Saturday, January 30, 2010

Over The Top (Kind of like the 80's movie, but not at all)

Thank you Guinevere, from This is not my day job, for this award. If the requirements to receive this award include: a little crazy, prone to dorkiness, and completely unhelpful then I can see exactly why I won it. :) This is actually an award that's fun to see how people answer, so thank you for giving me a chance, Guinevere.

Rules: Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? Dead
Your Hair? Blonde
Your Mother? Strong
Your Father? Gone
Your Favorite Food? Chocolate
Your Dream Last Night? Kittens
Your Favorite Drink? Smoothie
Your Dream/Goal? Published
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Wakeboarding
Your Fear? Failure
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Traveling
Where Were You Last Night? Movie
Something That You Aren't? Organized
Muffins? Eh
Wish List Item? Pool
Where Did You Grow Up? Suburbia
Last Thing You Did? Ate
What Are You Wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Big
Your Pets? Tortoises
Friends? Virtual (or as my husband calls you guys, "viral")
Your Life? crazy
Your Mood? Silly
Missing Someone? Yes
Vehicle? Minivan (I'm sure you're jealous)
Something You Aren't Wearing? lipstick
Your Favorite Store? Bookstore
Your Favorite Color? Blue
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Always
Last Time You Cried? Rarely
Your Best Friend? Candi
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? twitter
Facebook? Occasionally
Favorite Place To Eat? Mexican

Okay, that was fun. I pass this award to:

Larissa--because she does so much and still manages to squeeze writing in somehow.

David J West--because we're name twins even though we're not at all related. And his blog is fun too. Plus, he's super good at responding to people on twitter.

Elizabeth--because I'm about to meet her in real life and I'm so excited. :)

Indigo--because I enjoy reading her words so much that I'd like to see how well she does when she only gets one word. :) No pressure there, Indigo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Reviews

This was another book I got at the 70% off sale. I might not have picked it up otherwise because it's not a YA (which seems like what I've been reading lately) and I'm usually not one for digging through the stacks to find "rare gems". But the shelves were close to empty and it was in the fantasy section. I do enjoy a good fantasy. So after reading the back, I thought, why not? And I was very pleasantly surprised. This story is like Jane Austen meets Brandon Sanderson. In other words, throw some magical powers into Pride and Prejudice and you have this book.

For those of you spoiled (like I am) by the "straight to the action/dialogue" feeling of young adult, this might seem a little slow for you. But if you enjoy a detailed world and eccentric characters, plus some romance, you'll love this book.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How not to take the perfect picture

On Friday I received my newly designed Faerie t-shirt. (The result of this contest) Wahoo! The first thing I thought was: I better take a picture so that all my blog readers can see my new awesome shirt. So I asked my husband to take a pic for me. This is the first step in not taking the perfect picture--ask a person who thinks every opportunity given him is a chance for a fun joke.

Exhibit A. Tell the picture taker you'd like a picture of you pointing at the design on your shirt and when you ask if that looks good he says, Yeah, perfect.

Exhibit B. Tell the picture taker, no really, I want to point at the design on my shirt. Am I pointing at it now? And he says, Yep, you're pointing right at it. (And doesn't mention it may look a little......uh......what word should I use.....weird) Oh, by the way, I took about 10 of these pics before I looked at the camera and realized how bad they looked (my husband laughed the whole time I looked).

Next, get serious. Tell your picture taker, Come on, take a good picture. This is me doing that very thing.

This was the very next shot.

Finally, take the camera from the original person you asked, and hand it to someone who will listen to you. (Like one of your children) And settle for a decent picture instead of the "perfect" picture.

And that is how to not take the perfect picture.

Oh, and here's an up close picture of the awesome image on my shirt (words on the shirt provided by the winner of my contest Natalie):

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rain, rain....

I feel like singing all the elementary school songs I know about rain at the moment (which consist of, Rain, Rain Go Away; It's Raining It's Pouring.....okay, apparently those are all the songs I know that say "Rain" in them, go figure, I thought the list would be extensive).

It's been raining here since Sunday. Sunday! That's unheard of for where I live (right in the middle of California). I think I might float away. Whenever it rains I find myself writing "cold" scenes into my books. I have to remind myself that the one I'm writing now takes place in the summer so it wouldn't make sense that my MC is shivering all the time.

I'm not kidding, I just added a "summer storm" scene. If this rain doesn't go away I fear one of my faeries is going to die in a freak lightning strike accident (Now all the songs involving the word "lightning" are running through my head....again, not a very extensive list).

Do you find that your writing is sometimes influenced by the weather (or other outside sources)?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Reviews

Last week I held a poll on my blog as to which book I should read first of the ones I picked up. It was between this one: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Forest Born by Shannon Hale. I ended up reading this one because several people said that Forest Born was like the fourth book in a set (didn't know that, thanks for the heads up).

I had mixed feelings about this book (it seems like I've been saying that a lot lately). But obviously, since I'm reviewing it, overall I liked it. I felt like the message of a 14 year old boy rising above a life designed to keep him down was inspirational. It was an honest story that brought out the hardships that Native Americans face--poverty and alcoholism, a system designed to keep them down, and discrimination. The way Alexie laid out these issues was brilliant because he did it through humor and drawings. But he also showed us through the sad times as well.

So you're probably wondering what I didn't like about it then. Well, for my taste, it was a little crude. I would've loved to let my 11 year old read this book when I was through with it because of the issues and lessons it taught about how people mistreat each other. But the language and sexual content of it, although real, didn't add a similar "teaching moment", like the other issues he brought out did, and in my opinion didn't serve a purpose in the story.

Friday, January 15, 2010


(In which I realize I know nothing about computer generated drawings so decide to waste a tree instead)

So because I fall short in the computer knowledge category, I did the random drawing the old fashioned way. I wrote all your names on scraps of paper and put them in a bowl. Of course, some of you had more scraps than others based on the points system. And after writing the hundredth name down, my handwriting started to look like that of a two-year-old. I began to wonder if I was going to be able to read the name I ended up drawing. Fortunately, I could. The winner of the random drawing is:

screen name: sraasch from see sara write. Congrats! Sara. I'll be emailing you to get your t-shirt pick and address.

Now, this next part was really hard. REALLY hard. I liked all of the entries. I'm going to mention a few that didn't win, but that I adored. I loved how a few of you (I think Kiersten started it) used the word "faerie" instead of "very". So cute. I loved the Faeries vs. Vampire debates. (And of course I loved that the faeries always won). Jade was cracking me up with her notion that faeries bite (which made me laugh because some of my faeries do). I loved the "Got Wings" by Kath and the "Just Wing It" by Jenni. Suzanne your, "Call me Sugar Plum one more time" had me laughing. Voidwalker, if it was up to my husband you would've won. Ann, the thought of a pressed faerie had me both shuddering and laughing. Britten, the "faerie tails" imagery had me wondering how I was going to make that my book cover or website header. I loved it. Trishtash, your "I don't believe in Humans" almost won. It was my second place pick. My point is, I thought it would be easy to pick a clear winner, but there were so many I would want to put on a shirt that I've been stressed all week about which one I was going to pick. But in the end, I could only pick one and that one is:

"Faeries aren't tiny. Humans are just ginormous" by Natalie Whipple

I thought this was very clever. And there is just something about the word "ginormous" that makes me laugh. Plus if you know my family, we're all kind of giants. My husband is 6'8". All my children are going to be super tall. My brothers are both 6'4" And my faeries are these tiny little things. I just love the idea of faeries being normal sized and humans being the freaks.

Natalie, I'm pretty sure I know which t-shirt you want, but I'll be emailing you anyway to make sure.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Reads

First off, if you haven't entered my contest to win a free t-shirt, it's not too late. Still two more days!

So, if you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my announcement yesterday that I walked away from the bookstore with 15 books. This is the same bookstore I posted about last month that is closing its doors (much to my extreme disappointment and pleas for them to stay open) so everything was 50-70% off. If you read my last Wednesday post, you'll also know that I now need a good book to read after finally (thanks to all your suggestions) skimming to the end of the one I referred to last week so I could finally put it away without feeling bad. Now I decided to do the opposite of a Wednesday review and list a few of the books I bought so I can get a recommendation of which one I should read next. Because I really want my next book to be good. I need it to be good.

Okay, so here are my choices. If you've read any and liked them, let me know.

*Forest Born by Shannon Hale
*Going Bovine by Libba Bray
*3 Willows by Ann Brashares
*The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
*Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

What do you think? Which one should I read next?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-A PSA for Readers

First of all, don't forget to enter my contest for a chance to win a free t-shirt!

Now, I'd like to make a Public Service Announcement to readers everywhere. Do not eat and read at the same time. The following scenarios are examples of what could happen to you if you do not heed this warning. You may, for example, be eating pistachios (or some other form of nut) and be paying more attention to your book than the nuts. And you may stick an extremely rotten nut in your mouth. At this point you may, in an attempt to rid your mouth of the horrid taste, accidentally spit the nut out of your mouth in a spray of tiny projectile missiles that splatter the precious pages of your book.

In another instance you may be eating, oh, I don't know, reese's peanut butter cups (the bite sized, not the full ones). You take off the outer wrapper, but because you're riveted by the scene happening in your book, you may forget all about the brown interior paper (that has been colored to resemble chocolate) and pop it in your mouth with the blessed peanut butter chocolate combination. After a few chews, you may realize your mistake. It is not fun trying to separate the paper from the chocolate at that point (because you wouldn't dare want to waste chocolate).

So again, may I restate the important warning: Do not eat and read at the same time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My First Contest!

I like t-shirts. I especially like t-shirts with funny sayings on them. They make me laugh. I also like t-shirts that when I look at them remind me of an event or a person in my life. For example, my friend, Nicki, gave me a t-shirt that says: "Where my peeps at." Whenever I wear this shirt (yes, I wear it), it not only reminds me of the time I totally made a fool out of myself by saying very loudly, in a very crowded store: "Catch you later, my peeps." Which, by the way, I shouldn't have said, even if the people I was yelling out to were, in fact, my "people" and not total strangers. But the shirt also reminds me of my friends who made fun of me the rest of the night. I also have a t-shirt (a really ugly one) from the town where my first novel takes place, which I have threatened my friends, much to their horror, that I will wear at my book launch should that book ever get published. I love this t-shirt. It reminds me of the first time I went to that town and the excitement I felt seeing the place I had written about.

I've moved on from my first series and have started a new set of books about faeries. But now I'm kind of bummed. Do you know what does not exist? (At least not to my knowledge) A funny t-shirt about faeries.

There are funny shirts for writers in general:

There are funny shirts if you write about zombies:

There are funny shirts if you write about ninjas:

Or wolves:

Or pirates:

And, of course, vampires:

Then there are just t-shirts that make me laugh:

What's my point? I want a funny t shirt about faeries. Badly. That's where you come in. Make me up a funny saying about faeries that I can put on a t-shirt. And keep it PG, my peeps (so I can actually wear it). Best one will win the t shirt of their choice from those shown above (Don't worry, it will be new. I'm not going to get it out of my closet).

Also, I know some of you (like me) don't like to have to think too hard to enter a contest. So, I will be picking a second random winner out of a hat (or I will use one of those sites I'm always hearing about that helps you fairly pick winners). Points as follows: 3 points if you already follow me here (on my blog). 3 points if you already follow me on twitter. 2 points for any new followers here (meaning, today or after). 2 for any new on twitter. 2 points if you blog about this contest. 1 point if you leave a comment. (Oh, and if you want to enter the contest you have to comment. I'm not going to just put all my followers in the drawing unless you say you want to be in it.) 1 point if you tweet about this contest.

This contest will end next Friday. Good luck.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When to say when

So again, today is normally my review day, but again, I haven't finished the book I've been reading for over TWO WEEKS. Anyone who knows my reading habits knows this is ridiculous for me. I generally read a book in two days (due to my obsessive nature that has been previously mentioned). Needless to say, I'm not enjoying this book. But I like to give a book a chance. I keep thinking it's going to get better that I'm going to start liking it that everyone else must like it for a reason. And I keep getting frustrated. I've only been able to read a chapter at a time and sometimes not even that much. My husband tells me to just give it up. Move on. But that's so hard for me to do. What if the last fourth of the book is why everyone loves it so much?

So I ask you this question: When do you put a book away that you're not enjoying? It's not often I've been faced with this situation. I can usually find something I like about a book. It's not even that the book is horrible, it's just slow. Really slow. Help. What should I do? I still have at least a hundred pages left and at the rate I'm going that's going to take me another week. I'm starting to resent the book for keeping me away from other books that are sitting in the TBR pile. What would you do?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-A Guide to Watching The Bachelor

We all know what today is. Yes, that’s right, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (get it, because he’s a pilot and he’s trying to find love and he…yeah I promise I didn’t make up the subtitle. It really is called that) starts tonight. As a frequent watcher of The Bachelor, I thought I’d give you some advice on how to properly watch the show.

First, you’ll want to make sure you watch it with friends so that when people ask if you watch The Bachelor you can quickly say who you watch it with thus distracting them from judging you and providing them new targets. (Which, by the way, I watch this show at a friend’s house. We mainly watch it as an excuse for “girl time”. [see how well that worked?])

As you begin watching, you’ll want to know which girl to root for. The worst thing you can do is like a girl only to have The Bachelor (in this case, Jake) kick her off after the first few episodes—or worse, towards the end. So watch out for the following:

1. The girl who announces she is not there to make friends and that had she come on the show to make friends, she would’ve stayed home. The problem is that the reason she makes this announcement is because she can’t make friends. This girl may last until close to the end because she’s generally the one that is good for the ratings, but eventually Jake will see her true colors. (In books, this would be the girl everyone loves to hate but can never really end up with the boy.)

2. The girl who writes a song (or poem) for The Bachelor and now wants to sing (or read) it to him. Come on, that’s just weird. She doesn’t even know the guy yet, how can she have written him a song? It makes him uncomfortable and it makes me (the one who is trying to watch people fall in love on television and doesn’t want it to be ruined by cringe-inducing moments) very uncomfortable. (When reading, there’s nothing more frustrating than when the girl loves the guy the moment she sees him.)

3. Any girl who has listed as her occupation: Actress. She’ll be the girl that Jake will always wonder if she is there for the right reasons and in the end he won’t be able to completely trust her enough to give her a chance. And quite frankly, we’ll all know she’s not there for the right reasons and we’ll be furious if he picks her. (This is a great way to subtly make your reader not like one of the girls or guys in a love triangle: Have there be alternative motives where the reader is constantly questioning the true motives and sincerity [but doesn’t realize they are].)

Next, you’ll want to pick more than one girl to root for in case Jake turns out not to be a good judge of character and picks the wrong girl.

And finally, when the episode is over, you and your girlfriends need to pick it apart, denouncing the show, the host, and every girl on there, not to mention the fact that The Bachelor has no taste whatsoever and is completely blind to everything we so clearly see (due to the carefully edited footage). Then you stand up to leave and say, “See you next week.”

Ah, so fun.

Come on, admit it, that was extremely unhelpful.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy 2010, everyone! I hope all your dreams and wishes come true this year. I'm excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. I've decided not to make resolutions this year but to live every day to its fullest, hug my children more, and make the most commonly used word in my house "love" (although to overtake the word "the" [or the phrase "that's not fair"] I'd probably have to throw "love" into every sentence so maybe it can't be the MOST commonly used word, but I can say it enough to make my almost-teenager roll her eyes [which makes it that much more fun]).

I'm thankful for the support I've received from all of you this last year. Happy New Year!!