Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Reads

So one thing I love about being a writer is that I know lots of other writers. And because I know lots of other writers I get to read lots of cool books. And while I'm reading them, I get to think things like, 'I actually *know* this person.' It's kind of weird being a fan-girl with my friends but I so am.

I loved MONARCH! It had all the things I love about an action/thriller plus a love story (which is always what I think is missing from an action/thriller). The pictures that Michelle paints with her descriptions are gorgeous. Her characters are flawed to perfection. I just all around loved this book. (Disclaimer: I know I usually review Young Adult books on my blog, so heads up, this is not a Young Adult book.)

Goodreads blurb: "Nick's life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness, a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the United States has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he'll have the chance to start his life over again. Just when he's on the brink of catching Ferreira, he's framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia, where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He's safe, but not for long."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

OH, I have to write, to write

Sometimes I'll think I forgot how write. I'll go a month or two and only write a hundred words here or a hundred there. And I'll think OH NO, it's happened, I forgot how to write a book. I'm doomed. Then last week I visited Ruth's and Chantele's blog where they both talked about setting goals and I was like, fine Universe, I hear you, I need to set a goal. And then I wrote 10K this week. I guess if I want to write a book I actually have to sit down and write. Go figure. So I didn't forget how to write, I just forgot how to force myself to write. I blame twitter. Can you twitter people just stop being so interesting so that I don't feel the need to read your tweets all the time. That would really help me a lot.

In other news, I finished my first round of edits! So happy. I'm always amazed at what a different perspective can pick up on. Every time someone (whether that be a beta or my agent or an editor) reads my book they pick up on something I hadn't. It just goes to show that we can never objectively read our own books. I'm so grateful for the many different people that have helped me shape my book.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Linkin' it up

Just a couple links for you for the weekend. My good friend, Renee Collins, is having a great contest over on her blog for a chance to win a query critique from one of two agents! So if you're in the querying stage, head on over there because there's nothing better than an agent telling you how to make your query even better.

Click here to enter.

Also, last week Elana Johnson did a blog post about maximizing your online networking. I loved the post. And since Elana is pretty much the queen of social networking, I thought I should listen. Her tips were great.

Click here to check them out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Reads

So I started reading this book yesterday:

IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU by Jenny Han. Love it so far! Really good. Have I mentioned I love contemporary?

Anyway, I'm half way through the book and I was on Goodreads today and saw that after the title of this book it said, "Book 2" and I was like, "What??" I hadn't realized it was the second book in a series. So then I read the summary of book one. Jenny Han did an amazing job of seamlessly filling in the back story of book one into this book. I have not felt like I've missed a thing. I am very impressed.

So, like I said, I'm only half way done, but barring any horrible plot fouls, I'm going to say that I recommend this book. Here is the summary (warning, spoiler for book 1-THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY):

"It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach."

Okay, now that I've read the summary, the only thing she hasn't explain is why they call her "Belly". Was that in book one? I'm guessing it would've had to have been with such a weird nickname.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DingDong's Fate

Did I leave you guys in duck limbo or what? I'm so sorry. I hadn't intended to do that but we ended up going out of town for labor day weekend and I didn't think to schedule a post before I left. Don't worry, I have been properly chastised by two different people and I feel much horrible shame and regret.

So, back to Ding Dong (our pet duck). If you remember from last time, he had escaped in the car and was now about to be introduced to a new pond with new fowl to contend with--geese (and we all know how mean geese can be). When I carried him to the pond, the geese were nowhere in sight. This is good, I thought, he can get used to the place before having to fight for his life. My friend kept assuring me that the geese were nice, but that's what I thought about the ducks on the corner, as well, until they tried to peck my duck to an early death. My 4 year old son (having been much traumatized by the event) kept reminding me of this fact on the way to the new pond. But, I felt the need to try it anyway. I know it sounds ridiculous, and maybe makes me seem like a weirdo, but I really wanted our crazy little duck to be happy. I hoped that maybe, since the pond was so big that they would all just leave each other alone.

This was his first thought about the whole scenario:

So he wouldn't get in, but I was hopeful that if left be for a while, everything would go well. So I took my crying son (crying because even though I had told him we were going to leave the duck, it didn't register until we actually had to *leave* the duck) and we shut the duck into the gated pond area. He followed us, quacking at the gate and looking at me with those sad duck eyes (what? you've never heard of sad duck eyes? Well, they're awful. They involve a tilting head and a few mournful quacks). We talked with my friend for a while and calmed my son down then got in the car. As we drove away, Ding Dong followed our van all the way along the fence line, quacking and flapping his wings. I felt terrible, not to mention scared for when the geese showed up. Yes, this all sounds so dramatic.

Anyway, not two hours later my friend texted me with a video of Ding Dong in the water. I was so happy. One obstacle down. Then an hour after that, she sent me this text: "Now he is hanging with the geese. He is happy with them and they like him. :) Yay, all is well for Ding Dong!!" I asked her if she saw who approached who and how it went down and she said, "No we don't know. All of the sudden the three of them were cruising around together. And he has been dipping down for fish (whatever that is called)."

Our duck was living in the "wild" with new friends. Wow, I feel like such a sap, but these texts made me soooo happy. It went better than expected. Now, the only problem? What am I going to blog about? Suggestions, anyone?? :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Lake of Misfit Fowl

It was time to say goodbye to Ding Dong (our pet duck). He had decided that our side yard was *his* side yard and took to making sure we all knew it. Mostly I think he was bored and needed to work off extra energy. (Much like a two year old who needs to throw a tantrum every day at four so that he'll sleep good that night.) Every time we would walk out the side door he would peck our toes and chase us. Now, I found this amusing when he just did it to the children (I know, I'm a mean mother) but when my neighbor showed up at my front door out of breath from having run from the attack duck, I knew we had to find a new, more suitable home for the duck.

It just so happens that a good friend of mine recently moved to a house that has a 2 acre, fenced in lake. It's pretty awesome. When I saw it and its two resident geese, I knew it was the place. I just hoped the geese wouldn't feel threatened (like the last set of ducks we tried to introduce him to) and let him into their club. After all, these geese are a little odd. One has a horn like protrusion on his head and the other has crazy, messed up wings. I thought my little orphaned duck would fit in with these other misfits. My friend's lake should be called: The Lake of Misfit Fowl.

So after catching the duck (I believe he sensed he was being banished because he would not let me catch him and my neighbor, seeing me through her window, looking like a fool, came over and helped me corner him. It was quite ridiculous, I'm sure, to watch two grown women chasing a duck) it went into a box and into the car. My four year old son was in charge of holding the box closed. Side note: Never put a four year old in charge of something that can actually effect the safety of the driver. Half way to our destination, the duck knocked over the box and flapped his way out. I screamed, my son laughed, and the duck spent the next ten minutes exploring the car, ending up at my elbow, drinking the water I had brought for myself out of the cup in the center console.

We made it without an accident though. Well, not a traffic accident. The duck had no problem using the floor of my van as a bathroom. I had never been so happy that my kids throw all their old school papers on the floor of the van, creating a nice paper barrier. (See, another incident of reinforcing my lack-of-cleaning behavior.)

This post is getting long. I will tell you the conclusion of the story on Monday. Does Ding Dong make it on Misfit Island...I mean, Misfit Lake? Or, like before, did I have to rescue him from murderous fowl and bring him back to terrorize our side yard? I know, it's a gripping tale.