Monday, March 14, 2011

Loathing and Loving

Today, I've got for you (and I promise someday to actually do things like schedule my blogs and be a regular poster. I promise) two special things: one I loathe, the other I love.

So I often post little reviews/rants about commercials. Because, frankly, I don't have TiVo or a DVR so I end up watching commercials.

And while some are charming and witty, and not only convey something about the product or service they're trying to sell but also manage to tell a little story with it, many, many others are deeply misguided. Consider the following:

At first glance you can see how they thought this might be funny. They gave the host glasses with those little glasses-holder strings. Hilarious! Everyone knows that's a recipe for being mocked. And, you know, she looks a bit geeky. A bit stuffy. Everyone else is more casual, and happy, ready for some fun social mixing, if it weren't for that pesky book they've all gotta talk about.

I tried to analyze all the reasons this bothers me. Is it the inconsiderate "friends" who freely admit to taking advantage of hospitality offered and not even bothering to be polite (read a summary online people!) about it? Is it the implication that only stuffy, glasses-string-wearing uptight people care about book? For all you loose and funky people it's about the pizza baby. Is it that they're schilling for a diet pizza in a room filled with women (no football-watching sports fans here)?

Um, yeah. All of the above. I don't think this is funny, I don't like the woman who claims she comes just for the pizza, and all that happens is by the end of it I want to put my arms around the poor hostess and tell her to ditch all those selfish ladies and invite me. I love books! I also love pizza, but I WOULD read the book, and hopefully bring some thoughtful comments to the table. Papa Murphy's FAIL.

Meanwhile, this weekend I started, and finished reading Jennifer Donnely's Revolution.Revolution [Book]

Oh. My.

I don't review books on this blog all. Which is mostly because I'm too lazy, let's be honest. But, once in awhile I do find something amazing enough I've GOT to share.

Revolution was beautifully crafted (how much you want to bet she's the kind of writer with an outline??). She wove together the story of Andi, a contemporary girl from Brooklyn, nearly crippled with grief over the death of her brother, and Alex, a girl living in Revolutionary France. And though I didn't always agree with the philosophy or underlying assumptions, though I didn't always love either character, and though I was sometimes overwhelmed with the horror of the French Revolution, I finished the book humbled, both as a person and as a writer. I learned history, I learned humanity, and I was entertained.

I have to note though, this book deals with some deep issues and there is a lot of (historical) violence. I would definitely say this is a 14/15 and up book, and perhaps one a parent would want to read first or at least with their teen. Seriously a worthy read.

And, don't forget, I'd love it if you'd hop on over to wattpad and vote for Webs. I'm all engrossed in my latest WIP, but how fun would it be to have some of those editors/agents take a look at my stuff? Yup. Fun.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm being brave

I've been querying Webs, my completed urban fantasy young adult novel, off and on for over two years. I've stopped to revise, once with an agent on an exclusive basis for nearly a year. Obviously, that didn't work out. My point is I'm not shy about sharing my stuff. I've sent it to friends and family WAY before it was any good. I've had beta readers. I've posted bits in forums for feedback. I'm putting it up on Wattpad's Gatekeeper contest (see details here and here). And I'm a little scared.

I'm scared because now people who I've been hiding from will see my writing. Friends and family who I haven't told about my writing. I love these people. I don't think they'll be mean. I just...don't want them to see me as a failure. And we all know that the writing journey, for so many of us, is long and full of bumps and sometimes it ends differently than we want. I don't want them to know about all my failures. Or, I don't want them on the journey with me.

But that isn't fair to them. I mean, none of them want me to fail. And even if a bubbly teen fairy tale isn't their cup of tea, I'm sure they'll support me. I just want to present only my best self, and I'm afraid they'll see all the rejections sort of like blemishes. Even though they won't. But what if they did? Like having someone drop by when I've got dirty diapers piled in a heap by the tv and the dishes full of dishes and my kids still in pajamas and noon (or in other words, everyday). I'm afraid for people to see the real me.

I'm getting past it. I'm being brave. I'm putting my baby out there, warts and all. Oh, and if you're curious, you can check out the opening of my story here. If you stop by, I'd love a vote...the first round is all about votes. And also: self-promotion? Another thing that makes me really nervous.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crazy Author

So she isn't really a crazy author, but Maggie Stiefvater is doing some major spring cleaning and giving away scads of books. Really. Huge stacks Of yummy, delicious, books. You should head over there and enter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What We Say

My blog doesn't get a lot of traffic. I don't post on it all that much. And I'm not scintillating. 

But I never forget it is a public place. The things I say here? They'll stick around, especially if they're stupid or rude or offensive. And, maybe I'll at times be okay with rude. Or offensive. I'll try to shy away from stupid, but sometimes that one fights back.

I think sometimes on blogs, or twitter and oh-my-goodness-all-the-time on facebook people forget this isn't a phone call with their bff. They aren't scribbling in their journal from sixth grade with the little lock on the cover. Censor yourself, or don't, but remember, someday a boss will read it, or someone you want to be your boss. A potential girlfriend/boyfriend. A stranger with life experience so far from yours you couldn't even imagine them when you posted about the stupidity of owning fake chinchilla fur wall hangings. 

That's all. The internet is the ultimate six-year-old brother. It'll come tearing out of the room with your favorite granny underwear on its head and scream about the time you spilled lemonade all over the front of your white pants just as your mom finishes taking prom pictures. And the internet never grows up, matures, or forgets. 

So be careful. Be smart. And hopefully be a bit more scintillating than I am.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Internet Shopping

Confession: I don't really like to shop online. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE to shop online. Let me start again: I love to shop online for products I've already seen in the store. So I know what I'm getting. Otherwise, I see a picture like this:
New Syma 3 Channel S107 Mini Indoor Co-Axial Metal Body Frame & Built-in Gyroscope RC Remote Controlled Helicopter (Colors may vary)
of a cool radio-controlled toy and I'm imagining a scene like this:

But what I get is this:

And okay, probably the fault is mine. They do have reviews, comparison sites, and product specifications online. But, I get all excited. I imagine the big reveal. I picture myself toting around the Shiny New Toy. And all sense gets sucked into the great vortex of shopping excitement. I hit the "buy" button and feel a rush.

Then the package arrives.

So the other day I bought some books on Amazon. Books are pretty safe to buy online. I mean, a book is a book right? But when they came, one of the picture books I'd ordered was in board book format. Now, this is actually a good thing. If you know my kids you know board books are the way to go around here. I sort of imagine the boys lugging a board book version of Moby Dick to some literature class someday.

But it wasn't what I expected. And though in this case it was a pleasant surprise, it reminded me how careful you have to be. Sort of like the internet is the tricky leprechaun  of shopping. If you don't phrase your request just right he'll find a loophole and you'll end up with a timeshare in Montana. (note: I have nothing at all against Montana. I hear they have sky. Big sky).

Moral here? ebooks. Not only am I never confused about what I'm getting when I buy an ebook, but I get it instantly. No waiting! No UPS guy! No brown boxes I save for six months, throw away, then buy the exact same size at the store the next week because I need to mail something.

And that is my post about the changing publishing industry. Feel free to quote me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

In Random

1. I hate carpet. It gets gross. And smelly. And it stains. Sometimes it has a lot of stains. And when you vacuum and feel like ah, now it is finally clean? Totally still gross. You just got up the crusty Cheerios which had been ground in by the small yet eerily strong feet of tiny people.

2. I am completely addicted to sugar. Have I mentioned this before? Let me enlighten you. Addicted. To. Sugar. I went off it for a week, and I expected great things. Did I get them? No. I gained two pounds. It might have related to the superbowl extravaganza, but really people. It wasn't SO crazy. So this week I've been back on it. Sneaking little treats. Searching the cupboards for hidden goodies. I might need professional help.

3. I make my own pizza. And it is soooo good. Maybe not quite the same as my brother's although I don't know. I've gotten better lately. And almost nothing makes me happier than the smell of something yeasty rising. Is that weird? It is undoubtedly related to #2. *sigh*

4. This blog post has been brought to you by my three children, who are being suspiciously quiet downstairs. I checked on them a few minutes ago. But I don't want to go back, because the minute they see me they realize they have approximately 1,245 immediate needs. Of course, this means the 18-month-old is being supervised by two 4 1/2-year-olds. Don't think too hard about this.

5. Me: Hmm. My head hurts. And my teeth. And I've got lots of pressure. Probably sinuses. I should probably take something. *a few minutes go by* Head. Sinuses. Get medication. *an hour later* Dang! Why does my head hurt so bad? I bet I need to eat about 9,000 calories in conversation hearts. Nothing helps a headache like artificial color and sugar. *ten minutes later* Oops.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Um, if you're reading tonight

I just found that is giving away a whole heap load of great stuff. Like a Nook Color! But you've got to enter tonight. The giveaway ends tomorrow.

Monday, February 7, 2011


In keeping with the themes of this blog (themes? blog? what I am doing here? is this thing on?) I thought it essential you know The Cosby Show is now being streamed on Netflix instant watch.

Be still my heart.

Many happy hours were spent as a child watching Cosby. And seriously? Watch the pilot. Best. Show. Ever.



Funny How...

I thought I watched the Superbowl yesterday. Except, we talked a lot during the game. Which we watched on DVR so of course someone had called to tell us who won before the end. And we skipped the halftime show, and the singing at the start. Which was apparently too bad because the rumor is Christina Aguilera messed up the lyrics? Seriously?

Anyhoo, I did pay attention to the commercial. Maybe it was my one-semester stint as a marketing major. Maybe its just about how much I watch TV (trying to cut back. Really). But commercials fascinate me. Like, why can't there be a good local commercial? Why do some commercials make you laugh AND make you want to buy something (oh haii Old Spice Guy). And some just make you want to run screaming from the room?

So, here are my favorite commercials from yesterday. Which, btw, wasn't a great commercial superbowl. Pepsi particularly made me sad. They're usually so reliable.

I think I liked this because I have in my life watched a LOT of HGTV:

We actually rewound so my friend who was putting out kiddo fires, could see:

I loved this one too:

If you want to see the full rundown, check out this site.

Perhaps I'll post some failures tomorrow. But honest, who wants to watch them?

PS--I still think the best commercial was the VW force one below. Honestly. It won hands down.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pertains to Nothing

I've mentioned before, I am not really a football fan (although once in a while I can really get into a good college game, if I have an interest in one of the teams or someone seems like a really nice guy. Yeah. I'm that girl). But I love football parties, particularly superbowl parties. So I'm excited for Sunday. And bonus with the superbowl is sometimes even the commercials are entertaining. Like this one:

Now that's made of win people.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who Needs Sleep

Last night babygirl, who is really toddlergirl and Old Enough to Know Better, woke us all up at 4:30. Wait, back up. First, she spent twenty minutes trying to convince us something was wrong at 12:30, but we'd barely been asleep so it didn't count as much. Ahem. Back to 4:30. She woke up. Wet through. Crap. Changed her, brought her to bed with me (hey! Do YOU want to change sheets on a crib at 4:30?? Didn't think so). After twenty minutes, hubby was fed up, decided to change sheets himself. I helped (note: a million times easier with two people). Tucked babygirl in, and she went to sleep.

Did I?

funny graphs - I Always Start at 525,600 Minutes
see more Funny Graphs

Also note: she woke back up around 6:30 to put me out of my misery. Funnily enough (it IS a word, dang it) I had no difficulty falling asleep for ten minutes while she watched Dora, or when I switched with my husband, or on anything resembling a soft horizontal surface up until about nine am.

I am not really a night or morning person. More of a sleep person, really.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Attempt Two

Confession: I wrote a whole big blog post earlier, but when I re-read it I recognized it was a big pile of nonsense. Really. I made NO sense. I shall attempt to do better this time.

Let me tell you about my day. No. Let me summarize:

  • 4,298: the number of times the twins came running to me, screaming "MOM" at the top of their lungs, while babygirl was sleeping on my lap.
  • 3: number of baths I gave. This is misleading. It was sort of one big bath, but in stages, with different participants.
  • 2: number if different lunches I prepared (this is pretty good for me)
  • 0: number of bites babygirl took of any food I attempted to give her. She survives on whole milk and kisses today.
  • 110: fights I broke up
  • 20: minutes the twins managed to stay out of my sight during quiet time
  • 0 words I've written on the good ole WIP.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Some days are more productive than others. Can I also say being a mom is perhaps the most un-glamorous thing you can do? Seriously. It starts with you half-naked on a table,  fluids gushing and lots of strangers weaving around, and I'm telling you folks, it doesn't get a whole lot prettier after that.


Babygirl always squeezes me so tight when she wakes up. She snuggles right in and won't let go. And the boys? If I'd managed to write down half their funny stuff today you wouldn't be reading such a boring post. 
And now: kids in bed. Things are quiet. Its me and the computer.

Let's all just hope I've got enough brain juice left to make something happen.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Stephanie Writes is giving away a KINDLE on her blog.

I know.

You should enter.

I did.

Also because she's very cool and worth following. Yup. It's true.

(contest ends Feb 6th so you've got time...)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Other People's Kids

I love kids.

Okay, perhaps a caveat. I love my kids. In a general way, sure, I love all kids. I totally tear up every time I see one of those soldier-comes-home-to-surprise-kids videos. (Oh fine. Can't resist):

I'll give you a moment.


Sometimes, when what you think you're getting is cuddles and rainbows you end up with this:

I think it comes down to expectations. When I'm with my kids, I know them, they know me, we've got a groove going. If someone freaks out and throws a temper tantrum, I know they're out of control and they know I won't put up with it. We understand each other. When it isn't my kid though, I've got no idea what behavior is normal or not. Should I ignore it? Should I cut it off? It can get kind of uncomfortable. Routine for me might be wildly harsh for another parent.

Note: I'm not super harsh. But we've got rules. My kids have worn bum grooves in the time-out spot.

This happens with books too. You pick up a book with some guy on the front, bending his lady friend in an almost unbelievable back-bend, and you think you know what you're getting. "Aha!" you might think, "mushy, cheeseball and probably a bit smexy." Then you either put it down with a shudder or giddily tuck it into your bag.

So if, for instance, in the middle of said book you run across a stray alien invasion, and suddenly the romance plot is waylaid by the immediate need to save the earth, well you might be a bit put off.

A year or so ago the hubs and I (still seeking an excellent nickname for him) were watching Eagle Eye. If you missed it, I'm not surprised. All in all, I think it was pretty okay. At least, I was intrigued and entertained for much of it. But then, at the pivotal moment, it pulled off its disguised and revealed itself to be a traditional sci-fi thriller al la iRobot, but without Will Smith.

Nothing wrong with that, its just I'd thought it was more of a big brother, this-could-be-reality type movie. The distinction was maybe slight, but as a viewer, I felt gypped.

Let's tie all this rambling together, shall we? Don't confuse your audience. Don't promise them one thing, then pull the old switcheroo. Surprise is good though, right? Of course! Turn expectations on their head! Make new genres! Fight the good fight!

Don't just substitute one cliche for another, or think you've got a new concept when you're just trying to rebrand an old one.

I'm sorta guilty of this, I think. Its hard to be completely fresh and original. Still. Even if what you've got is derivative drivel, own it. Be proud of your work, but label it what it is.

Monday, January 17, 2011


In random today, here's another list of five unrelated things about me and the world in general:
  • Babygirl is finally behaving at the gym's daycare. At least, mostly behaving. So as I type this, I'm rather sore. It has always seemed to me that soreness should equal skinniness. Sadly, one good workout doesn't exactly produce visible results. Also, I used to be able to run a few miles without too much trauma (I never claimed to be an athlete) but now I'm lucky to make it past the three-minute mark. Sadly out of shape. 
  • I've seen all the Toy Story movies enough that, should I desire it, I could probably quote them all verbatim. Even the third. I am not proud of this, (well, maybe a little). I am happy Toy Story 3 won the golden globe last night.
  • Speaking of the golden globes...I'm sorta feeling they've lost credibility. Both Burlesque and The Tourist were nominated this year. And not in categories like score (although maybe Burlesque was there too) where you can justify a truly bad movie getting an award. Hey, if some part is good. No, those movies were up for best picture in their respective categories. How can a group that is willing to nominate such obviously undeserving movies be taken seriously? The better question though is WHY DO I CARE?
  • I know you've all wondered, but my Christmas present from the best-husband-ever (let's think of a good blog nickname for him, shall we?) has NOT DISAPPOINTED. Last night I was super bummed, and wanted to curl up to a good romance-y novel. Did I have one? No. Do I have any money? No. What did I do? Downloaded one from my library. While I was in my pajamas. On a Sunday night. WIN people. WIN.
  • I am about to go make some cinnamon bread, which I am not supposed to eat because I am trying to lose those last $#@! pounds. Seriously, this might prove impossible. I mean, cinnamon bread? I know what you're thinking. I have to make it. A neighbor did us a major favor the other day, and we need to show gratitude. No, I cannot just buy him a loaf. Homemade. It must be homemade. That's just the way I roll. 
Smile people. January will end someday. Also, in light of the excellent Amazon reviews of Snooki's book, I figured it was important to make sure you'd all seen this:

I got it from here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bad Guy

Unrelated random before I start the real post: babygirl asks for things by repeating the name of the thing in her little lilting voice. "Water?" "Bottle?" "Show?" (you get the idea). Then, when I ask her if she wants that thing (because one-word requests are sort of ambiguous. And toddler-speak is a precarious art) she answers "Okay." So it goes:

babygirl: "show?"
Me: "you want to watch a show?"
babygirl: "Okay." *runs to couch*

I always feel played.

You might remember, although you probably don't, that I was having trouble with my villain in my current WIP. Sure, bad things happen. Many, many action sequences. Perhaps too many? But there was an absence of a real, defined villain. Someone you could hate, or at least point to as the cause of woe.

So I began a rewrite. Seriously, this was the biggest reason. I got to the ending climax and there was no bad guy to thwart them.

(Well, there WAS a bad guy. There is a big, bad, pulling-the-strings villain, but his reveal is of necessity at the end, so I can't say who he is. And, consequently, he's not got much camera time.)

I've added the bad guy in this round, although he's still not there enough and he's still...a bit of a puppy. I can't seem to make him really evil. Or even seven shades past douche.

Apparently I'm not the only one to have this problem. Check out's list of villains-who-were-really-good. (Note: the language here is a bit more adult than I usually post on my blog. Be warned.)

And I'll go eat some chocolate, because whenever I run into a problem with my writing, chocolate is the first defense. I know you thought revision was the answer, but you were wrong. Chocolate is always the answer.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Scales of Justice

So, there has been a lot of puking at my house lately. And, much as I've tried to avoid contamination, I'm the mom...every episode involving excess body fluids also involved them getting on me.

Yeah. This has been not so much my favorite week ever.

And, it seemed since everyone else got sick I was doomed. I mean, how could I not? Hubs got sick, and he, although super helpful and wonderful in almost all other ways, is not always helpful when it comes to cleaning vomit. He comforts the vomit-ee, plunks them in the bathtub, whatever. But generally (and there was at least one memorable exception this weekend) he doesn't get his hands dirty. I do. So how could I possibly avoid this plague?

I don't know. But I seem to have basically avoided the blasted virus. I feel nauseas, almost as if I were pregnant, which is not physically possible at this juncture, but other than that...nothing.

I'm not disappointed. Vomiting is one of my least favorite things. Really. Really. REALLY. But is a strange feeling of let down to be deprived of something you've been anticipating. Even dreading.

What's the moral here? Is there a writing-related moral? (probably) A life related moral? (don't eat chocolate all day assuming the tummy bug will purge you of your sin, perhaps?) Yup. Morals abound. But, I'm going to let you ponder them and go curl up with my nook and a romance novel. Which, come to think of it, was probably what I'd been anticipating anyway.