Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best.Day.Ever.

So, Friday, I left work early for obvious reasons (who wants to work? it's so much...work!)

I went to savers to check stuff out. Over a year ago, I bought my most favoritest pair of jeans there, and now they are starting to form a hole in the knee. Major bummer.

Anyways, I was perusing through the women's jeans, frowning at the faded Jordache's and mom-butt levi's that looked like they were circa 1982, when I saw them.

The rack parted, and a light came down from the heaven's, shining right on the label that said "7 for all mankind". Then the choir of angels starting singing, and I swear, a tear came to my eye.

That's right. I found 7 jeans at savers! And they were in my size! And they were flared! It was like kismet, like destiny, like they were meant to be mine!

If you've never hear of "7 for all mankind" that's probably because these jeans normally cost at least $100.00. Who spends that much on jeans? Not me, I spent $6.99 on my hundred dollar jeans! That's right bitches!

Best. Day. Ever.

;)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nicknames are a standard concept right? Er, maybe not...

My friend Kristen likes to give people nicknames.

Sounds like a normal habit? Oh, no, no, no.

It's not. And here's why.

I have known Kristen (and worked with her) for five years now. Almost every day, when I see her in the morning, it goes something like this:

ME: Morning!
KRISTEN: Hey, (insert random word and/or sequence of words that have no discernible meaning or intention)

It isn't like she gives one person a nickname that somehow matches their personality and it sticks. It's more like she comes up with something arbitrary and completely off the wall, EVERY DAY!

Finally, I started writing them down. And, for the enjoyment of all, here they are:

Snot Rocket
Marshmallow Face
Mumbelina
Poo Poo Taco
Poopies
Scoobies
Poodle Skin
Starlet
Taco Tuesday
Groucho
Crickety Crotchedy
Fusion
Crotch Rocket
Shoogy Woogy and the White Wall Beat (we actually caught one of our coworkers googling this phrase. He just couldn't grasp that it didn't come from somewhere, instead of being plucked from the recesses of Kristen's mind)
Donkey Kong Warrior
Cat Breath
Jigglestiltskin
Count Boobala (Okay, this one, not directed at me. This could never be a nickname for me, but it was funny, so I had to include it.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Failure is the opportunity to try again more intelligently

Okay, I know you all are sitting on the edge of your seats, wondering how I did in the writers contest I entered (and by "you all", I mean the three people who read this blog, including my mother). Well, wait no longer! Because obviously, by the title of this blog post, I did not win.

Alas, I have failed. But do not fret because I think I am making some progress on my query letter! So, I am posting "query letter attempt number two" for you reading pleasure! And why you are reading that, I will be over here, in the corner, quietly sobbing.


Sophie Cole expected college to be hard, but she didn’t expect it would be life-threatening.

As soon as Sophie crosses the city limits into New Canterbury, Connecticut, everything goes wrong. First, she runs into Jackson, quite possibly the hottest guy she’s ever seen. Literally, runs into. With her car.

Then, she starts seeing things she can’t explain, and is chased by things she can’t see. Because of her semi-psychic tendencies, she knows that Jackson is somehow involved, but he’s not exactly bursting to give her any information. She can’t tell him how she knows, because he would never believe her. Heck, she is pretty sure she’s going crazy.

Crazy starts to look inviting when Sophie discovers that she is being chased by a demon.

And now, she has to find time for ninja training in between her class schedule.


I feel much better about this one. It is written more in the tone of the novel.

Tirz, you were totally right, the other one was basically a synopsis. And it was boring. You are a rock star.

I am still not sure this query is ready, though. I feel like I'm missing something? Does it even make sense...hmmmm....suggestions always welcome!

If I were Mr. T, I would say "I pity the fool who reads my query, I do, I do!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I hate query letters and why I am so excited! And obviously conflicted...

I am having a really hard time writing my query letter. For those of you who are not "in the know" and have no idea what a query letter is, let me tell you.

A query letter is a one page synopsis of a book that a writer creates to send out to agents/publishers to see if they are interested in representing/purchasing the book.

You basically have to create something that summarizes your novel, grabs the readers attention, and projects the voice of your novel. Sort of like the stuff written on the back of a book to get people to buy it.

Sound easy? It's not. Writing my novel was easier than creating the query letter. It sucks. It blows. It's quite possibly the most horrific thing I have ever had to do! (besides maybe giving birth, and I think I would rather do that again (including contracting hemorrhoids!) than write this stupid query letter!) Okay, I think I am done ranting. I won't mention hemorrhoids again, honest (but they were really bad and uncomfortable! which just tells you how much I don't like query letters.)

So, since I have sent my blog link to only my nearest and dearest friends, I am going to post my no good, awful, very bad query letter here for you to review and destroy at your own discretion. Please. Help me.

Here it is. I am cringing inside.


"Sophie Cole thinks that nothing could be worse than being eighteen and still living at home with her militant father, but she discovers that living on her own could be deadly.
(***every time I read this, I hear creepy music in my head..or "ka ka ka chuh chuh chuh!" This is my log line, or hook, and it's awful!)

As soon as Sophie crosses the city limits into New Canterbury, Connecticut, everything starts to fall apart. She rear-ends the most gorgeous guy she’s ever seen. She begins seeing things that she can’t explain, and being chased by things she can’t see. To top it all off, she hasn’t been sleeping at night because she keeps hearing strange noises, and someone or something tries to break into her house.

By the end of her first week in New Canterbury, Sophie’s entire life is disrupted when she discovers that she belongs to an elite group of demon slayers known as Guardians, and the thing that has been chasing her could very well be a demon.

Sophie and her new faction of do-gooders (which include Jackson, the hottie she ran into her first day in town) attempt to find out what kind of evil is lurking under the surface of the idyllic New England town, and what it wants with Sophie. To make matters more complicated, Sophie is falling for Jackson, a big no-no since Jackson has just barely split with another Guardian, Lydia, who is not only kind hearted, but is also one of Sophie’s first real friends."


That's what I have so far. Scary, right? I wouldn't buy that book, and I wrote it!!

Okay, onwards to the other reason I am posting this blog, or why I am so excited. I was surfing some blogs and I found this:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2568901/what_is_new_adult_literature.html?cat=38

This is exciting because it is an article about St. Martins Press (big publisher) who is developing content targeted toward a specific group of young people: New Adults.

What does this mean? Well, generally, books are either written about adults (late twenties and on), young adults (high school), or middle grade or below. Nothing really in between.

Why am I excited? Because I wrote a New Adult book! She's in college, living on her own for the first time. Go me!

I read a blog post by an agent recently who said to avoid having characters in college because it's not really young adult, even if the character is technically a teen, and she said that it is a hard sell for publishers. I was majorly bummed because I like that my character is in college! When I started the journey of writing, I wrote it for me, I wasn't thinking "This is a young adult book" I was thinking "This is what I would want to read". And since I am an old hag with kids and a career and all that junk, I wanted to write about someone who was basically free, no strings attached, on her own, yadda yadda yadda. Someone who is not me! And I loved college! College is fun.

So, I was excited. And now I'm spent. ;)

ahhhhhhh!!!! Can't wait!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crNaJjfY57g&feature=topvideos

Trailer for Eat.Pray.Love.

Carly, if you are reading thing, we need to find a way to see this together!!


Love your guts!

Friday, March 19, 2010

TMCC Writers Conference

I am going! I just signed up for the TMCC writers conference on April 17th. Very exciting.

I am going all by myself. Very scary.

Here is the link to the conference information for anyone out there in cyber space that is interested:

http://www.tmcc.edu/wdce/conferences/writers/

There will be real live publishing people there! Crazy huh? I mean, who wants to come to Reno? Don't get me wrong, I love it here...but....It's Reno. We tend to be a bit lacking as far as arts and creativity goes.

I am not complaining, though. I am just grateful for the opportunity to meet all these fine people!


And, in my head, you know how it's going to go?
Totally Dumb and Dumber style. When Lloyd (Jim Carey) is envisioning himself meeting Mary's friends and family in Aspen. All wearing really tacky sweaters, sitting in front of a fire, happy music playing, everyone laughing hysterically at everything Lloyd says and does (even the lighting the fart on fire bit).

Note to self: do NOT bring matches.

In reality, I imagine I will shuffle in at the last possible minute, furiously take notes, avoid eye contact with ANYONE, and escape as soon as possible.

I mean, come on, I am a writer. By very definition I am reclusive in nature. Especially around people I don't know. The only way I could make it worse would be if I smoked a doobie before I went in, thus increasing my paranoia tenfold.

They're all looking at me! Ahhhhhhh!!!

I am feeling silly today.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Avatar = Dances with Wolves (in outer space)

I loved Avatar. Great movie, great special effects, and hey, that military dude was hot!

But, a friend (Grace. Yes, I am talking to you) mentioned to me that the plot was just like Dances with Wolves. And Pocahontas, and Fern Gully, and a variety of other films where the militant Americans ruin the forest/indigenous culture. And you know what, she was right! And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even the subplot was just like Dances with Wolves, and it's a good thing I am here to break down the whole thing down, you lucky reader you!

Spoiler alerts abound in here, so be warned.


You start with a suicidal, honored, military man looking for a change. Check.


Goes to an unknown frontier. Check.


Mingles with locals, initially distrusted, especially by an alpha male type figure who REALLY doesn't like him. Check, check. We all remember "Wind in his hair" I hope.


Learns the way of the culture, and starts to prefer it to his own. Keeps a diary of events, which is eventually used against him. Uh, check!


Get's busy with a native. Check. (okay, so no creepy hair mind/meld thing in Dances with Wolves, but you get the point.)


Tries to protect the indigenous culture, but ends up bringing those nasty Americans right to them anyways.


Half the people/animals you liked so much, end up dying. Check. (I always fast forwarded through that part in Dances w/Wolves when they killed the horse and the wolf. Bastards)

You leave the theater simultaneously liking the movie, and hating yourself. And, check.

The only thing missing from Avatar was gratuitous shots of Kevin Costner's butt. It's very unfortunate that they left that part out.



Cheers!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Favorite Pasta Recipe

Ingredients:
1 box penne pasta
1 package sweet italian sausage
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sliced zucchini's
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 package cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese (to taste)

Instructions:
Cook noodles according to package instructions.
In a big ol' sauce pan, put olive oil, pine nuts, onion, and garlic. Add sausage. Cover (so the sausage cooks faster) and cook. When the sausage starts to turn grey, cut it into bite size pieces and recover, stirring frequently. Once sausage is cooked through, throw in zucchini. Once that starts to soften, throw in mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked, put in tomatoes. Wait about 1-2 minutes and put in basil at the very end. Immediately toss meat mixture with penne pasta.
Garnish with cheese to taste.
Yummy. Serves 8-10.

I hate computer viruses and house alarms

This weekend, I entered a writing contest (details in a posting below). I wanted to do some last minute edits before I sent it in, so saturday was the big day I was going to send it in, it closed on Sunday.

When I got home friday from work, my computer had a virus. That stupid, Antivirus 2010 virus that pretends like it's a virus/spyware scanner and removal tool but IT'S NOT!! (I hate that thing!)

I couldn't get on the internet which meant, I wouldn't be able to e-mail my submission. Being the intelligent person that I am, I called my mom and asked to use her computer (her and Bill are currently in Montana, lucky for me, I have a key).

My parents use ADT. They have an alarm, I am privy to the code, but I called my mom anyways just to make sure I knew how to properly disable the thing. She told me (and I quote) "Input the code and hit the enter button."

Okay, sounds easy enough, right?

So, I get there, haul ass from the front door to the keypad (which is NOT by the front door) hastily enter the code and stop. No enter button. Where's the freakin enter button?!?!

Then the alarm starts going WOOO WOOO WOOO! Ack! Panick time! Now what? There's a number for ADT on the alarm, so I call. Here is how that conversation went.

ADT DUDE: "ADT. Are you calling from ....(He says my parents address)"
HOW DID HE DO THAT? I was calling from my cell phone, not my parents land line and I didn't even have to tell him! This wasn't ADT, it was the psychic hotline! In retrospect, I should have asked him how I would fare in the writers contest.

ME, only slightly panicky at this point because I was still in awe of how he knew where I was: "Yes, it's my parents house and I put in the code, but I might have done something wrong, I'm not sure it's working."

ADT DUDE: "Can you verify your name for me please?"

I did.

ADT DUDE: "Go ahead and re-enter the code, and then press STAY."

Ooooohh....STAY! Well, I guess that sorta makes sense.

In short, I was NOT held up at gun point (that has happened to my husband...I will tell that story another time) and I was able to send in my submission to the writers contest.

Plus, when I got home I figured out how to get rid of the virus by restoring my system to the day before it appeared.

If you ever get a virus like the Antivirus 2010 bastard, here is how to restore your system:

Start: Programs: Accessories: System Tools: System Restore.

It's easy, reversible and it doesn't delete or change any stored word documents or e-mails. And it seems to have worked.

That was my excitement for the weekend. Happy monday!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The List

If you ever watched "Friends" you may know what I am referring to. A top five list of famous people that it would be acceptable to sleep with, if given the opportunity, with a full pardon from your significant other. Without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order.

1. John Stewart. Funny + Smart = HOT.

2. Mos Def. I don't know why, I just love that guy.

3. Colin Firth. The BEST Mr. Darcy. Nuff' said.

4. Gerard Butler. Seriously, when I first watched Phantom of the Opera, I was thinking to Christine: "Screw Raoul, go for the phantom, girl!" Stupid movie characters, they never listen!

5. James McAvoy. Kinda short, but he's got the Scottish accent and that bad boy thing going on. Even though he's not really a bad boy, when he was young he wanted to be a priest, for cryin out loud. A good bad boy, what could be better? Yummy. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The pendulum of writing

Sometimes, when I am writing, I get into a groove. Everything I want to say comes out exactly the way I want it to sound. The words flow onto the page as effortlessly as wine tends to flow down my throat. It's like it was meant to be, like everything is finally clicking into place, and I finish the writing session feeling like a million bucks, exhilarated, happy, this is what I should be doing.

Then, the next day, I read over what I did, and suddenly, I am my own Simon Cowell. I realize that everything I was so excited about the day before is bloody awful and excessively indulgent. (I might as well be singing at a kareoke bar!)

Such is the pendulum of writing. I tend to facilitate between loving what I write, and completely hating it. I was never this bipolar before. I suppose all I can do at this juncture is hang on to the swinging ball (ha! swinging balls) and enjoy the ride.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Dora is bad for your kids

My first beef with Dora, is actually with her parents. That's right. Where are they? And who lets their five year old go through the enchanted forest, past the volcano to the castle with nothing but a monkey named boots to protect her? I'll tell you what that is, it's bad parenting. Why don't you just give her some scissors to run with while she is on her journey?

Sure, sometimes she has that Diego guy with her, who is a bit older, but I just don't like the look in his eye.

My second problem with the show is Swiper. For those of you who haven't watched Dora the Explorer, Swiper is a kleptomanical fox who appears for the sole purpose of stealing (or "swiping") something from Dora, thus delaying her parentally unsupervised travels.

When Swiper comes on the scene, Dora encourages her audience to say "Swiper no swiping" which stops Swiper from being able to take anything.

My problem with this is, what are we teaching our kids? They are going to grow up and be attacked one day while walking through Central Park, and they will quickly figure out that saying "Mugger no mugging!" is not going to help them.

So, those are my problems with Dora the Explorer. I feel much better now. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Top five reasons why having a big nose is a good thing.




1. It can make you look unique, even exotic.
2. No one is wondering if you have had any cosmetic surgery (although, they may be wondering why you haven't.)
3. Increased olfactory sense (no scientific basis here, just making things up now.)
4. People compare you to someone famous, like Barbara Streisand (true story).
5. And the number five reason why having a big nose is a good thing:
It draws attention away from your less glamorous features.

Happy Monday !

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Writers Contest

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/CommentView,guid,710e5e94-171d-44f5-a154-dd98a371d029.aspx#commentstart

Writers contest open until March 14th. If you are an urban fantasy or paranormal romance writer, follow the link above and submit by the deadline!

Good luck to all.

Why writing makes me feel crazy

What I love about writing is being the master of your own universe. You get to take things you have experienced, people that you know, and change them or manipulate them however you want.

It makes me feel like going MWAHAHAHA! Or, sticking my pinky in the corner of my mouth, a la Dr. Evil.

At the same time, what I have discovered is that once I have my characters fully formed in my head, they start to retaliate.

For example, I am currently editing an urban fantasy that has some romantic elements to it. I tried to get my main characters to hook up, and they just wouldn't cooperate. Seriously. I put them together, and then the whole story would fall apart. So, I had to rewrite, and throw things away and completely alter story lines. It sucked. I really don't like not being in complete control of things, especially things that are going on in my own head.

Now, I finished the book, and the characters still aren't together. And more things are happening in my head, which means I am going to keep writing (a sequel!) and trying to get them together in between all of the torture I put them through.

And I'm still not completely in control. I swear to god, sometimes, I am writing and I look back over what I read and it's like something took hold of my body and wrote it for me. I think, "Did I really just write that?"

Super creepy. This is why writing makes me feel crazy. But, I think, it's a good kind of crazy.