Monday, August 30, 2010

Date Night, Awesome Music Month reminder

All about ME Mondays

My daughter was at a sleep over on Friday night, she's two and half and didn't miss us at all.  Which is awesome and the exact thing a parent wants to hear.  Anyway, while she was out having fun, Hubby and I had a date night.

Oh Date night, you are so very awesome.

We went to a nice dinner, the food was so good I physically couldn't eat any more which bummed me out because I really wanted dessert but my main course filled me up.

We went to see "Inception".  I love movies that make you think, I really do.  But I think when you buy the movie ticket they did to give a quick IQ test too.   Normally when two people go to see a movie, one person is smarter then the other.  I'm not trying to be mean or snarky, but the nature of human intelligence means that not everyone was created equal. 

I figured out the ending of the movie about a half hour in.  That didn't make the movie any less enjoyable.  In fact I liked it a little bit more because I could "see" the story telling in a different light.
Anyway there were people, I'd say at least fifteen in a theater with fifty in it, who figured out the ending in the last minute of the movie.   One person whispered the ending.  Then another.  And another.  It was like a wave of whispers pointing out the obvious.  Thing is, they weren't just pointing out the obvious but they were also explaining it to the people around them.

I won't spoil the ending because that's rude.  And it really was an EXCELLENT movie and you should go see it.  Like stop reading this blog and go see this movie.  And while you're at the theater, go see Scott Pilgrim too, that was awesome too.

Anyway, Saturday morning I took advanage my of kid free morning and got a hair cut.  It looks super cute.  But the hair stylist shaved the back of my head a little and now I don't know how I feel about the growing out processes.

I spent the rest of the morning walking around Borders and wishing I could read all the books.  I can't.  I don't have the time or money. But THE DUFF was on the book shelf!  How exciting. It's times like this I wish I had a TARDIS.  Sigh.

I picked up my daughter, she had a BLAST.  They went a walk, they had a pillow fight, they watched movies and the total number of hours of sleep?  Drum roll please.... 2 hours.
Let's take a wild guess who didn't want to take a nap either when she got home?

Remember September 1 starts AWESOME MUSIC MONTH.   In celebration of all the very awesome music coming out this month, every week I will be giving away one music mix CD to a commenter.
How do you enter?  Leave a comment, if it's witty or funny or insightful.  It might win!
You can also win if you run the same contest on your blog too.  This way I can enter and I might win a free CD.  YAY!  Just leave a comment to let me know. 

Being a follower is not required but it will make it easier to find out if you won.
Entries are from Monday to Friday.  All comments must be made by Friday 5 PM EST. Winners will be announced on Saturday.

The only rule is: if you like the music on the CD, PLEASE go out an BUY the artist's real CD.  Don't illegally download it or steal it.  If you thought the publishing industry was hurting, you should see the music industry.  YIKES.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Problem Solving

Sometime soon I'm going to blog about how to find writing friends, but I'm not really in the mood to do that just yet.   But soon.

This blog will put be in two parts.

Part one
Back to work, my school underwent a pretty huge renovation process over the summer.  Our building was over 35 years old and looked it, so instead of have open spaces in the front office.  Now there's walls and hallways and bathrooms.

Ok let me back up, it's not like we didn't have these things before, but now there's WAY more hallways and offices but our bathrooms have decreased by 50%.  The bathroom situation in my school has been stechty at best.  In a prior post I shared a fun little story about the staff bathrooms and cell phone use.   Now we have two bathrooms and we have to share with boys... yuck.   More so there's no trashcan in the bathroom either.

The carpets are another issue, about four years ago we got brand new carpets, YAY.  And now we have a whole new office, with new carpet.  Which would be fine, but there's a point where the old carpet meets the new carpet.    Oh and there's a wall that was only painted a 1/4 of the way because there was a huge debate as to WHO was supposed to paint it, the contractors or the county. 

Before our school looked old, now we look like we can't dress ourselves.

The problem solving skills leaves much to be desired. 

Part two:
My neighbor was having a huge party on Sunday so he decided to park his car here:

By the way, there was no one parked on the street.  The party ended up being sort of a bust.   The car stayed on the lawn for 24 hours. 

It's the time of the year when I feel like I'm surrounded by stupidity. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- Hunger Games

Next week's topic: How would YOU impress (or not impress) the Hunger Games judges?

I have to say, I wasn't impressed with the Hunger Games enough to judge the judges.  

Instead I'm going to repost my review for the Hunger Games 

One line review: I liked the Japanese version better.
Why did I read this book?:
I read this book for a couple reasons.
1) it's been on EVERYONE'S Must Read list.
2) about 75% of my students read it and loved it
3) A lady at the scbwi yelled at me, literally I was sitting next to Mary Kole and this lady started to yell at me because I hadn't read it yet, it was like I didn't belong at the writers conference because I didn't read it.
4) One of my students said, "out of a rating from 1-10 I'd give it an 11."

The book:
Girl has to fight against 24 other kids to food for her home town.
Here's the thing, it's not a new concept... in fact it was a book, a comic and a movie back in Japan, and it was call Battle Royale. But the kids weren't strangers they were classmates, they had a long and deep rooted history with each other, which made the events that more horrifying.
The main character wasn't highly likable. What I did like about her was she was a girl who kicked ass, and she was smart, but everything else about her was sort of meh.

What I did like about it:
  • Fast read
  • I liked the reality TV aspect and that she was hyper aware that everything she did was going to be broadcasted. I thought it was a nice statement for how we are currently living out lives in a hyper media word. Even now I'm blogging, sharing my thoughts with whoever will read it.
  • I liked how well thought out the world was, I could tell Suzanne Collins spent of time playing around in this world in her head.
  • She wrote great action scenes.
  • The biggest one for me was, not once did I read it and think, "Damn I WISH I could write like this." Possibly the problem was I had literally finished On Writing ten minutes earlier and I LOVED that book. When ever I read something by John Green nearly ever page makes me want to beg the Writing Gods to make me a sliver as talented as he is.
  • It was a little too "telly" and not enough "showy".
  • Did we really need 2 pages about the back story of her sister's goat?<-yes I know character development, time needed to pass so the characters could heal, but still 2 pages?
  • The "rule change" half way through the game was BS. It was a cheep plot device used to get to characters together, but it didn't cause any tension, in fact, released any tension that was there in the story. Lame.
  • I know the book is called The Hunger Games but there was WAY too much description about food.
Overall Review:
Was it entertaining? yes. I finished it in a few hours. But in all honesty I felt that Twilight was more entertaining.
Maybe it was because I had such HIGH expectations for it. And there's a frenzy around the book that I thought it would be better. Maybe it was me and not the book.

Note: I can't imagine the unreal pressure that must be on Collins right now, with the final book coming out. While I didn't love the book, I know millions of people do, and I hope she can live up the pressure and hype and I wish her all the best.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Clearing out the DVR and random stuff

I've had three episodes of The Big Bang Theory on my DVR taking up 15% of the space. Thank you HD TV sucking up my DVR space. 
The episodes are fresh because I've never seen them, but the commericals, oh it's like time traveling to the not so distant past.

Do you remember when movie studio had hope in that  Ashon Kutsher movie, Killers? 

Do you remember Honda's summer blow out sale?

Do you remember that epsiode of Miami  CSI where crazy stuff happened? I don't know, I don't watch that show.

Do you remember  that Olive Garden commercial that was so sweet and stereotypical it was border line offensive?  Yeah I hate all the Olive Garden commercials.

Wasn't it a simpler time?  The world was filled with a little bit more hope.

In other news my daughter has started to sing along to music.
the other day I heard her singing, "you are the only exception" when Haley Williams was singing it.  Clearly I listen to the song too much. 

She's also started singing the theme song of Phineas and Freb, but she calls it Finnyfreb.

I'm getting all geared up for my September Give Away.  YAY!

Hey, remember when I said I was going down to three days a week and that should mean the blogs were awesome... um sorry about that.  Clearly that statement was an EPIC FAIL.  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shameless attempt to win contest take 2

More contests are happening!

Amie is having a pretty awesome contest with lots of books and prizes.

Her blog is not only beautiful but very insightful.

If you want to enter go do so, and if you're entering because I'm suggesting it, then please give me a little credit.

One of my favorite blogs is having a contest too.

Her blog is great and she's an active commenter.  

All you have to do to enter is to tell her about your favorite book. 

Please go check her out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Friday

65 Followers!  That's crazy talk.  65 people clicked on the follow button and now their picture shows up on my little blog.

This week in the real world, I've battled post nasal drip that was so bad it made me wish for an early death.  My parents drove up from South Carolina and are up for a visit.  And I became shamefully addicted to Plants verses Zombies.  I have gotten zero writing done, zero planning done, not a whole lot of reading done, either.

Next week I go back to work.  The school year will start and I will be swamped with TONS of work.

So I will be going down to a three day a week schedule for blogging.   But hopefully this means the blogs will be AWESOME!!!

There's also a contest I will be running in the month of September.  The Best comment of the week will win a Mix CD from me.  YAY.  All you have to do is comment, easy stuff.  Oh and if you run a similar contest on your blog I'll send you a CD too.   SUPER EASY, SUPER FUN.

In other fun stuff, hopefully I'll be seeing this movie this weekend:

And last bit of fun -- for the win!  Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Writing Friends

On Writing; Thursdays:

If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a writer.  Yay, very cool.  So you've written something and now you need someone to read it.
You look around you life, the people you love and trust, your family, your friends, your signifcate other and you say, "whadda think?"


Don't do that.  Seriously don't.  If you want them to read it so they can see what you've been ignoring them for, that's fine.  But don't take their feedback as your end all be all.  Why? Because they love you. And they won't be honest. 

There's a much bigger reason:  You like these people and you want to keep them in your life, right?
I've lost a lot of friends and my feelings have been VERY hurt when I gave them my novel.  Why?  Did they give me bad feedback?  Did they tell me it sucked?  nope, they didn't even read.  I heard NOTHING from them.   Which my neurotic brain freaks out over and thinks it must have been SO horrible they can't even talk to me. 

Then I get angry, here are literal thoughts I've had, "what the hell, I have a full time job, I teach, plan, grade, meeting with parents, come home, deal with a two year old, clean, be a wife, find time to watch TV and write three novels, and revise them and what the hell you can't take a few hours to read." 

This is A HORRIBLE way of thinking. 

I need to stop.

So from now on I will try very hard not to have these thoughts and when it comes to writing I will seek out writer friends.

Writer friends sole purpose in my life is to read my writing, give feedback and talk me out of a pity party.  Lots of my writer friends have merged into REAL life friends.  I've flown to Boston to hang out with them, I've celebrated their victories and cried for them.  Some of my best friends started out as writer friends.

One slight warning: 
 I have an issue when the MC of a story is a mirror image of the author.  It makes it almost impossible to crit because when you say, "your MC is very unlikeble in this scene." You've really insulted your friend.  It's a tough line to walk.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- rewrite the endings

Ok how excited am I that I FINALLY figured out the next weeks topic is at the bottom of the blog!

This weeks topic: If you could rewrite an ending of book, why and how.

Ever read an awesome book and it falls apart at the end? Yep. We all have.  So a part of me thinks its a little mean to rewrite the ending of book, because I know how hard it is to write much less how to get published and then everyone wants to give you feedback about it wither you want it or not.

So I'm not going to pick on any new writers or even books that came out this year, mostly because I don't want to spoil any endings.

I"m going to pick to two most famous and often critiquied book series.  Harry Potter and Twilight.  If you haven't read these by now, um, yeah what dark cave have you been living in?

I will start off right now and I can not imagine the pressure both of these ladies were under while writing the final book and more so knowing there was NO way they could make everyone happy.

Harry Potter:
So everyone called BS on that final chapter, mostly because it felt like bad fan fiction.  What I didn't like about it was that i had assumed from book 1 that when Harry grew up he was going to be the next Dumbledoor and he was going to take over Hogworths, so yeah.  Sort of bummed. 
My other issue was if you're going to introduce two other wizard schools in book 4 why weren't they in the final battle?  That would have been AWESOME!!!!!!! 
Also I wanted an 8th book that SHOWED what happened to Hogworths while Harry was gone.  Harry got annoying but I always loved the other characters more.

My biggest complaint with the final book was this, don't introduce a BILLION new characters where BELLA had to create a chart to keep everyone straight if there wasn't going to be a BLOOD BATH at the end.  I get that it was to make the scene BIGGER and create larger scale, but there was no battle. When I hit the last 100 pages of the series I knew there wasn't going to be kick ass fight.

I don't mind if you can't write a fight scene, I can't do it.  But I do get upset if you structured your book completely wrong and built up for an epic battle and instead you have vampires hug it out.  LAME and I call BS.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music you should be excited about

Pop Culture Tuesdays

I love music and there's a lot coming out soon that I'm SUPER excited out.  I'm going to talk about three bands I get all fangirly over.


I own every Ludo album, they have a very distinct sound, each song tells a story, some are funny, some are heartbreaking.  It's epic and humble.  they wrote a rock opera called The Broken Bride, and I've listened to it at least 10 times and I have no idea what it's about, but the music is nice.   Whipped Cream is the single off their new album.  4 unsexy guys trying to be overly sexy is hilarious..  Awesome.

Their new album Prepare the Preparations comes out Sept 7.


There is another band I own every CD they put out.  Their rarity CD is amazing.  I spent $18 for a delux various of a CD I already had because the band signed it. Then I lost it.  Shhhh don't tell my  hubby.  This was the band that made me realize Christian rock didn't have to be all about God and preachy.  Instead it could ROCK and be insightful and meaningful. Anberlin doesn't curse and sing about drugs, besides that, it's exactly like every other band I listen too.  Expect Anberlin is one of the BEST.

The new album comes out Sept 7 and it's called Dark is the way: Light is the place.

Finally is Jimmy Eat World.
Ok I'll forgive them for the really stupid name because I love this band.  Bleed American I listened to so much the CD partially melted.  I've seen them live 4 times and I"m going to Virgin Fest because they'll be playing.  Jimmy Eat World are credited with creating the emo music movement, which is sort of a weird honor and interesting because they'll out live the emo music movement.  In the Middle is one of my favorite songs of all time. 

Their new album is Invented and it will be out Sept 28
It also has the nicest cover out of all them.

Also The Airborne Toxic Event has a DVD release coming out.  It looks NOTHING short of incredible.   It's also coming on Sept 7.  I'm going to be VERY busy at best buy that day.

In honor of SO much Kick @$$ music coming out,  September will be MUSIC MONTH! 
Every week I will be picking 1 commenter and send them a MIX CD. I might pick more than one a week.  I will most likely pick you if you do the same contest on your blog.  So there might be more than one winner a week.  YAY!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shameless attempt to win contest

Because winning Blue Lipstick Samurai''s super awesome prize pack wasn't enough for me.  No I will SHAMELESS enter all contests I see.

No, that's not true.

I did enter tiara day, but um, it was tiaras and since having a daughter her toys became useful for once. 

I follow a lot of blogs, but there's a handful of blogs I try to comment on every time they're up.  Why? Because I have a lot in common with the people writing the blogs.

Writers- Check
Working- Check
Moms- Check

Super Mom Writes is an AWESOME blog and she FINALLY hit 50 followers, it was a long time coming and LONG over due.  Her blog is pretty fraking awesome.   On Tuesdays she give tips of making mixed drinks.  She keeps to a great blogging schedule.

Please  Go check her out.  Go enter her contest and tell her which Hogworth's house you belong to.

Next is Lynda Kang and her amazing blog The Word is My Osyter.  On Mondays she does this thing call medical Mondays where she answers medical questions you have about your characters.  Say your character gets shot and you want to sound like you know what your talking about, but you don't want to ask your doctor about it, because you know, that's awkward... Poof problem solved.
Her blog has 300 followers, you know why?  BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME.  It's short, cute and insightful.  And if you aren't following it then go off and check it out.

A HUGE thank you Blue Lipstick Samurai- I won her 65 follower contest and this is what I won!

 THANK YOU! I had to pry the candy out of my daughter's hand.

Why are you taking my stuff, Gloria?

All About Me: Mondays

Last week we got rid of my daughter's pay pay (pacifier).  She is two and half. 


Let's go back and look at how and why she got on in the first place.  Prior to her birth I swore up and down that I would not be one of THOSE parents who let their kids have a pacifier.  Then she was born, and I was living off of 4 hours of sleep, not one block of 4 hours but 8 half hour snipits of sleep in a 24 hour period.  I took her to the doctor, because babies go to the doctor like every day and half  (or 6 hours of sleep for mom). My doctor said that paficiers can prevent SIDS and helps a baby sleep.  For $2 I tripled my sleep and she STOPPED crying.

Then around the time we were going to take it away, we switched her from a crib to a bed.  Do you know what happened?  She went SPRINTING to bed every night.  No fight. No screaming.  She crawled into bed, stuck her pay pay in her mouth and was out cold.  There is only one word to describe this: AWESOME.

What jackass would give this miracle up?

But now she's getting to be a big deal and while I'm home from work, hubby and I figured it would be a good time to get rid of it.

Daughter and I talked about how she was a big girl using the potty and she would need to get rid of her pay pay.  She went two days without it, lots of crying on her part. We told her she did a good thing and she would get a prize.  (DON'T JUDGE!)  Last Sunday we took her to the mall, we went to Build a Bear.  For those of you who don't know, Build a Bear is a store where you build your own teddy bear.  You get a creepy bear skin, a giant tube gets crammed into the bear's spinal chord and it get stuffed with fluff.  Then you dress the bear.  These bears have clothes nicer than mine and they cost just as much.

My daughter was excited for Build a Bear, she picked out her panda bear, she told the bear stuffer person that she was a big girl and she put the pay pay inside the bear. She picked out night night clothes for the bear, bunny slippers and a smaller stuffed polar bear for the stuffed panda bear.  (Ok you can judge) She named it Gloria (although in retrospect she might have been saying gorilla).  $37 later we left the mall and by the time we got home the kid had a 104 fever.

For those of you who don't have kids, a little FYI,  babies and toddlers get 24 hour fevers and no doctor will see your kid because there is NOTHING you can do, but give her fever reducers, ice pops, water and let her watch as much of TV as her little brain can handle.  (I watched the same episode of Team Umizoomi at least 7 times)

During her fever she asked for her pay pay.  CRAP.  I sat down with her and said, "Sweetie, it's inside Gloria, remember, you out it there. Do you want to snuggle her?"

She started at the panda and threw it to the other side of her bed.  This is her way of saying, "this is BS mom, and you know it."

Her fever broke and life returned to normal, but she doesn't like Gloria, at all.  Mostly because Gloria stole her pay pay.

Now instead of her falling asleep in 4 minutes, it takes 45 minutes.  Gloria is cutting into her sleep time.  My 2 year old knows what it's like to be a mom.   Nice.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Best of Writeoncon

So the blogging world was a little slow these last three days?  Does anyone know why? WRITEONCON!

A totally FREE online writing conference that was awesome.  It was so good on day 1 I sent the founders E-cards.  Shannon said thank you back.


 three pieces of advice for writers

Awesome vlog about the myths of the publishing industry.

how to be funny

why a less then big advance can be a good thing

<--- Writing a query letter.

How your characters handle a life changing situation.

Questions to ask before you revise <--I WISH i had this a month ago.

 this focuses on romance in YA BUT  I think it rings VERY true for all romance subplots

Sex in YA 

Writing in Real life--- AWESOME seriously some of the best stuff out there 

Stay positive in the face of rejection 

The first of a three part series about the first 5 pages of novel... Kathleen Ortz tells us when she stops reading and why or if she requests more and why.

Ready to have your mind blown in a BILLION different ways.  Mary Kole talks about character cliches and how to avoid them and she does some pretty fancy stuff with a rubix cube.

It was an amazing three days, the resources were insanely valubible. 

In other news:  Mr Clean's Magic eraser is, in fact, magic.  I'm talking some serious Harry Potter Sh*t here or Middle Earth or Neverending story.  Not as cool as writeoncon but still pretty freaking magical.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who is your favorite child?

On Writing Thursdays

Your characters are like your children, right?  There's no doubt in any one's mind that J.K R LOVED Harry and the rest of her magically cast.  Watching them grow up, I became highly attached to them, I can't image how hard it was for her to stop playing with them in her head.

I've written four books.  Two books were about the same characters.  I could go into the whole back story about how that cluster happened, but that's not what this post is about.  It's about characters.

In every book I write, I have characters I LUV.  99% of the time it's not the main characters.

Don't give me Buffy and Angel, give me Xander and Willow or better yet, Giles and Oz.
Don't give me Scully and Mulder, give me the 3 Lone Gunman.
Don't give me Bella and Edward give me Alice and Seth. <--yep all time FAVORITE character in the twilight books, because he sits in a how full of vampires and eats lunch there.  4th book. Read it.

Minor characters is VITAL to the story and 78.974% of the time more interesting.  (BTW in case it doesn't need to be said, I'm making up my stats)
Not only do they have to deal with all the crap the main character has to deal with, because let's face it, they tend to be in the scenes when sh*t goes down anyway, but they also have to put up with the MAIN CHARACTER.

Let's face this fact too, the main character has some pretty deep flaws and can be kinda annoying.  Bella, I'm looking in your direction.  But I''m willing to put up with it because Alice likes her.  And I like Alice.

 The minor characters tend to have the best lines, call out the MC's when needed and sometimes do something so heroic you can't help but fall in love with them.

In my book, recently renamed, How to Pwn Noobz and Become a Rock Star, my favorite character is Dave.  I love him so much I gave him the house I grew up in.

On the other hand there are characters I don't know as well.  There's a character in How to Pwn Noobz, who has been around since the first draft of the first book and I still don't know him very well.   He's kinda like that friend you have that you're sort of indifferent to.  They have a car, and they don't really annoy you very much but you could take them or leave them.  For me that's Jason.  He's  important to the plot and needs to be in the story,  but I'm not as emotionally attached to him as others.

What about you?  Do you have favorite children/characters?  Do you have character's you don't know or like as much?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- underwear drawer

RTW: What does your character hide in their underwear drawer?


So what do your characters hide in their underwear drawer? 

How to PWN nOObz and Become a Rock Star:

Colin: ABBA's Dancing Queen-- just because he's straight doesn't mean it's not a good song.

Bryce: The letter Dave's sister wrote to him before she died.  It told him to never stop playing the piano, he quite after she was buried.

Dave: A picture of his sister, before she got sick.

Jason: the one review he was able to find on line about the Daisy Club.

Daniel: The key to his lockbox where he keeps his gay porn, because he is gay and terrified to let anyone know.

Lizzy: Thongs-- there's not a whole lot of depth there.

New York Karma:

Stephanie: The hospital bill from when her boyfriend beat her, so she never forgets what happens when she lets someone into her life that she can't control.

Spencer:  his first demo, because one time before he sold out, he cared about music and the demo helped him get back on the right path.  And the check stub of his first royality check. 

Penny and Hank:

Penny: the necklace her mother gave to her.  It was supposed to be from her "father" but her mother bought it for $35.

Hank: Puppy pictures of Bruiser, Meathead and Slacker.   The candid picture of his family after the official family portraiture was taken.  Satellite telephone just in case he accidentally kidnaps a girl. 


The slight problem with this post, is that only people who have read my books would care about what's in my character's underwear drawer... it's just names and stuff, with no context for the reader.  It's a fun exercise for me, but not so much fun for other people to read. 

Also how are people getting the YA HIGHWAY roadtrip questions early?  What do I need to go get it early?  Should I send the girls at YA Highway cookies, ARCs of books that have never been published, namely the three mentioned above?  Do I need to slaughter a goat, because I'm not really down with that.  Do I need to quit my job via dry erase boards or see double rainbows?  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The great and forgotten

Pop Culture Tuesdays

Sometimes TV gives us greatness and sometimes the rest of the viewing public doesn't catch on to the awesomeness of the show.    Sometimes the show has it run and it ends and then it's completely forgotten.

Here are my favorites:

The Tick
A dumb superhero named the Tick tries to protect The City with his sidekick Arthur the moth-- not a bunny with wings.  In the second season he get a dog named Speak, because the speaks to the Tick.  It's one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.

A show about a war between races, smart, edgy characters died, sciencey and techy  and all in all awesome.  The show was complex and wonderfully written.  And totally forgotten.

Invader Zim
Lots of yelling, smart in the way it shows humanity's stupid.  Zim is the dumbest of all the invaders.


The West Wing.
What if Politics was cool, important and the president did the right thing all the time.  Yes in the late 90's early 2000's this show was smart.  Seriously I learned something in every episode.  The first  two seasons where perfect from beginning to end and when Donna Moss finds out Josh Lyman was shut, I wept.  Seriously 10 years later and it can still bring a tear to my eye.  Josh Lyman and Donna Moss were one of the best ships out there. 

Dead like Me.
What if you died but you got to live a little longer as a reaper?  yeah Awesome.  It was a heart felt show that dealt with serious matters with the perfect blend of dark humor.  It was so good years after it was canceled they made a movie out of it to continue the show.

Maybe not forgotten but maybe overlooked as how important the show really was.  Without X-files there would be no Buffy, also most NONE of the shows on Syfy network, and no Lost.
Although the last three seasons became completely unwatchable.

So there's like thousands of other shows I could talk about and maybe I will when I start to run out of ideas to blog about. 

Monday, August 09, 2010

Brickfair 2010

All about me Mondays!

My family wento Brickfair on Saturday.  Brickfair is a convention for lego.  I've been to lots of conventions, anime, comic, the greatest of all Comic Con.  So I knew what to expect, lots of kids and lots of awkward adults.

I was shocked and disapointed to see no one dressed up as their favorite lego brick.  I wanted to picture of  four prong red brick.


Instead there were a TON of people.  When it opened at 11:00 the line wrapped around the building and looped the parking lot twice. 

I like art.  I like when people take something and make it into something else creative and completely different.  My brain is not good with legos, I can't build from the bottom and build up.   My Husband is in the process of making a TARDIS.

We took lots of pictures but these are my favorites:

The chaos as soon as it started! 

This is a fully working foozeball game made by a 10 year old. 

 Pay attention to this one, it's important.
 STAYPUFF!  Never cross your streams. 
 I'm in geek heaven with this one.

 Hubby claims his is going to be better. I believe him.
 Works of arts out of legos... remember the little legos signs... that is what they made up. Jimi!

 Chess game with legos!

BIG BALLS!!!  Wipe out.

Art is everywhere when you know where to look.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Writing news

Fun Fridays

I finished revising this week.  After 13 full drafts and at least 500 pages of rewrites, between cutting out 50 pages at a time and adding in another 50, I've finally produced a draft I am excited about.

It's got a cool hook.  Minor characters have been fleshed out, subplots were expanded and made more interesting.  I'm proud of this draft.

Whic means one of two things, it's sucks or it's awesome.

Are there weak places? yes.  The prose is a little weak in spots.

But are the characters interesting?  Yes. 

Is the plot solid? Yes.

Are there marketing issues: Yes.  I have a male protag--- basically the kiss of death. The girls in my book are sort if bitchy.

I've been working on this for about 3 years.  Yikes.  Over course I've been doing other things, writing other novels, working full time and raising a kid and husband, so it's not like 24 hours a day I've been devoted to this story.

My point is it took a LONG time to get it to a place where I'm happy with it.  The first draft had a lot of drama for drama's sake.   Don't ever be ashamed of the drafting process, make changes and tweeks.  After your done and you STILL feel just as excited about it when you started, that's an awesome sign.

A few months ago my hubby won a critique from Kathleen Ortiz for me for our anniversary  I sent her my MS last night.  I'm super excited about it and terrified at the same time. 

I've also made a new change to my novel.  The title.  For a long time it was called No System At All.  The novel itself is about a band's rise to fame.  But I sort of hated the name.  It wasn't catchy or cool.
Now I've fleshed out a subplot where the main character does acts of renvenge of douche bags who hurt his friends.

New title

How to Pwn nOObs and Become a Rock Star.

What do you think?  Would this title make you want to read my book?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

drama for drama's sake

Writing Thursdays

Meet Jen, she's a normal girl but her mother abuses her, her father left, she sister died and her grandmother was a key member of the nazi party and it was her idea for the holocaust... Jen by the way is Jewish.  Jen's twin brother is dating her best friend, which is weird because Jen always got a lesbo vibe from her best friend.

One night while she's looking out the window at the star she's convinced is her dead sister's soul she sees a spaceship.  A race of evil aliens enslaves all humans with the letter  U in their last name.  Jen was captured by one of the aliens and was raped by one of the tentacles limbs when a handsome blue alien that glitters saved her, although a little after the fact.  The blue sparkly alien tells her the only way to stop the race of evil beings is with a Crystal Amulet that's the only one of it kind and forged from the fires of a thousand dying suns.  Fortunately Jen knows exactly where it is because it's in her basement.  On her way down to the basement to she's stopped by her grandmother who can't understand why the media over reacts to that nice Mel Gibson fella.  Jen finds the crystal and gets addicted to crystal meth while saving the humans with a U in their last name.  She must say goodbye to the only alien she's ever loved, the shiny blue one and she sob and considers killing herself.   But the glowing star of her sisters soul makes her remember why life is worth living.  She cleans up her act and because the first female president.

But she's just like you, because she hates math too.

Ok so that story might not have ever existed or but who knows what's lying out there on someone's hard drive.

So there's drama and conflict, then there's drama for drama's sake.  Writing shouldn't be about how much sh*t you can through at your characters just to see what they'll do. 

Conflict makes the reader feel what the character is going through.  Drama make the reader roll their eyes and think, "who cares you were raped by a alien creature like bad anime porn. Get over it."

That was today's lesson on drama verses conflict.

For a solid, well written example of conflict with going nuts with the drama, go check out Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Um Yeah...

So it looks like there's no road trip this week.

But there's YA Highway is having a contest... YAY! The girls just got back from LA SWCBI and they've got a huge give away going on.  YAY

Did I say YAY yet? 

Go check it out.

Also if you haven't signed up for Writeoncon, go do it now.   It's next week and the schedule will be up soon.  One day is up already.  It's a FREE on-line conference.  Mostly for YA and children's writers.

You can get crit of your queries and your first five pages there.  Go check it out now.

My query and my first 5 pages is up there, if you wanted to check it out.

it felt weird not to blog so I had to do it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

phineas and ferb

Pop Culture Tuesday.

This summer I've discovered a new TV show.  I was late to three playdates because of it.   The name of the show is Phineas and Ferb.  It's about these two brothers who do something amazing everyday and somehow NEVER get caught.  There was one episode when they were trying to reunite a band for their parents aniversey.  When I told the mothers at the play date that's why I was late, one mother said, "Love Handle, that's the name of the band."

Ok, so yeah.  The show is AWESOME.

Every episode their sister tries to get them busted, and every time something happens and no one believes her.

The best is their pet platypus who is a secret agent... Nuff said.

The writing is spot on, it's the sort of show that exactly what it is.  The timing and pacing is perfect.  If you want to learn how to write humor, watch this show.

The Theme Song basically sums up the whole show.

You can watch full episodes here.

It might ruin your life, but you'll laugh while it's happening. 

Monday, August 02, 2010


Thank you SO much to everyone who joined the blog in the last week.  I hope you all stick around and enjoy it.

The winners of the mystery boxes are:

BTW all three of these ladies are running their own separate contests on their blogs.
Go check them out. 
(I hope that counts as entering off of them)
Yay you guys! 
 Please e-mail me with your information so I can mail it out to you.   
My e-mail is fussymonkey2 at gmail dot com 


Silly Bandz

Monday: My Life

Today is the LAST day to enter the 50 Followers Contest!  There's lots of cool prizes.  MYSTERY BOXES have been  made.   See previous post for hints about the prizes.  It's awesome.  I would be SUPER psyched to get one of these boxes.   Remember referring people to the blog or tweeting about it more than one will up your points. 

Back to the regularly scheduled blog.
I don't know if you've of these things, their' called Silly Bandz.   It's a little rubber bracelet that when you take it off, it looks like something.

A six months ago one of my students was freaking out because the kid next to her had a dinosaur Silly Bandz.
 She looked up at me and said, "it's this the greatest thing ever?  While it's on his wrist it looks like a circle but when he takes it off, POOF it's a dinosaur."
I responded with, "yes,  besides the instant information of the internet, decoding the human genome and freedom, that piece of rubber is the greatest thing ever. That's teh reason why you were born in this time period.  Face it, you're life peaked as soon as you saw it.  Everything else will pale in comparison."
 She gave me the exact response I expected. No laughter at my genius delivery of snarkiness.  She said, "Whatever it's cool."

I thought they would disappear soon.  WRONG.
 They entered my home life.  My daughter came home from daycare with one.  Then we started trying to get her interested in going to the potty so we invested $5 for a pack.

I saw a bunch of students wearing them and I told them, "My daughter gets one when she goes pee pee on the potty."

Not missing a beat one of my kids lifts his arm full of multicolored rubbed and says, "That's how I got all of mine."

A few minutes later he asks to go to the bathroom.  When he comes back his friend says, "do you get a silly band?"
He shook his head sadly and said, "no, I had an accident."

It's time like those I both love and hate my students.

Anyway, my house is exploding with these damn things.  I'm finding them everywhere.  Really we could probably give my daughter the same three bands over and over again and she would never know.

Just a quick background on Silly Bandz, no advertising, no marketing and the company grew from 5 to 200 employees in one year.  Do you know what else they don't have?  A copyright. Yep.  There's billions of rip offs now.  Some are better and cheaper then Silly Bandz some are not. 

These are official Silly Bandz

These are EXCELLENT knockoffs.

And, um, yeah.
My question to you is, WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?