Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Diary, my secret fear is...

Little Monster bought a Hello Kitty diary with her own money the other day.  She saved up allowance and tooth fairy money to buy something on her own.  (Btw- apparently the tooth fairy is doing well for herself in the recession because she gave LM 5 bucks for her first lost tooth.)

Anyway, so she picked out this diary and when we get in the car she starts writing in it.  Her first entry:
Dear Diary,
My secret fear is lightning bugs.

She's terrified of lightning bugs.  Runs screaming into the house like they're evil invaders of Planet Firefly out to install little lights on all of our butts.

(She's actually terrified of all bugs.  When we leave our house to go out, she runs clear out into the middle of the lawn in this huge wide circle to stay away from the flowers in the garden in front of our house because there are bees on them.  I don't have the heart to tell her there are probably a ton of bees out on the clover in our grass. )

Little Monster then decided no one can read it, except Mason, Kenzie, Hunter, Ava, Chandler, her whole summer school class, and pretty much the entire neighborhood.  So she needed to hide it from the poor soul who isn't included in her list of people that are allowed to read it.  Which may in fact be me, now that I think about it.

So she told me she was going to hide it where NO ONE can find it.  And then showed me where she hid it in our closet.

So that got me thinking: do you have a secret fear?  Maybe an irrational one that seems silly, but is SO not silly to you?

Go ahead, spill it.  I'll make sure no one sees your answer.  Except maybe Mason, Kenzie, Hunter, Ava, Chandler, the entire neighborhood and the whole blogosphere.  But NO ONE else.  I swear.

Here's mine: My secret fear is walking on those sewer grate thingies on sidewalks in the city.  No matter how big or how wide, I have to veer completely around them, even if it means walking in the street to possibly get hit by a bus.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Banned from Blogger

Hey everyone!  Sorry for my absence last week.  Hubs and Little Monster were out of town so I took the opportunity to crank out the rest of my edits for my WIP.  So after hours of editing, possible hallucinations, and a sore butt my first round of edits are officially done!!


Yes, there's a but....

Now it's on to my 2nd round of edits from my 3 crit partners....le sigh....


I am on a Major Editing (Salute -- Major Editing) roll right now, and don't want to lose steam, so I've banned myself from blogger until I can crank out at least the first part of my 2nd round of edits.

My attendance will be sporadic at best, but please know I still love you guys!  But a book won't publish itself on it's own, so I gotta take some action here.

I will leave you with some pearls of wisdom: When you are home alone for a whole week, you may want to maintain contact with the outside world.  By the end of the week, I'm pretty sure I had a Girls Night with two of my main characters.  Complete with pillow fights in our underwear, consuming mass quantities of cookie dough, and watching Beaches.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aspiring Author Interview with JE Fritz

Look, even her picture is mysterious-
we can't see her face very well
Hello to everyone on this beautiful sunny day!  (at least, I hope its beautiful and sunny in your neck of the woods!)  My interview today is with JE Fritz of Still Writing...  I'm keeping her first name a secret because she doesn't list it on her blog, so I'm keeping the mysteriousness that surrounds her in tact. (although if you look hard enough, you just might find it)  We all could use a little mysteriousness in our lives.  For example: you have no idea what I'm wearing as I write this.  I could be wearing a prom dress, or a big bunny suit.  Or I might not be wearing pants (little known fact: lots of authors don't wear pants).  JE was one of my first followers when I started almost a year ago.  She's smart and funny and finds really great tips and information on writing.  So, here she is!

     Tell us the scoop on how you got into writing novels.

‘Scoop’ makes it sound interesting. I just wanted to write a novel…and I did! It wasn’t a very good novel, I admit, but for me, it was wonderful to be creating something with words. I’ve wanted to be an author for years (I think high school is when I first went “Hmmm. Can I do this?”).

What genre do you write?
YA, although that’s more of an audience I’m trying to reach. I like speculative fiction (dystopian, post-apocalyptic) and urban fantasy/paranormal. Most of them just seem to come out YA. 

What authors inspire you?
Stephen King definitely inspires me in his raw output of prose. Mark Z. Danielewski is amazing in terms of voice and skill. 

How often do you write?
I try to every day, even if it’s just a paragraph. Having a blog really helps keep me writing, even if I’m in the middle of doing non-writerly tasks.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser, at least for the first draft. When I’m done, then I outline, move things around, make sure everything is how I want it. But I never know the details when I type that first word, so that definitely makes me a pantser.

Where do you write best, and do you listen to music while you write?
I write best in my room, where I have a comfortable chair (or can stand comfortably; sometimes I do this, too). I definitely go for music when I’m writing, cranking up the most depressing and/or angriest music I have. It really helps!

What is on your TBR pile?
World War Z, The Water Wars, The Hunger Games (again)

If Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling got in a cat fight, who would win?
JK Rowling, and thus, society. 

What is your “day” job?
Right now, just some researching for a tech company. 

What can you not leave home without? (cell phones are off limits)
My flashdrive. Just in case someone breaks into my house and steals my laptop. Because you never know and paranoia is right sometimes. 

Mac or PC?
PC. I’ve heard Macs are better, but I doubt I have the skills to use one. Me and computers = not good.

Favorite dessert?
Chocolate pudding cake. 

Favorite desert?
The ones I made up in my book! Shameless plug-y enough? Of course, those were inspired by the deserts of the southwest. I’ve only seen them in pictures, but they’re beautiful. As long as you bring enough water. 

Where is your dream vacation?
Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go there and see the volcanoes and the Pacific.

Finally, link us to your website, blog, fb, twitter and anything else you might like to shamelessly plug for yourself

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's a twista, it's a twista!

For some people, tornadoes conjure up fun memories of watching The Wizard of Oz, all cozy in their houses eating popcorn and huddled under their snuggies.  Dorothy's house gets swept up in a twister and brought all the way to the land of Oz, where fun and magical things happen like dancing scarecrows and her hair magically changing length a million times.

Photo Credit

But for most of us, tornadoes mean death and destruction, plowing their way through towns with no mercy whatsoever.  As much as I love weather, (my first semester of college I majored in broadcast journalism and wanted to eventually be a meteorologist) I know we have no control over it, and know that the damage it can cause can be devastating.

A couple weeks ago a town very close to mine was destroyed by an Ef-5 tornado.  The highest rating a tornado can get.  It was 3/4 mile wide, and traveled 6 miles straight through the center of town, destroying huge businesses and homes alike.  The death toll is still rising and is somewhere in the 140-range. Right around that same week, tornadoes also destroyed cities in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Alabama before that.  There were many more in other states as well.  This has been the deadliest year for tornadoes since they started recording them sometime in the 1950's.

Joplin Tornado: photo credit
Joplin Tornado: photo credit

I'm listing some links if you'd like to try to help in any way.  I know many towns are hosting areas to drop off donations, and of course the red cross could always use blood.  You can give a monetary donation (which is what they prefer, so they can quickly cater to the victim's needs.)  It doesn't have to be much- every little bit helps.

A friend is holding an auction for her photography that she will give 100% to the Joplin tornado victims (the picture is beautiful!):

Latest news on the Joplin tornado, and ways to donate sponsored by the United Way (also if you live close, you can sign up to help with cleanup):
Rebuild Joplin

For the Joplin, Missouri tornado victims:
An article with lists of ways to donate:

For the Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado victims:

For a general disaster relief donation to the Red Cross:

I know author Maureen Johnson had an auction up last week to help raise money for tornado victims, the Chiefs donated $35,000 to the Joplin victims, and Home Depot donated $1 Million to direct relief to the Joplin victims (the Home Depot in Joplin was completely leveled, killing numerous people).

The response to all the devastation our country has experienced in the past months has been overwhelming!  It's nice to know that even a country that is so divided in many ways, can come together for a cause like this.  It gives me a shred of hope that maybe someday we can come together in other ways to make our country stronger.

This article made me smile: Paying it Forward

Thanks for all the prayers and help- those communities will survive because of you.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Joysee part 2

So I've decided to be totally un-original with my title because I'm tired.  Sorry for the utter lack of coolness on my part.

But, you want to know what dripped with coolness this weekend?  My trip to New Jersey! (okay, it actually dripped with sweat because it was like, 90 degrees)

We went down the shore one day

I got to see a plethora of relatives from aunts and uncles, to cousins, my Godmother and of course, Grandma.

I wanted to put a fascinator on her,
but she opted for the wide brimmed straw hat
Ahh, my Grandmother.  We had hours of enjoyment at the nursing home.  Let me just say, even though she's lost most of her short term memory, she has not lost her spunk and ability to talk dirty.

She regaled us with songs in Polish, informing us that one particular song she liked was about a tramp.  She then turned to my mom (her daughter) and asked very innocently: "Are you a tramp?"  Naturally my mom said, "No not for a while now."  And my grandmother very sweetly but very knowingly said, "Well, you've got some smears on your shirt there, Honey."

She liked to tell us about all her boyfriends, and that they were waiting at her mother's house for her.  Then she lowers her voice and says, "And you know, we weren't really able to do much lovemaking until just last year."  Not skipping a beat, she remarks on how beautiful the trees are, and how she hadn't had a chance to climb them yet this year.

These are the trees she was facing-
every other minute she'd remark on how breathtaking the trees were.
Every. Other.  Minute.
After a few more laughs, we wheel her back into the nursing home so she could hang out with the elderly priest who is apparently her boyfriend.  It's okay- he blesses everyone he sees, so we're good to go.

As I left, I just had to get a picture of her roommate.  She's 107 years old!

She kinda stared at me blankly when I asked her if I could take her picture.
  I took that as a yes.

We are so lucky that my grandmother is happy where she is, and even though she knows who Abby is, I don't look like her Abby.  She still thinks of me as a little girl.  And you know what?  That's totally fine with me.

Quick promo: I'm posting as my alter-ego Abby Gabby for the Thestral Gazette over at Laurel's Leaves today!  Head on over there and read my advice column for Hogwarts students.