Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feedback is Priceless

So, as many of you know I'm in the midst of editing. It's why my blog is like a ghost town and my comments have been sporadic. Editing is work. I shouldn't complain though, in fact, I feel super lucky. I had a real, living and breathing agent talk to me on the phone and tell me what would make my book even better. How priceless is that? Well, (the ever brilliant and funny) Jenni James sent me this video that pretty much shows exactly what happened when I hung up the phone with the agent. In fact it's so creepily accurate that I wonder if Star Trek really does take place in the future and they were watching movie clips of my life to get this scene. I was even wearing an outfit remarkably similar to Captain Kirk's (I know, weird).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dream on

I didn't touch my computer once yesterday. Not once. For those of you who know me, you'll know this is a minor miracle. And the fact that I didn't go into withdrawals is a major miracle. Why did I feel the need to do this? That's a good question. Aside from my writing/computer/internet/blog/facebook/twitter addiction, I had a dream. Yes, a dream. It was a very odd dream that made me realize that I needed a 24 hour (at the very least) break from my computer.

It went something like this:

I am walking down the street in my neighborhood and run into my blog friend Jenn. Now, since I have never met Jenn in real life, I not only have no clue what her voice sounds like, but I also have no idea what anything beyond her smiling head looks like. So that is exactly how Jenn appears in my dream--a floating picture of just her head. (Now, Jenn, I think you're gorgeous, but a floating picture of your head in my dream was just plain creepy).

"Hey, Jenn," I say.

"Hey, Kasie." Remember, I have no idea what she sounds like, so this appears as typed written letters beside her head. Yes, her head begins to IM with me.

"How are you?"

"I'm good. LOL."

"What's so funny?"

"Oh, I was just reading Kiersten's twitter update."

"Really? Was it funny?"

"See for yourself." Next to Jenn, Kiersten's head appears (once again, beautiful, but creepy).

It says: Kierstenwhite is hugging Laptop. He just thought of the best idea ever.

"Really? What idea was that?" I ask Kiersten because apparently her twitter is now in direct communication with me. (mind you, no one but me is actually speaking in this dream and I'm beginning to look around for some people who have actual voices).

Thank goodness my good friend Candi appears in this moment. "Hi, Kasie. Did you hear about Kiersten's Laptop's idea?" She has a voice.

"Uh, no, she was just about to tell me...I think."

"I was," types Kiersten.

I wait to hear the idea, but Natalie and Jenni arrive in this moment with Nikki's whole family picture floating beside them. This is getting weird, I think in my dream. Time to wake up before more of my blog friend's heads appear. And thank goodness I did.

So, as you can all see, I needed a break from my computer for 24 hours. Perhaps I shouldn't have shared that. Hmmm, oh well, you all already know I'm crazy.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I've been thinking a lot lately about when, where, how, I ever got interested in writing in the first place. I traced it back to two specific things that happened in my life that planted the initial seed.

The first happened was when I was sixteen years old and I was dating a boy whose sisters didn't like me (I know you all collectively gasped. Who couldn't like me, right?). So they wrote me a letter listing out the reasons they didn't like me (they were 19 and 21, btw. Man, I wish I still had that letter because I can't for the life of me remember what they were, but I bet they were good). I wrote them back to defend myself. After they read the letter, one of his sister's said, "Wow, you're a really good writer. You expressed yourself so well." LOL I still remember that because I was so flattered. It was like, well, I know you hate me, but thanks, did you want to give me some more feedback or anything? Were there points I could've improved or said differently. LOL

The second experience which steered me towards writing was the creative writing class I took in high school (which led to more classes later in college). My teacher was so encouraging and always had a way of making me feel good about my stuff. At the bottom of all my stories, she'd write things like, 'This one was great, you should submit it.' At the time I had no idea just how hard it was to get things published, but it made me feel good.

Because I've been thinking about this specific teacher and how much she influenced me, I decided to try to find her email address. It wasn't hard at all because she still teaches at the high school. I went to the website and it was right there. So I wrote her, told her how awesome she was, and then told her I was working on some edits for a book I was getting ready to resubmit to an agent. I asked her if she'd be interested at all in reading it. If she had time, of course. I needed someone who hadn't read my first draft and who could look at it with "fresh" eyes. She wrote me back like ten minutes later saying she had just been talking about me to another teacher that very day (huh? I graduated in '94, so weird/awesome). Anyway, to make an already lengthy post short, she told me that she would love to read my manuscript and, in fact, was very excited to do it (see, she still knows how to make me feel good). I was so stoked (bringing out the high school words). My high school creative writing teacher is going to be reading my MS next week. I wonder if she'll give me a grade.

So, do you remember the specific event/person who inspired you to follow your dreams?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Son Has No Taste buds

This is the only explanation I can come up with for the things he puts in his mouth. In short, everything. But, there are certain things I think he should immediately spit out or at least make a sour face at. But he doesn't. Examples:

*Dirt. Not just once, but on several occasions. I can hear it grinding between his teeth as he chews away as if eating the tastiest treat ever.

*Dog food. I usually have the attitude that if he eats something once and it tastes gross then maybe he won't eat it again. I just think, oh well, he'll learn it's gross. I know a lot of kids eat dog food so maybe that isn't such a big surprise, but what about...

*Fish food. Yes, you read that right. Fish food. Now that's seriously nasty. He opened a thing of fish food the other day and proceeded to put, not just a few flakes but, fistfuls into his mouth. And he didn't make a single gag face. I mean, this is disturbing is it not? When I was cleaning him up the smell alone almost made me puke.

And then of course we have the normal things like barbie shoes, money, toy balls, toy cars, toy anything. Maybe he is training to be the future eating champion of the world. How proud I'll be when he earns that title.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Okay, I have the most awesome friends ever.  Seriously awesome.  The amazing Jenni James has graced me with the honor of her wonderful talents by agreeing to draw my fairies for me.  This is the rough draft of my spoiled princess, Sadie.  Isn't she beautiful?  I love her.  I have never seen one of my characters brought to life.  They've only ever existed in my head.  So when Jenni roughly sketched a fairy for me while I was in England, my heart was racing.  And then today she emailed me this and now I'm dying.  How are all you people so talented?  (Yes, I'm narrowing my eyes at you, Nat) I want to be able to draw, but I don't want to have to practice.  Is that possible?  No?  Okay, I'll just have Jenni keep drawing for me then.  It's easier that way.  I'm much to lazy to learn myself.  And I wouldn't be able to "whip up something in ten minutes" that was this good.  Ever.  Never ever.  So thanks, Jenni, you're the best.

"Fated" blurb: When Sadie’s fate is sealed by a Teller’s prediction of her future mate, she knows her life is over. Brendan is the last person on earth she could ever love. She is not going down without a fight. Convinced that the Teller is lying to keep his position as counselor to the King, Sadie sets out to find a way to expose him so she can pursue her true destiny--Jase.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Jenni took us to several really cool houses.  These people would build houses in hopes that the queen would one day visit them.  She usually never did.  But, I'm sure that the original owners would feel much better if they knew that me and Jenni and my husband came instead.  I mean, we're just as good as the Queen right?  No?

Stonehenge (below) was awesome.  The stones may not look very big in this picture but they were massive.  The reason they look small is because they were far away and my husband is a giant.  He makes everyone and everything look small.  It was cold and windy this day and due to my California blood, I was frozen.

My husband likes to embarrass me.  In London he managed to do it several times.  The first was when he took a picture of me when we were in the tube (London's equivalent of the subway) like we were tourists or something.  Hello, we were riding the tube, I was trying to look cool, as though we weren't tourists and had no idea what we were doing.  The second time was the picture below where he asked a police officer, "Can my wife take a picture with you?"  Uh, yeah, thanks honey.  This wasn't the same officer that had earlier given us a parking ticket.  Oops.  (if a parking meter is covered, that doesn't mean it's free to park there, btw.  It means you have to call a secret number on a secret sign and pay for the parking with your credit card.  Who knew?)

Above is a picture of the only public garbage can we saw in all of England.  It's located on Victoria Street in London in case any of you would like to throw something away when you go visit.  Seriously though, we couldn't find a garbage can anywhere.  And London was super clean, it wasn't like there was trash everywhere.  So we had no idea what people did with their garbage.  We walked around the airport for a good 20 minutes without seeing a trash can.  ???  It's a mystery.  Oh, but they have those really cool dyson hand dryers in the bathrooms.  We need some of those around the U.S.  They work amazingly well.

Anyway, overall, our trip to England was awesome.  It was beautiful and we had the most amazing hosts.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Alive

I forgot to let everyone know I was going out of town. It's funny that I feel guilty about that. I feel like I need to give you all of my excuses for not telling you. Number one excuse is that I honestly thought I would post while I was on vacation. You see, back in December when I went out of town, I told you all I wouldn't be able to post while on vacation so you wouldn't be hearing from me for a week. But what did I do? I posted every day that I was gone. Then I felt like a loser who had no life and was addicted to posting so much that I had to post even on my vacation (and the truth is that I am).

Anyway, I'm home. I was in England visiting my friend/coauthor, Jenni James. I had a blast and she kept me so busy that I didn't have time to post. I will tell you about my trip and post pics tomorrow. It's fun to be home and I can't wait to catch up on all your blogs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I need to speak with the owner of Costco stat. I have a little complaint. Okay, so a really big complaint, as in the really big sized shampoo/conditioner bottles they sell. Can someone require them to have a pump, please? I mean, seriously. I'm in the shower this morning (I sure do talk a lot about the shower, sorry about that) trying to get a handful of conditioner out of the larger than life bottle. And aside from the fact that it is super slippery and weighs twenty pounds, it won't come out. Now this is a fairly new bottle, it's not like I'm scraping the barrel here. I mean, it's not even close to the point where I add water, put the lid back on, and shake until I have at least 2 more uses (3 if I'm lucky).

The flaw in the system is that the bottle is just too big. It needs two hands. But one hand is being held out, waiting in vain for the conditioner that the other hand is trying its hardest to squeeze out. Now let me tell you, it is important not to drop twenty pound bottles of conditioner, because they really hurt when they hit your foot (not that I know, I'm just saying). The only solution, I found out this morning, is to use one hand to smash the bottle up against your chin, and finally the blessed, tangle-reducing nectar flows into your hand. A pump would solve all my problems. I'm tired just thinking about the fact that I have to do this again tomorrow. Have I mentioned the bottle is huge? I'm going to have it for a while. I guess I'll just count it as my work out for the day and stop complaining. I think some things just aren't meant to be bought in bulk.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

100th Post?????

I don't believe it! It's my 100th post. Hmmm, I wish I had something super exciting to offer you. My mind travels fondly back to Kiersten's 200th post where she announced that she had found her agent. (Sigh. I wish that could be my 100th post) Or to Renee's rockin' 100th post party where all our characters were invited. That was a blast. But alas, I have nothing exciting for you. So I was thinking. What have I never done before that a lot of my writer friends have so graciously done? The answer--give a small sample of their books. Now, it just so happens that I started a new book two days ago, Fated, so I think I will swallow my pride and fear, and let you read the first bit of chapter 1. Happy 100th post.

Chapter 1

Sadie threw her shoe, the closest thing she could find, out the door with a grunt.

“That’s not going to change my mind,” her father announced loudly from out of sight.

Anybody who thought being a Ruler Fairy meant life was easy had never been the daughter of an unreasonable King.

Her mother came in carrying her shoe. “Sadie,” she started in that annoying soft voice that her mom only used to try to get her to calm down. It only fueled her anger.

Sadie snatched the gold-colored ballet flat from her mom’s hand and slipped it back on her foot. “Mother, you can’t convince me. It’s completely unfair. You have to talk some sense into him.”

“You’re eighteen years old, its time to start realizing what your responsibilities to nature and the kingdom are.” If she kept using that soft voice, Sadie was going to explode.

Her hands flew to her hips and nearly slipped down the sheer fabric of her flowing dress, but she tightened her grip in order to maintain her indignant pose. “Tellers are wrong sometimes.” Hugh, her father’s personal Teller, had been wrong before. Why did everyone only seem to remember the times he’d been right? The future was constantly changing. Everyone knew that rule. How come no one seemed to be taking it into consideration now? “And don’t you think it’s odd that he hasn’t been able to see anything for the last six months and now all the sudden he seems to know my entire future?”

“Sadie,” she chided as though speaking to a two-year-old. “What are you trying to say, that Hugh lied so that your father would stop asking?”

She flung her hands into the air. “Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“That’s a strong accusation, Sadie.”

“He made a strong accusation too. He just sealed my fate. Sealed it. My life is over.”

Her mom rolled her eyes like she always did when she thought Sadie was being dramatic. “It can’t be that bad.”

“Brendan is horrid.” Even if he wasn’t, she liked someone else. She couldn’t tell her mother that though or her dad would just try to verify the attraction by taking his name straight to Hugh. “I can’t be certain, but forcing two people to marry doesn’t exactly seem like the right foundation to build a solid relationship on,” she said sarcastically.

Her mom’s eyes traveled around her bedroom, pausing on the clothes that were strewn along the foot of her bed and others that were hanging over the wing-backed chair in the corner. She sighed and then met her eyes again. A new determination burned behind them, causing their hazel color to deepen. Great. Her mom was obviously going to stick with her dad on this decision.

When she spoke her voice backed up Sadie’s suspicion, it was low and steady. “He’ll get over it and so will you. Many Tellers have foreseen many matches and they all turned out beautifully.”

Many Tellers who weren’t lying, she thought. How could she convince her that this wasn’t just about getting her own way? This was about her entire life. “Mom, if I thought for one second that Brendan was my future, I would not be fighting this.” She knew most girls would die for a Teller to foresee their perfect match. But she was not ‘most girls’. “You have to believe me.” She knew she was beyond whining, but she couldn’t help it.

Her mother sighed. “You’re going to give this a chance. Your father won’t have it any other way.”

When her mom left she felt like throwing everything in her room out the door. The silver band she wore around her bicep dug into her skin as her muscles tensed. She ripped it off and tossed it onto the vanity. She wished it would’ve broke. She wished all the jewels that were tucked along the twisted metal had fallen out. Someone or something should’ve been as incensed about this as she was. She sunk into the chair, pulled her feet up with her, and rested her chin atop her knees.

The mirror in front of her was quite obviously on her side. The reflection shining back at her was the picture of distress. Her creamy brown skin had turned ashy. Her eyes, which she always thought were her best feature, had changed to dull gray instead of their normal icy blue. And her black waves of hair had drooped to lifeless.

She reached up and untangled the thin tiara from her locks and set it next to her perfectly unbroken arm wrap. With a determined breath she set her jaw. She was not going down without a fight.