Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

I did better this week.  -1 pound.  yay me.  I'm keeping up with my exercise, though I think it's time to throw some Pilates in the mix.  I've also cut down on my Starbucks. sigh.  Yes I know how many calories are in my venti non fat no whip white mocha, but sometimes I can't help myself.

I'm hoping when the weather changes I still force myself to walk outside.  Exercising inside just isn't the same.  The fresh air clears my head too. I think I'll be more productive if I continue outside.  We'll see when the time comes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday writing tips: Writer's block.

We've all faced it at one point or another, right?  Here are some tactics I use to get through it.

Take a small notebook everywhere you go.
When something pops into your head about your WIP, write it down.  It may help move things along later.

Do something that give you clarity.
Mine is taking a walk.  I always end up writing something in my head while walking and it almost always offers me some clarity.

Write a different section of your WIP.
I've done this-moved on to a section where I know what's going to happen, then go back to where I was blocked and see what happens.

Outline (or kind of outline).
I'm not really an outliner, but when I get stuck, I will take a notepad, at the top I write the beginning of the story, at the bottom I write the end, then in the middle I write things I know I want to happen.  Then I have some points to work with and I find ways to get from point A to point B.

Take a break.
Do something else for a little bit, chores, gardening, watch TV, anything to rest your brain and eyes for a few.

Do something that inspires.
Music often inspires my writing, so sometimes when I'm stuck, I listen to music.  Mostly indie.  That always gets me going.

What do you do when you get writer's block?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

So, my daughter made me watch the MVA's until I was too tired and had to go to bed.  First off, there were like a jillion episodes of Jersey Shore on before it.  I for the life of me do not see the appeal of that show.  These are stupid people, doing stupid things over and over.  How many times do we have to see them fight, drink, and get laid before it runs out of steam?

Okay, MVA's first thought, Lady Gaga is a freak.  I don't like most of the music I've heard of hers.  Yes, she's talented.  I get it.  But if you have the kind of talent she does, why do you have to be so weird?  I mean, she even accepted one of her awards in her cross dressing get up? Of course, it was better than what she wore later in the night (I'm looking this all up, I did not stay awake for most of it.

And is Nicki Minaj Lady Gaga's mini me?  I mean, it's one thing to be creative and original, it's another to look like you live in Candy Land.

Two, there are times I love Katie Perry, and times I hate Katie Perry.  I hate the song E.T.  The only good part of the song is Kanye, and then I always change the station.  The rest of the collaberations were way better than that.  And I'm telling you, if "Look at me Now" didn't win anything, travesty of justice.

Loved Kanye and JZ, except the sound was horrible on their song.  And I felt sorry for the Price Tag girl having to sit in that chair all night singing other peoples songs.  Way too little performances though in the time I watched the show.

Brittany Spears looked great.  And her music is one of my guilty pleasures.  Don't judge me.

Best New Artist.  Um, yeah, I love watching someone throw up in their video. ew.  Over Big Sean and Foster the People.  No. 

The last thing I watched was Male Artist of the Year.  Um, Bieber over Eminem, Kanye, Cee Lo, and Bruno.  No.  I understand the tweens and teens are the ones who watch and vote, but um, this is just wrong.

Thank God people like Adele, Foo Fighers, and Beastie Boys are still winning video awards.

Of course, these awards are not for people like me, I know.  I just wish our youth was a better judge of talent.  It makes me frightened for the future.

That is all.  Enjoy the monkey.

Friday, August 26, 2011

F³A: The first author event

Yes, so tonight is my first author event and I'm scared out of my wits.  I'm doing a five minute reading and bringing a bunch of swag.  Wish me luck I don't mess up or puke or something.

I'm also thinking about running my first giveaway.  What does everyone like to get? Arcs, marked up arcs? Never Eighteen swag? Skype visit? Um, other crap? Let me know. 

(The pic of Aaron Johnson is just because I had no picture to post and I want him to play Austin in the move version of Never Eighteen, if that ever were to happen)

I think that's all I have today, except for the Nibbles of course:

Random iPod shuffle song: Story of My Life by Social Distortion.  Love it.

Book of the week:  Still OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy.  I will read this weekend.  I just haven't had the time!!!

Netflix of the week: Monk.  I'm loving it.

Quote of the week:  "The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.
George Jessel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In: Ugh

Worse than last week.  Of course, I'm probably still gaining muscle because I'm exercising regularly, but I KNOW I maybe didn't eat all that good this week.  Sheesh, making myself accountable to the world isn't working yet.  I'm still working it though.

Time to get serious.  This is getting ridiculous!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Writing Tips: Distractions

Here are some tips for keeping distractions at bay while writing.

Children: Go find a place and hole up.  If your kids are older, tell them you need an hour of no distractions (you tell them that means unless someone is bleeding to death, etc, STAY AWAY!).  For younger kids, hire a babysitter for an hour or two to bust some words out.  Another way to get some writing in without the kids nagging, write before they get up in the morning or after they go to bed at night. (this could also apply to your spouse if you have one).

Internet:  You know when you're writing, and you just need a few minute break, so you open Facebook and somehow two hours have passed?  Close it.  Shut it off.  Disconnect.  That's the only way to be sure you'll stay away from those status updates, Mafia Wars, Farmville and the like.

Phone calls/text messages:  Leave your phone in another room or simply turn it off.  Now, I'm talking about a cell phone of course, but I don't have a land line anymore.  Either way, let the voice mail take it or let your significant other or kids answer in case it's important.

Everything else: Take off for a weekend alone.  Let the hubby/wife/grandparents watch the kids for a weekend and get yourself a hotel room in a quiet place.  I've done this a few times (planning on doing it again in a couple weeks) and I'm always productive.  ALWAYS.

These are just my own ideas of course, you may find other things that work for you. (I haven't quite mastered the whole internet thing yet)  Everyone deserves an hour of quiet.  Take yours and write.

Oh, and one more thing the dishes, laundry, general cleaning will all be there when you get back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday

It certainly feels like a Monday, that's for sure.  I slept like crap last night. Ugh. 

I need a vacation. Seriously.  I've been doing all this marketing work for the book  (discussion guides, postcards, bookmarks, etc, etc, etc, and the day job has been INSANE!!

But I have no vacation time until next month.  And even then, I probably need to save it because I have no idea what I'm going to need once this book comes out.

So, I have my first author gig this Friday.  A reading, Q&A with a few other writers, Danny Marks, a fellow 2k12er whose book, Velveteen releases next fall, Kim Derting, Gwen Hayes, and Tom Llewellyn.  It's a teen after hours party at the Dupont Library.  They only have 15 spots left, so if your 12-18 year old is interested in going, click here to register.

I'm completely nervous.  I have to pick an excerpt from my book to read, which I should have done ages ago yet didn't.  I need to pick one like tonight so I can practice. Ugh.

This will give me some good practice though because I have another event in October, Bookfest NW where I'm going to be on a panel with a few other 2k12ers and Apocalypsies.

Wish me luck and happy vibes that I don't throw up all over my audience.

Happy Monday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

F³A: Videos, the weather, and awesome reviews

Looks like fall is back in the Pacific Northwest.  It's nice and foggy out. sigh.  Glad I got some yard work done yesterday (not really by choice).

Be prepared for more ranting coming your way from yours truly now that the sky is turning gray. (what's the difference between gray and grey?  I'll have to look that up)

I want to share a review I received yesterday that pretty much made me cry.  In a good way.  Read it here.

So, I made a new trailer for Never Eighteen.  I want your opinion.  I did a voice over rather than titles this time.  I want to know if you like the old version better, or the new.  You can find the old version on my youtube page.

Here is the new.

I also started a new vlog series.  Middle Aged Angst.  You can find it here.  The video quality isn't the best, I used a new program.  Will have to go back to the old software for the next one.

That's all for the cold gray Friday.  Leaving you with my nibbles:

Random iPod Shuffle Song: The Sun by Joe Purdy. He was letting you download songs for free on his website.  Not sure if you can do that anymore.

Netflix of the Week: I'm going with, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend with Alyssa Milano.  I've been watching a lot of indie movies lately.  This one looked okay.  I wasn't expecting much.  However, what seemed to be the run of the mill romantic comedy had a crazy twist toward the end.  I liked it.

Book of the Week: Still, OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy.  I started it, it's awesome, just have NOT had time to read.

Quote of the Week: I found two I like this week.  "Almost all my middle-aged and elderly acquaintances, including me, feel about 25, unless we haven't had our coffee, in which case we feel 107. " ~  Martha Beck

"Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men. " ~ Kin Hubbard

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Throwing it out there Thursday

I, yet again, changed the name of my Thursday blog.  Sometimes I have no idea what to write about, so I'm just going to throw some crap out there and see what sticks.

First off, I started a new video series, Middle Aged Angst.  Check it out on Youtube, tell me what you think.  The video quality isn't very good.  I used a different program than I normally do and it pretty much sucked.

A cat tried to make me its mother last night.  He sat there and meowed at my door forever.  I finally gave him some turkey, then eventually let him in the house.  He didn't have a collar.  He walked around, sniffed stuff, then went outside.  I quickly closed the door behind him because I don't want a pet.  This morning I remember why, my eyes itch like crazy.  REALLY allergic to that cat.  Time to bring out the vacuum. He (or she, whatever) was really cute though. 

I made some hella strong coffee this morning.  You know, when you're making coffee and there's only a little bit left in the bag, so you throw it in, but then your coffee is stronger than _______ (fill in the black, I could not come up with anything).  And then you're buzzing around all day like you just drank 50 cans of Jolt (yes Jolt).

Oh, the class of 2k12 has a video coming up on WriteOnCon today at 5:30 Eastern (created by yours truly).  It's very inspiring, you should go watch it.
I think that's all I'll bore you with today.  Peace out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In: Ugh

These are not my hairy legs.
Yeah, um, well, I stayed pretty much the same. I maybe lost  1/16 of a pound.  I've exercised every day though, I could maybe attribute at least part of it to muscle gain? (wishful thinking, but that's what they say you know)

I've been vacillating between weight watchers and low carb.  I haven't been doing well on the weight watchers, but I paid for it. (will they give me my money back?)

I was kind of doing a combo, but that's not really working for me.

I think I'm going to have to go low carb.  I was doing that a few weeks ago and lost five pounds (which somehow found their way back).  I like using The Daily Plate on the Livestrong website.  It has every food under the sun to track with nutrition info for all of it.  You can track your exercise, set how many calories you want to eat in a day.  I think I may just go back to using that.

I would like to drop some of this weight before my author event next Friday.  Wish me luck.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monkey Madness Monday: Traveling to the UK and other things.

Um, yeah, how cute is that?  First things first, Sundays Mustang count: 18.

Okay, I posted on Facebook that Never Eighteen was on its way to one of the most prestigious schools in the UK.  People wanted details so here they are.  They're a bit fuzzy, so bear with me.

One of my parent's best friends is British.   A couple Sundays ago, my dad  called me and told me to come over to her house, he and my mom were there that she'd extended the invitation to me.  I grabbed some Never Eighteen bookmarks, because I'd just received them in the mail, and headed over.

When I arrived, I found out it wasn't just a intimate gathering, but a full blown party.  A couple relatives of Lesley, that's the British gal, were in town and she wanted everyone to meet them.  I was a little embarrassed by the bookmarks, but showed them to my parents and Lesley.  Then my dad starts making a big deal about the book.

I was mortified at first, and then people started making me feel like a rock star, so, you know, it ended up being kind of cool.  Lesley's relatives, David and Val, seemed particularly interested.  We talked about it for a little bit.  I gave them one of the bookmarks and a button.  They asked if it were available in the UK, and I told them it was on the Amazon UK site for pre-order.

End of story.

Until Saturday.  My parents had a party (it was my brother and Lesley's birthdays), inviting me and my siblings, Lesley, and David and Val.  It was their last night there.  Val starts talking about the book again, and I come to find out (and this is where it gets fuzzy) that she is major high up in ranking at one of the most, if not the most prestigious schools in the UK.  The word Chancellor was thrown in (that would be like the principal).  I don't think she's the chancellor, but perhaps a step below. 

So, my mom tells me to go home and give her an arc, which I jumped at the chance, and conveniently my parents only live about six blocks from me.  The next day, Never Eighteen was headed to the UK.

So there you have it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

F³A: non sequitirs

I see mustangs.  Ford mustangs to be exact.  It's weird, because I never noticed them before and now it seems like they're everywhere.  I'm sure  they've always been there, but even so, I'm taking it as a good omen for my novel, Never Eighteen to do well.  I'm sure you've seen the '69 mustang on the cover.  So, I'm going to start counting them, the ones I notice at least.  And posting here and on my Facebook fan page.

I have mentioned that my novel is available for pre-order at various online bookstores, right? like Amazon, B&N, Indie Bound, Book-a-Million, and Powell's. (nothing like a little blatant self promotion to start the day, right?)

This is not my body
okay, switching gears.  I'm going on a journey.  A weight loss journey.  I'm serious this time.  I'm sick of this stupid divorce weight.   I've already started exercising.  I've joined weight watchers online (which I'm not convinced is for me, but we'll see).  On Wednesdays, right here, I'm going to post my progress. My starting weight is . . . yeah, right.  Like I'm going to tell you.  Anyhoo, I figure if I have to post it online, it might keep me on track.  How embarrassing would it be to come here and tell you I've gained 2 pounds?

Did I mention my book release is scaring me to death?  I have my first writer event at the end of the month, which terrifies me.  Anyone who's read my book want to tell me which section I should read aloud?  I have a million postcards sitting here to go out to librarians, LA teachers, and bookstores.  They mock me, sitting there on my counter waiting for me to do something about it.  I haven't even finished my excel workbook of names and addresses.  I need to write a teacher's guide (or hire someone to do it, hint hint, any takers?), get my guest list going for my release parties, yes I said parties, create a letter for the marketing campaign my publicist and I came up with, finish my trailer, and, and, and . . .

I think I'm going to start a new vlog series.  It's too late for my idea of chronicles of a debut author.  You kind of get the idea of what I've gone through anyhoo.  This one will be called, Middle Aged Angst. It will be about writing, but it will also be about life as an over forty woman.  So there's that.  I'm going to try and begin this weekend, but don't hold me to that.

Have I mentioned the stress at my day job?  Websites, SEO, Blogging, Newsletter, and Goats.  That's all I'll say about that.

And did I also mention my boyfriend and I broke up?

Okay, I think I'm done ranting, raving, and rambling.

Here are the Friday Nibbles:

Random iPod shuffle song: Creep by Radiohead

Movie of the Week: I'm going to go with an Indie movie called Winning Season.  It stars Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts about an alcoholic has been basketball player and coach hired to coach a pathetic girls team.  Loved it.

Book of the Week:  I've pathetically not started a book in weeks, so I'm going to keep giving Amy Fellner Dominy this position until I get her book read.  OyMG has been on my "reading" list on goodreads for about forever, yet I've not started it yet.  Nothing to do with Amy or her book, just my business. I've heard great things about it.  I think I will force myself to take the time to read.

Quote of the Week: I've got two this week.
"Been busy as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest." ~ Stephen King
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." ~ Henry David Thoreau (pathetically I almost spelled his last name Thorough)

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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