Friday, March 30, 2012

So, I did it...

Yes, I finally bowed to peer pressure and joined this year’s A-Z challenge! I’ve been hesitating because my two year blogoversary is coming up and I’m concerned the blog and I are losing passion for one another.  Lately I've found it hard just to make our Mon/Wed/Fri rendez-vous. And then the Blog is all like: ‘You never make time for me anymore! Don’t you remember how it was when we first met?  The blissful hours we spent building our platform together?’

And I’m like: ‘I know, honey. I’m sorry but you know real life has been busy…’

Blog: ‘That’s what you always say! Just admit it. There’s someone else, isn’t there?’

Me: ‘No, bloggy boo, I swear! I haven’t written a full chapter in months!’

Blog: ‘Ha! I’ve seen the way you’ve been ogling that word doc. And don’t get me started on your reading list. Didn’t think I knew about that- did you? Don’t forget- I do have access to your email account. I’m not a total moron. Everything comes before ME,  doesn’t it? DOESN’T IT?!!’

Me: ‘Yikes, jeez! Okay, fine. How about I sign us up for a couples retreat?  It’s called the A-Z challenge. Just you and me- no pressure, no themes besides a letter of the alphabet and I’ll be posting every day! – except Sunday’s. What do you think?’

Blog: *sighs* ‘You really mean it?’

Me: ‘Yes’

**give eachother Googley eyes**

So, there you have it. If you guys remember my A-Z challenge from last year, well…at least you have an idea of what kind of random is in store.

In other news, this week’s winner of the ANALOGY WARS is:

Amber !

Querying is like a hard-boiled egg…If you crack it before it’s done, you go hungry.

Congratulations Amber! Feel free to grab a winner’s button if you so desire and everyone be sure to check out Amber’s blog.

This week’s ANALOGY WARS challenge is:

Writing/ Querying is like going camping in the woods…

May the analogy-writing force be with you and have a great weekend everybody!

*CQG*

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicken Pox Helps You Read...

So, my middle child came home from school Monday with chicken pox.  
Yay. *cue false cheer and mini fist-pump*. 
With current-day vaccinations and fading childhood recollection, I had near forgotten about this wonderful spot-casting illness. That is, until my six-year-old informed me that she had ‘pimples’ on her stomach and under her armpitsL

The doctor told me to expect my other children to start turning spotty sometime this week as well. Lovely! The only highlight of the situation is that I've downloaded a few books onto my kindle in order to pass the time taken off work to watch over my contagious kid.

Hex Hall book 3- Spellbound. I thoroughly enjoyed this entire series. Sophie’s snarky and quick-witted humor keeps us smiling and rooting for her throughout family revelations, boy troubles, demon attacks and encounters with evil headmistresses.

Junk Miles by Liz Reinhardt was a fast-paced read.  Still love her characters, emotion, romantic tension, and love-triangles. I would have finished it in one sitting if I didn’t have to, you know, sleep and eat and make sure the household doesn’t fall apart.

I’m currently reading Wicked Game by Jeri Smith Ready. I became a fan of hers after reading the first two instalments in her ‘Shift’ series so I decided to give her adult urban fantasy a try- especially after reading the endorsement from Charlaine Harris.  The first couple chapters were a little slow going but now that I’m half-way through, I am not disappointed in where things are headedJ  

What are you guys currently reading? Any recommendations for a woman in quarantine?



Monday, March 26, 2012

Lucky Sevens

I got tagged a couple weeks ago by Lisa Shafer and Mark K to partipate in the Lucky Seven Meme. (I don’t know what a ‘meme’ is or how I should use this word.  Up until today, I thought it was some kind of french grandmother.)

So, for Lucky Sevens you have to :

1 -Go to page 77 of your current MS
2 - Go to line 7
3 -Copy down the next seven lines –sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written . No cheating.
4 -Tag 7 authors
5 -Let them know

Here's the 777 excerpt from KISSING FOR COFFEE:

‘Danny appears out from behind a Dodge truck. “Hey, Sadie! Hope the ball didn’t get you in the face this time. I just washed my car,” he says, polishing the side of a small black Prius that looks like it hasn’t seen a car wash since last July.  

“With what? Mud?” I retort, throwing the ball hard at his chest.

Danny catches it with a small ‘oof’ and laughs. “Hey, I was just kidding.” He comes over and throws an arm around my shoulders. His hooded sweatshirt smells like a dirty hamper.’

There you have it !

I’m going to tag seven of my newer followers :


Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bloffee on the Beach

So it’s been awhile since I had everybody over to my place for Friday Morning Follower’s Bloffee.  Since the weather in Paris has been oh so beautiful this week, I decided to change the setting for our usual location. (I needed to get away from French people wearing tights under their shorts, or sports shoes and business suits for their early morning jog.)

So today we’re having breakfast on the beach. 

All you have to do to participate in Friday Morning Bloffee is:
1.- Comment and let us know what you’re bringing for breakfast.  Today I’m having not one, but two cups of coffee and a couple butterscotch macarons;)
2. - Click on someone in the comments section you don’t know and check out their blog.  Voila! A potential friend and follower connection has been made!

So, this week has been full of ups and downs but I’m happy to report it ended on a high note with two full requests for the revised version of KISSING FOR COFFEE. (Up until this week it wasn't getting any nibbles and I was so discouraged.)  I know by now that this really isn’t much. But it does make me feel a little less like a big fat-failure-phony-pants so I’m enjoying the high while I can.

In the words of the great Sean Paul - 

Hold on to da dream, hold on.
Hold on now now.
Hold on and believe.
D’Oh  we already won,
We still hold on.

How was your week?  Any ups or downs to report?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh Make Me Over

First I want to thank everybody for their kind comments on my existential crisis. I tried to get back to as many of you as I could through blog visits or email but some of you still have a noreply status through email.

Today I wanted to spotlight a long-time blogging friend and writer who is living the dream.  A year ago this May, Emily White was about to reach the finish line and self-publish her book.  She had everything ready to go- date, cover, edits, etc... but then one email changed it all when Spencer Hill sent her an offer of publication!  Now, in just a few short weeks, Emily’s dream of being published will finally come true and we are all SO excited for her and her debut novel ELEMENTAL.  
Here’s her spankin’ new trailer. Give it a whirl:


In other news, all of you who participated in last week’s ANALOGY WARS did an awesome job! But one response made had me nodding my head thinking ‘that is so true.’

Therefore, this week’s Analogy Wars winner is:
Ash-Matic with his analogy:

Querying is like picking a check-out line at the grocery store... 'Whichever line you choose you get someone who's having a bad day, looks at your purchases and sniffs with disdain, then tries to get rid of you as soon as possible.’

Congratulations Ash-Matic!  You can grab a winner button for your blog if you so desire. And I invite all you guys to check out his (hilarious) blog!

So, this week’s  brandy-new ANALOGY WARS challenge is:

Writing/ Querying is like a hard-boiled egg...

May the analogy force be with you allJ

Monday, March 19, 2012

Please Excuse Me While I Have an Existential Crisis

So, I know I haven’t been around to visit much and I’m having trouble just showing up for our weekly rendez-vous.

But the truth is, I think I’m having an existential crisis. Losing a baby and an agent opportunity in the last few months has made me question the very foundations of who I am and what I want. (yeah, I looked up the definition of an existential crisis. Just to be sure.)

It’s more than just lurking in the whatisthepurposeoflife mind-suck or spending time questioning my parenting skills on willmykidsbecrackheads.com

I know I don’t usually get all personal on you guys but– you’ve been here long enough to meet my crazy from time to time.

So, on one hand, I feel like I should give that little soul who left us too soon another shot. Losing him was hard, even if he wasn’t planned, and I promised myself when I left the hospital after the operation that I would do what I could to give him a chance at being with us again.

But then… those thoughts about what having another baby really means have come back to haunt me. I have three children. So I know what’s involved. Getting pregnant again means renting my body out for two years (incubation+milking rights)–feeding and housing a mini person in some capacity. It means losing hours and hours of sleep, time, and freedom. Only doing what I want to do on very rare occasions when all of my children are sleeping at once. It means 3am fights with the hubs because ‘he never gets up with them’. Then there’s leaky boobs, flabby abs, dark circles and a few more fine lines and gray hairs before the kid is even remotely autonomous.

Yup. Those thoughts make me feel like Ms. Selfish of the most selfish selfi-ish pants. But there they are.

Then there’s the whole agent thing. I know I say I’ll never give up. That I believe in my place here. But sometimes…I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m starting to think maybe agents aren’t the way to go anymore. I guess it’s the same thing. Like having another baby, I know what lies ahead for someone who keeps striving towards the traditional route. When I started querying, I was this big bubble of bobble-headed positivity. Those first queries. First rejections. First requests. First FULL requests! So exciting! But after a few years, the process has worn me down. I still love writing and I still believe in my manuscripts but the query process just isn’t fun anymore. The magic is gone and my writing mojo is at an all-time low. Not to mention, with the recent economical crisis and new technology, agents are taking on less and less clients, publishers are starting to narrow their lists and trends are decided somewhere out in the nobody-frickin-knows-anymore.

Self-publishing is starting to whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

So that’s it. I’m lost, you guys. In both my personal life and professional one.

I might need a psychic, a therapist, and a mid-life-crisis loan to do it, but somehow I hope I’ll find my way. For those of you who have stuck around for the ride, I thank youJ

Ever had an existential crisis? How was that?
Yeah. I couldn’t come up with any better question.
**For anyone who came here today looking for query advice and found a hot mess instead- please check out my normal, level-headed guest post at Heather Day Gilbert’s Writing Beyond the Vows.**


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Analogy Wars

Most of my long-time readers know that I have a hankering (okay, fine. An addiction) for comparing everything in life to writing.

There was that time I compared querying agents to being a circus dog.


Going on a first date.

Being a piƱata.


Having a hangover.

Or feeling like sperm. (You’d have to read it to understand.)

Or the time I compared manuscript beginnings to the crowing head of a baby. (yeah. I know. This one still makes me cringe and I’m the one who wrote it.)



Bottom line is- just about everything in the world can be compared to writing/being a writer/ querying –and I’m pretty sure every blogger has gotten caught up in the analogy wars at one time or another. We are writers after all.

So I thought we’d put it to the test.  On the bottom of Wednesday’s post- I’ll put a short promt.  For example:

Querying/Writing…
is like choosing deodorant…
is like fishing…
is like wrapping a gift for someone you don’t like… etc.

And, if you feel up to it (or are like me and never have anything planned for Friday posts)- I challenge everyone to elaborate. You can either post the end of the analogy here in the comments section or post it up on your blog for Friday with the title ‘Analogy Wars’ so I see it in my reader.  Every week I’ll pick the funniest or most original one and post it up on my blog before the next war prompt is given.

Today’s analogy begins: 
Querying/Writing is like picking a check-out line at the grocery store… 

I bid you well writerly jedi. May the force of quirky-analogy-writing be with you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

It occurred to me the other day that ‘blogging’ might mean different things to different people.

When I say I’m sitting down to ‘blog’- I mean I’ve posted a blog and am going around to visit and interact with other bloggers. To me- ‘blogging’ means more than maintaining a blog that you post on every once in awhile, although that’s what it might mean to some. (And that’s fine.)

I think there are part-time bloggers (like me) who have a partial 2-3 days a week schedule. They post their blogs, visit, comment when they can and try to maintain interaction with the blogosphere (through facebook or twitter maybe?) even though real life obligations make it hard to be on top of the game 24/7.

Then there are the generous part-time bloggers who post a partial schedule but make time to visit and comment every day.

Then there are what I like to call the hard-core bloggers who not only post a blog every day but also visit and comment on 50+ blogs, respond to all comments through email, and manage to tag interesting things for facebook and twitter throughout the day. (all while maintaining their real-life responsibilities)  These people are inspiring.  (and okay, sure –They might make me feel a little like a big fat blogging fraud but that’s okay:)

What kind of blogger category do you fall into?  What do you mean when you say you’re ‘blogging’?

Friday, March 9, 2012

I Survived Y2K

So Wednesday’s post got me thinking about all the crazy predictions for December 21st, 2012 and I thought maybe it was time we share our own predictions:

What do you think will happen?  

Um, nothing. Probably.

What do you hope will happen? 

Hmn. I’m rooting for either  aliens making contact with our planet.  (And it’d be cool if they all look like a young, well-muscled Brad Pitt, too)

OR

We all wake up and discover we can telepathically move things with our minds. (In all honestly, I’ve been hoping for this to happen since I was twelve.)


What do you think/ hope will happen on December 21st, 2012?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Too Many...

There are too many shiny new books begging for attention on the internet.  And I’ve been duped too many times to buy without serious reflection.

There are too many chapters I need to cut and revise.

Too many blogs I haven’t checked up on.

Too many loads of laundry, meals, and dishes waiting for me to make them disappear.

Too many kids screaming in the background.

Too many work days in a week.

Too many pounds on the scale.

Too many worthy tv shows that are being forgotten.

And far too many predictions that the world is going to end.

Yup. That's about where I'm at today. Any 'too many'-s you'd add to the list?


Monday, March 5, 2012

Corruption of a Minor

Today’s misdemeanor :
Corruption of  a Minor
Because ‘statutory rape’ sounds so….well, arrest worthy. 

If you’ve been following for a while, you’d know that I usually start off these misdemeanor posts with an anecdote from my own rebellion filing cabinet. (I originally wrote ‘cabinets’ but deleted the ‘s’ because, let’s face it- there’s only really one cabinet, way back in a dark corner.  And its contents are quickly being depleted by these posts.  I might just have to go out and start committing misdemeanors so I’ll have more material.)

As I was saying- yes, my experience.  So, long story short: I was sixteen.  He was eighteen.  And in the heat of summer, while the moon shone down upon us on the sandy-covered beach we…pfft! (Yeah- like I’m really going to blog about that.  You thought I would, didn’t you?  Bunch a perves=)

Seriously though, has anyone else purposely waited until their characters were ‘legal’ before the sex scene is written or implied?  I’ve been noticing this as I read through some of the YA books that came in recently.  The mc’s are virgins and if they aren’t eighteen already, they either get down to business after their birthdays or quite near to it.  Ofcourse, there are more than enough literary examples of under-aged girls hooking up with an older guys sans problem as well.

What do you think about younger mc’s doing the 'woohoo' with an older counterpart in literature?  Do you think it’s something we as authors need to be conscious of or would you let the characters play out despite going against social norms?

If you’d like to catch up on Creepy’s Misdemeanor Mondays- click here.


**I apologise to my old-time followers for the shameless rerun.  The kids and I all went back to school/work today so I had about zero time this afternoon. Hope you all had a great weekend!**

Friday, March 2, 2012

Losing Weight and Feeling Blech

One of my other goals for this two week vacation (which is almost over now. Thank God) was to instill some kind of regular weekly exercise/diet regiment.

There’s a few problems with that, though.

One- I’m not big on ‘real’ exercise. I’m more of a situational exerciser. Which means I only exert physical effort when there is no other alternative.  For instance: I lost a ton of weight my first year in Paris because I was too broke to pay for a cab and had to walk everywhere.  I worked on the other side of the city and had to basically run from my front door, through the various metro stops and systems (including the 3 mile walk through Chatelet station. In heels.) to get to work every morning. I used to call it the ‘Chatelet shuffle’. I could have probably sold a video if citywide subway systems were readily available for in-home use.

Then there was 2010- when I was trying to get my French drivers permit. I couldn’t very well drive to my daily class and it was a pain to pack up all the kids so the hubs could drive me there and back every day. So I walked instead. Nearly 5 kilometers each way.

Since that time, though.  There’s been no real need for exercise. I’ve been trying to find my ‘situational exercise’ wherever I can- telling myself things like ‘Cleaning is exercise. Eating is exercise. Breathing- it’s exercise!’

‘Going up a couple flights of stairs a few times a week? Total exercise!  And I walked! To my car! Sure- it’s parked right outside the building but walking is exercise, man!’

Yet, no matter how I try to convince my body that we are consistently active, my waistline doesn’t seem to agree.

Two- The closest I’ve ever come to dieting would be something like the French ‘forking it’ diet. Yeah. Look it up. My weight has fluxuated over the last few years. But I was always able to get back down to ideal by doing something simple- like giving up soda. Now that I’m approaching thirty, though- those extra pounds have seemed to weld themselves in place. For awhile, I tried to convince myself it was muscle mass- you know, from all that stair climbing and eating with a fork.

But deep down, I know the truth.

Any tips for this ‘forking’ situational exerciser?

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