Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Reflections

I'll be doing my own 2008 wrap-up post in the next couple of days, but thought this looked like fun. I shamelessly finked it from Carol's blog. :)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Well, I graduated law school. I can't think of anything more interesting than that. LOL.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Some of them, but unfortunately, on the writing front I failed miserably.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Claire did!

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes. My grandmother, Ruby.

5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A more upbeat outlook on things -- life in general and towards my writing.

6. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Losing my grandmother. That was seriously one of the roughest times in my entire life. I'm glad I was there when she passed, but the memory of it is hard.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Goodness...guess that would be law school again. There has to be something better than that!

8. What was your biggest failure? Ugh. Falling into a funk and letting it keep me from finishing FI. That's right... _I_ let it. My fault. I'm owning it.

9. What was the best thing you bought? Nothing is coming to mind...I really haven't made any major purchases this year. Perhaps a tub of Chubby Hubby.

10. Whose behaviour merited celebration? A lot of my writer friends -- who either signed with an agent, finished an MS, sold a book, etc.

11. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? My own!

12. Where did most of your money go? Visa. :)

13. What did you get really, really excited about? Finishing law school -- not having to take finals this past fall. YAY.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder, I suppose...though I feel okay right now.
ii. thinner or fatter? Erm, thinner. I had some really weird weight loss earlier this year and I haven't "bounced back."
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer!

15. What do you wish you'd done more of? Writing.

16. What do you wish you'd done less of? Being sad and/or a bum.

17. Did you fall in love in 2008? Yes -- if my characters count as love interests. :)

18. Did your heart break in 2008? Yes.

19. What was your favourite TV program? Project Runway & Top Chef.

20. What kept you sane? Good friends.

21. What political issue stirred you the most? The election -- easy one this year. :) I crossed party lines, which is a pretty big deal.

22. Who was the best new person you met? My friend, Melanie. She's all kinds o' awesome.

23. Favorite book you read? The Book Thief

24. Favorite movie? Mama Mia -- what fun!!!

25. What are your plans for 2009? Finish both FI and BTPM and move on to something else! Anything else! :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cuz That Last One Was So Much Fun!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

This Is So Wrong, It's Right! (All in honor of Courtney Summer's debut novel, CRACKED UP TO BE. May it sparkle for years to come!)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

ETA: In case you're confused, this is the cast of TWILIGHT w/Courtney Summers.

Oh, and don't forget to check out the second video after this one -- it's Disco and totally sparkilicious.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Whoo-hoo, We're Having A Heatwave!

56 degrees today. The snow and ice are melting. Color me very very happy.

Had a great holiday, though I feel like I'm only now beginning to come out of my food coma. LOL. I had a quiet Christmas evening--fam is out of town, had the house to myself--with the dogs. I made some popcorn with my new Whirley-Pop and watched some Christmas movies. Strange choices -- The Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone. I began The Family Stone but fell asleep just a few minutes into it. It was a quiet evening, but a very relaxing one. I think I needed some down time. :)

Anyway -- back to work today -- and then I'm hoping to make my final push towards finishing FI. I honestly can't say whether or not I can make it by Thursday, but I'll give it the old college try. (Which is to say there's a very slim chance of it actually happening, but I'm going to pretend that I can do it and hope for the best. (g))

So what was the best gift you got this Christmas? I got a lot of gift cards to church, which is pretty much all kinds o' awesome. :) I plan on going on a worship spree that will take weeks to come down from. (g) I also got the aforementioned Whirley-Pop in the Dirty Santa game we played Christmas Eve. Yeah, so okay, it was one of the gifts I brought (I bought gifts for both me and my grandpa), but there was nothing in the rules that said you couldn't steal the gift you brought. LOL. I really wanted it! And the popcorn I made was oh so good. I can't wait to try some of the recipes that came with it. Kettle corn...mmm.

Anywho...have a great weekend if you're still celebrating with family! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

I'm off to my grandfather's house this afternoon -- just a short break cuz I'll be back tomorrow night. But I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!! :)

Be safe and I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Kid You Not!

It is NEGATIVE 9 degrees this morning. Eeeee...that makes me...ugh....I don't wanna get out of bed for that kind of weather!

Wish me luck getting the old car started. (g)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It's 3 degrees outside here. THREE. And that doesn't include the wind chill, which has us in the negative double digits somewhere, mid-20's, I think.

All I want to do is curl up under the covers with a good book. Unfortunately, I have some work to do on FI (yes, I said unfortunately, because I really want to just nest in my bed) and then it's off to regular job tonight. Fun fun fun.

In good news -- we had our family Christmas celebration last night -- for those of us in town. It was great fun -- fantastic food -- and puppy mania. LOL. We give the pups stockings of goodies every year and we've decided Bailey simply can't handle all the excitement. (Chloe, otoh, knows how this whole Christmas thing works and it's all old hat to her now.) Bailey, however, basically got too ramped up and became psycho dog, wanting all the toys and treats (including Chloe's) at once -- even when they were on opposite sides of the room. She spent a lot of time in time-out (her kennel) and went to bed very grumpy. I woke in the middle of the night to find her snuggled up against me, so I guess all is forgiven and she's MUCH better today.

Anyway -- I received KT Tunstall's CD, Drastic Fantastic, so I'm super excited about that. I also got the new Batman movie and some gc's to a favorite juice shop in town. So, YAY, good night. :) I'm still waiting on my fam's gifts from Cali -- but I'm fairly sure they're sending GC's so I can go worship at church. (g) You know that will make me Very Happy.

It's gonna be a crazy finish to December for me. I have exactly 10 days to make that final push in finishing FI...I'm hopeful, but we'll see. It seems like I have so much left to do. I'm going to tackle it one day at a time and see how far I get. It's going to be hard because I still have a ton of things to do before Christmas (namely buying for the fam in Cali and getting it all wrapped and shipped) and baking some goodies for my Grandpa. Not to mention making my dishes for our main family celebration on Christmas Eve. And then, yanno...Christmas. (g) I've got to be back to work on Friday, so it will be a short celebration for me.

Busy, busy, busy...but a good busy. :)

On that note, I should probably get some face time in with FI.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ice, Ice...Everywhere Is Ice

Oh man. It's going to take an hour to chip into my car. I got three of the doors open, the engine started...but I bet I could leave it running for an hour and still not be able to crack my way through. Oh joy.

Someone remind me why I moved here.

*pulls out the pickaxe (flimsy ice scraper)*


Time from when I started my car and when I arrived at work (including one sidetrip to favorite coffee shop): 70 min

Time it took to chip out my car: 25 min (prolly 45 min from when I started my car)

Number of times I questioned my sanity on the way to work: Dozens

Number of times I questioned why I moved to this godforsaken hole: Once -- right about the time I arrived at my parking lot and discovered my driver's side door had frozen shut again.

Morning, everyone! :)

My New Favorite Blog

Check it out. It's frickin' hilarious and the brother speaks the truth! (g)

A little convo between Jen and Jenna about the new discovery:

Jenna: It also makes me feel like a complete and total moron.

Jen: why?

Jenna: It's like reading the bible or...yeah, going to church. You get there and they start preaching about how us godly folk are supposed to act and you realize how much of a heathen sinner you are.

(This...THIS is why I LOVE Jenna. (g))

Thursday, December 18, 2008


To each and every member of the University of Nebraska Women's Volleyball Team.

Thank you for a great season. An amazing comeback in the quarterfinals, and a near upset in the semi-finals.

You girls rock!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a great match tonight! I love the fact that Penn State can say they had a perfect season...erm...EXCEPT for those two sets against Nebraska. (very big grin)

Looking On The Bright Side

This time, last year, I would've just finished two weeks of hellish finals.


Life is good. It's real good. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas Survey

I was tagged by several of the MA ladies, and I challenge the rest of you girls to respond! :)

Insert your own answers and pass it on to whomever you feel would respond – including the person who sent it to you

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper all the way...and good paper at that. I take a long time to choose.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Ugh, REAL. Nothing tops the scent of a real pine tree. I know it's probably all kinds o' bad for the environment, but I can't stand the fake ones. (Not that I get a choice about this, mind. I've had to live with artificial for the past few years and this year we're not even putting that up. (!!!!))

3. When do you put up the tree? A week or so after Thanksgiving (usually -- again, no tree this year. Blech.)

4. When do you take the tree down? My stepdad would say Christmas day, I would say after New Year's, my aunt would say February or March.

5. What do you do with your tree after you take it down? Trash man takes it away.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember getting a tape deck and the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, which I listened to for HOURS.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Anyone in my family. They're so picky and don't always appreciate my "creative" buying.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom. She always wants The Same Things.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No. Haven't invested in one yet.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail -- nothing like snail mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Well, it's a two-way tie. Every year for the past few years, my family plays Dirty Santa on Christmas Eve. Our spending limit is 15 dollars, so people tend to get a bit creative with their gifts. The first year I won two pounds of tiger meat with crackers. Tiger meat, as my family calls it, is raw hamburger that has loads of spices. (blink) Things like this make me believe I'm adopted. The second was last year when I received two four-packs of Clamato beer. If you don't know what that is, it's beer with clam and tomato juice. *blech* My aunt bought it, and by God, she drank it, too. I wasn't going near that crap.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone (Cheesy, but nothing gets me in the Christmas mood quite like this move does.)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Erm, I'd like to say early, but that's such a lie. I have, on occasion, purchased gifts after Christmas, for the following year, but it's a rare occurrence. Most of my shopping is accomplished in the last couple of days leading up to Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I can, I don't think so.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Too many things to list. We have some great cooks in my family and we stuff ourselves silly.

16. Lights on the tree? The more the better.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Hard to choose. I'll Be Home For Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Winter Wonderland, and...okay, I can't choose.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I split my time between my mom's house in Cali and my grandparents' here. So, yeah, guess I always travel.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen...Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen....but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?? Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. (That would be a yes.)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Hmm, I haven't decided yet. I like them both.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We do the Dirty Santa thing on Christmas Eve and open all other gifts in the morning. Usually I'm the only one doing this. LOL. I DO have some self-restraint after all! (g)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People who complain about Christmas music. Seriously. What's up with that?

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't have a theme. A number of years ago, I started collecting random ornaments -- in the hopes that someday I'll have a really great collection of unique decorations -- no two the same.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? It's all good.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Hmmm, nothing really comes to mind. I just want my family and friends to be healthy and safe. Whatever presents I get are gravy.

I Got Bookwormed!

By Beth.

The whole idea is that you pick up the book closest to you, open it to page 56, and copy the fifth sentence down, followed by the next 2-5 sentences. And for fun, you can also pull out sentences from your own book.

H'okay, here goes.

Closest book: The MOOR by Laurie R. King. (Technically it was WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr, but page 56 ends after 3 or 4 sentences.)

I haven't read this book yet, so let's see what she has to offer as a teaser...

"I take it you found nothing," I said as I helped him daub the leaks.

"On the contrary, I made a very interesting discovery. Unfortunately, I cannot see what possible bearing it might have on the case."

"What did you find?"

He reached into an inner pocket and drew out a small, stoppered bottle such as the chemist dispenses, dirty but dry.

DUNT DUN DUN! What's up with the vial?

And for fun -- from BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT

His words had a surreal quality to them. Just when had I fallen through the looking glass? “Moon cycle?”

A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I know it sounds crazy—trust me, I know. I still haven’t grown used to it all.”

I licked my lips, my throat suddenly dry. “Just so I know we’re talking about the same thing—we’re in agreement that you’ve been changing into a we-werewolf?” The word felt foreign to my tongue.

“I prefer to call it ‘humanly-challenged.’”

I tag Jenna, Helene, Carrie, Rachel and Kristen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few Random Thoughts

I entered Nathan Bransford's 2nd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge. (Whew! Talk about a mouthful)

I don't know why I do these things. I get all tied up in knots waiting for the results, and inevitably, I'm disappointed when my 'graph fails to impress. Must remind myself not to enter a contest when I'm feeling tender -- which is all of the time. (g)


I've been listening to a million and one audio books at work. Okay, not that many, but at least 30 by now -- more, probably. And I'm in love with this format at the moment, especially because THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak is A-MAZING. If you haven't read this book, well, I don't know what to say if you haven't. :) It's wonderful and I can't recommend it enough. But if you haven't (or even if you have) -- go get the audio version. The narrator is absolutely wonderful (his voice does Death COMPLETE justice), and I've fallen in love with the story all over again.


Tomorrow is my holiday party at work. I had to sign a waiver today because apparently there's a slight chance I could get hurt/lose a limb/have an eye poked out. How?? *long sigh* There will be dodgeball.

I can't begin to say what a bad idea this is.

I'm considering calling in sick.

Who signs a waiver to go to a party??


I've begun working on the next 50-100 pages of FI. I'm still feeling good today, but I'm tired. We'll see how far I get.


We had our "team" holiday party today. Last night I spent 2 hours making a cranberry cheesecake that turned into an utter failure. In the end, I didn't take it.

Let me break it down:

I started by making the crust. Somehow, in my tired, frazzled mind, I got stuck on the idea that 1/2 cup of butter equals 2 sticks.

I used my aunt's big ole' mixer the first go round. (Notice I said -1st-) When I went to "pat" it into the pie dish, it was awfully...gloopy and sticky. Hmm. I've made this recipe before and I don't recall it being of this consistency. (Jen eyes the mixer) Maybe I mixed it too long (I normally mix by hand). Maybe it's one of those weird cooking things where if you don't stir it for exactly the number of seconds they tell you to it becomes a big ole' mess that can't be salvaged.

But I remained hopeful. I glooped it into the pan, glooped it up the sides, frowned at the end result, stuck it in the oven, and hoped for the best.

Five minutes later, I had a puddle of dough in the middle of the pan. It had melted down the sides and was basically a big pool of butter.

It gets worse from here.

~2nd attempt~

Yes, I said second.

Obviously my failure was in thinking I could toss all the ingredients in the mixer and let it go for a few minutes. I mixed it into gloop. Hahahaha. I'm no fool. I'll do it by hand this time.

Once again:

Jen . o O (1/2 cup = 2 sticks)

(That's a thought bubble if you didn't catch it. (g))

I mix it...mix some more...crap, this is just like the last batch!

Jen . o O (*&^%$^&*&^%$#$%^&*(*&^%$#@#$%^&*(*&^%$#@!!!!!)

Mind, by now I've used an entire package of butter.

What am I doing wrong??

*hand* *forehead* D'OH!

I got the crust right on the third attempt. Amazing what happens when you follow the instructions and get the measurements correct.

Everything else went smoothly -- got the batter poured, the fruit piled on top, followed by a mixture of sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.

(baking, baking, baking)

Delicious smells wafting from the kitchen...mmmmm.

I followed my aunt's recipe card to a T -- forgetting that she always adjusts the cook time/s and temperature/s when she makes it.


It burned. LOL.

Okay, so it's not horrible, but it's definitely not something I would ever serve to people I have to...yanno...see again. (g)

Note to self: Remember when you almost said forget about it -- they can live without one more dessert?? Listen next time.


Okay, off to write and pretend I'm not freaked out by NB's contest. (Good luck to all those who entered, btw!)


I'm so excited!!! I rearranged the entire 100 pages and it is AWESOME! Everything fits together so much better now. Weird that I didn't see this earlier. Well, to be honest, I did. I knew _something_ was off, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

Now when I read the pages, it feels like a story -- no sudden jars between just...FLOWS.


And I have a pretty clear vision on the next 100 pages or so. Just need to get down and dirty and start working on them.

I think I'm still on track to finish by the end of the month...we'll see. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cut! Paste! and Rearrange!

So, I'm not exactly moving forward on new pages of FI right now. Why? Because a new wrinkle developed that sort of changes the flow of the section I just finished working on. *smacks forehead*

At times like these, I wish -- I sincerely wish that I was a linear/outline writer.

Anyway -- tonight my goal is to rearrange everything. I would say it affects about 70 pages of the 100 I just pulled together. All because my antag decided to up the stakes a little with Maddy. The jerk. (g)

No, really -- I'm happy, but frustrated with the backtracking I have to do right now. BUT, if my speculations are right -- it will be much better in the end. Here's hoping, right? :)

Of course, this sets me back on my MA goals, but what can you do?

Monday, December 8, 2008


John Green conquers his fear of heights (sort of).

And I thought I was bad with heights! I got nothing on him.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What Goes Down Always Comes Back Up

I'm making good progress on FI. Last night I took a step back to sketch out all of the pieces I have left--seeing how they all fit together. I've had to lose some stuff I absolutely love, but I have a very clear picture of where I need to go from here on out. It's a pretty well-marked path, so I'm hoping I don't get lost along the way. (g)

Jenna said she was preparing for my next freak-out session. I do wish I could give her a schedule. :)

Anywho -- some good things to celebrate:

--I've managed to save the senior dance! (yay -- yippee and huzzah!) It'll be modified, but now it makes more sense in the overall story -- and well, it doesn't stick out like the sore thumb it was. (g)

--I filled in an important piece that explains one of my character's motivations. Makes everything flow that much better now.

--I have many, many scenes that need to be revised/tweaked, but I think I only have _four or five_ new ones left to write. (!!!!) Oh, I need to tack on little bits here and there -- transitions -- but four or five more scenes.. Good Gawd, I'm getting close.

--As much as I'll probably eat my words--maybe even by tomorrow--I'm glad I did this rewrite. My writing is stronger and the story is better for it. There have been times--and there will be plenty of more times in my future--that I've wanted to pull my hair out, but deep down I know this was good for me. I've learned a lot. And as I told Jenna, if DA doesn't want this book when I'm finished...fuch it. I'll find someone else who does. :) Yeah. (But I really, really, really hope he loves it as much as I do!)

--I've decided--with 100% certainty--that I have to write the prequel to this book someday. I want to see Drew and Maddy meet. Every time I put in a little bit of their backstory, I CRAVE time to tell their story. It's slowly filling in, so hopefully I'll have that chance someday.

--I had a really great idea pop up for book 4 or 5. I love it so much I almost started working on it last night. But no, book 1 first. :)

--I've made progress. Always cause for a celebration!

Have a good night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let's Kick Chicken Little Back To His Coop

A great post by Janet Reid: HERE about why we SHOULD NOT PANIC regarding all this bruhaha about Black Wednesday.

I've been saying this for a long time now -- the economy may be bad, but the panic everyone is letting take hold of them is making things MUCH MUCH worse. Chill, people. Chill.

It's scary, yeah, but seriously...let's break it down:

1. Good books WILL get published. (The publisher's have all said this.)

2. We should all be striving to write good books.

3. If our book isn't good enough to get published, then it doesn't matter what the state of the book industry is. We're not ready.

On a personal note -- I simply can't worry about this crap right now. I have a book to write. I'm scared enough about the idea of it not being good enough, irregardless of the economy. You can say I'm sticking my head in the sand...I'm okay with that. Hopefully I'll be able to get this dang book finished while I'm in hiding.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Winter has officially arrived with our first accumulated snow. To add insult to injury, we also had a nice sheet of ice all over the roads. It took me 40 minutes to get to work--making me late--when it usually takes about 10. Granted, I saw a woman stop in front of me and slide a good 6 inches to the right (that when she was probably going 2 miles an hour)...but goodness.

It doesn't really put me in a good frame of mind to work this morning. And my good mood is usually tenuous at best when I arrive anyway.

I want summer. I miss fall. Come on spring.

(Okay, I wouldn't grouse this much normally -- I love snow (for at least the first month of winter! Swear!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Best Lunch Break Ever

Have you ever read a scene you think is going to need a lot of work and feel yourself completely engrossed -- edge of your seat tense -- wanting to know what happens next?

I just read through a scene that I worked on for a very long time. I "finished" it this weekend and thought it had some issues I'd have to cope with before it was final draft ready. There are still a few bumps, but this thing read really well. It gave me shivers. :) It felt like someone else had written it.

Gah, I love this feeling. I'm so excited to finish this book.

I can't wait to get home so I can discover what comes next (I still have to write the next transition between this and another big chunk).

Happy writing to everyone! :)

I Wanna Be A Punker Rocker, Too!

Thanks to Nina for introducing me to Sandi Thom's "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker!"

What a voice!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Is It Me?

Or does anyone else miss the pic of Ty?

FI Update

I know it probably doesn't seem like I've been focused on writing (it may have something to do with my plethora of really random posts the last week or two), but I have been trying to keep to some sort of schedule.

I've also spent a good chunk o' time pulling out my hair and stressing about my filing system.

{Quick aside: With the first version of FI, I literally wrote the first 80-90% of the book in _one_ file. You read that right. One file -- scenes all randomly out of order, placed as I wrote them. I know that sounds like a logistical nightmare, but it worked great for me. I knew exactly where every scene was--similar to how the person in your office who has the messiest desk knows exactly where that small post-it with that email addy on it is. You know someone like that, don't you?

Anyway, I tried breaking up this version into separate files, and I'm so screwed up. I have a million versions floating around and I _really_ need to go through them and delete/move the irrelevant ones to an entirely different place. But that would take hours and right now I just can't justify the time. Sigh. Next time I'm going back to my tried and true. One big fat file (backed up many times, of course (g). And printed at strategic times. :)}

I'm making good progress, though. The MS is hovering around the 85-90K mark now. There are some things I know will need to be cut, but I'm just trying to push through to the end at this point. I keep saying I'm close, and it honestly feels like I am, but this time I really am getting close. This puppy WILL be finished before Christmas, and ready to go out to D.A. sometime soon after the New Year. I'm not going to rush it just to get it to him, but I'm going to give this book 100% of my attention from here on out. My friends won't even know my name by time I get back in contact. (g) Not that they've seen much of me the way it is. :) As for sleep...what? Who needs sleep?! Not me.

On that note...I'm going to get in a few hours now. I'm starting to pull the next few chapters together--plugging in any holes and adding transitions to make it all flow together. It's tough, tedious work...but alas, it needs to be done.

Sometimes I really envy linear writers. You see this stuff as you go. Me, I have to wait until the very end to see those pages all together. It's such a great feeling. I'm holding on to the memory of the first time I finished this blasted book...those nicely stacked pages...MY STORY. Yes.

Okay..I'm off!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let's Thank The Troops

As we head into the holiday season, let's take a moment to remember all of the brave men and women serving in our armed forces. Many of them won't be able to share this time with their families, so let's try to brighten their days--even if it's just a little bit. Take a moment to say thanks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Heart Josh Groban

Going through my CD's tonight, I stumbled across this little number. It made me cry the first time I heard it. I didn't have any clue what he was singing about, but it made me cry. The violins, the emotion in his made my chest seize and the tears flow. I dare you to keep your cool.

If you don't have this CD, go, now. Get it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Feel It...

That tightening in my stomach and that piercing pain at my temple.

My family...they're incoming.

I love them, I really do... but I really just want to hole up with my computer all weekend and write. Not possible. I'll spend a good chunk of the weekend in a food coma. Guarantee it.

Of course, I know this is my future...perhaps I can divert it some. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My TBR "Pile" Is Out Of Control!

My room is beginning to look like the bargain bin at the local bookstore. Books everywhere. I have piles on top of my piles. I keep buying, though. It's past the point of ridiculous. :)

Anyway, I decided to make a list of the books I haven't read. I'm fairly certain the ones I HAVE read outnumber the ones I haven't, but that's only a guess. LOL. OH...and these are only the books I can see right now. I have bins under my bed and boxes in the basement. These, I'm a bit ashamed/happy to admit, are books I've purchased in the last 3-4 years. (heh)

The italics = the books I've started and didn't finish for one reason or another. Usually school or life interrupted and I was lost when I tried to get back to it. Sometimes I realized I just wasn't in the mood for that particular book and gave up to return another time. There are probably only 1 or 2 that I doubt I'll ever pick up again because they weren't my cuppa tea.

The bolds = the books I've read before but bought so I could relive it all over again. :)

4th of July by James Patterson
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Angel Seeker by Sharon Shinn
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz
The Blood Books, Vol 2 by Tanya Huff
The Blood Books, Vol 3 by Tanya Huff
Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush
The Clique (first 6 books)
The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
Cost of Freedom by Carol Spradling
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy by Ally Carter
Dark Assassin by Anne Perry
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Delicious by Sherry Thomas
Dracula by Bram Stoker
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King
Falling by Christopher Pike
Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Holy Smokes by Katie MacAlister
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
Insomnia by Stephen King
Jack Absolute by C.C. Humphreys
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jovah’s Angel by Sharon Shinn
The King of Torts by John Grisham
Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin
Lady of Sherwood by Jennifer Roberson
The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
Left Behind by Lahaye Jenkins
A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister
Lonesome Dove by Karry McMurtry
Lord John & The Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Monster by Frank Peretti
Moonrise by Anne Stuart
The Moor by Laurie R. King
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
Ms. Zephyr’s Notebook by kc Dyer
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
The Other Boelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Paper Towns by John Green
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Poet of Lochness by Brian Jay Corrigan
Portraits of Guilty by Jeanne Boylan
The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
The Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherford
Red is for Remembrance by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
Rogue by Rachel Vincent
The Secret Circle, V 1 by L.J. Smith
Silver is for Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen
The Skystone by Jack Whyte
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
The Spiderwick Chronicles (Last 3)
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
The Thirteenth House by Sharon Shinn
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson
Transgressions by Sarah Dunant
Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
A Whisper in the Dark by Louisa May Alcott
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Wicked by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Friday, November 21, 2008


It was all right. :)

Didn't love it, didn't hate it.

There were some really great moments. There were some really cheesy moments.

The acting was good at times, and mega-melodramatic at others.

Overall, it was pretty dang entertaining. I laughed a lot. Not sure whether they intended to evoke that exact reaction, but there it is. (g)

Can't wait to hear what y'all think!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Meet Ty, aka Evandro Soldati

I knew he was Ty as soon as I laid eyes on this guy. I do picture Ty being a little broader through the shoulders, and he would probably need to pack on 10-20 pounds of muscle to be juuuuust right...but those eyes. I'm sold. :)

And hellloooooooo, Pocahontas!

Trying to give a better glimpse at his eyes.

*Checks Watch*

Yup -- I was right on schedule for a freak out session.

Thanks to Jenna for talking me down from the ledge--yet again. Seriously, if you don't answer me the next time I beep you on IM, I will completely understand. I have surpassed my crazy quotient for the year. For several years. And lets be honest -- the bar is set pretty high for me. (g)

I'm feeling _better_. I'm still not sure how I'm going to tie all of these wayward threads together--in a coherent fashion that is believable--but at least I got to vent about it all. I think I know what I need to I just have to do it.

One day at a time... breathe...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Found Makenna!

Willa Holland

Her hair color is a bit off, but look at those eyes!

I have NO idea who would play Ty...or Caleb. For Ty, I'm thinking someone like a young Josh Hartnett.. Caleb, some bad boy...Hmm, I'll have to think on it.

Move Over, Tweens!

I've purchased my tickets for TWILIGHT -- this Thursday, midnight showing.


Gah, I'm so ridiculously, fan-girl excited that I'm making myself sick. (g)

Can you imagine what it would be like to go see the movie version of YOUR book? It makes me dream big. Good on you, Stephenie Meyers!

In celebration, let's discuss our dream casts. :)

I worked on FI along time ago -- one night when I was being really silly with some online friends.

Maddy -- Rachel McAdams

Drew -- Hugh Jackman (I think I've since revised this to perhaps Christian Bale -- younger and oh so cute)

Gabe -- Gerald Butler (Younger version...hmmm...I dunno if there is one. His image is ingrained on my mind)

I think I'll have to get back with my casting ideas for BTPM. I've never given it much thought.

Anyone else wanna play? :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

I’m Buggin’

So, I provided that great link to Courtney Summer's post, in which she debunked several myths about writing YA. The comments have taken an interesting turn, and I really just need to vent for a moment.

When I first started BTPM, I have to admit that I was a little…rusty when it came to young adult novels. Mostly, I moved forward by following my gut and relying on what dim recollections I had of the YA's I read as a teen. It probably wasn't until 3-4 months later that I really started diving into reading many, many YA's. (I have to say, I became a bit hooked! LOL. I probably buy YA's 2 to 1 over adult novels. The stacks I have waiting to be read are out of control.)

Along the way, I discovered tons of great authors, many of whom really push the boundaries of what some people perceive as "acceptable" reading material for teens. They cover a great range of topics—from incest, sexual/physical abuse, rape, sex in general, cutting, eating disorders, to racism and peer pressure—the list goes on. And I have to tell you, they didn't cut corners. If their stories called for harsh language or explicit details, they went for it. They didn't bow down to "convention" that says you can't use the word Fuck in a young adult novel, and they didn't shy away from writing about topics that a lot of freaked out parents would like to sweep under the carpet.

Psst! *waves you over* Did you know that if you don't write about sex, teens won't have it?! I'm totally serious.

I mean…COME ON, PEOPLE. Pull your heads out of the sand.

And whatever some people might think, I am NOT endorsing going hog wild and writing the next hardcore porn for teens. What I am endorsing are books that provide teenagers with a realistic view of the world. If you're going to go there, let your story dictate what devices you need to employ in order to tell it. The reality of life is this: teenagers have sex. They use drugs, they deal with tough issues that come along and smack them in the faces. It isn't all rainbows and unicorns. (And no, I'm in no way trying to discount stories that involve a touch of fairy dust and magic. I write about werewolves for pete's sake.) All I'm saying is that teens are a lot sharper than we give them credit for. And in this world, the more knowledge they have, the better prepared they will be to make the right choices for themselves when—NOT IF—they face one of the aforementioned situations.

Since I wrote BTPM, the YA projects I've contemplated and/or started have gotten darker. The latest, STOLEN is extremely dark, and I just can't shy away from writing it. I think it's an important book. I really hope others see the merit in it, even if it includes things none of us really want to think about.

Books do not endorse a way of life. They portray one. And unless we want to completely do a disservice to teens around the world, we have to trust that they're more than just mere automatons that become what they read.

Good grief.

*steps off her soapbox*

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Go, Courtney!

A great post by Courtney Summers about Four Myths of Writing YA.

Glad someone said it aloud. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Official!

BTPM has to wait.

I don't have enough time/energy/brain power -- mojo -- whatever you want to call it -- to focus on two books at once. I totally got sidetracked with it earlier this week, which means I basically wasted 2 days that could've been spent racking up the page count on FI.

Must focus. There's plenty of time to work on BTPM when FI is finished.


I mean it.


Ty and Mac can wait!


I don't want to have to tell you two again!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can You Feel My Smile?

I read through the first 6 chapters of BTPM last night. I'm shocked...stunned...overwhelmed and surprised by how well it read. I literally haven't touched that wip for probably close to a year. I expected to find all kinds of problems, clunky sentences, wordy passages (my real forte), but it was GOOD. Solid good -- Ready to go to agent good. Eee. What to do now??

I have no idea. I can't send it FIRST, before the book D.A. signed up for.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Year Of The Werewolf!

Could it be? Am I dreaming? Or did Kristin Nelson and Little, Brown Children's Editors* really declare the werewolf the new vampire??

Squeeee. Must finish FI and get my final revisions on BTPM in to D.A. Hot damn. (g)

Ty just might get his moment yet. :)

*For those of you who don't know, Little, Brown publishes the uber-fabulous and extremely popular TWILIGHT series.


I spent the morning filling out an online student loan consolidation application. (Say THAT ten times, fast!)

Meh. Seriously. There has to be a better way to do this. I remember the good old days (like it was that long ago) when consolidation companies called you on the phone. When they would *click click click* figure out where your loans came from, what your current balances were, and what your expected payment would be. Today it's all online gadgets where you have to find the numbers and hope you have the right ones -- to get an "estimated" payment amount that is probably wrong because you jacked something up somewhere along the line.

By time I'm finished, my payments will probably be double my unconsolidated amount.

I hate technology sometimes. I want to talk to a real person, if only for a firm handholding as my financial failings are laid before me in such HUGE numbers.

But there's a rainbow in sight! I have that law degree! Erm, that I'm not planning to use...CHEERS! :)

Oh Boy!

The good news is that I made it through 20 pages tonight. YAY.

The bad news is that I read through the rest of it--stuff from the original MS and it simply WILL NOT work with the new version. Not the overall scenes, etc...but the dialogue is simply too...BLAH. I need to ramp everything up. It all makes me very much glad that I got through so much tonight. It may take me the remaining 6 days to plow through the rest of this crap. (g)

That said, I'm super happy with the twenty pages. :)

Even better news is that I'm off tomorrow -- for Veteran's Day. YAY. Lots o' time to write.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fighting The Cold

It's that time of year--out here in Nebraska, it's cold, it's wet, and all I want to do is snuggle under the covers, a cup of tea at my elbow, and a good book to help while away the hours. It's absolute tortute to sit in front of my computer because I'm COLD. It should be illegal for someone's fingertips to be this icy while indoors. Seriously. Granted, part of that has to do with the location of my room -- it sort of juts off from the main house and is always the coldest room. And part of it is that my fam REALLY seems to enjoy sleeping with the house at a nice, cool (COLD -- ANTARTIC cold) 62 degrees.


That in mind, I made my favorite spiced tea tonight. I'm about to bundle up in sweats and a long sleeved shirt...two pairs of socks...heck, I may even throw an electric blanket over my lap. All in the name of getting some work done on the ole' wip.

My goal this week is to pull the next 50 MS pages together -- filling in all gaps and transitions. It's most likely doable, but I'm a bit worried that I may be underestimating the amount of work involved. We shall see. If I can get more than that accomplished, well, that would of course be wonderful. :) It would also mean that I'm closing in on that end SFD. OMG, I at last feel it's within my grasp. Whoot.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Doing My Part

I just placed an order with Amazon -- three books. Enough for this week, I think. (g)

It all goes to help out publishing. And hey, it's beneficial to me, too. :)

The take:

PAPER TOWNS by John Green

LET IT SNOW -- a YA Christmas anthology (how cool is THAT!) featuring John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. Never read anything by Lauren, but the other two are totally awesome, so she has to be pretty cool by association.

And last but certainly not least...

COST OF FREEDOM!!!!!! by Carol Spradling. Yup, it's in paperback...finally!! You can buy it HERE.

Brilliant. Simply Brilliant.


I've had a break-through with a part of FI that has given me mucho trouble. In the very worst kind of way. I knew _something_ had to go there, but I couldn't figure out what. And seriously, I've been brainstorming for weeks, months maybe. I worried it might be the sticking point that would make this book fail. After all, if I couldn't get past this bump -- about 1/3rd of the way through the book -- what the heck would I do?? (Hilarious (in a sick way) when you consider that most of the book is already written. Ah, chunkwriting. How I do love/hate you sometimes.)

But alas, during those morning moments when I was awake, but not _really_ awake, I made myself concentrate on the scene and then PING! It hit me. Whether or not it works in the end, at least _something_ will be there. It's done wonders for my confidence already.

So yeah, I don't know why but early mornings/late nights are my ephiphany hours. Perhaps it's because Mr. Sandman has been busy whispering ideas in my ear. Perhaps my subconcious is just closer to the surface and sub-Jen has it all figured out for me.

Whatever. I'll take it. (g) Off to write. YAY.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I love Def Leppard.

I love Taylor Swift.

But who the heck came up with the idea to have them sing together on Crossroads? Hearing the lead singer of DL singing one of Taylor Swifts teenage angst songs is just...wrong. So wrong.

I want to turn away, but I can't. It's just so wrong...I'm riveted.


It's snowing here.

B-b-b-b-utt I'm not ready for snow! I had plans to lay out and finally get some color into this pasty-never-go-outside-and-actually-see-the-sun skin. I meant to spend the day tomorrow--outdoors, writing under my favorite tree. I meant to take my dogs for a walk so we could frolic in the leaves!!!!


It's only flurries. But still. I want more fall.

Erm, I was kidding about the laying out. I've accepted the fact that I'm the palest girl in America. I can deal with it.

And once REAL snow falls, my tune will change. I know this for certain.

This Is Like Preaching To The Choir, But...

Go out and buy a book today. Buy several. Buy books for your family--for birthdays, Christmas, or just because you love them.

Moonrat did an excellent post on why you should:

C[r]ash Flow (Or What Went Wrong in October in Book Publishing)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Official

I'm sick of hearing about the election. (g)

Honestly, there's nothing we can do now but wait and see what Obama will do. I'm hopeful and cautiously optimistic.

And no matter who won, I respect both Obama and McCain. And yeah, I still respect Bush. They all have their hearts in the right places and are far from infallible. Oh, if we ruled the world everything would be perfect! (insert eye roll)

In other news, I'm running an exercise on query letters at compu. Stop by and join in the fun! :) (It should be posted some time tonight.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Rock The Vote, Peeps!


I just finished voting. I'm a bit amazed by my final choice. I have to say I was literally undecided until this morning, and in the end, I voted against my party.

I'm so excited about it. :) Can't wait to see how this one turns out!

If you haven't voted yet, HURRY...there's still time!

**Picture courtesy of

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sometimes I Just Don't Know...

...where these things come from. Or whether or not I should keep them.

From FAKING IT (c) 2008

I admit it. I’ve had Dirty Harry fantasies since I could first spell g-u-n, and those fantasies only intensified every time my brothers refused to let me tag along on one of their hunting trips. The thought of a gun in my hands was a very enticing image.

Pow, pow, pow. Bad guys go BOOM.

I made Gabe pull over twice—once to dump the bullets in a dumpster, the next to dump the gun down a street drain. I had to cover my eyes when he did the latter. It was such a waste.


Any thoughts? LOL.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day One

Well, M:A is in action, starting today! I've made a goal of 3K this week. I know that's not much, but I really have a full schedule. Not only is work hectic (more so than I thought it would be originally because some dipsh*t at work got in trouble and I'm helping to cover his shifts), but I'm also heading out of town this weekend for a family...thing. To be honest, we're going to go through my grandmother's things...not a fun prospect, but not something I would want to miss.

On to happier subjects...

I managed 700 words tonight, even though I didn't start writing until well after midnight. I know it isn't much, but it's a lot more than I thought I would get this late at night. lol. It's also a good start to a new chapter that has been giving me all kinds o' trouble.

AND, I've been having all kinds of ideas bubbling up for several different WIP's. Some that I'm "actively" working on, and some that I only have vague ideas about. For example, I had an idea bubble up for Narc 4 tonight. LOL. No, I don't really plan that far in advance. I have a notion of what it will be about, but nothing is concrete yet. Mostly I just know where certain books will be set and a general idea of the plot. Book 2, for instance, has Maddy back at her home office. Book 3 has her back out on an assignment, with a rather quirky "sidekick/informant." Book 4...well, you'll have to wait on that. (g) As Jenna reminded me tonight, there's no way I can let this series go. LOL. Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake.

I've also had some ideas bubble up for BTPM and STOLEN. And TP is still simmering. Occasionally I get an image for a scene while I'm driving around town. There's definitely a few perks to setting a story in your hometown. :)

The best thing is that I have my "mojo" back finally. I actually feel that I can finish FI again. I haven't felt THAT way in a long time. It feels good. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So, the M:A site isn't working -- at all. There seems to be a huge error that has crashed everything. I've sent a message to the administrators. If it's not working by Monday, we'll set our goals, etc. here. As soon as it's back up, we'll head on over. Hopefully that will be soon!

Sorry... I think I did it when I tried to add the music feature. :P

ETA: So, it looks like a system-wide error. I don't think even I could cause that. But...

ETA: It's back up. NEVERMIND!! LOL.


Too cool. I can post to my blog from Word. I swear, computers are creepy these days. I didn't even put my blogger account address anywhere. CREEPY.

*looks over shoulder*


October is almost over. I can't believe it. This is my favorite month of the year, and it just FLEW past! Ack. (g)

I'm a little bummed that I wasn't able to hold my annual wine tasting -- I always hold one near Halloween. It just wasn't in the cards, tho. I'm far too busy, and honestly, I promised myself I wouldn't get distracted by such things until I finished FI. *looks at manuscript, looks at calendar, looks at manuscript again* Umm, yeah, ain't gonna happen this month. Maybe later THIS year, tho. :) I can always keep that goal in mind at any rate!

Work is slowing down after this next week!!!! *YAY* Instead of my 60-70 hours a week, I'll be down to maybe 45-50. Oh man, what a difference that will make in my writing schedule! I'll have more energy and time...and yeah, it's just going to Be Better. Coupled with the new accountability circle, I should be able to whip my butt into gear and get this dang book finished and off to DA. FINALLY. I'm craving, big time, to get back to work on BTPM. I've had a few ideas rattling around and I can't wait to implement the changes. Again, nothing major. *crosses fingers* It's sad to say, but I haven't even looked at BTPM since last...gah, October, maybe? That's insane, and by far the longest break I've taken with any book. Perhaps that will be beneficial. So many people say you need that time away. Umm, I've never listened to that advice. (VBG) Maybe they'll be right. Maybe I'll be right. Gah, I don't care either way. I miss Ty and Mac.

I really need to clone myself to get this all done. (g)

Today there's a football game on -- my Huskers. But man, I have to admit I don't want to watch it. I want to write. So yeah, let everyone say I'm crazy. I'm gonna do what I want to do. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Invites Are Out!

I've sent an email to everyone I had an addy for. There are a couple of you I haven't heard from, I think -- Cindy and Helen, off the top of my head. If you haven't sent an email, shoot one on over to jnhendren @ hotmail dot com OR head on over and give us a knock at:

Precie: I never did get your email, but I had a yahoo addy for you. Hope it works! :)

I'll see ya'll over there!!

P.S. You can put the main blogger on google reader!!

Almost Ready!

I've created a site for us to play in. :) Now I just need everyone's email addy to do invites. :) Please leave it in the comments or email me at jnhendren @ hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hey All!

Just a quick note from work. I'm having some issues with my home computer, as in it went completely blotto on me last night. I'm getting a new one today. (yippee!) Anyway, nope...not too late for anyone to join up. I'll probably end up setting something up where we all have access, and we can all post there. (Nope, Carrie -- you don't need to have your own blog to join in! :))

Anyway, give me a couple of days to figure out the best place, etc. -- and keep the suggestions coming if you have any.

Mission: Accountable is in effect! (or is it Affect? See, I need you guys!! LOL)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Wow, lotsa takers on the accountability circle. (We ssoooooo need a better name than that!!)

Jenna had a brilliant idea of starting a new blog/community or whatever. Where we all have access to posting, etc. What do you guys think?

If you like that idea, it will probably take a couple of days to get everything set up and ready to roll. So, I'm thinking we could make our first set of goals next week -- looks like Monday is in the lead right now. Sound good?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's A Fine Start

Mission-Get-Back-On-Track aka "Stop being a total schmuck, Jen, and FTDB" has begun.

Between last night and tonight, I managed 1600 new words for FI. I've expanded that scene I mentioned the other night--given it more oomph and meaning to the story overall. It's probably a bit more intense in the front half than I intended, but I'll see how readers react. I can always lighten it up. I will say that the ending of it is probably one of the funniest visuals I've ever written. (VBG)


I love it.

Tomorrow I plan to get through the next section. It doesn't need that much work -- just some basic floofing to emcompass some of the changes that were made to the first quarter of the book. Then I think I need a short bridging scene to sew the next couple of sections together. I may work a little on it before I go to bed.

Man, I'm feeling much better -- determined, even, today. Thanks, guys!

Come One, Come All!

Jenna and I have decided to start an "accountability circle." What is an accountability cirlce, you ask? Well, the basic idea is to pull together a group of writers who will cheer each other on, try to keep each other on task, and well, hold each other accountable for slacking off. (Not that we would ever do that, mind. Okay, yes, yes, we would.)

So, here's what I'm thinking. Each week we set a few goals for ourselves--and we publish them for everyone to see. And well, if we meet those goals at the end of the week, GREAT. That's the goal. Now, if we don't...there will be a reckoning of some sort. (VBG)

Now, I'm not talking a hundred lashes at dawn. I'm talking little tasks or things we must do to vindicate our clear lack of effort. (I'm taking this straight from Brotherood 2.0, btw -- not that I think waxing any part of our bodies should be a viable option. Nor that Strawberry Hill nonsense. That's just Medieval.)

No...a couple of ideas, off the top of my head:

1. An ode to...well, ME, should I be the one choosing...

2. Or my personal favorite pick for Jenna -- make her write AND mail a fan letter to Johnny Depp.

Writing punishments are ideal, but they certainly do not encompass all the possibilities.

We could even do a snip circle to see and read what each of has accomplished in any given week.

So, what say you? Do we have any takers?

We'd definitely need a cool name, too....*thinking*

Friday, October 17, 2008

*Sniff Sniff*

I had a new scene bubble up for STOLEN today -- two actually. I worked on one for a while tonight. It isn't perfect yet, but it's going to be great. I feel it. It totally made me bawl. I'm talking big fat tears that just poured out.

This book rocks. (g)

I feel so blessed to write it.

On a complete sidenote (random to the umpth degree!): I have CMT on right now. Just when in the heck did Hootie go country?? (Remember Hootie and The Blowfish??) I love this song and never knew he sang it. That's full of all kinds of awesome. (g) Darius Rucker: Don't Think I Don't Think About It. Go forth and listen.

On the FI front -- I'm easing back in, honest. Can't say I got a lot of writing done tonight, but I'm working on it. A lot of brainstormng on how to change one of my old scenes to better fit the new book. I think it's going to rock when I finish. Oh yeah. (g) I'm also thinking about ways to change the front end of the story...rearrange and possibly insert some new scenes to get things moving along a little faster. I love the opening, but yeah, it needs _something_ and I know I can make it better.

Okay, I'm out -- I'm going to write until I conk out. Shouldn't be long. lol


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Go Big Or Go Home, Jen!

I needed a much needed kick in the ass tonight, and thank God, Jenna was there to give it to me. So, okay...when I started this blog, I promised myself to always be honest. We all love to hear when another writer is having a terrific streak of great writing sessions...when their stories are just flowing onto the page. But lets be honest, is that all there is to being a writer?

Ummm, I have to say, NEGATIVE. There are many bad days in the life of a writer. Today was one of those for me. And I'm here to share.

So, FI... yeah, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm struggling. I'm frustrated with myself to no end. I mean, why haven't I finished it yet?? I have this great agent waiting for it--a great agent who BELIEVES in me--and I'm dragging my feet big time. Why can't I just suck it up and push through to the end?

Answer: I have no idea.

So yeah, I had to have a little talk with myself today. Why is it that I'm struggling so much with FI while my other stories are chomping at the bit to be written?? Why are they coming so easily when getting an hour of facetime with FI is so HARD?

To be honest, I think it's a combination of things.

1. I don't want to fail. Lord knows it would kill me to turn in my revisions and have D.A. say it's not right for him after all. So, yeah...pretty easy to make excuses, drag my feet, and generally avoid finishing the blasted thing.

2. This one is hard to say without sounding full of myself -- but I've changed as a writer. Grown in a lot of ways--gotten better. I want to challenge myself -- break out in all kinds of directions -- explore new ideas. I don't want to tie myself down too early. Perhaps I have. I mean, how many people get a shot with their first book? Gah, I feel like such a heel to complain about such a thing, but maybe I needed more time to really figure out what it is I want to write.

3. In that same vein, I love YA. Love it. If I had to make a choice between YA and adult, I know YA would win hands down. Is moving forward with an adult series going to ruin my chances with it? Could I even juggle both if given the opportunity?

4. Life really has sucked the past few months. But again, I've let those excuses ride for too long.

So yeah, I asked myself a really tough question tonight. Would it be better for me--both personally and professionally--to give up on FI and focus on my other projects? I have to be honest...yeah, in some ways it would be.

Jenna took issue with this -- Thank God.

One of her comments really hit home -- could I really leave my characters: Drew, Gabe, and especially Maddy, hanging like that? Beneath it all, the underlying question: Can I live without them?

Answer: NO. HELL no.

So,'s a matter of going big or going home at this point. I have to finish. If nothing comes of it--if it never hits the shelves--at least I'll know I gave it my best shot. Even if it took me a LONG time to finish.

I vowed to start small and just keep working... if it takes me six weeks or six months or six has to end at some point, right? (g)

I pulled up one of the scenes that needed work and made a wonderful discovery. I've had all of these ideas on how I would revise it and lo and behold, the changes were already there!! Does that tell you a lot about how checked out I've been over the past few months, or what? Gah, case in point. It even had a wonderful laugh out loud moment in there. (g) I so don't remember making these changes, but that's okay.

Other good news: I finally located that handwritten scene that I lost a while back. That too has a great line that made me giggle non-stop. AND I discovered a new scene I had forgotten all about. Good grief. Put all of this stuff together and I pretty much have the 2nd quarter finished. I just need to stitch it all together. Guess what that means? A few more scenes in the 3rd quarter and I'm done. (Granted, it still needs some major revisions throughout the entire thing, but I'm not nearly as far away as I thought at the beginning of the night.) Okay, this sounds all sunshine and happiness, but honestly, I just needed a little boost to the ole' self-confidence.

I can do this. I CAN do this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still Pinging Over Here

Pounded out a quick 400 word start to a scene...and man, I really love it. STOLEN is seriously coming to me quickly. Scary quick. But I love it.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer

Thanks to Nina for the link!!

I'm ridiculously excited to see this. In fact, I may knock over a few teenagers in order to get my ticket first. (g)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Some Reviews

It feels like forever since I lasted reviewed any books -- heck, it's been a long time since I've taken any time to read at all. I've been listening to a lot of audio books, but I've read all of them before, so nothing new there. I will say that Jim Dale does _an excellent job_ with the Harry Potter books. They're so much fun and I always walk away with a huge smile. I highly recommend them! Other than that, I've been listening to the Outlander books (a HUGE endeavor), the Janet Evanovich books, and I have the Twilight books in the queue. So yeah, I guess I'm getting my fix. That said, I have squeezed in a couple of books here and there.

GIRL AT SEA by Maureen Johnson
Young Adult

This book...well, to put it bluntly: I LOVED IT. It's an adventure story, having to do with the search for a bit of lost treasure. Clio, who is somewhat estranged from her father, is forced to spend her summer on a sailing expedition with him and his motley crew of assistants. It's got it all: Action, adventure, romance, and a totally witty voice that had me cracking up. I don't know how Johnson does it, but she really captures what it's like to be a teenager. Two big thumbs up on this one. It's light, fun, and really just a lovely read.

Buy or Rent? Buy.

LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott
Young Adult

This book is powerful. Did I love it? Well, I liked it, was moved by it, but I wasn't IN love with it. It's the story of "Alice" who was kidnapped by Ray when she was ten. Guess I don't need to spell out what he does to her--the book does a good job of that for me. I bought this book because of my ideas concerning STOLEN. Figured I would see what's out there, and really just wanted to get a feel for what was being done/could be done within an abuse story.

I think this book had so much potential, but there was something that just didn't click for me. I've thought long and hard about it and I've finally decided it's because the entire book lacked one essential thing I wanted...Hope. I don't need a HEA, but I wanted at least one moment of hopt, to believe that things might be okay, and frankly, it wasn't there. Granted, it's a tough subject matter, and perhaps it's a naive outlook. But yeah, that's what bothered me about it overall.

That said, it's very powerful, disturbing, and definitely something well worth reading.

Buy or Rent? At the very least, you should rent it.

A CHILD CALLED IT by Dave Pelzer

Further research, here. This book has been around for quite some time, but I honestly had never heard of it. I was talking to a friend at work about LIVING DEAD GIRL and my ideas regarding STOLEN, and she recommended it.

It's truly horrifying, the things done to this young boy. I almost became numb to it, and it honestly scares me to think there are people out there who would do these things to his/her child. Egads, it's sick. And it's definitely not a light read that will leave you with a satisfied feeling afterward. But, I honestly think it's an important book to read. It's a good reminder to us all -- we need to trust our instincts. If we think a child is being abused, we all have a responsibility to speak out. If not, something like this can/will happen.

Buy or Rent? Buy.

I also read this random "my house was haunted" book that I wasn't all that happy with. It was poorly written, and so fantastic that I can't believe I paid good money for it. LOL. I've also started and stopped reading two different YA authors. One was new to me...and well, there was just something about the cadence of her writing that kept putting me off. Plus, the story just wasn't gripping me. I tried for about three weeks, but well, if I can't get into a book after the first 30-50 pages, I know I should just give up. The second was the second book by an author I tried out a while ago. I didn't particularly love her first book, but well, she's gotten HUGE reviews/sales for her books and I thought maybe it was just me. Well, apparently it is. LOL. I can't get into it, and I'm really glad I rented this second one. Seriously, I need a guidebook to understand her world building. This one I'm leaving to the heavens... Cuz. I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Guess I'm gonna have to live with that.

I've got some exciting picks in my TBR pile, but well, time is limited right now. The next set of reviews might be a while. (g) Happy reading to all of you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ping! ping! PING! Ping!

My synapses are firing like crazy right now--and those pings are all about the new wip. On the way to work, I had so many ideas pop up, it was ridiculous. I took copious notes when I arrived, and I'm super charged to make these new scenes come to life. But first...first...FI.

Okay, I may sneak a scene in here and there. (g)

I've even come up with a general concept for the book...dare I say, an organizational concept. (g) Yikes. I have this strange feeling that I could finish this book very very quickly. That's how well-formed it is in my head right now.


Love it.

For those of you who have asked what the book's focus is, etc... I have to hold this one close to the vest for now. Not trying to be a tease, but I'm just really...excited and nervous. I'll share as soon as I can. Promise!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday Check-In

So, I just realized I didn't check in last week. I can't say I did it consciously...just forgot, is all. (g) Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, things have been super busy. I've been pushing through some tough spots in's going slow and steady. But a few blank scenes (blank in as I know what needs to happen, but I have no clear idea of how to get the dang scene on the page) are becoming clear. It's progress, that's good.

I've had an idea knocking around in my head for a while. It's a bit...different from my usual stuff. Much darker. And well, I have to admit I'm excited about it for many different reasons. (1) It's a challenge. A huge one. To tell a story that is very dark and very important. I feel a lot of responsibility to Get It Right. (2) It's a subject that has been covered many times over, but (I think) not quite in the way I plan to tell it. (3) It's a nice little outlet to stretch my writing muscles--without the pressure of knowing I have to send it in to DA when I finish. I'm free to write when/if I want...and there's no "turn in" when I finish. I just write. For. Me. It's lovely. (4) Being as it's a rather scary subject matter, I feel like I'll grow in different ways -- and in the end, it will be easier for me to take other stories _there_. Maybe not as far as this, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, with those thoughts in mind, I pounded out nearly 2K earlier...and very quickly. I honestly didn't know whether I could do that anymore. Guess I can, but not with FI. LOL. Gah, that just sucks. Ah well, I'm still making progress, and I feel better having written something significant in one sitting. I'm going to post it...just for the hey of it (I'm calling it STOLEN for now). I have only a quasi-feel for what this book will be in the end...some ideas, but nothing concrete. I think you'll know the gist of it all when you read it. Not that I think this book will be quite what people expect. My plan is to keep y'all guessing. I'm also posting this new wip because the current scenes in FI are total spoilers and well, I don't want to ruin the entire book! :)

Hope all is well with everyone...I also have some book reviews to post. Perhaps tonight.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What Would You Do?

I've been a little behind on current events. Happens when you work unbelievably long hours. (g)

Anyway, I nearly missed the whole MIDNIGHT SUN controversy. I'd heard about all the backlash regarding BREAKING DAWN, and I guess I figured it was all tied together somehow. Not so, apparently.

If you're not familiar, the gist is that 12 chapters of MIDNIGHT SUN, a retelling of TWILIGHT (by Stephenie Meyers) from Edward's POV was leaked onto the internet. And as with anything highly sought after, it spread like wildfire. Meyers hasn't revealed much about the leak, only saying it was given to trusted individuals and that she doesn't believe the original leak was done with any malicious intent. For the whole story (in her own words), go HERE, the August 28, 2008 entry.

Now here comes the truly sad part. Because of this leak, Meyers has postponed finishing the book -- indefinitely.

A lot of people are obviously bothered by this decision, but I must say that I can empathize with her. Imagine if you were writing a book, and had given it to trusted individuals. Now whether it was intentional or not, that book was released onto the internet. Gah, I don't think I would be too off base by saying that most of us would be fairly ticked off. And honestly, I would have a hard time trusting anyone from there on out. Would I be unable to finish the book? See, I don't know. I guess I couldn't really say unless I were in that situation, but think about it... those twelve chapters tally up to almost 300 pages of her book. Egads. Tell me that wouldn't upset you.

I think most of us would be devastated.

Meyers makes an interesting point in her post. For a writer, mood is everything. If you're not "in the right frame of mind," the book will suffer. This sort of contradicts the whole idea that writing is a job and that you should always push through, but I think it's somewhat true. If you're trying to finish a book that you know people have already read nearly half of...well, wouldn't it be hard for you to carry on? And how in the world would you trust anyone with your much loved manuscript again?

Anyway, she decided to post the in to a losing battle, I suppose. And well, who knows if she'll ever finish the book. Kinda sad when you think about it. Very unfortunate all around, but I can't say I really blame her...though I'm very disappointed.

Any thoughts?

Scene Chart...erm, List...uh, THINGUM? Check!

FI Stats:

Word Count: Hovering right around 80K, give or take a couple of thousand words.

Scenes: 56

Characters On The Chopping Block: 1 (I'm combining two, actually.)

Scenes On The Chopping Block: Hmm, hard to say, but several small ones will be combined with others or deleted altogether.

Total word count loss? Hmm, around 3-4K when all is said and done.

Scenes Left To Write: Hard to say exactly. I'd estimate around 10.

Scenes Left To Revise: Pretty much every one of them needs to be tweaked in some way. Especially since I eliminated one of the characters. Muhahaha. Man, I've got a God complex now.

My Next Move: Start from the beginning, eliminating/combining scenes, and move forward. Keep at least one active scene going at all times.

Estimated Time of Delivery (to Betas): I have no idea. A long time.

I need all of you to send virtual chocolate. :)

Miss Crabby Pants

A'yup. That pretty much sums up my mood today. I've been going through scenes in FI and nothing is reading well. Nothing. I decided I needed a nap and a shower, and next I will go outside and spend some time with the pups. When I'm done there, I'm coming back inside with what I hope will be a much improved attitude.


Because today is the day I'm pulling the book together to know what holes I need to fill. I don't know if I'll produce a "scene chart" but I definitely need a list of some sort--just to make sure everything is being tied up, or any new threads I've ended had an actual...yanno, beginning. (g) Ah, chunk writing.

I've got a lot of scenes that are 75-90% finished. Sigh. Must tackle those first.

Okay, outside I go.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm having a _ridiculous_ fangirl moment. I'm talking RIDICULOUS!!


Because Hank Green, brother of YA author John Green, finally friended me on Facebook.

SQUEEEEEEEE! I really am excited. (g)

If you haven't watched the Brotherhood 2.0 vlogposts, you NEED to. Speaking of which, I haven't finished them myself. I think I have 7 or 8 months left, in fact.

Can't remember if I posted a Hank video or not, but here's one of my favorites, in which he pays homage to the one and only member of his "guilt-free three" list.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today makes me extremely sad. It's like everything from that morning comes roaring back. I refuse to turn on the TV. I'm sorry, but I can't go through the hours of video again. Not this year. For once I'm glad to be working a loooonnng day.

Anyway -- let's all take a moment to remember all those we lost.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I've changed the ending of FI...Again. Well, I guess it's still the same, only I've taken the scene a little further to better resolve this book, and of course, lead into the second. As it stood, I wasn't getting a real "to be continued" feel from it. Oh, all of the major items were resolved and all that, but this new ending gives a glimpse at book 2, which *fingers crossed* I hope will compel people to rush out to buy it. Ya gotta have a dream, people. (g)

Still working on that fabulous scene I started yesterday... Well, it's fabulous in my mind, anyway, even if it hasn't been fully realized yet. That ball of nervous energy is still in my yeah, I have to take that to mean I'm on the right track.

Dogs are home, exhausted. (Yay) Time to write.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some Random Thoughts On A Tuesday Evening


I've made a decision about my "habits" as a writer. Over and over I've heard people say that they never share anything about their current wip because it makes them lose energy/enthusiasm/that certain mojo they have for it. Eventually, if they share too much, their writing comes to a standstill. Hence the reason they've learned to keep things on the downlow--plucking away at the keyboard in some obscure corner of the world, never really seeking or needing any kind of feedback until they're able to plop a full manuscript into another person's lap.

Hmmm, that sounds totally reasonable to me. Honest. In fact, that's what I've been trying to do. Ask anyone in my writing circle. Hardly any of them has read anything beyond that first 100 that I had to send into D.A. If they've read a full scene after that, I'd be shocked. Oh sure, I've posted small snips, but no one has seen a clear picture of where this new revision is going. Heck, I don't know all of the answers, so I'm absolutely positive no one else does.

And well, to be honest... I had to ask myself, Dr. Phil-style: "How's that working for you, Jen?"

To be blunt. It isn't.

Why? I don't know.

All I do know is that I get a certain level of energy from feedback. Writing, as we all know, is such a solitary venture at times, and I've begun to feel like a lost ship trying to make its way through a storm. Am I going in the right direction? Will one misstep on my part cause the whole thing to shatter on the rocks? Will anyone even care if I never succeed in reaching my final destination??

To sum it up. I need to know if what I'm writing is good -- and if people will want to read the blasted thing once I've put Madison through the damn wringer a bazillion times. And then back again. Seriously. I used to trust my instincts, but heck, who am I kidding? I've been humbled by these revisions. Where once I would've flown by the seat of my pants, I'm now second-guessing myself and fixating on every single line. Gah, it's frustrating. (g)

Anyway, to sum it up... Last night I had a late night chat with a friend (Jenna) and her enthusiasm over my ideas...some realized, some still works-in-progress..rejuevenated me. I'm still writing like a snail on valium, but tonight I got this nervous ball of excitement in the pit of my stomach when one of my scenes started to come together in my head. It was such a fantastic feeling, and one I haven't had in a long time. I was "there" -- in the scene, back where I used to take myself when I was writing. A place I haven't visited in a LONG, LONG time. And boy, is this scene a doozy. Maddy and I are both tied up in knots over it. It's pretty awesome. (g)

So yeah...all that to say, I need to share more often. To bounce ideas off of others every now and then. It's good for my soul. Therefore, hopefully ya'll will be seeing a little more of me on IM. I know I've been scarce.


I'm so not one of those writers who figures out what they're MC's favorite colors are...what subject they really hated in high school...who they had their first crush on. I'm sorry... that works for some, but I've never been one to hammer out all of those minute details before beginning a project. When I need those tidbits or anecdotes, they spring up... like Magic. (g)

Anyway, I've been listening to Pandora a lot...and Colbie Caillat is a new favorite of mine. I MUST get her CD. Anyway, I heard a song today, and it pretty much epitomizes Maddy's feelings for Gabe. It's kinda sweet. If you care to listen, have at it. SAP Alert (g):


1. DOLE lime fruit bars. Yummmmmmm.

2. Pandora. My new fave station is KT Tunstall. It pretty much rocks. My new must-haves are anything by Colbie Caillat and Jack Johnson. Add 'em. You'll love them, promise.

3. A house all to myself. I'm getting a lot of writing time in, even with the dogs yapping at me every hour, on the hour. Tomorrow they go to doggie daycare. They should be so tired they'll sleep all tomorrow evening, leaving me time to write to my heart's content.

4. Growing as a writer. Can't you just jump for joy when you feel a scene begin to come together? To know you're stretching yourself and taking things to a bigger and better level? Even though I've been freaking out about tying up all the loose ends in FI, I took a moment to contemplate advice I've been given in the past. One tidbit that stood out for me today was Barbara Rogan's tip on tracing each subplot through the book, to make sure every one of them ties up. I sat down and made a list of my subplots...and brainstormed ways to combine things (this book is getting way out of control, word count-wise)...and voila, this latest scene started to form. It's actually part of a larger scene I've already written, but it's going to enhance it SO much. It'll take some reworking as a whole, but I'm so up for it. (g) Can you tell I'm excited? :)

5. The first signs of fall. Today it reached the high 60's with a light breeze that added just the slightest chill to the air. Mmmmmm. I love this time of year. Time to break out my fall jackets and sweaters. Soon Halloween will be here...yay.

Okay, time to hit the hay. Have a good night!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rowling Wins Lawsuit Against Lexicon!

Read about it: HERE.

Thanks to the Smart Bitches for the linkage. I admit this case caused a lot of hooplah on the writer's forum I belong to. I always came down on Rowling's side...while others were pretty adamant that this whole lawsuit was a sign of Rowling's "paranoia" and "self-aggrandizing ego." Shrug. I predicted this outcome from the beginning, as did a couple of fellow law students. Hey, I actually took a copyright class during those three years of hell. (g)

Anyway, any thoughts on this? Do you agree with the decision?

As a writer -- and as a former law student -- I agree. Good on you, Rowlings.

Sunday (Er, MONDAY) Check-IN

Bad week all around. I was super busy and super tired. My family left for vacation, leaving the dogs for me to entertain. They are quite demanding. After taking them to the dog run yesterday, and giving them BOTH baths, I was exhausted and more than a little sick.

I have a tendency to _really_ enjoy cooler weather. So much so that I often make myself sick by not wearing proper clothing. So, I took today off. Slept in late, and now I'm feeling a bit more human. I'm working on a new scene in FI.. it's going, though slowly.

Writing progress last week wasn't the greatest, though I did some brainstorming for some "blank" spots in the book. So, I'm back to making steady progress again. It's coming together, I swear, but the more I write, the more I want to change things. Ugh. LOL. Oh well.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I've just worshiped at church. My first time in what seems like forever. What...hmmm...when WAS the last time I went? I've been a very bad girl.

Tonight's take:

DELICIOUS by Sherry Thomas (I haven't even read her first book yet.)

SKINNY DIP by Carl Hiassen

AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green (A bargain at $3.99!)


THE SECRET CIRCLE V. I (The Initiation and The Captive) by L.J. Smith

I don't feel fully at peace... maybe I'll make another trip this weekend.

Have I mentioned how wonderful it feels to have a Friday evening off?? It's been a LONG time since I've had one. Ahhhhh, bliss.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Random, But True

Apparently, I'm number 2 on google for "Thirty Reasons Why by Jay Asher."

LOL. I wouldn't mention it, but I've had a crapload of hits for this the past week or so. How can so many people have the title wrong??

Random, indeed.

(P.S. It's THIRTEEN Reasons Why... THIRTEEN... (1-3))

The Funniest Thing I've Heard All Week

My friend Jennifer on reading Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT:

"That woman has never met an adjective she didn't like!"

(BTW, she got to the last 20 pages and refused to finish it. In fact, she went and sold it to a used bookstore!! LOL)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Check-in

Admittedly, I didn't do _great_ this week. But the important thing is that I tried to get words every day and, for the most part, succeeded on getting _something._ Granted, it wasn't nearly as much as I wanted.

I ended up working (egads) 65+ hours this week, and had to spend the good majority of yesterday getting ready for my aunt and uncle's anniversary party, which took up the majority of today. It's been a rough patch of having no time to do _anything_.

The good news in all of this? I still managed a couple of thousand words, and I'm rolling on a scene right now. So, yanno, it's not all bad. I'm not sure the work schedule will be slowing down anytime soon, but I am trying to limit my hours while my aunt and uncle are on vacation next week. I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished (I'm not going to say the SFD words, but that's what I'm hoping to nail down). Hopefully, the dogs will let me write. LOL.

Oh, and I have tomorrow off! I haven't decided what I'm going to focus on, but I plan to spend the majority of that time writing/revising. If I have to go somewhere to get away from the family and pups, so be it. I deserve tomorrow after this past week. :)