Friday, March 30, 2012

F³A: Here Comes the Sun

I live in the Pacific Northwest. I'm sure you all know that by now. This is what it has looked liked the past couple weeks.My mom just heard (or read, I don't remember) that people born in spring are more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency and depression. How do you like them apples, huh? My birthday is next month, so you know what that means!

Tonight, with Thing One and Thing Two, I head to where the sun almost always shines. Scottsdale, AZ. I've had short timers disease at work all week thinking about absorbing the Vitamin D, sitting by the pool, drinking margaritas. Two friends are already there, and will be picking us up at the airport tonight.

On top of THAT, I'm going to meet two writer friends! Amy Fellner Dominy and Taylor McCleve. I met Amy through the Class of 2k11 (before I got booted to 2012). I met Taylor through the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

That is all except for the Friday Scribbles:

Random Pandora Song (Nirvana Station): Would? by Alice in Chains. Love!!

Redbox of the Week: Moneyball. Loved this movie. Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, how can you go wrong? Plus, I love me some sports movies!!

Book of the Week: I'm reading two books at the same time, Velveteen by my buddy Danny Marks, and Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt. Both very different books, both amazing in their own right.

Quote of the Week: "In the sun I feel as one." ~ Kurt Cobain

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wardrobe issues and other irritations

So, this week Thing Two had not one, but not wardrobe issues at school. The first was a wardrobe malfunction. She got a tear in her jeans in a not good spot. I had to leave work, run to my house, grab a pair of jeans, run them up to her school, and go back to work. Today, a very rainy day, she slipped and fell and got all muddy. Once again I had to leave work, run home, find jeans, run them to school, before heading back to work.

I swear that kid is going to be the death of me. I would also swear that she has probably caused 97.8% of my gray hairs. She is lucky she is a wonderful kid and I love her so much, or I might give her up for adoption.

Another irritation. I went for a walk on the waterfront yesterday and I find an obstacle of sidewalk dog poop. I mean, really. Can you not tell your dog is taking a shit on the sidewalk? Yeah, I bet you can, but if you act like you don't see him doing it, you don't have to pick it up, right? Inconsiderate not only to the people walking down the path, but to your dog. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you don't want to tend to your pet's basic needs, you should not have a pet. Bad pet owner.

More irritation: lack of sleep. I can't get past it. I'm taking Melatonin now. It seems to help me fall asleep, but I still wake up early and sometimes (most the time) can't get back to sleep.

Also, having a brilliant book idea while I'm struggling through revisions. sigh. I NEED TO FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's driving me nuts. I've given myself a deadline of the end of this month, and I honestly am not sure if I'm going to make it.

More irritation, sore legs. I started a running training class. Why you ask? Because I've always hated running, but I've always wanted to like it. It makes my lungs burn, my legs hurt, and makes me cough for hours. SO, I want to learn. My friend Alexa has been trying to talk my into starting her class, so I did. I had my first lesson on Tuesday. My legs hurt. Don't get me wrong, I know it will be worth it in the long run, but right now I'm in pain.

Now here's a bit of luck, I was about a centimeter and a second away from being crapped on by a crow.

Happy Thursday everyone. I'm treating myself to a pedicure and a night out with friends. Tomorrow, vacation!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Um, little behind on posting this week.

Okay, here. Here's a cute monkey. There. That makes up for Monday.

Let's see, yesterday I was going to write about playlists for books. Songs usually pop into my head when I'm writing. As I've been writing Dissection (formerly Sliced, which was formerly Sad) I've had a few songs come into my mind. The first was Hurt. Now, I'm hedging toward the Nine Inch Nails version, but one cannot discount the oh so awesome Johnny Cash version either.

The other song I have so far is Lights by Ellie Goulding, about depression and about how the lights are calling her back home. Likey.

Also kind of thinking Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotya. Not sold yet.

That brings us to Wednesday. I stupidly started another book, well, a series to be exact. I say stupidly because I still have to finish my revisions on Dissection, which have been like pulling the teeth from a lion. And I gave myself a deadline of *cough* the end of this month to finish. Um, that gives me four days to get through 160 pages. sigh. I'm not going to say I'm not going to do it. I'm really going to try like hell.

But I am really excited about this series. I kind of took a book I'd already written and twisted it all up, and then through in this storyline about the integration of church and state along with a dystopian setting and BAM! Book series. not going to say any more than that for now, or give away the name. Maybe when I get further along I'll share some of the writing. :D

Happy Hump Day ya'll!

Friday, March 23, 2012

F³A: I Will Not Be Seeing Hunger Games

At least more than likely in the theater. You see, I hate seeing the movie before I read the book. Hate, hate hate. And I don't really have the time to read the book right now. I'm reading my friend and co 2k12er,Danny Marks ARC, Velveteen right now, then I have two books I have to read for an intensive workshop on voice for conference next month.

And work, revising, kids, and everything else I've got my fingers in lately makes for a very slow reader. veeerrrryyyy sllllooooowwwww.

So unless Hunger Games is still in the theaters say, 2014, I don't see it happening. :(

I remember when I had the time to devour books.

I'm jealous because like 9 posts out of 10 today on Facebook are about people either going to see, or having gone to see the movie and apparently it's made of awesome.

Maybe I'll have to step up my reading game.

Friday Scribbles:

Random iPod Shuffle Song: Breakeven by the Script

Book of the Week: Hell, let's go with the Hunger Games

Netflix of the Week: Back to watching Scrubs

Quote of the Week: "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~Confucius

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pirates, Arg!!!

So, I have my book title on Google Alerts, and a couple weeks ago, it came up on this weird download site. It looked suspicious, so I sent it to my publicist at HMH. Turns out, it was a pirated version of my book available for download!!!! For free!!!!

I mean, not cool. My book is only $7.99. Cheaper for ebook. And I'm a poor starving artist!!! lol.

On the other hand, I was almost flattered that someone took MY book and felt it worthy enough to pirate it and give it away for free. haha. I mean, I'm a nobody and my book is just a little quiet thing still trying to make its way out in to the great big world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Last night my daughter, Thing Two, informed me that the zombie apocalypse was indeed possible with the combination of certain diseases attacking the immune system at the same time.

So, I pondered if I could survive the zombie apocalypse, and came to the conclusion that yes, I'm a bad ass and would definitely survive.

First of all, for me, the rules of Zombieland were a given. I didn't need anyone to tell me to double tap or check the back seat. Also, I'm writing a dystopic novel, not with zombies, but with crazy people (think road warrior) and I've done some research and thinking on the subject of survival already.

I know you can't depend on guns. You have to have ammo for guns. Will I have some? Sure. But I think my main weapon would be something more along the lines of a machete, a battle axe, a mace, or something like this:
I'd also surround myself with people that could help me get through. People who are strong and smart. People who have skills akin to McGyver. People who know how to hunt, fish, start a fire through telekinesis. A little talent and eye candy wouldn't hurt either.

Zombies are slow and stupid. I mean, you should only go out when you have to, for supplies. Otherwise you make a home for yourself in some fortresslike facility, a military base, school, prison, and stay put.

I take pride in the fact that I would be:

An Ultimate Survivor.

When the outbrake starts, look me up. I could use people like you on my team. You're a team player but also know when to trust and when not to. You will survive as long as it takes. You're weapon skills are amazing and you can spot a zombie from a mile away. You know how and where to hit them and you know when to run. Congratulations, keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maybe my stars are aligned...

Kismet is a word derived from Turkish and Hindi-Urdu. It means, fate, or destiny. A predetermined course of events. I used to like the word kismet, because the words "fate" and "destiny" seemed way too powerful. Kismet seemed a little more light and fluffy, therefore maybe not as permanent?

I doubted fate. Doubted it was truly possible. Until maybe recently.

A tiny course of events took place leading to one idiosyncratic moment that is way too weird to be written off as coincidence. It makes me seriously wonder if fate truly does exist.

Then the subsequent series of events that have taken place since seem so organic, so natural, it's like everything that's happened has fallen in place, exactly where it's supposed to.

So, that one incident, the one occurrence that puts everything in motion, that has in a sense predetermined the next course of events, is that fate?

Or is it merely chance?

And even if it is fate I'll never know, because I have no idea what is supposed to come next. I guess right now I'm not going to even think about it. There's no reason to. I think I'll just sit back and let fate take it's course.

So tell me, do you believe in fate?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monkey Madness: Time to Pull the Purse Strings

Monday again. These last couple years have been a bit crazy and a total money drain. Between getting divorced and having to furnish a new house, buying a car, and publicizing my novel, let's just say the saving is running dry.

Plus, I'm taking a vacation to AZ in hopes of replenishing my vitamin D levels, AND I'm headed to New York in June for Book Expo America.

The problem? I'm not a good saver. In fact, I'm the opposite of a good saver. First and foremost, I'm going to prepare my kids. I'm usually pretty liberal with the spending money. They're definitely going to have to earn it, and they only get what they earn.

Me, well, I'm going to have to make a list of what's important and go from there. First thing to go is cable television. I don't watch it. Kids don't watch it. Right there I'll save about$30 a month. Wants vs needs. ugh.

Do you have any good strategies for saving money?

Friday, March 16, 2012

F³A: In hindsight...

For weeks I was dreading this week and looking forward to this week. I terrified me, yet I knew it was going to be fun. Four author events, three cities, three nights (saying that totally makes me feel like a rockstar).

I was dreading it only for the fact that I knew it would be exhausting for me. I've been run down anyway the last few weeks, having gone off my vitamin regimen (which I am now back on, I know, my stupid fault), and I've been sleeping like CRAP, yes, with a capital C-R-A-P, for a good couple months at least.

However, the dread was heavily outweighed by the rest. I got to spend time with three amazing writers that I've met before, Kiki Hamilton (The Faerie Ring), Helen Landalf (Flyaway), and Carole Estby Dagg (The Year We Were Famous), PLUS, I got to meet two more writers who are very cool, Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood), and Kathy McCullough (Don't Expect Magic).

AND I got to connect with writers, readers, teachers and librarians at Third Place Books, Capital High School, Olympia Timberland Library, and Garfield Books.

So, while today I might be run down (as you can see, this blog post is a day late), it was definitely worth it.

Okay, Friday Scribbles:

Random iPod Shuffle Song: Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine

Book of the Week: I started reading the ARC of my friend Danny Marks, Velveteen. So good, so far. :)

Netflix of the Week: Watched a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother last week. That's some funny stuff.

Quote of the Week: "I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom." ~ Thomas Carlyle

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's not Friday?!?! And authors band to help small town destroyed by tornado

Why did I think it was Friday? sigh.

It's not, it's Thursday.

But you probably knew that.

Anyway, I wanted to share a link.

The fabulous Julia Karr (XVI) set up an Authors for Henryville auction to benefit the small town, destroyed by a tornado recently.

A bunch of us authors got together to donate signed books and swag, etc. So go check it out and bid on some stuff if you're interested.

Here are a couple photos to give you an idea of the devastation this tornado caused.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weather Identity Crisis

We need to put an end to this horrible climate change problem we're having. The weather in the Pacific Northwest, usually just gray and rainy is having a major identity crisis. Wind, rain, hail, sleet, snow!?!?! I mean, really? Snow? WTF?

Our poor little tulips and daffodils are trying to bloom and the skies keep dumping snow down on their freezing little bulbs.

Thing One's first tennis match is today...IN THE SNOW!!!!! Um, no, not watching tennis in the snow. Yes, I'll play the bad mom card today. We're all allowed a few bad parent moments, aren't we?

Please, reuse, reduce, recycle. Your footprint is too big for my PNW weather. In a couple years, I will be living in a tundra like climate. I'm not meant for the tundra. I'm meant for the sun with sporadic months of rain intermixed!

Think of the polar bears!!

Al Gore, I'm begging you, get your earth saving ass in higher gear!
God, stop toying with us, we get it, we're bad excessive people. Lesson learned!
And all of you who don't believe in climate change, get your heads out of your arses!! It's real. I'm feeling its wrath!!!
Ellen, Oprah, read my book!!! (sorry, I digress)

For the love of all that's good and pure, give me some effin' sun!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monkey Madness Monday: Springing ahead

I HATE daylight savings time. That extra hour of sleep in the morning is precious to me (I know it's a facade, it's not really an extra hour, but that early in the morning it feels like it). To take that away from me, well, it's just cruel. I'm not a springer, I don't spring to anywhere, especially not to an hour less of sleep.

I used to be an early riser. I thrived on it, getting up before the sun, drinking my coffee, catching up on my news, Facebook, and Twitter. But now I stay up late working or whatever, and I sleep like crap, so I value every single second of sleep I get.

Can we petition the powers that be to keep our hours as are and not spring ahead? I mean, it's not like it's unheard of. Arizona does it!! (Yes, I realize Arizona has one season, but still, come on! Who's with me?!?)

Would that mess up the whole space/time continuum and cause the earth to implode on itself?

Friday, March 9, 2012

F³A: Blatant Self Promotion

Well, ya know, have to do it sometimes. So I'm announcing some events I'm involved in next week with some other YA writers. We call ourselves, New Kids on the YA Block.


March 14, Third Place Books 7 P.M.
17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA

March 15, Olympia Timberland Library 7 p.m.
313 8th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA

March 16, Garfield Books, 7 p.m.
208 Garfield St., Suite 101, Tacoma, WA

Here is who will be there and a short description of their novels:

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, by Kendare Blake:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation. He kills the dead. When a job takes him to a new town after a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, he expects an easy kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, who has killed everyone who has dared step into her deserted Victorian house.
Kendare appreciates Greek mythology, rare red meat and veganism. Visit her at

After her mom dies, Delaney Collins moves in with her estranged father and discovers that he’s a fairy godmother—or rather, a fairy godfather—and that she’s inherited the skill as well. Although she doesn’t believe in happily ever afters, Delaney is forced to help Flynn, a boy at her new school, win the girl of his dreams. But as she gets closer to making Flynn’s dream come true, Delaney finds herself with a wish of her own…
Kathy lives in Los Angeles, where she writes books and screenplays. Find out more about her at

THE FAERIE RING, by Kiki Hamilton
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and is a reservoir which holds a truce binding the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic.
Kiki believes in faeries, and magic. You can visit her website at

FLYAWAY, by Helen Landalf
Flyaway, a contemporary realistic novel set in Seattle, centers on 15-year-old Stevie’s struggle to come to terms with her mom’s addiction to meth. While her mom is in rehab, Stevie stays with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy, who gives her a taste of a more normal teen life, forcing Stevie to choose between loyalty to her mom and the chance to move forward into a more positive future.
Helen Landalf is author of two pictures books and five books for teachers. When she’s not writing, she works as a Pilates instructor and teaches dance to preschoolers. Visit her website at

NEVER EIGHTEEN, by Megan Bostic:
Seventeen-year-old Austin Parker’s dying wish is to help his loved ones understand that life is short, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Plagued by addiction, abuse, conflict and loss, they’ve given up. He’s desperate to help them live—even though he never will. It’s probably hopeless, but he has to try.
Megan Bostic loves sock monkeys, the color black, and her crazy beautiful daughters. Find out more at

THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS, by Carole Estby Dagg
In 1896, a Clara Estby and her suffragist mother walked from Washington State to New York City in a race against the calendar to win money to save the farm and prove women could do it. The book is based on newspaper articles which described their real-life 4,000-mile trek and their narrow escapes from flash flood, days lost in the Snake River Lava Fields, shooting a bandit, camping with Indians and a meeting President-elect McKinley.
Carole writes in Everett and a converted woodshed on San Juan Island under the supervision of a bossy cat. Visit her at

Hope you can make it to one of the events!

Non Sequitur: Today is national crabmeat day. Enjoy your crabs!! er...

Friday Scribbles:

Random Pandora Song of the Week: Vcr by The XX (I'm listening to the Gotya station)

Book of the Week: Velveteen by Danny Marks. It's not out yet, but I have the ARC. Excited!!!

Movie of the Week: Weird Science. I watched it with my kids the other night. I forgot how funny it is!!

Quote of the Week: "Two-thirds of promotion is motion." ~ have no idea who said this, but I like it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Girls Write Now Day

Yep, today is Girls Write Now Day. I bet you didn't know that, did you? The Girls Write Now mission is to provide guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk girls from New York City's public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career, and life choices.

The Girls Write Now mission is to provide guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk and underserved girls from New York City’s public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career and life choices.

They are a community of women writers—educators, editors, poets, novelists, playwrights they’ve provided guidance, support, and opportunities for New York City's high school girls to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy choices in school, career, and life.

They offer:

One-to-one mentoring relationships that blossom during the academic year through:

  • weekly pair meetings
  • intensive, genre-based monthly workshops and craft talks
  • our Girls College Bound college-prep series
  • the popular CHAPTERS reading series, which culminates in the publication of our anthology

How awesome is that? Doing school visits in my own area, I've seen students with the desire to become writers, but they maybe don't have the guidance or support they need to really get started.

I'm considering starting my own group in my neck of the woods.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I've realized that people want stuff. From me. They want my book. They want my swag. They want an interview. They want a guest post. They want it for free.

Is it okay to say no? Sure.

But I don't. Ever.

Do I get burned out? Yes.

So why don't I say no you ask? The answer is twofold.

I donate for giveaways because I want my book to reach the ends of the universe. I want it to find its way to every continent, every country, every library, every school. I want it to be read and loved and shared. This is how it works, especially with a book like mine.

I also donate because I like to give back. I donate the book to auctions to help raise money for countries that have been impacted by earthquakes, cities whose schools have been destroyed by by tornadoes, and families that have been overloaded with debt because of medical expenses.

So while it's okay to say no and many times I want to say no, I don't. What about you? Is it worth the stress, the time, the money to give of yourself not only to help yourself, but to help others?

Or am I just insane.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Read Across America Day

So, March 2nd, Dr. Suess' birthday, was Read Across America Day. I totally missed it. Probably because I was working, cleaning, writing, and going to two soccer games.

Anyway, coincidentally, I found myself and my children not reading. I was reading sporadically here and there, helping a friend with her manuscript. I don't remember the last time I saw my kids with a book in their hand. Social media seems to be the new "book". Reading texts, Facebook posts, and Tweets have taken the place of literature. And in my opinion, this is making us dumber by the day.

Last week I went to my bookshelf which is stuffed with awesome books: YA, classics mysteries, horror, etc, etc. I grabbed a book for each of my children, Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach for Thing One, Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris for Thing Two. It just so happens that I have to read two books for an intensive session on voice for the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators Western Washington conference next month. So, I picked up my book, Gary Schmidt's Okay for Now, which so far is amazing.

I think the reason I thought about this was because of my visit to Tacoma Community College, in which I talked to an English 85 class about the importance of reading.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Suess

The above quote is basically what I talked about. How reading makes you smarter, more knowledgeable and expands your vocabulary, among other things.

So, in this day and age of social media and technology, don't forget to pick up a book every so often, even if it's on your e-reader. Let's not become a nation of idiots.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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