Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Theme Day

Soccer (or futbol if you're anywhere but in America).

From now to January, my family lives, loves, and breathes soccer.  It's only natural it would end up in my novels.

Someone is always a soccer player, be them a main character, or an aside.

In Never Eighteen, Austin was a soccer player until his illness made him too sick to play.

Any other themes seem to land in your novels every time you sit down to write?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Whimsy

I realize I didn't blog yesterday.  Day job has me scrambling. I attended an SEO conference over the weekend and now I'm to give a presentation at the firm retreat Thursday.  So I've been creating an outline and trying to get a Power Point presentation done. Arg!!

So here's a quick writing tip.  Stay away from adverbs, especially the "ly" variety.  Using too many adverbs is a rookie move.  Believe me, everyone does it.  Especially after dialogue.  For example, "she said haughtily" or "he paced anxiously".  Instead of using the adverb, use description of how she spoke, or how he paced.

Okay on to today's topic, GPS.  I know, sounds boring.  But when you're in Arizona and have no idea where you're going, it becomes fairly comical at times.

My traveling partner and I were getting so fed up with the GPS and her snobby English accent that we gave her a name to personify her so we could yell and swear at her.  Her name is Astrid.

Astrid, first of all, is outdated.   Her maps did not have updated road  information, and when you're in unfamiliar territory, that is sometimes really annoying.

Secondly, Astrid only gave us about a second to turn or exit.  Kind of hard to exit in three seconds when you're in the left lane of a four lane freeway.

I don't know how many times we heard, "Recalculating."

Worst of all, Astrid took us down a dirt road in the middle of the desert with nothing around but tumbleweeds and coyote and told us we had reached our destination.  Supposedly, this *points down* is where our conference was supposed to be.

Needless to say, we yelled and swore and cursed her the majority of our trip, which is probably why she kept getting us lost.

Astrid, you suck.

That is all, catch you tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

So how cute is this little guy to the left?  I want one!!!!

It's Monday.  I'm in AZ.  Went to an SEO (search engine optimization) conference.  These guys knew what they were talking about.  This will not only help me at my day job, but with my writing life as well.

I leave today to go back to the lovely gray, rainy Pacific Northwest, apparently having missed the two days of heat and sun while gone.

However, I can't wait to get back and test out my new internet skizzizles.

Have a wonderful Monkey Madness Monday everyone.  Enjoy life.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Theme Day

Theme interests me.  I like to see what kind of things repeat themselves in writer's stories.  I have a new one I hadn't noticed before.  Skateboarding.  I remember in the first book I wrote, I superhero series (some of you may remember it from ABNA) there was a skateboarding character.  Then in Never Eighteen, one of Austin's best friends is a skateboarder. 

Now in Sad, my main character Syd, is an avid skateboarder, along with her friend Zach.

I'm not really sure where the skateboarding theme came from.  I guess I've always been interested in skateboarding.  I like to watch it on TV.  It looks so freeing.  I've always wanted to try it, but I think I may be too uncoordinated (and maybe a little too old now).

Bob Biniak, original Dogtown Z-Boy
And I LOVED Lords of Dogtown.

Plus, when I was younger, I kind of liked the skater boys.  So there's that.

Tell me about one theme that reoccurs in your writing?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Whimsy

I love whimsy, so I thought I would change my Wednesdays from Writing to Whimsy (which really means I can pretty much do whatever it is I want).

I just read something interesting about where the word Wednesday originated from.  The day is named after two gods, Mercury and Woden.  If you're saying to yourself, wtf?  You probably wouldn't be the only one.

In old English, the word  indicates that the day was named for the Germanic god Woden, also known as Odin.

In the more romantic languages the day is named after Mercury (Wednesday in Italian is Mercoledi).

 Woden (or Odin) was like an uber god who supervised (i.e. was too lazy to do himself) the creation of the earth and sky  from the dead body of the giant, Ymir. He also created the first man and woman from an ash tree and an alder. And just to one up the rest of the gods, he also established the laws of the universe.
Of course we know Mercury as the  flitty little messenger of the gods, you know, the one with the wings on his helmet and sandals.  He is also the patron of science, the arts, travelers and athletes.

And of course we all know why we call Wednesday, "hump day", right?

That's all.  Have a whimsical day!  Love ya!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Conception

How to get and remember a brilliant idea.

When an idea for a novel pops into your head, write it down, wherever you are.  I know what you're thinking.  What if I'm in church, bathroom, Dr. appointment, etc etc.  Write it down on anything as soon as humanly possible.

I carry a small notebook/notepad everywhere I go. If I get an idea, I'm always able to write it down.  I know you guys don't carry purses, so this may not be as easy for you.  Get a jotter to keep in your back pocket or coat pocket.  Or buy one of those man purses (I know, it's a satchel).

Oh, and along with that notebook, you'd better have a pen.  Otherwise the notebook is useless of course.

If you for some reason forget your notebook, write the idea down on whatever's handy, a napkin, coaster, piece of toilet paper, your hand. 

Also, keep a notebook by your bed.  You never know when that totally wonderful original concept will come to you.  Think, Stephenie Meyer.

In the beginning of my writing days, I would often have a brilliant idea, only to lose it before I got home because I had nothing to write it down on.  I've probably lost out on a best seller because of this. :)

Stay tuned next Tuesday for another writing tip.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

Ok, new Monday theme.  Those of you who know me, know how much I love monkeys.  So a picture of a cute monkey followed by an update on the writing front.

So, here's the monkey:

it's so cute I can't believe it's real

And here's what's up on the writing front.  Getting close to finishing the first draft of Sad (still not sure about the name) and ordered a ton of SWAG this week.

Happy Monkey Madness Monday!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

F³A: 3rd Times a Charm

Today I'm going to court for the third time to try to get divorced.  First time I was missing a document (that could have been turned in later), second time the commissioner didn't like that I wasn't asking for child support.  I think I have everything covered this time.  I don't think I can take another rejection.

My marriage wasn't horrible, I mean, there were low points for me, but there were a lot of high points too, and there will always be a place in my heart for my husband.  Sometimes life just takes you in different directions.  I got to a point in my life where it just wasn't working for me any more.  That may sound petty, but there is much behind that statement left unsaid.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know what that means.

I won't be celebrating this, it's not really a victory, it's just a change brought on by unexpected events.  We were married seventeen years (would be eighteen on July 2nd).  It wasn't an easy choice to make, but I felt it was one I had to.

So, here I go again.  Wish me luck.

Friday Nibbles

Random iPod shuffle song: Only Exception by Paramore

Movie of the Week: It's Kind of a Funny Story This is one of the best movies I've seen in awhile.  I rented it for research on my current work in progress.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Book of the Week:  I haven't decided what to read yet.  I've got so many books sitting on my shelf.  I think Illegal by Bettina Restrepo (who I absolutely love btw, we were fellow 2k11ers)

Quote of the Week: "We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves."  ~Lynn Hall

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday: Men

Yes, I said I wasn't going to blog the rest of the week, yet here I am.

What is it with men not expressing themselves.  When they're upset, why do they keep it all bottled up?  Wouldn't it be better to talk it out?  Especially with someone they trust and who cares about them?

This drives me nuts.  Don't they know when they're all broody and upset and don't say anything we think it's about us (because we are women full of weepy emotional making estrogen)?  Sheesh, at least say, "It's not you.  It's _____________(fill in the blank)."  I'd be fine with that.

Men, tell us why you don't talk to us.  What's your damage?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thanks to Cari's Book Blog :)

I have three new followers.

I wasn't going to be interesting this week, but I guess I will.  Starting tomorrow.  Today's a wash and I'm cranky.  Which is actually when I'm more interesting, but I've committed to being boring today.

I will warn you, I like to rant and rave mostly.  I'm trying to change the blog up a little this week, so posts for the rest of this will probably be short and sweet, but expect some fresh stuff next week *crossing fingers*

I want to thank Cari for being so loyal and full of awesomesauce, and thank all my old followers for being there and my new followers for joining.

I lost a blog follower

I guess my transition period was too much for them to take.  Come back follower!! 

I'll miss you. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday T: Transition

Hello followers.  I'm going to take a break the rest of the week from blogging to revamp some things.  I want to come up with some different themes as I'm tired of the ones I'm doing.  I'll probably keep the Friday Free For All, but the rest of it is kind of meh for me.

I'll take suggestions if you want to give them for my M-Thur blogs.  I just want my blog to show my personality more, and I don't think it does.

Have a great rest of the week!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Blahg: Battle of the Bulge

Why is it so easy to gain weight?  I've been trying for weeks to lose weight, I dropped nine pounds doing the low carb thing, and one weekend of eating a few carbs here and there and I'm practically right back where I started.

This weather isn't helping me any.  I get SO tired of exercising indoors.  When it's nice, I've been walking the Narrows Bridge, but the weather here has a constant identity crisis.  Yesterday was beautiful (I spent it doing yard work), today, rain. sigh.

I know if I want to drop the weight I'm going to have to get my ass on the elliptical, because you just can't depend on the weather here.  Seriously, I have like 30 pounds to drop. 

I guess I'd better get to work.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I just heard what this stands for.  Stuff We All Get.  I don't know if that's for realsies, but it makes sense.  I've been ordering SWAG for the release of my upcoming novel Never Eighteen (which can be preordered by clicking on the title, by the way :).  So far I've ordered buttons (which I received in the mail yesterday, squee), and silicone bracelets and am looking into other stuff, trying to come up with some original ideas.  I pose a question to you.  What kind of SWAG do you want to get from authors?  Aside from the regular bookmarks, stickers, and such.

Also, I've got a crazy idea for book promotion once it releases.  I'm going to have to jump through some hoops to actually do it, but I'm going to try my hardest.  I may need the help of my friends. Not revealing what it is yet, I'll let you know when I figure some things out.

Happy Friday everyone, here are the nibbles.

Random Pandora song (I have no idea where my iPod is at the moment): Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz, but piano version. Not sure about the video, but I like the song. (on the One Republic station)

Movie of the week: True Grit.  I fell asleep, because I was so tired, not because the movie was boring, but I fully intend on watching it this weekend.

Book of the week: I'm between books.  A couple weeks ago I did start The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, so I think I'll stick with that one.

Quote of the week: We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly” ~ Sam Keen

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday: Empty Head

I'm not sure I have anything thought provoking to write about today as I sit here watching squirrels mate in my backyard, debating gardening and divorce and Swag, all random thoughts that have seemed to run together in my head for some reason.

Seriously, my train of thought has been crazy this morning.  It went from me working late and having a margarita meeting after work, to the squirrels in my backyard, hoping they don't have their babies nearby, to theh catpoop I have to rake nearby where the squirrels were "doing it" to my garden, hoping the cats don't poop in it, to the soil I have to buy to finish my planting, to poetry and how I have to be full of angst to write it and wondering where other poets get their inspiration, to my ARCs which haven't been sent to all my bloggers yet, to my swag, much of which I still have to create/order to this crazy idea I have for publicity.

Is that a normal train of thought?  All this in a matter of about fifteen minutes?

What's on your mind this morning?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Finding Nirvana

For today's Writing Wednesday, I've decided to pull out a novel I started that will more than likely never see the light of day.  And PLEASE don't compare it to Mama Mia, I've already been told the plot is similar, though I've never seen the movie myself.  Without further ado, the opening paragraphs of Finding Nirvana.

      My name is Lanie and I’m a grunge addict.  Yes I’m well aware that it’s 2010, and grunge was so 1990’s, but it wasn’t really a choice, it was a way of life.  At times I felt like I was born a decade too late.  I would have totally fit in with the Seattle grunge scene, but that was my mom’s life, not mine.  So deep into that scene, she chose to name me Layne Veddar Cobain Cornell Miller.  Ridiculous I know, but she couldn’t make up her mind between her favorite singers from Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden, respectively.  I decided when I started school that I would go by Lanie.  It sounded more, well, like a girl.
       When it comes to my dad, things get a bit more complicated.  You see, I don’t really know who he is, well, I kind of do.  He could be one of three guys, the first being Kenny James.  He’s a totally smart way cool dude who manages a couple local bands, the most “famous” if you can call it that being Toke.  The second might be BJ Dubois, the drummer for Drop Dead Lead, and no I don’t know if that’s his real name, or if he took the initials just to be funny or clever, which he’s neither though he thinks he is.  He’s a bit socially retarded, but he’s nice, and not bad to look at.  The last contestant on “Who’s My Dad” is Doug “Spaz” Harris, singer of The Deceased.  If you knew Doug, you’d know exactly why they called him Spaz.  First of all, he’s got Tourettes, so he tenses up and blurts out the most insane funniest shit at times, also, when he’s on stage, he dances like he’s having a seizure.
     These three are pretty much interchangeable to me, all white, all in their late thirties, all still living life as if they’re rock stars.  I can’t blame them really, I’ve got the bug myself and it’s hard to shake, plus I’ve never heard of a twelve step program for this kind of addiction.  When you look at those guys, there’s not one distinct feature you could point out and say, “oh, he’s GOT to be Lanie’s dad.”  I mean, my eyes are blue like Kenny’s, I have full lips, like BJ, and I’m tall and thin like Spaz.  And I guess seventeen years ago my mother loved them all.  So there you go.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday T is for Too Little Sleep

I go in these spurts of not being able to get out of bed, to having to survive off 3-4 hours of sleep a night.  Why does my body do this to me?  I haven't treated it that badly throughout the years.  I eat right (mostly) I exercise (sometimes) I don't smoke or do drugs or drink alcohol (okay maybe that last one).  What did I do to deserve this?

Last night, I have no idea why I couldn't sleep.  Night before, my WIP (work in progress for you lay people) was churning through my mind.  Night before that, a book I'd read stuck with me.  It's always something.

Here is what I'm going to do to help myself sleep.
  1. Count monkeys.  They're so much more interesting than sheep.
  2. Run myself ragged.  Nevermind.  I already do that and it doesn't seem to work.
  3. Cut out the caffeine.  Who am I kidding?  Someone would die if I cut out the caffeine.
  4. Drink tea. Blech. No.
  5. Avoid alcohol before bed. Um . . .
  6. Get rid of the stress in my life. Er . . .
  7. Try not to think so much. Right.
Counting monkeys it is.

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . .

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Morning Blahg: YA Too Dark?

Many of you have probably already seen the Wall Street Journal article about the darkness in YA literature.  I hate to give this article any more attention, but the article irked me royal.  The writer of the article talks about how all the books are dark and gruesome, full of violence, abuse, self mutilation, profanity, addiction, yadda yadda yadda.

You know what I was reading when I was thirteen?  Stephen KingFirestarter, Dead Zone, The Stand, Cujo.  Full of foul language and sex and violence.  Was this my only option?  No, but it's what I liked reading.

Teens are reading.  Isn't that a good thing?  These days, teens are reading topics that interest them, topics they can relate to, topics that deal with the problems they deal with.  The author mentions a few books that she says, "don't end well."  Life is not all butterflies and rainbows.  Teens these days face some really horrific realities-homophobia, depression, violence, suicide.  Most of these books they're reading do offer hope in the end.  It's not all gloom and doom.  And many teens feel these books help them deal.  If you don't believe me, check out Twitter #yasaves. 

And yes, the fantasy books are full of the same stuff the realistic books are: violence, death, profanity.  Again, this is not anything they're not exposed to in their every day life, but also offers a form of escape into a world other than they're own.

I wonder if the adults that have a problem with YA let their kids play violent video games, or watch movies or TV shows full of sex and violence. Kids are exposed to this kind of stuff every day, whether through media or reality.  Why should we shield them from their own actualities?

I've spoken my peace.

Friday, June 3, 2011

F³A: Mowing and other bits

Okay, so first off, I mowed my lawn for the first time (don't think I'm a slacker, I don't have a lawn mower, so I've had a variety of men over to do this for me, which didn't suck).  And I will say this.  My lawn is a bitch.  First of all, it's HUGE.  Second of all, the lawnmower I borrowed wasn't self propelled, so I had to actually work.  I'm surprised I'm not sore today.  It took me like an hour and a beer to do it.  At one point I was so tired of mowing I actually ran with the mower to get it done faster.  I'm going to get rid of some lawn.  That's for sure. (and buy a self propelled mower)

Okay, I posted a couple weeks ago that I was getting divorced.  Well that didn't happen because the dumb commissioner said I needed stuff that two attorneys have told me I don't really need to get divorced.  So, I go back today.  And if I'm not divorced by the time I walk out of that courtroom, someone is going to get hurt. (totally kidding, but I will be seriously pissed.

I'm making my kids cinnamon (I can't ever spell that) rolls for breakfast.  Non sequitur.

Started watching Bed of Roses last night, because my kids are totally into 80's movies and we love Christian Slater, and I thought I loved that movie.  Then I realized I'm not even sure I've seen that movie and Mary Stuart Masterson was supposed to be Marissa Tomei, so I had my daughter look up Christian Slater on Netflix.  Untamed Heart.  That's the one I wanted to watch.  So we did.  And it's still awesome.

Okay, I know that was all totally random, but it's the Friday Free For All after all.

My nibbles:

Random Pandora Song: Slide by the Goo Goo DollsGreatest Hits Volume One - The Singles.  I will mention I'm listening to One Republic radion.

Movie of the Week:  I'm going to stick with Untamed Heart I love that my kids or into 80's movies.  It's like reliving my youth.

Book of the Week:  Popular by Alissa Grosso Okay, seriously, I'm loving this book.  And I KNOW there is going to bea twist, maybe a couple, and I'm excited to find out what they are.  I've been guessing, we'll see if I'm right.

Quote of the Week: "Do or do not...there is no try." ~Yoda  Not only is this quote in my friend Gae's book The Pull of Gravity, but I've just been hearing people say it a lot lately.  And it's a good quote to live by, and I'm trying to do.  I'm sick of trying.

Until Monday,


My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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