one entry into a drawing to win a 10,000 word edit.

Want a second entry?

Post about this contest on your blog, and I’ll enter you a second time. If you don’t have a blog, but can post this on a forum, leave me a comment, and I’ll include you for a second entry. (And yes, I’m working on the honor system, so don’t disappoint.)

Rules and Qualifications:

  • The 10,000 word edit applies to one work in progress. (A WIP less than 10,000 words can qualify, but the edit will be for the word count of the work.)

  • Please no poetry. (I love to read it, but it isn’t my forte as an editor.)

  • I have the right to refuse the edit based on content. If a replacement work isn’t available, I’ll draw another name. Examples of work that would fall into this category include Satanism and erotica.
To see my qualifications as an editor, feel free to visit my bio at Inspiration for Writers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Article on DEAD GIRL WALKING by Linda Joy Singleton


By Linda Joy Singleton (in celebration of the release of DEAD GIRL IN LOVE)

Would you stick with a book if you knew it would take 20 years from idea to publication? In 1988 I wrote TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY. Every few years I would rewrite and submit again. In 2007, I changed the title to DEAD GIRL WALKING. Here are author-editor emails that followed:

June 22, 2007 (8:30AM): Emailing my Flux editor, Andrew Karre, on another project, I added:

I also recently reworked my YA suicide/switched body story, DEAD GIRL WALKING, if you wanted to look at it.

June 22, 2007 (10:30AM): From my editor:

If you d like to send DEAD GIRL WALKING (email, please), I d have a look, of course.

July 3, 2007 (2PM): From my editor:

Are you going to around on Thursday or Friday? If you are, I’d like to chat with you about this project. Let me know when you’ll have some time.

July 3, 2007 (3:07PM) To my editor:

I'd love to talk with you on Thursday.

July 5, 2007 (1:47PM) From my editor:

It was good to talk, as always. I’m attaching my markup of the ms (notes in the right margin), but it’s mostly what I said on the phone. I m excited to see how this develops. I m sure you’ll surprise me.

July 5, 2007: (2:03PM) To my editor:

I've been thinking it over and see the arc of at least 3 books, following her as she tries to go back to her own body. I'll work on it more and send you a basic description of the three books.

I'm playing with titles and have these ideas so far:


I think the DANCING one could stem from her desire to be an entertainment agent. I'm seeing Amber as someone who can't figure out who she is and envies others, wishing she could have their life because it seems easier or more glamorous. Getting lost, finding herself...themes I'm working on.

July 9, 2007 (10:47AM): To my editor:

I expect to send you revised chapters and a new synopsis later this week. I am very excited about your idea of a possible short DEAD GIRL series.

July 11, 2007 (10:40AM) From my editor:

I read your new draft, and I think it is much improved. This is much closer to what I was picturing, and I feel like you’ve started out on the right foot with your protagonist. I like this Amber a lot more, and I want to know what happens to her. Of course, I have comments and I’ll pass them along in a bit, but in the main this is what I was hoping you d do. Bravo!

July 11, 2007 (11:05AM): To my editor:

I'll start plotting the additional books and get this to you within a few days. By the way, I love your ideas about other people being like Amber--very cool! My brain wheels are churning.

July 16, 2007 (3:38PM) From my editor:

I will be pitching the series to the committee on Thursday, so expect to hear from me on Thursday or more likely Friday.

July 16, 2007 (4:00PM) To my editor:

Great! Thursday I'll be home but Friday I'll be camping.

Thursday, July 19, 2007: From Linda Joy Singleton’s journal:

At 9AM the phone rang. Editor Andrew...

I sucked in deep breaths and kind of stammered something like "Hi...gasp." He chuckled and said he had good news. Then he offered me a 3-book contract with DEAD GIRL WALKING; DEAD GIRL DANCING and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE. YAY!!!!!

DEAD GIRL IN LOVE is now available -- completing the trilogy about love, loss, best friends and body-swapping.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yikes. Now I'm blogging!

If someone had told me a year ago that I would be creating a blog, I'd have told them they were nuts. Well, here I am internet. Watch out!

I'd say more, but I just opened 8 tabs from my dashboard of blog entries I want to catch up on, and my kids are waiting for lunch. :)