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.