Friday, April 30, 2010

Perhaps I should limit editing to my book only

I've decided that while editing, all mirrors should be removed from my house. When I get in a critical mode, nothing gets spared in the process. Oh, and maybe all scissors should be hidden as well. :) At least I didn't ruin my hair. It actually looks better. And my book's shaping up as well. So all is good. But in case you couldn't tell, I go into a semi-reclusive state when I edit, so sorry I've been absent. I promise I'll be back soon. In fact, I'm on schedule to finish on Monday. I'm so excited.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-Patience

So I don't know if I can attribute the following story to my husband's patience or my obliviousness, but I'll go with patience to make myself feel better. Even if we took into account my obliviousness, my husband is the most patient man I know, especially if that patience will make his jokes that much better.

It was date night and I stood in front of the mirror straightening my unruly hair. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my husband poke his head out of the closet and give me the once over. Weird, I thought. A few moments later he emerged wearing a pair of dark jeans, the same shade as I was wearing, and a green shirt, which just so happened to be the same color as my shirt.

"Ha. Ha," I said, "very funny. Now go change."

He laughed and then laughed some more. I rolled my eyes. It wasn't that funny. When he finally stopped laughing he said, "It's about time you notice. I've only been dressing to match you for the last month or so."


If I had been trying to pull off this joke, the second time I had done it, I would've been giggling and saying, "we match" thinking I was the funniest person in the universe. And that is why my husband wins the patience award and I win the oblivious award. But it did teach me that patience can make a good thing even better. So my advice about patience is very unhelpful because I can't tell you how to gain patience, just that's it's good. If someone knows how to become more patient (aside from becoming a writer and trying to get published), let me know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

That's Gross

Last week I'm standing in the kitchen doing dishes (yes, I know that's hard to imagine, but it does happen every now and again) and my son is eating a cookie (easier to imagine). When he is done, he has chocolate all around his mouth.

"Bubs," I say, "you have chocolate all over your mouth, you need a napkin."

"My tongue is a napkin," he says, sticking it out and proceeding to mop up the chocolate in big slobbery tongue rotations.

Cue me clasping my hands together in motherly adoration and laughing while I tell my son he is so stinking cute and funny. And then, of course, I tweet about my hilarious child comedian.

Fast forward to this week. My same adorable son has snot dripping out his nose and down his face. "Ew," I say, "You have snot. You need a tissue."

And, of course, he says, "My tongue is a tissue." After receiving such adoration for his previous performance why wouldn't he bring it back for another go?


Monday, April 19, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to be the best babysitter ever

As many of you know, I'm watching my sisters kids while she is away on a cruise. This ups the number of kids in my house from four to seven for the rest of the week. Ages: 2,3,4,6,6,9,&11. No, I'm not going crazy, why do you ask? In fact, since I've had them for the last three days, I feel like I am now an expert in child rearing (yes, that's how long it takes me to perfect any art--three days). So I am going to share some of my newfound wisdom with you, so you, too, will be cherished by children everywhere.

Step one: Start every day off with a good, healthy breakfast.

*6 year old nephew: "Wow, my mom never lets us eat brownies for breakfast."
*Me: "These aren't brownies. These are chocolate muffins, which are much healthier than brownies."

Step two: Play lots of fun games with the kids.

*Me: "This game is called The Quiet Game. Whoever can stay completely silent the longest, wins."
*4 year old niece: "That game doesn't sound very fun."
*Me: "It is lots of fun. And when we're done with this game, we'll play hide and seek. You guys can hide first."

Step three: Let the kids experience new and exciting things.

*6 year old nephew the morning after falling head first off the bunk bed: "Cool, Aunt Kasie, I have a black eye. I've never had one of those before. It's just like Spongebob's."
*Me: "Yes, it's so exciting. See, my house is lots of fun."

Who wouldn't want to leave their kids with you after such obvious displays of child watching genius. Wish me luck. I still have seven days left.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Reviews

One of my friends may or may not have informed me that even though I'm busy wallowing in self-pity, I'm not allowed to neglect my blog. I promptly told her where she could go. :) Just kidding, she's right (thank you, Julie). The real issue is that now I'm in the land of Edit-ville. And do you know what disease I get every time I go to that land? I-Suck-Itis. It's a very common disease in Edit-ville and no matter how hard I try to build up my immunity, I still manage to catch it. I want to go back to First Draft Land where I'm-a-Freaking-Genius-Itis runs rampant.

So, onto the promised review. Last week I got to read Kimberly Derting's debut novel "The Body Finder". I loved it. Can I just tell you that I'm digging on the best friend relationship dynamic and all the tension it brings when one starts liking the other. Derting pulled that off so well. If you liked the book "Shiver" I think you would like this book.


"Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to properly pout

CAUTION: Extreme Drama Ahead!

The first thing you'll want to do when feeling sorry for yourself is to pull up your iPod playlist labeled: Pity Party for One. In fact, if you want to listen to that playlist while reading my post, that would be great. The list should include songs such as "My Heart Will Go On" where memories of Leonardo DiCaprio reaching out for Kate Winslet right before he sinks beneath the icy water will play through your mind, setting the proper mood. And don't forget "Send in the Clowns" because any song involving clowns should immediately bring tears to your eyes. And we all know when feeling sorry for yourself, more tears equals more success.

See, you're already well on your way to getting the most out of your sorrow.

Next, make sure you capitalize on whatever event triggered your sadness by calling your significant other right before he's coming home, telling him what happened, and hinting to him what food item might bring you out of your grief. Don't be too vague or he might not pick up on the hint. You might say something like, "I looooove see's candy mint truffles. They are so good. If I don't get one, my extreme sadness might crush us both upon your arrival." In response, he might say something like, "So did you want me to bring you home some truffles?" Then say, "Only if it's on your way home. Or if it's sort of on your way home. Or if it takes you an extra thirty minutes to get home. Otherwise, I'll probably be okay." Make sure your Pity Party playlist is playing loudly in the background so that he knows you're serious.

Next, you should write a blog post about how tragic your life is so that all your friends will leave comments telling you how awesome you are and that you will be okay. And that even though your submission was an utter failure (aside from all the awesome, encouraging, personalized rejections) that your next book (which you now have to edit the crap out of) will do so much better. Besides, there are a lot of writers that don't sell the first book they try with, but go on to sell subsequent ones, right? Right???

Excuse me while I crank up "Fire and Rain" and sob onto my mint truffles. Mmmmm truffles.

(Now, before anyone calls the depression hotline and submits my name for suicide watch, I want you to know, I'm totally okay. This happened on Friday and after a successful Pity Party, I'm so excited to get another one of my projects ready for submission. I thought about just letting the whole thing fly under the radar, but then I thought, you know, hearing about other writers' journeys--successes and failures--has really helped me along in this process so why should I try to hide one of the heartaches of this industry? It happens. So there you have it. Now, just because I'm feeling better doesn't mean you don't have to complete the last step in my pouting process and leave me an encouraging comment. They always help.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Reviews

A few months back I signed up for that debut author challenge thingy (the official title) and I've been slacking. So last week I bought the first three books on my list and got to work. I'm usually not a "blurb" reader. In other words, I usually buy a book based on a recommendation or the pretty cover (ooh, shiny. Yes, I'm that persuadable...and lazy). But for the debut author thing-a-ma-bob, I couldn't rely on recommendations. So, I decided to read blurbs to pick the books I wanted to read for this challenge. And guess what? Blurbs actually tell you what a book is going to be about and help you pick the ones you might like!! Who knew? So far I've been very happy with my picks. The first one I'll review is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Adorable.

Its fun, funny, and creative. Sophie (the MC) is instantly likeable and relatable and quirky.

Since I'm a reformed non-blurb reader, I'm going to share with you the blurb that won me over:

"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sopie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium especailly her."

The humor is a little over the top at times, I usually like a more subtle humor, but Rachel Hawkins made it work. Also, some minor bad language.

So for those of you who, like me, read books based on recommendations. I recommend this one. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-A Guide to San Francisco

My husband, in-laws, and I took a trip to San Francisco on Saturday and I thought I should pass along some advice on traversing the city.

*If you remember from the last time you went to the city that your destination was on the "other side of a big hill" aren't good directions. Everything is "a big hill" in San Fran.

*There are two Pier 39s and your GPS will only know about the one in a really scary-looking, abandoned industrial dock section of town not the highly-populated, touristy pier otherwise known as Fisherman's Wharf.

*Which, if you put Fisherman's Wharf into your GPS, make sure you spell it correctly. It is ONE FisherMAN not several FisherMEN. Apparently only one Fisherman at a time is welcome on that wharf.

*When walking along the highly-populated Wharf and you see a shop up ahead on the second level called "Fairyland" (with a painted Fairy and flower next to the words) don't yell out while clapping your hands: "I want to go to Fairyland." That is not necessarily something you want to scream out in San Francisco no matter how happy you are to see a fairy shop (it was closed, by the way-boo!). You might get funny looks.

*And finally, know that people LOVE to honk their horns in San Francisco. We figured it was just people telling us hello and how happy they were to see us.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Fever

Sorry I've been absent this week. It's Spring Break here. We have family in town. Yesterday we saw "How to Train Your Dragon"--so adorable. I highly recommend it. Today we're going to see the big Sequoia trees. Tomorrow we're going to San Francisco. It's been a fun, but busy, week. I promise next week I'll be visiting all your blogs.