Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Baby Socks

Kids grow fast. I mean, until they're two they'll outgrow their entire wardrobe every few months. That's a lot of clothes organizing for those of us who are, shall I say, organizationally challenged. I barely keep up. Side note: we're planning one more child (I'm a little crazy. Fine. A lot crazy) and part of what I'm excited about is getting rid of all the stored boy/girl clothes when we find out what gender it is.

All this brings me to baby socks. No matter what, there are always a few stray items that don't make it into the "bin" when I move one size out and one size in. And, inevitably, I find stray baby socks in random places. Then they get returned to the laundry. And I wash them. But I don't put them away, because they don't belong anymore, so they get put on a dresser, or left in the basket, to be washed again...you can see where I'm going with this.

The other day, I made a decision. No more baby socks. When I find a random little guy, guess what? I'm throwing it away. I can replace socks. They aren't expensive. Heck, last baby can have ALL NEW socks for all I care. It isn't worth it.

But it got me thinking. About writing (hang in with me here). Sometimes it is too easy to hang onto something that just doesn't belong anymore. A great description. A perfect scene. Even a character. But, the truth is, you don't need it. It's just getting recycled through the wash, over and over. And you know what? (I'll speak for myself here) my writing isn't so brilliant that I couldn't reproduce, probably better, any bit of description or scene I might delete and later want. But more likely, when I've cleaned out and shed the unwanted bits I find there's room for new thoughts and ideas, which make more sense and work better with how the story has evolved.

That's my first resolution this year guys.  No more baby socks. What's yours?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Gift for You

There are lots of reasons I love Christmas (see below post) but most of all I love hanging out with my amazing family. Really, I've got one of those families where, if I were to write about it, people would criticize me for making it all too pretty. But, really, we're just ridiculously attractive people who love each other a lot.

Just kidding. The truth is, I had an amazing childhood, and I hope I can do as right by my kids as my parents did for me. And I love the holidays, because it reminds me how blessed I am, and how wonderful my life is and has always been.

We watched a lot of musicals growing up. (I know what you're thinking: nice segue. Yup. I'm a writer folks.). It takes a few bars of White Christmas or just a glimpse of Judy Garland to take me back to my youth. So, in honor of my wonderful family at Christmas time, I'm posting a couple songs from my favorite musicals. 

Merry Christmas to all of you! May 2011 bring joy and peace.


(PS, as a Christmas present I'm sure exclusively for me, Netflix just put Meet Me in St. Louis on their instant stream. I know)


Monday, December 20, 2010

To Note:

  1. I am a little kid. Perhaps my matronly 31-year-old body fooled you into thinking I'm an adult? HaHA! Jokes on YOU! (or, erm, me?) I predict I'll have as hard a time sleeping Christmas Eve as the kiddos. I'm excited to give them their presents. Excited for the magic. Excited to yank out the hidden gifts. And especially excited for the nook my husband-of-wonder has stashed for me. thankyouthankyouthankyou.
  2. I maybe am letting my 17-month-old daughter watch tv often enough that she will be all cranky, and then she'll put her little face close to mine and say, "show?" I feel this is a parenting fail, but I really love I can distract her for twenty minutes...argh! Winter is hard. Speaking of, it is snowing beautifully right now. That light steady, fluffy kind. I hope it stays for Christmas, but the weather report is a bit of a downer on that front.
  3. I am totally using the Santa threat on my 4-year-old twins. As in, the other day I told them they were on the naughty list and they'd better shape up or it would be a lump of coal for them. They have NO IDEA what coal even IS, but they've been a bit better. I feel no guilt about this. 
  4. I got Christmas card printed about three weeks ago, but only the first batch has gone out. I did go get stamps, but the addressing has not commenced again. 
  5. I have one big Christmas project left. Other than that, it is just cleaning and a little wrapping
  6. I really love Christmas. I'll just say it again
This was supposed to be five random things, al la Sarah Dessen's blog. But...I added one more. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And to Wash that Bad Taste Away...

Okay, so my last post may have left you with a bad taste in your mouth (if you watched the commercial, that is). I know. I'm sorry. So sorry, in fact, I'm going to give you this video:



There. Don't you feel better?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creepy

I'm not a big fan of commercials for fine jewelry. In fact, post awesome DeBeers shadow commercials (do you remember those? With the violins?) I feel that jewelry commercials are pretty much the lowest common denominator. I'd rather see a local businessman dressed up in an animal costume. Really. Also, and unrelated, why is it jewelry commercials and coffee commercials all have the same feel? Over-emotional, rather sappy, insipid and pointless?? Except, usually coffee commercials are a little better.

On to my point. Kay is the biggest villain when it comes to evil advertising among fine jewelers. Just as I wrote that I remembered some of the heinous "he went to Jared" commercials and shuddered. They are ONE of the biggest villains in evil fine jewelry advertising.

Last year, I saw the commercial below. Note how, at the beginning, there's an overdrawn sense of suspense. The first time you view this commercial it is possible, in the first few seconds, to be entertained. You figure there's a punchline here somewhere, and with all the over-the-top creepy camp it had better be good.

No punchline. These people are taking themselves W-A-Y too seriously. This commercial is supposed to be romantic, I think. But, creepy stalker boyfriend is NOT romantic, despite popular misconceptions.

Bottom line: be careful how you execute. Romantic getaway in the mountains, storm raging outside while two people cuddle together sounds like a good premise for a romance novel jewelry commercial. But this commercial is more horror movie crossed with date rape PSA.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Breathe

So, I was just watching a Spiriva commercial, which is an inhalation-type of medication for COPD. The earnest-looking actor in the commercial told us, "COPD doesn't just make breathing harder, it makes a lot of other things harder too."

Um, yeah. Because, you know, BREATHING is important to most things. In fact, I can't think of anything that breathing isn't an integral part of. Except, well, dying.

So, yeah, commercial fail. I'm not going to post it because the rest of the commercial is incredibly boring.

But the whole thing made me think. When we're trying to craft the perfect sentence, the perfect pitch (the perfect query letter) how easy is it to make some claim that is a well, duh moment. After all, if you've got COPD you KNOW how difficult normal tasks are with it. The commercial didn't have to spell it out. So who were they talking to?

Audience. Its important. Don't forget who you're talking to.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monday Cheer

Okay so it isn't even Monday yet, and I'm already dreading it. Plus, this is the Monday before Thanksgiving, and even though I'm not hosting it this year, turkey day requires some prep. I need to expand my stomach's capabilities by gorging on ridiculous amounts of chips and salsa (oh. wait. check). I need to bake possibly two cheesecakes. I might venture into the land of pumpkin bread (or maybe the pumpin bread pudding Bobby Flay made on that Throwdown. MMMMMMMmmmmmMMMMmmm. Insert Homer Simpson drool). Plus, I should probably do my laundry and clean the house. So yeah, Monday.

But, Monday happens every week people! We can beat this thing! With a little know-how, some pluck and common-sense determination we can and will rise above the muck that is Monday and turn it into...Tuesday? Really, I've got no idea. But here:


That helped the Monday blues, didn't it?

(btw, I found it here).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Use Nostalgia

I haven't blogged about a commercial for a bit. But, I was feeling ill and watching a little bit more tv than normal, and I happened across a Macy's commercial. And yeah, I've seen it before. But I'm not going to lie: it works on me everytime.

When I was a kid I spent quite a bit of time with my paternal grandparents. To say that my grandma had disdain for any media produced after 1960 wouldn't be overstating things. She hated modern sitcoms, movies music...and as a result, I watched a LOT of old musicals at her house. Lots of "I Love Lucy." When I see Bob Hope's face flash across the screen, I'm back in my grandparents's living room. Safe. Warm. Happy.

So when I see this commercial, it isn't about a department store. It isn't a crass attempt to get me to spend my hard-earned money (except, of course, it is). It's a reminder of who I am--who we were. And a subtle hint that we can get there again. Back to the good old days. If only we shop at Macy's.



What do you think? Does this commercial work on you, or is it just more noise?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cliche is as cliche does

I rolled my eyes when I read this topic for this week's post over at YA Highway. I mean, cliches? Then, I bit my lip and started to mull over the possibilities. Perhaps this post would end up being more than I bargained for. Literally, I wanted, in the worst way, to make this post stand out from the crowd, but then the topic is...cliches? How would I survive?

I'm no stranger to cliche. Honest. And, I love a good, well-written cliche (because, IMO, it is possible. Obviously not by me, but possible nonetheless). Favorite YA hero of all time? Gilbert Blythe. Boy-next-door, AND friend-she-won't-admit-she-loves. But, seriously, swoon. 


As for my favorite cliche? I like the romantic ones. The, oooh-this-is-going-to-be-good ones. If I had to narrow it down, I'd probably go with Chanelle fan of the perennially popular love triangle.

Love triangles have had some bad press lately. And yeah, throwing a rival in just for fun, so your readers can divide into "teams" and make tshirts announcing their respective choices is probably not the best way to approach plotting your novel. However, for my money (you're loving how I'm doing this, aren't you?) part of the greatness of a YA romance, or any romance, is how it allows you to live vicariously through the heroine. It allows you to experience a fantasy that would, in real life, be completely miserable. In real life I couldn't date two people at once, the stress would've killed me. But, in a novel--I love jealousy. I love confusion. I love conflict. Love triangles provide all of those things. And, it allows you to explore more than one kind of hero. Win!

That's it. Now you know. I may go hide my head in shame for having admitted this deep, dark secret. But only because the truth hurts, especially on dark and stormy nights.





Monday, November 1, 2010

Sugar Rush

I was going to blog today, but then I thought better of it. Perhaps I should wait until the sugar wears off a bit?

*waits*

Good enough!

I would like to pause our regularly scheduled blogging (what? schedule? theme?) to get on a soapbox. You're surprised, I can tell.

I am going to start listening to Christmas music, BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yes. I AM.

Because there is NOT enough time for all the Christmass-y goodness between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And on that note: perhaps we should rethink the timing of our holidays. I realize it would be, you know, an international incident to MOVE Christmas, but most scholars are completely aware that it wasn't so much because anyone thought Christ was actually born on December 25th. It's more of a symbolic day to celebrate. And I'm fine with that. I think the season is wonderful, and at the blackest, bleakest time of year what is better than focusing on love and faith?
For me though, although I know the shortest day of the year is December, the longest month is definitely January. I mean, aren't you just so done with winter by mid-January?

But, all this is beside the point. Christmas isn't changing. So, my vote is we join Canada and celebrate Thanksgiving in October. It would be fun! It would be very harvest appropriate. AND, it would mean all you scrooge types who yell at me for turning up my holiday cheer starting November 1 wouldn't have anything to complain about anymore.

I feel compelled to admit I'll probably wait a week or two to break out the holiday cheer. I am clinging to fall with all my might. Christmas music means I've accepted winter's inevitable approach. I'm still nursing my denial.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bloggers, Size and Corporate Culture

Yesterday there was an internet firestorm over Maura Kelly's insensitive blog over at Marie Claire. If you've missed the whole thing, Ms. Kelly blogged about the TV show "Mike & Molly" which features two overweight characters. Now, I haven't actually seen "Mike & Molly." I've have seen a commercial for it, and I remember thinking, "wow, they finally gave up on the supermodel wife matched with the schlubby husband" (According to Jim, King of Queens). And, I thought about it no more.

Until yesterday.

I'm not going to quote Ms. Kelly. You can find her quotes easily enough. The article was rude. She was insensitive. She talked about being grossed out by overweight people doing--well, anything. She compared being obese to an alcoholic being drunk. She was overwhelmingly patronizing by giving healthy living "tips." And cheering her obese readers (who she just called disgusting) by telling them they'd feel so much better, be so much happier, if they'd just get healthy. 

First, let me just say, doesn't she have an editor? Isn't there someone who previews her posts? If not, maybe there should be. Although, from Marie Claire's point of view, perhaps this whole incident has been a success? In my opinion, an editor should've been there to scale her back. For my money, Marie Claire dropped the ball.

Some people have called for Ms. Kelly to be fired. I disagree. Ms. Kelly was hired to blog her opinions. I'm not sure what else she blogs about, but her own issues with anorexia have been a topic before. And, Ms. Kelly was just being honest--the kind of honesty that looks ugly. Was she wise to admit this? I don't think so. But should she be fired for it? I think the fact she felt so free to post this blog, the fact she'd been turned onto the topic by an editor, speaks as much to the culture at Marie Claire as it does to Ms. Kelly herself. When we're surrounded by people who believe the same things we do, it is sometimes hard to remember we don't hold the only valid viewpoint. 

My entire knowledge base for a fashion magazine's inner workings comes from The Devil Wears Prada, and Confessions of a Shopaholic, so it is possible I'm wrong here. But, I wonder if no one stopped the post because no one disagreed?

Judging others for their size is a popular pastime. And, I'll admit, I've done it. I mean, if the Biggest Loser only had moderately overweight contestants, it probably wouldn't be quite so interesting. And, I think judging swings both ways. When I turn on E! I find most of female hosts shockingly thin. But, the truth is for most people on the extremes of the weight spectrum, it isn't about will power, or food, or even a number on the scale. And, an eating disorder makes your body into a billboard that announces to the world what your weaknesses are. 

Here's my bottom line. Healthy does not equal virtuous. You can't claim to be a good person because you go to the gym. Yes, there are personal benefits to being healthy. I'd like those benefits. But I am not dealing with obsessive thought and behavior patterns that sabotage my efforts. So, I am in no position to judge those who are. 



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disappointment and Perseverance

PS--turns out, neither of the words in the title of this post are ones I can spell correctly without help.

Got a rejection yesterday. From an agent who I'd done two revisions for, who had my MSS exclusively for ten months.

It stung.

She didn't give lots of reasons, other than she didn't feel it was competitive enough. Or, strong enough to be competitive. And I can respect that, as a reason. I have lots of other conflicting emotions about the way she (and, to be honest, I) handled the whole process. But the bottom line is, she didn't love my book. It wasn't what she thought it could be. Is she right? I wish I knew.

The adrenaline rush of bad news was pretty productive. I revised my query and sent out a new batch (and got a rejection--with a nice PS!). It feels good to have it out there with other agents, even if just queries are out there. Meanwhile, I need to work on my WIP, and I am so much more motivated than yesterday.

So, I'm not giving up. Not on writing. Not on Webs. But...

What if she's right? What if it isn't competitive? What if...

And its always the what ifs that'll kill you. In writing. In life. And, I've decided, oh well. I mean, what? I fail? Isn't that the point I'm at right now? How will continuing to try make it more true?

I'm simplifying. The tricky bit about writing is it takes time. Time you're not cleaning, playing with kids, or doing any of the hundreds of other things I've got on my plate. People suffer. Okay, mostly my husband suffers. Is it fair to him? To me? How much time do I dedicate to something I may not get anything out of.

So I've decided to (drumroll) cut off (or at least way, way down) the tv. I mean, if its time I'm worried about what sucks more time than that? And no more web surfing. No MSN Entertainment. No Yahoo! OMG. And, maybe, for a bit, no more twitter? We'll see. Time is a funny thing. Some people cross-stitch. Not that I have anything against needlework, but I'm not sure eighty hours on an I-love-you-beary-much picture is really a more productive waste hobby than writing something maybe no one will ever see.

So I write. More. And I'm kind of happy again. It is nice not to have a feeling like the other shoe is about to fall. You know what? It fell. I survived.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Actual Excitement

I'm not going to delve into the deep mysteries of my brain here, but the last time I was excited about a book, (*cough* Mockingjay *cough*) I was disappointed. Sad. Bereft. Hype is such a hard thing to live up to. I like to find books browsing at the library, or through a friend's recommendation. Or because the blurb sounded really cool at the bookstore.

And yet...sometimes there's hype for a reason.

If you haven't seen the hype for Beth Revis's Across the Universe yet, you probably will. But before that, click on this link to read the first chapter.
Across the Universe

Then, if you want to be all fangirl with me, you can head over to her site, here.

It's true friends. I'm excited about this one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Organized

I'm not an organized person. I'd like to be organized. I aspire to it even. But, sadly, something is always more interesting than organizing. I try sometimes, but organization seems to be a living thing, sort of like tree roots. It can't exist in isolated locations independent of each other. For example, my sewing. Originally, I set the sewing up in the laundry room. Then I discovered I can't make myself sew down there. So I kept carting things up to the kitchen table. Now...its a mess. But, in order to really organize it, I'd have to organize my bedroom and the laundry room and possibly the den and kitchen. Because, see, the sewing mess could influence each of those areas.

My current WIP is sorta like that. I know, I know...I wasn't going to go to heavy into the whole "writer" thing on this blog. I'm not. But really, I've been thinking how my personality both helps and hinders me in my efforts. Okay, I have a feeling the disorganized thing only hinders. I have jealous fits about writers with detailed outlines and flow charts. I sometimes dream of plot arcs and subplots (Its! the! Subplots!) that are defined and well-thought out before I start writing.

I realized the other day that my WIP is missing a villain. A Villain.

I know.

Lest you think I'm an utter moron, let me clarify. There is a villain. The ultimate, supreme bad guy who is pulling strings and putting pieces in place. But, he isn't on-camera very often. And, in the beginning, my main characters don't know who he is. What I need is a villain who can be a stand-in. One guy who is the henchman, who can be the face of the ultimate villain, at least until you meet him. Right now its a group of dressed-in-black, ninja-like bad guys. But really, I need One.

I'm hoping this sounds like a bigger revision than it is. But I'm probably wrong. Besides that, I have to go back and make my characters react differently, subtly tweak relationships. Change pacing. You know, REVISE. And I'm not even DONE yet.

Perhaps this could've been avoided. I did have an outline. It wasn't detailed. I'm just not a detail-oriented person.

And, I find myself ruminating over a  thought, question, ponderable I've had a lot lately. How much can we change about ourselves? Is it ever really an excuse to say "I'm just not that kind of person" or is it just lazy?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear Lucky Agent Contest

Over at the Guide to Literary Agents blog they're hosting a fantastic contest. You submit the first 150-200 words of your Paranormal or Urban Fantasy (YA or Adult) with a logline and Poof! Three lucky winners get Writer's Digest for a year, as well as a ten-page critique by Maris A. Corvisiero over at the L. Perkins Agency. The contest runs through Oct. 6th. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Compromise. And why it should stop.

So, obviously I don't really think we should stop all compromise. I mean, world peace people! Give a little, take a little!

That said.

There are times when compromise just gets you to a place no one wanted to be. Having no knowledge of the process which produced the following commercial, I can't say for sure compromise was involved:


I kind of hope this was a result of compromise. You know, when you're doing some kind of group project and someone has a brilliant idea (me) and someone else disagrees. Instead of saying flat-out my idea is better, I might (well, fine I might not, but you, being such a good person, probably would) try to find a place where we could both agree. Which doesn't exist. Because my idea was better.

Let's imagine the scene. Someone has a brilliant idea to show how with Michelin tires on your car you could stop in time to save the cutie-pie animated bunny frolicking on the road. Following the logic so far. Then, someone else in the group, no doubt hoping to look impressive, says "no! it isn't just the poor little animal. The road itself is sad before the Michelin tires come to save it." Let's take a moment here: really people? I mean, that's the concept here. Someone presented this and someone else approved it and they all thought it was a good idea? Even after it was animated? 


The end result, as you can see, is easily vying for the creepiest commercial ever conceived by a tire company. Or, almost any company. Wow.

Sometimes compromise takes a good concept, and through the magic of group dynamics, makes it into creepy horribleness.

Don't let this happen to you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Sorry

Sorry to post about feminine hygiene. I know I probably lost one of my dirty dozen followers with that sentence. Goodbye. You are mourned. 


Ahem.

I was thinking the other day, for NO REASON AT ALL, about feminine hygiene. And I was thinking about those horrible Mother Nature commercials Tampax runs.


Maybe, there's nothing wrong with this commercial. But let's be honest with each other. It's creepy. Not only seeing "mother nature" as a vindictive *not young* woman, but that somehow her little "gift" is just to ruin our lives, and if we can somehow get over, you know, being a WOMAN things will be better.

In contrast, there are these commercials:


Bravo Kotex. Bravo for pointing out that its all a marketing thing anyway. That the whole point of feminine hygiene products is to, well, work. They don't make it so that suddenly you are free to jog up a mountain or run around in clubs in skin-tight pants, dancing until dark. Can't we be honest? Periods suck. They make you feel yucky and bloaty and gross. But, I love that I'm a girl. Love that I've got kids. So, whatever. I'll deal with it an move on and all I freakin' need is something that does what it says it will do and then can we all please move on?

Also: if I choose to hang out in bed and eat a carton of Ben and Jerry's on that day of the month rather than cavorting in a club with my cronies, well, I will not be made to feel I've given into some vindictive force outside my control, or that if only I had the right protection I would feel different.

Thank you.

(PS, Kotex, A. Tampax...C? I'll let you know when I'm less irritable)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mysteries of the Universe

  • How can you tell if blue cheese has gone bad?
  • Where do those socks go in the dryer?
  • How is it that Smarties are always the candy given away at checkstands? Did it win some kind of dime-candy lottery? And, how is it possible I, every once in awhile, like Smarties?
  • How many weight-loss miracles are there? And why do we all still have a few more pounds to lose?
  • At what point on the cleanliness spectrum is your house considered clean?
  • Does it also have to be organized?
A few questions to ponder today. Enlighten me, if you can.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I almost don't want to tell you...

But Cheyenne is having this AMAZING week of contests over on her blog. I know, I know, I'm a beast. To save my soul, even though it will reduce my odds of winning said contests, I'm sharing these contests with you. Just click on over.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Wish...

Sometimes marketing works a little too well. There's this Walmart commercial where the whole family is getting ready to watch the "big game." They're unpacking unhealthy, pre-packaged, snacky goodness out of their enviornmentally friendly blue bags, and tossing around a football. The whole family is involved. Everyone is beyond excited to sit in front of the tv for hours watching men throw a football around.

I'm jealous.

The truth: I can get excited about a football game. I tend to like college football, and if I've got a vested interest in one of the teams I will cheer and squeals.

But...

Even when I was in college, I tended to come late to a game. Seriously people, four hours on my feet or with my bum in an uncomfortable metal bleacher? And, I tended to do more people watching than game watching. Or at least equal parts.

The truth is, I aspire to be a real sports fan. It looks like so much fun. And there's Chips! And Dip! I should be involved in something that includes so many fun foods. But, I can't quite get there. And, the hubs doesn't help. He thinks sports are pretty boring unless you're playing (weird. i know. who would prefer getting actually sweaty to watching other people do it while you lounge around eating snack food? C'mon! I wish I could exercise the same way: watching others while I munched). And, my kids are pretty little. At their age, if Daddy doesn't care, why should they?

So, my future as a sports fanatic looks pretty shady. And really, like eating at Olive Garden, the commercials make it all look rosy and happy and the reality is much...less so. Still, it is probably a result of the messaging in commercials like this one that every year I try to throw or attend a Super Bowl party. I usually don't even know who's playing until the day of, but hey--we need more reasons to party in the dead of winter.

So, I give this commercial an A. Well executed, happy, and it always makes me want to consume copious amounts of chili and potato chips. Win!

I couldn't find a good quality video, but you get the idea:



How about you? Is there something you wish you liked? An activity that always looks fun until you try it? What do you wish?

Friday, September 17, 2010

On Messy Houses and Cottage Cheese

This post actually has nothing to do with cottage cheese.

Here's a thing I've noticed: I don't like cleaning. I like things to be clean, but I don't love cleaning. Much like I am terminally disorganized. And how cooking is fine, but the dishes...

So, yeah. Work isn't my favorite and my best. It. is. work. And, I'll own it: I'm lazy. Thank goodness for audiobooks. Because, quite frankly friends, I need a story. There's no narration doing the dishes (incidentally, this is also the reason I'm terrible at math). I like tasks with a story. And, since the advent of e-audiobooks at my library I've got narration for everything. I remember the exact part of Inkheart I was listening to when I painted the flowers on babygirl's walls. Weeding the garden: Pillars of the Earth made me weep. Airman caught me by surprise while I was scrubbing eggs off my no-longer-nonstick frying pan. I was parts angry and parts excited listening to Mockingjay while I mopped the floor.

You know, since I was little I'd tell myself stories to put myself to sleep. I like my head filled with stories. I like a plot arcing through the drudgery of everyday.

There really isn't a point to this post, except to say life would be pretty sad without stories.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What Frozen Biscuits Taught Me About Characters...

So...

On my theme of commercials, I submit to you this gem from Hardees (except around here its from Carl's Jr):


*smile*

(admit it, he made you smile).

Here's the thing. There's no angst. This earnest young man, can't you just see him scurrying around the counter to help a Little Old Lady with her tray? You know he shows up for dates (no just hanging out for him) with flowers and has never ever broken curfew. He is a Manager. He's Going Places. He went to employee training, and when they talked about synergy he felt a stirring inside. He might not already own a Tony Robbins DVD, but he will.

I like him. I like that every time I see him, telling me about the joys of frozen biscuits, I feel like there's a friend in my living room. The kind of friend who might be more in the fringe than in the group, the kind of friend you set up with the girl you're afraid might turn into a crazy cat lady if she doesn't get off her current trajectory, but a friend nonetheless.

And that, my friends, is a character study disguised as a commercial for a breakfast biscuit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Contest!

Not me. Someone else is hosting a super fabulous contest. Don't worry, at some point I'll join the contest bandwagon. Seems to be what the cool kids are doing, and since I've always wanted to be a cool kid, I'll eventually cave.

(PS: FWIW I think Disney's Phineas and Ferb are the coolest kids ever. I also have been known to watch an episode or two of iCarly. I'm going to stop saying "don't judge". I mean, really, if you're a judge-y type, you're going to find lots to judge here. Judge away! Knock yourself out! I'm not ashamed.)


Anyhow, another cool kid is hosting a contest over on Thoughts of a Book Junky. You could win Clockwork Angel or Firelight. Or Paranormalcy. Yep. And it's a good blog to read anyway.

Here's the link to the contest post.

But don't win. I want to win. I don't lie about these things.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Direction

Okay. I'm going a new direction with this blog. I'm not going to blog about my writing, or my journey to "real" writerhood or whatever I thought I was going to blog about in the beginning. nope. Nope. There are many, many excellent blogs with advice on how to write, on how to get an agent, what to do once you've got one...and let's face it, my voice wouldn't contribute all that much. Besides, I write YA books. It seems to me, most of the people reading other writer's blogs tend to be...other writers. Which is great. Really, I mean, I Love Those Blogs. I've learned so much from the online YA writing community.

But.

I have nothing to add. So, instead, I'm going to blog about (to paraphrase a song popular when I was WAY younger. Scratch. Not even ALIVE. I'm a mere babe! So youthful!) things that make me go hmmm.

Like commercials. I admit, I watch too much tv. Especially this last year, because I had a new baby and was nursing her okay whatever I just really like tv. Judge me. Go ahead. And I noticed a few things. It turns out, some advertisers are amazing. Really. They can tell a WHOLE story in a 30-second spot. Like this AT&T spot:

Now, I'm not a big fan of AT&T, but I love how they tell the whole story, in flashbacks, in 30 seconds.

Then there are the the completely misguided commercials. Like, these office depot commercials:


At first, seems funny, right? Yea for the little guy! Except, isn't Office Depot kind of the paper supply equivalent of the Super Cutz place? Aren't what they saying in this commercial exactly the same as what the evil $6 hair cut place was saying? Haven't they ever seen the Office? Dunder Mifflin FTW.

Which, brings me to my point. Which is...I have an opinion. On everything. Stick around, you'll get a few more of them.