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. 


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.


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...


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


(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


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.


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.