Friday, April 30, 2010


This isn't really about David Bowie, it's about me.  As always.  Because I'm a narcissist.

Change.  I fear it but sometimes it's inevitable.  Now that I'm getting published (fingers crossed nothing bad happens to prevent this), I really do need to make some changes in my life.

1) My video series is going from Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer to Chronicles of a Debut Novelist.  I'm having a meeting with a musician and his girlfriend for a new theme song (okay it's my friend Kristin and her boyfriend Tony, but I can write it off if I make it sound important, right?)

2) I have joined the Elevensies group.  I'm very excited about it.  I love the idea of writers helping other writers succeed in this business.  And Gae's in it and it is going to be so cool to work with her!!!

3) And, er, exercise.  I was supposed to start my regiment this week, but, uh, sigh, I didn't.  But if I need to get author photos and do book signings I want to be fit. (okay, I want to look hawt, I can't help it, it's the narcissist in me)

4) I need to organize my time better, so, I'm going to start keeping a calendar and write down everything that needs to be done on any given day.  I've tried this before, but I'm determined to make it work.  Daily stuff like balancing my time with exercise, writing, networking.  Then things that would be more of a weekly or monthly thing like like videos, critique groups, etc.

I'm sure I'll come across some other things that I need to work on or change, but that's where I'm starting right now.

Thanks as always for reading me and having my back in this crazy business.

Ciao (I changed my closing too, you like? or should I go back to kisses?),

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Longing in Suburbia

As I venture further into this journey of life, I find myself surrounded by longing. Not my own, though of course I have some, but that of others. Of seemingly happy people with normal lives. People, who on the surface seem to have it so good.

Many of them wear painted smiles and speak in half truths. They think about the "what could have beens" in life.

They've either tired of their chosen rat race and wished they'd aspired to something more. Some of them dream of traveling beyond their four walls. Others just feel a void, a chasm they need to fill in some way...

I think it's a forty thing. We hit a certain age and we say to ourselves, what the hell am I doing here? With this job, or this house, or this person. Is this really how it's going to be for the rest of my life? But most of us won't change it at this late stage. We'll just carry on as we always have but with that extra added thirst for something more.

Just a moment of reflection...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I have absolutely nothing to write about today.

I'm afraid you will have to entertain yourselves.

I have writer/mother/wife/housekeeper burnout today.

Oh, and I'm trying out this new template but part of it doesn't seem to work. >:( Anyone offer me some help?


Have a great one.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Celebrity Writers

A fellow blogger, Kaitlyn Cole, sent me an email and a link to the article 10 Celebrity Writers Actually Worth Reading.

Now, I've talked about celebrity writers before, and you know, they make me none too happy. This is because I don't think they have to struggle like us "nobody" writers. I'm sure they don't have to query 100 agents to find someone to represent them. Don't have to go through rejection after rejection from publishers. And every time one of their books gets published, it means one of ours doesn't.

Mostly, I'm sure, and I could be wrong, but I don't think they write their own books.

That said, I appreciate the list above and this is why: the people listed there are actual writers (most of them). They're the most brilliant minds in comedy and screenplays. So, I guess what I'm saying is, it's nice to know that some of the celebrities out there taking our book deals have talent.

Makes it not sting so bad.

non sequitur: I want to wish all my friends still in the ABNA contest the best of luck today. I'm rooting for you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The end of the Journey...

This journey to publication has been a fun ride. I've met some great people, learned a hell of a lot, but every journey has to end eventually, right? And so this aspiring writer is no longer aspiring. This writer is getting PUBLISHED!!!!

Yes, I've had an agent for about a month now. And two weeks after I signed with her, I received an offer from an editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. My YA novel Mending Fences is scheduled for release fall of 2011.

I'm going to keep blogging and vlogging, and I'm currently working on Cheesy as a follow up.

I just want to thank you all for following my blog and supporting me through this journey. Every one of you means a lot to me.

..and now the next journey begins...

Friday, April 23, 2010

When did my butt get so big?

Lack of sleep left me without a blog idea. So I put it out there and my friend Christine said she'd gained five pounds, blog about that. So I shall.

Women and weight have this roller coaster relationship. Up and down, up and down.

Here's the funny thing. When we're younger, we have this distorted body image. We look in the mirror and we see ourselves like Jabba the Hut. It doesn't matter if we look like Twiggy (here she is to the left). I remember when I was in high school, I thought I was fat. I was on a constant diet. Thing was, I wasn't really overweight. I look back and wish that was my body again.

Media tells us what we should look like, which back in those days, was stick figures. This is why so many young women are afflicted with eating disorders, because of the impossible examples of how we should look. We can not all be Kate Moss thin .

Now, when I got into my twenties, I was more comfortable in my own skin, but still not happy. And forget about after I had kids...yikes. You will never see a photo of me from 1996 to 2006. That's when I began the dance, the back and forth with the weight. Now, I have come to terms that I will never be "thin". I am a real woman, I have curves (okay, maybe I don't look like this --->), and I've learned to like myself that way. However, I like to be strong and muscular and toned, and this is where I'm lacking at times, like, er, now.

I know what it takes. A balance between exercise and eating right. NOT dieting. And I do eat right. Low salt, low fat, no beef or pork, no partially hydrogenated oils, I eat whole grains. I cook a lot from scratch. I even gave up my Doritos for god's sake.

But time to get back to the exercise, which I start next week, and now I have this, er, health coach through my husband's medical (they actually pay ME to talk to her). So if I don't stick to my plan, I look like a schmuck because I have to be accountable to her and to myself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Owning Me

Since I've been actively seeking publication, I thought it would be good to get a domain name. I went and looked up to find...someone owns my name already.

How can there be another Megan Bostic in the world in need of a website? Seriously?

You google that name, who do you see? Me (well mostly with a handful of students, athletes, and whatnots).

So I write Godaddy, and they give me the owner's info. It's a guy, his last name is Bostic. They sent me his email address, so I write. That was a week ago.

So today I decide to write Godaddy and ask when that web address might retire. Their answer 2018. Eight years from now. And my plan is to be published before then, so what's a girl to do.

This has caused quite a lengthy status update on my Facebook page, both by those trying to help, and by those making jokes at my expense (which I love of course).

So, I will probably write the guy snail mail, but if I cannot get my name back, what do you suggest? If I use my middle initial, which is "A", I will write under that. Or even maybe something like, M.A. Bostic, then I could go with Or writermeganbostic, or authormeganbostic.

Advice: If you are planning on becoming anything that might be slightly famous, you may want to purchase your domain name now, otherwise, when you go to do so, someone may already own you. sigh.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Solar Powered

My friend Gae wrote a great blog this morning on creative flow and where it finds you. Gae is my little mermaid friend. When she's struggling to write, she can always find clarity under water. On her blog, she posed the question, where does your creativity flow? I had to stop and think about this. Mostly I'm just sitting at me laptop writing and it comes, but not always.

And then it came to me.

The sun.

The giant blazing orb in the sky.

I used to be a slave to my computer room. My old laptop battery never worked, so I was always plugged in. Or on the desktop. And no matter if I had the light on (I have one of those natural light bulbs in there) and both shades open, I wasn't happy in there.

When I bought my new laptop, I transitioned to my dining table. It was an organic shift. But why? It's because of the sun. I have a large picture window with a southern exposure, and as the sun slowly moves from east to west throughout the day, it casts rays of light through that window continuously. And those rays of light shine across my floor and "shadow" me.

I have another window at my back. It faces east. As the sun rises up into the sky it warms my back, brings me comfort, like the arm of an old friend wrapped around me.

When I need clarity, I go walk out in the sunshine. Feeling the sun on my face always makes me feel better.

What about the not so sunny days? I do live in Washington, where it's gray more than anything. I flip on all the lights, open the curtains and put a photograph next to me that my beautiful friend Lori gave me of a blue sky (she is an incredible artist and photographer) until the sun shines for me again.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sick with Stress

April has been an interesting month for me.

The trip to Disneyland was fun, yet stressful. The stress of travel, crowds, money.

My mother-in-law's birthday was April 8th. She died eight years ago now. I always remember her during this time. First because of her birthday, second because Easter usually falls in April and it was her favorite holiday, and third because she moved into my house and died this time of year also.

And more death. Three. And not that I was too close to those who've passed, but death still leaves its dark mark.

And then there's my birthday. And, shhhhhhh, *whispers* keep this between you and me, but I'm not getting any younger. The back side of 40 now. Where did my youth go?

There are also things about my writing causing me to straddle the cavern between crying and laughing.

And my daughters. Thing one to be exact. Soccer to be perfectly precise. Try outs. Thing two automatically makes the "C" team as a sixth grader. Thing one had to try out, and while she has the talent, sure as snot, I worry about politics. It's always politics that get in the way of our dreams it seems. In my opinion she was one of the better players on the field all week. She has a strong foot, good moves, she's an awesome passer, and she can shoot and score. But some of the girls were on the team last year (Thing one did not try out much to my chagrin). And some of the girls know the coach from club play. So I worry. I worry that instead of writing today, I will be comforting a very teary teen.

But April often gives me hope for the rest of the year. Gives it new life like the pansies already in full bloom in my back yard, or the hydrangeas coming up in my flower bed. My Ella Bee (my grand niece, what? you say I don't look old enough to have a grand niece? why thank you) turns one tomorrow. She has been a ray of sunshine in my often dark world this year. And I have a new nephew, Levi, born just a couple days ago.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter who dies, who ages, who mourns, who cries, there is always that tiny bud of life ready to bloom that makes you forget, even if only for a moment, all of it.

Edited to say: One worry crossed of my list as Thing One has made the soccer team. Whew!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Road Trip

I've talked about friendships quite a bit on my blog here. I think it's because friendships are strange to me. I do not like people as a general rule :), but I do have friendships and they're important to me for a variety reasons. You have your different circle of friendships. Mine can pretty much be divided in two: high school friends and writing friends. When I talk about my high school friends it not only means those I went to high school with, but those I met during high school through work, friends whatever.

And you do different thing with those different friends. There are those you go to coffee or lunch with. Those you go out to drinks with. Those you invite to dinner. Those you watch sports with. You keep the talk light with some, you go deeper with those you trust with your secrets.

And it's actually the same with my writing friends. I have those I talk to just about every day, those I'm in a writing group with. There are those who you trust to read your work, and those whose work you will read.

And of course you have those friends you know you'll occasionally butt heads with. Those you will never fight with. Those who make you happy, those who make you crazy. Those who will be honest with you no matter how much it might hurt.

The dynamics are complex.

So anyway, I went on a road trip this last weekend with my best friends from high school. Excluding an occasional dinner, I really haven't spent any major (or minor) time with these ladies since about 1989. And this is what is so great about friendships like these, it was like no time had passed between us at all. Not an awkward moment lingered. We chatted, laughed, as if we hung out all the time. And I loved it. And although these two women and I have gone down three very different paths, I still love them and always will.

Sometimes you can go back. :)

"Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose." ~ Tennessee Williams

Friday, April 16, 2010

Author Branding

It sounds painful, I know, but It's not like cattle branding. It's like your brand name as an author. Making your name mean something so people recognize it and seek it out. In all essence, I'm still very much a newbie when it comes to this authorship stuff. I've been writing since 2002, trying to get published since 2007, and I'm just now hearing about this branding stuff.

If you've never heard of it, for a great article that explains it in detail click here.

What is my brand? Should I even have a brand pre-publication? Or should I wait and let my audience brand me? My answer, I think I should be creating a brand. Maybe it's why I've been doing what I've been doing for the last three years, book reviews, videos, basically plastering myself all over the internet.

Right now, I am the angsty YA writer that makes the videos and wears the knit hats and knee socks. The one that writes the gut wrenching novels that encapsulates the fears of today's youth.

Of course, this means nothing right now to anyone but my loyal fans. (fan? ;) It will mean something later. When my novels are published. When people go to the book store, not looking for any edgy YA book, or even Mending Fences, or Cheesy, but when they go and ask for the latest book by Megan Bostic.

So, tell me, what's your author brand?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

41, 4.0

Another goal of mine is to improve my craft. Writing is a never ending learning process. There is always room for improvement.

So far, I've been learning from friends and those who have generously offered to read my work. But I have books. I have Stephen King's book, On Writing. I have books on grammar and punctuation, books on how to develop characters and make your story better.

I want to be the best that I can be. With that comes dedication, hard work, sacrifice, being open to criticism, surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you, and understanding that you will never reach perfection.

Thanks for reading.




EDITED TO SAY: My friend Jeff pointed this out. "Great writing takes a combination of talent and skill. Talent comes from practice; skill comes from knowledge. You can be a good writer with either/or, but you can't be a great writer without both."

He's so right, and I forgot to point out that while I want to learn more to perfect my craft, it also takes practice, which goes back to one of my other goals which is to write more. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

41 cont.

One of my other goals for this year is to write. Yes, I know I already write, I mean write more. Try to avoid the distraction that keep me from writing (can you say facebook?)

I think we improve with every word written.

That's it. Short and sweet for today.




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

41 redux

This week I'm blogging about goals I'd like to meet during my 41st year on earth. (or is that really my 42nd, I was never really good with the maths). Yesterday was making and keeping connections alive, today it's my health.

At 41 I am in pretty good shape. Pretty. Good. Shape. I have my faults. I'm a little soft right now, and I hate it. I look much better when there is some kind of form to my muscles and my stomach doesn't look like I swallowed a watermelon.

I like food. I can't help it. I like to eat. I don't like to be hungry. This means I HAVE to exercise, which, um, I've kind of been slacking on as of late. So that's part of it, so start exercising again religiously, which to me is five days a week.

I also do not drink enough water. I try. EPIC FAIL. This was my goal over the last month and I think I may have actually drank LESS water than the previous month. My goal is to keep a big cup of ice water right next to my computer so when I'm writing, it will be there saying, "Drink me."

I also need to include more veggies in my diet. I'm not a big fan. I like my fruits, but veggies are another thing altogether. It will be different when the garden is bustling with peas, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, and radishes. There is nothing like home grown veggies, but right now it's difficult.

And, er, don't even get me started on red wine. Bacchus has a cruel sense of humor.

So, there's goal #2.

Thanks for reading.




Monday, April 12, 2010


That's me. Yesterday. Well, and everyday for the rest of the year. With every birthday I try to make a plan of attack for the coming year. Things I want to work on, make better, that kind of thing.

One of the most important things for me are making and keeping connections. It's hard. Facebook is so cool, because they're all right there at your fingertips. But I have a lot of facebook friends, and it's difficult to keep up with them all.

On a daily basis, I'll connect with the most active ones, and mostly they are the ones I've met through the ABNA contest.

Just lately though, I've started to check all my friend groups on a daily basis and try to leave comments. To connect. Juts to show them that I'm thinking about them. This includes, family, friends, and other writers.

Another thing I'm trying to do is visit all the blogs I'm following whenever they post something new. I want the writer to know I'm reading them and I'm interested in what they're saying.

But I not only want to stay connected to these established relationships, but also forge new ones. I love meeting other writers, readers, people with like interests. I love that I have Facebook friends from India, and Iraq, and Holland, and Italy. I know I say I'm not much of a people person, but online friendships are different. You don't see all the things that might annoy you in person, quirks, traits, religious or political differences, the things that might cause you to NOT be friends in the tangible world. It makes them easy to maintain.

So, at 41 one of my goals is to keep my connections as tight as I can and to make new ones.

You'll hear about some of my other goals throughout the week.

Thanks for reading.




Friday, April 9, 2010

Hotel HELL!!

May as well talk about hotels since this has been a vacation blog week.

I remember from a long time ago, my family traveled to Washington DC. I think I was 8 or 10 at the time. I found a big bug in the bathroom. This is my curse, to find strange big bugs in hotel bathrooms. I don't like bugs. Looking back, I think it might have been a cockroach, but I'm not sure. Then after swimming in the pool there, I got a big black tick in my side. Not fun for a girl who doesn't like bugs.

Strange, after staying in a dump in Texas, my oldest daughter got a tick behind her ear. We kept that one and put it under the microscope. Those things are gross *shudder*. That hotel was gross too, thanks Dad (kidding Dad, well, not about the hotel, but I appreciated the trip).

Same trip (prior paragraph was on the way back from Oklahoma, this one, on the way to) we get off our plane in Texas, we already have a hotel booked. We grab our rental car and start driving and thus begins the torrential downpour. It was raining so hard, we literally couldn't see two feet in front of us. We were driving so slow, not knowing where the car ahead of us was. And forget finding our booked hotel in an unfamiliar city.

Then the clouds parted and we saw god. Okay, kidding, we saw a Holiday Inn sign, so we immediately got off the freeway (I did mention we were on the freeway, right?) Apparently the state of Texas gets that kind of rain only about once a year, and we found it. We were given rooms on the 14th floor. We had no idea the indoor pool was on our floor, oh, wait, that isn't a pool, that's a giant puddle in the middle of our hallway. I'm not a praying person, but I prayed that the 14th floor would not collapse sending us to our deaths that night.

That's probably enough hotel horror stories. I'm sure I could come up with more like the crappy cabin in Grayland where the front door didn't lock, or reserving a room at Edgefield McMenamins for the wrong day and not knowing until getting there (they gave us what's called the "oh shit" room, thank god, or Rusty would never have forgiven me).

What are your Hotel Hell experiences?

Thanks for reading,




Thursday, April 8, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...

You really can't talk about a vacation without talking about the travel itself, right? Whether you're driving, flying, training (training?) there always seems to be some drama.

For instance, on our flight from Orange County to Portland, OR, we were in line to get on the plane, and this older couple that looked like they had just come from the country club comes up to us and says haughtily (yes, I used an adverb, sue me) "We're riding first class, may we get in front of you?"

Okay, number one, they called first class about fifteen minutes prior, if you're not there on time, in my opinion, you miss your privilege of early boarding. So, I was about to give Mr. and Mrs. Howell what for, but Rusty stopped me and said, "Sure, go ahead." >:(

These people wavered back and forth between either just hopping in the now empty first class line or in front of us. Who effin' cares? Just go already.

Now here's the kicker, by coincidence they were doing extra security screening at our gate. This couple finally decides to hop in front of us and guess what. Lovey gets taken aside for the extra screening. Can you say Karma? If we wouldn't have let them cut, it would have been me. And her bastard of a husband left her there and got on the plane without her. Rich people.

I've had other strange flying experiences, like trying to get on an airplane in an ice storm, having our flight canceled, and on the way home having my dad call and tell us he found us another flight. So we turn around and go back. Planes are still delayed. We're in the airport for a good 4 or 5 hours with a 6 month old, who was perfect by the way, and an angry mob from Oakland because our flight to AZ had um, borrowed their flight to Oakland.

You know what really irritates me? Parents who put their kids at one end of the plane and sit at another. On our honeymoon this happened. And it's because their kids are so horrible they don't want to be near them. And these little dears were sitting right behind us. Needless to say, they were obnoxious and our chairs were constantly getting kicked. When the milk flew up between my husband and my seat, we'd had enough. Rusty scared the crap out of them. They were quiet the rest of the flight. It was a while ago, but I think he may have had word with the parents too. I think I try to repress the memory as best I can. Nice romantic honeymoon flight, huh?

There was also the time I was flying from Jackson Hole Wyoming. Small airport = small plane. I don't like to fly first of all, small planes makes it worse second of all, but add a thunder and lightning storm to the mix, and well, it becomes terrifying. The plane literally felt like a pendulum swaying back and forth in the wind. I hadn't prayed for years up to that point, but I'll tell you what, my Catholic upbringing came flooding back, and I said a whole rosary on that flight. I nearly kissed the ground when we landed.

I could go on and on, like the fact that I get motion sickness on trains and cars, but that's not a pretty story. So, I leave you with that. Do you have any bad travel stories?




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lessons Learned From Disney Characters

Disney movies are morality tales. They all offer something we can learn from, take out into the world, become a better person. Here are some important lessons from some classic Disney characters.

Simba: If you run away from your responsibilities, it may come back to bite you in the ass.

Pinocchio: Lying makes you look stupid and turns you into a total jack ass.

Belle: You can be a brunette and have a brain in your head and still get the guy.

Beast: Ugly is as ugly does.

Nemo: Youthful rebellion may land you in a bit of hot water (or a grungy fish tank or a jail cell).

Goofy: You don't have to settle for the hand you're dealt. Learn to walk and talk and you'll be more than just another dog. (He is a dog, right?)

Alice: If you eat, drink, and smoke things you don't recognize, you're probably in for a strange day.

Snow White: Don't take candy from strangers (or apples, how stupid is she, weren't we all taught this as kids?)

Numerous Disney Characters: Step-mothers are heinous bitches.

Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty: You don't really need to better your situation, eventually a prince will come along and do it for you. Then he owns you.

Disney Princesses: Guys: are they really worth it? Poison apples, lost voices, evil spells? I mean, really? You don't need a man to define you and you'd be better off alone then in an endless coma.

{Disclaimer: Statements in this blog are supposed to be seen as humorous. The owner of this blog does not necessarily think these are good lessons to live by, though some have merit. If you have issue with anything in this blog, please call 1-800-get-bent}

I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading.




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to Keep your Sanity in Disneyland

I'm not kidding. Seriously. You have to play Disney smart or you will stand in line and go crazy and spend every dime in your bank account.

Book through Disney. You get opportunities otherwise not offered. We got souvenir tickets, which also allowed us to use the fast pass, which I'll talk about more later. We were able to book a shuttle from the airport to our hotel and back, and we were able to get tram passes that picked us up right in front of our hotel and took us to the park and back. There are other options as well, character calls, dining packages, etc etc. Also, we stayed in a good neighbor hotel as opposed to the Disney Resort. This saved us about $1000. Now, if you're hell bent on staying at the Resort, go ahead, it is sweet, right in the middle of the park. If we did it again, we would probably save the money and do it, but this time, we wanted to take it easy on our bank account.

We arrived on a Monday night. We debated going to the park or not that first night, and decided to go. Good decision. We practically walked right in to Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain. Three of the most popular attractions at the park. Rides are less busy later at night, or during the parades or the fireworks. That first night we stayed until about 11:00 pm.

The fast pass. These things are awesome. If you've never heard of them, basically you go to a ride (only the most popular ones offer the fast pass) and go to the fast pass distribution. You put your Disneyland (henceforth DL) ticket in and out pops a ticket telling you what time to come back to the ride. It can be anywhere from an hour to six hours for the most popular rides (we got a fast pass for Space Mountain around noon and it told us to come back at 7:30). The beauty is, you get to hop in the fast pass line, you do have to wait a little sometimes, but a fifteen minute wait beats an hour wait.

So what we would do, is get to the park, ride one of our favorite rides, because they aren't too busy in the morning, then grab a fast pass for it. We'd then find the rides with 30 minutes or less wait and ride on those while waiting for our fast pass time. Go ride our ride, get a fast pass for another, and lather, rinse, repeat. You have to be careful, the REALLY popular rides like Indiana Jones and Space Mountain actually run out of fast passes for the day, you if you want to ride those, you need to get your passes early.

Needless to say, we had ridden every ride we wanted to ride within our first 2 1/2 days there. The rest was just reriding, catching shows, and parades.

The only ride we had difficulty getting on was Little Nemo's submarine ride. It ALWAYS had a line, and there was no fast pass available. So, with our DL package, we received a voucher to get into the park early one day. We used that opportunity to get in line for that ride. We still had to wait 30 minutes, but it was worth it, and that was a short wait for that ride in comparison.

I really have nothing to say about the food. You have to eat. You can bring your own, but we didn't feel the need to haul a backpack through the park, so we bought lunch and dinner usually. Now, our hotel gave us breakfast vouchers, so we actually got to eat breakfast three times for free. The other two days, we ate fiber bars we brought from home. AND we had a Starbucks in our lobby. That was a perk. You can pretty much forget about eating healthy at the park. But on average, if you're there for 12 hours a day, which we were, you're going to be walking ten miles a day. So, it doesn't really matter what you eat. You'll work it off.

As far as the shows go, like the rides, if you get there during parades and such, they're going to be empty, but we didn't really have to wait in line for shows.

The last thing is souvenirs. We bought almost everything the last couple days after perusing every store. And we didn't buy much, that will easily drain your account. Each girl got a sweatshirt, and I got a t-shirt and knit hat (totally cute Jack stuff). Rusty (the husband) opted for nothing.

We also bought some items across the street at Target to cut costs from room service and vending machines (an $8 bottle of wine as opposed to a $28 one at the hotel restaurant).

If you want to see the parades, you have to get there early, and claim your seat. And it's easier to find a seat at the end of the parade route than anywhere else.

I think that's all the tips I have. Though I had complaints (see yesterdays blog) we did have a blast, and I think we did both parks wisely.

Favorite Rides:
Screamin' California
Soaring Over California
Thunder Mountain
Indiana Jones
Pirates of the Caribbean

Least Favorite Rides:
Roger Rabbit
Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster
Autopia (totally lame and a really long line)

Favorite shows:
It's Tough to be a Bug 4d

Favorite parade:
Pixar Parade
Electrical Parade

Favorite food:
Thunder Ranch BBQ (we had to wait for an hour, but it was worth it, all you can eat bbq)

Thanks for reading




Monday, April 5, 2010


I just got back. It's the reason I couldn't blog last week. Five fun filled days at Disneyland and California Adventure. But while my family had a blast, there are definitely irritations, annoyances, and other distractions.

Things I saw too much of in Disneyland:

Lines. Some people waited up to two hours (that was the posted wait, I'm sure in reality it was longer) Thank god for the fast pass. Never go to Disney without one. With a fast pass you get a time to come back and you get in a special line and zip right through with hardly any wait at all. The longest we waited was about thirty minutes.

Screaming spoiled kids. Seriously parents, teach your kids a lesson, don't buy them the Goofy ears, or the ice cream cone, or let them ride the tea cups if they're throwing a fit. Take their ass outside the park until they calm down. That's what the hand stamps are for. Well, not specifically I guess, but it's a good way to use them. By the end of the trip I had vowed to become a hermit if only to stay away from the chance I might hear another screaming child.

Any chance to make a buck. They're around every corner. T-shirts, mouse ears, hats, gloves, stuffed animals, games, slushies, ice cream, cotton candy, balloons, lighted necklaces, pins, lanyards, it's endless. Commercialization hath vomited throughout the Land of Disney. Don't get me wrong, I totally bought into it, a little. We actually tried to be frugal, but it's nearly impossible when your spending $5 on an ice cream cone, and $50 on a sweatshirt.

Rude people. Cutting, standing in front of you, walking into you, letting their children do the same. I cannot stand rude people.

Bad food choices. The best the park offered was salads. Salads with an over abundance of cheese and fatty dressings. Salads that were double the size anyone really needs to eat. Other than that it was the usual choices, burgers, fries, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc. We were going to have a sit down dinner in the Blue Bayou, which is a restaurant that overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean, but after seeing that each meal was $30 (which if course didn't include beverages, or tip, or tax) we canceled. Like we weren't spending enough money.

Fat people driving motorized carts. Okay, you may think me rude, but this sight bothers me. You're so fat you can't walk, yet, you don't walk so you're fat. AND these people get preferential treatment on rides as if they're in a wheel chair or had some other kind of disability. I saw a woman coming into a ride, she probably weighed about 350 pounds, and was riding a cart, using the wheel chair access, and ten minutes later she was walking behind the cart while one of her kids drove it. Um, if you can actually walk, get your ass to the end of the line.

Okay, it sounds like I'm bitching, but we really did have a good time. Tomorrow I'll give you some tips on how to get the most out of the parks.




Friday, April 2, 2010

ABNA Review...and they're not good.

Since I really haven't had time to blog this week. I thought I would post the two reviews I received from the ABNA contest. They are horrible, so brace yourself. The good thing, they like my writing, the bad thing, they hated my book. LOL.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

This excerpt was okay to read. It moved at a good pace and had some well drawn characters that seemed realistic to a point. The author did a good job with the overall piece with technical details, pace, plot, and puncuation. These aspects of the excerpt are done well.

What aspect needs the most work?

I think the language and content of this excerpt are a bit too spicy for young adults. I remember a book my teenage daughter began reading that was liberally sprinkled with profanity, she gave it to me and said it didn't appeal to her. Young adult would be 18 years old or younger and I can't say this would appeal to my 18 year old daughter who is in college either. The category for this piece should be general fiction and not YA. This piece deals with more adult situations and not your average teenage experience in high school. It's also not surprising what horrible thing is going to happen with the craziness of the kids of the school and the sudden attitude change of the character, Matt. I think the story had some fine ideas but it was written with so much content over the top that it was obvious what is going to happen, therefore it lacked originality.

This was all a generalized, stereotypical view of bullies, underacheivers, and cheerleaders of high school that doesn't represent reality as a whole. I think the story could be told better if it was told in a way that wasn't so obvious to the reader.

There really wasn't much that was fresh and imaginative in this piece it was all fairly cliche and didn't have the shock value I think the author was trying to give the writing. It was just about some mean perverted teens picking on the outcasts that finally get enough.

I think the author has enough talent to write real stories that have meaning but I don't think this story is the one. The author should create something new and exciting and has the talent but it was wasted in this overly dramatic piece.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I think this author has a talent for writing, however, it wasn't showcased in this excerpt. I think this piece belonged more to general fiction category than young adult fiction. I found it too over the top to be fresh and original and I knew what was going to happen from the first page of the excerpt. While these types of things happen in high school at times, it was a bit generalized and cliche and the narrative gave too much information too fast as to how awful the bullying kids were and it all seemed a little ridiculous.
Everything in the piece was a little too obivous for it to be an interesting story.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The strongest aspect of this excerpt is the author’s technically proficient writing. The grammar is good with only a few minor typos or spelling errors.

What aspect needs the most work?

Many aspects of this excerpt need work. On the technical side, there are too many personalities. In just these few pages, the author puts us into the viewpoints of five different people. Even worse, almost all of these personalities are horrible. Not horribly written (again, the writing is quite good): just horrible personalities. Worse, these characters are doing horrible things. Even worse is that all of these horrible things pale before the atrocity that the author uses as the hook.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

Overall, this is a pretty bad excerpt. Technically, the author does a very good job with his writing. But, his choice of material makes me ill from having read it. Since one of the things I’m supposed to rate this excerpt on is whether *I* would want to read more (and I certainly don’t), when I average out the numbers I have to rate this as simply pretty bad.





My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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