Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My New Musical Crush

Holy bejeeps! I wish I had a voice like that. :)

Check her out... PLUMB. She's awesome.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Not Ready For Christmas!

Where did the time go? Seriously, where did it go? It seems like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving and now I'm staring down Christmas in just a few short days. I am SO not ready for it this year. In the worst kind of way.

1. I have a ton of shopping to do. I went out the other day for like three hours and only managed to get one gift for my family exchange here in town. ACK. I have to buy for my entire immediate family, not to mention not one, but TWO dirty Santa gifts for my extended family gift exchange. (I buy for my grandpa, too.) Jen+shopping do not a happy girl make.

2. I have a ton of cooking to do. THANK GOD I'm not responsible for anything major. But I do have to make my grandpa a double batch of what we call matza balls -- those yummy rice crispies/peanut butter/chocolate balls that are SO DANG good. They take FOREVER, but there's no getting out of the them. He's expecting them. (g) I also have to make an appetizer and dessert for my family party... and luckily, I've got the company party dish in the oven as I'm typing this.

3. I haven't watched enough Christmas movies... Nor have I listened to enough Christmas music!! BAH!! I feel like I'm skimping on both this year and it makes me very much unhappy.

4. Christmas means a new year is coming. YIKES. I look back at 2010 and realize I haven't accomplished anything I set out to do. LOL. NOT GOOD...but perhaps a new year isn't such a bad thing... hmmm.

Anyway -- I must squeeze in a few more movies. I've been on the hunt for It's a Wonderful Life and everywhere I go is sold out. Really want to add that one to my collection this year, but it doesn't seem it's going to happen.

Ohh...and the Kindle arrives tomorrow. Not that I'm opening it. Nope.. not gonna. :D

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jen Comes Into This Century

Hey All!


Well, I know I've been quiet. Busybusybusy. Nano turned out to be a really great experience, but I didn't even come close to that 50K. Oh well. I did my best and still produced about 16000 words for WALKING IN SHADOW. It gave me some great direction on just where I think the book will go, and for that I'm very pleased. It was great getting back in the trenches and digging for those words. They hurt, yes, but there's nothing like coming out the other end with some actual pages to show for all that frustration. Some of them are even good. :)

A couple of very big things on my horizon:

1. I've officially started to move all of my FAKING IT files into Scrivener. Yes, that means it is officially back on the front burner. YAY. It's proving a little difficult because my filing system is a complete mess, but along the way I'm looking at bits here and there, thinking about things I might like to change, etc. I feel like this is a really good thing--using Scrivener. It isn't so much that I want to use it for its plotting capabilities, etc... it's that it will help keep me organized. (I hope) Having all of my scenes, etc in one centralized place where I won't get various versions confused (again, I hope) will be one huge step in the right direction.

2. My sister has sent me a Kindle for Christmas. It's winging its way toward me as we speak; should be here on Tuesday. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about the idea at first, but then I thought...OMG, I'll be able to download like a bazillion free classics that I want to reread or have never read, and dude...they're FREE. lol. I actually went on Amazon today, picking through the titles to see what I might want to peruse first. Dude. DUDE. There's a book called THE BOOK OF WERE-WOLVES. (Has anyone read it??) It's supposed to have some really interesting stories about various werewolf myths and what not. I am SO getting it. I can't believe I didn't know about it before, actually. But yeah, I want, I want, I want!!

Another great thing is that I'll be able to do beta reads, or readthroughs of my own MS's with it. OMG. I can't wait. My sister said I couldn't open it until Christmas day. Cough. Yeah, I won't. *big wink*

This year has been a HUGE year for me on the techy front. Last May I got a Droid, which introduced me to the exciting world of texting. I used to say I would NEVER be a texter... uh yeah, I was wrong. Granted, I still think it's _extremely_ in the _UMPTEENTH_ degree kind of rude, to be whip out your phone and text while in the middle of a conversation with someone (or dinner, or in a movie theatre), so I try to never do that. SO RUDE, YO. Also, what's up with the texting while driving?? Dangerous, people! At least wait for a light. LOLOL.

So yeah, I'm all kinds of tech.

I'm really hoping to keep up with this blog a lot better than I have. I know I keep saying that and disappearing for months at a time, but I DO have the best of intentions. :) I miss all of my long lost peeps!! If you see this, drop in and let me know how you're doing, okay?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nano -- Week 1 Wrap-Up

Well, I've officially survived my first week of Nano. And, thanks to a little thing called a Nano Write-In today, I managed to keep on track with the ole' word count. I can't remember the exact number of what you should have today -- 11K and some change -- but I'm sitting pretty at just below 12K. WHOOT!

I can't tell you how mega-excited I am to be writing again -- to feel the keys beneath my fingers -- to see the pages ratcheting up.. SIGH. It makes me very happy. :) And it gives me hope that I CAN do this. I feel revived -- yet exhausted. LOL!

I've heard tale that week 2 is the real toughie. I don't doubt it. I'm already exhausted -- but hopefully I'll be able to gut this one out. I will say that I plan to attend as many write-ins as I possibly can. Especially because I need to stack up some words before my family arrives. Yes, they're incoming again and I'm mega-stressed. Not sure I'll get ANY time to myself, let alone time to write, while they're here so I really need to be on the ball and push ahead of the game. We'll see how it goes. A handful of write-ins like today's and I'll be set, I tell ya! (Oh, I produced 4800 words -- and this with no clear idea of what I would write even 10 minutes before the event began. lol. about flying by the seat of your pants.)

At any rate, a good week! :)

How are my Nano peeps doing so far?? Care to share a snip?? :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 4 -- CHECK!

I'm on my way to bed in a few minutes, but thought I'd drop in to say I've survived my fourth day of Nano. Even met my goal -- for FOUR nights in a row. That puts me over the 7K mark. WHOOT!

I very nearly called tonight a no-go. Didn't start writing until after 11 -- but I said, gut it out, Jen. Don't get behind. And so, I did.

The scene is fairly pivotal, and pretty much sets up the ending of the book--whatever that will be. LOL. This without a real beginning or middle of the book written. Go figure. Welcome to the world of a chunk writer. LOL. I LOVE IT, though. For me, knowing the end helps me to figure out a way to get there. I know, weird...assbackwards, but in my opinion, you do what you have to do to get the job done. For me, this works.

That said, I'm excited to see what happens next!! Whoo!!! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So tonight was tough. I came home, utterly exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night, was late getting to work, had a fairly stressful day. Bah. It was no good, I tell ya. (Well, a few highlights...*big wink*...but nothing I can talk about here.)

At any rate--the thought of churning out 1700 words tonight was not a good one. I also made the mistake of staying at my aunt's house to watch the women's volleyball game (go Huskers!), which set me even further behind schedule. In short, I wound up falling asleep at 9...and waking up around 11 to write. Uh...does anyone else see the stupidity of this plan??

Well, I very nearly said forget it. That I'd try to make up the words this weekend. But then the guilt set in. The ladies at ATWOP are doing such an amazing fact, they're kicking some major BOOTAY, and I didn't want to be the one to drag the group down with lame excuses. I would hate saying I didn't get anything written, if you must know. So, I told myself to write 500 words. It's something at least, and helps move the word counter up, even if it's only a little bit.

I set to work -- head and body and soul, bone-tired.

I got a few hundred words in fairly quickly... hmmm, maybe I could do the full 1700... So I kept going...and lo and behold, I ended up with 1822 words in a little over an hour! This when I didn't think I would be able to get the 500. BOOYAH, I say! Sometimes you just have to show up to work and count on yourself to get the job done.

YAY. Happy Dance.

Now I'm going to bed, yo. Night.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Well, I will give my friend, Jenna, a lot of credit for calling this one. I was sharing with her the fact that I had NO idea...absolutely NO idea what this book was going to be about. I mean, I knew general/big picture stuff...but had no clue what kind of story arc would take place to get the job done.

She told me -- as did others -- JUST WRITE. It will come to you eventually.

I think it's a truth universal that every panster freaks out a bit when beginning a new book. I've completed two novels, parts of several others, and each and every time I begin, I feel like there's NO WAY in hell I'm going to be able to do it again. It probably seems pretty crazy to outliners/planners when they hear about someone like me who says... eh, I think I'll write a book. (What's it about?) clue. I know there are werewolves... and well, yeah.. that's about it. (What happens?) Eh.. I think there will be a scene where this happens... but I'm not really sure what leads into it... or what will happen after it. No clue if it's in the middle, beginning, or end... Yeah, but I THINK it's going to play a part.

Yeah, people don't usually understand that way of thinking.

At any rate, I dug in last night with the one scene I KNEW for sure I wanted in the book. It really has no major impact on the plot -- just a cool scene idea I've had knocking around in my brain for a long time. Of course it plays into the book...but I'm not sure when it will take place, how it will impact the story as a whole... yeah, I just wrote it.

It's definitely not great... I'm sure it will change drastically at the "meld" point. (When I take all of my random scenes and try to figure out how they go together to form a story). But it was a start and it led to a couple of little brain firings. All in all, I got 1702 words... not a stellar night, certainly not on par with the ladies over at ATWOP, but a nice start.

NO CLUE what I would write next, and I finished slightly freaked out about the thought of having to produce another 1700 words today.

Well, the good news is that Jenna was right. By golly, as I was walking into work today, I had a mini-epiphany. Nothing major, mind...but definitely a beginning to a story arc... a reason for my MC to move forward in search of the answer to a particular question. It gives her purpose... and well, something for me to write! LOL. PHEW. I'm off to do that now... wish me luck.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let The Fun Begin!

Well, I've officially taken the NaNoWriMo plunge. And I do mean PLUNGE.

I'm thinking about my schedule this month and have told myself MORE than once that I must be out of my mind to even attempt this. Attempting it I am, however. I may need to recuperate in the hospital afterwards, but oh well... I'll worry about that in December! :)

That said... I've decided to give myself a "break" and work on something for fun. I will be working on the sequel to BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT -- working title, WALKING IN SHADOW. And folks, I can't tell you how excited I am to begin. That said, I have NO CLUE what this book is about. Oh, I have some vague ideas...but that's just what they are. Vague. I've had a couple of scenes knocking around in my head...some ideas of how it MIGHT go...but yeah, I'm starting pretty much in the dark here. Sort of like the first time I started writing FAKING IT... NO CLUE. None whatsoever. And well, that turned out maybe I'll be okay.

Do you hear the fear in my voice?? You should. I'm scared to death and feel like I'll never be able to accomplish this. Hmmm...rings a few bells for me. Fear, I know. Fear I am familiar with on all kinds o'levels. :)

That said...I'm getting a late's 815PM and I have VOWED to get my 1700 words in tonight. Not sure what I'm going to write....where to begin... bah, this is really flying by the seat of your pants at it's very finest. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

I've been offline all week -- so if I haven't buddied you yet, please buddy me... and if you have, please be patient with me. I haven't forgotten! My system is running really slow. :) I'm buddy-ing as I type.

Good luck to all my Nano peeps!! Let the games begin.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Coming to churches near you on August 24th!!

Notecards...Post-It's...Flowcharts...OH MY!

Well, I haven't been successful at the blogging every day thing, but I will give myself props for blogging three times in the past week. That's like...a record for me these days. (g) Especially given that I haven't blogged since MAY. :)

The title of this post says it all. I am in...outlining...flowchart...don't know what you call it exactly...hell. I realized very quickly this week that the problems I've often complained about in the middle of FI were NEVER fixed, and that essentially I had to address them now or I'd be forever rowing in circles with this book. It's so funny! I can't tell you the number of times I've looked at this section, the number of times I thought I had it JUST RIGHT...and yeah, it was NEVER right. I simply kept skating over the issue. In essence, hoping the dang book would fix itself as I went through pass after pass.

Uh yeah...not quite.

So instead of the writing I was hoping to get in, I've had to put the brakes on and head back to the basics.

But but but...I think I've finally had a breakthrough! Sadly, it means cutting a couple of scenes I absolutely love. :( The good news is that with the changes I'm making -- some basic reordering of scenes -- the tension level should get a nice little boost.

I'm trying to see the positives.

1. Essentially the first 1/3rd of the book is set in stone and won't see any of the ripples these changes will send out.

2. I have four scenes on the chopping block right now--and they may not all remain there. If I can salvage them, you bet your bottom I will.

3. Character motivations are much clearer with scenes laid out in this new order. It may cause them to be a bit less sympathetic, but they're definitely true to who they are and what forces drive them to act. And yeah, maybe readers will finish this book a little ambivalent about who they're cheering for, but alas, don't you love a comeback story? Yeah, me too. :)

4. I'm THAT much closer to getting to some actual writing, which I'm now itching to do in a major way.

So yes...progress, though not the kind I had intended to have by now.

That said -- tomorrow I'm going to go back through my proposed changes...write up a chart of just what I want to happen, and basically see if it all still makes sense in the light of day. Cross your fingers for me! Hopefully I'll keep working in my dreams and wake up ready to pound this puppy out. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Rough Re-Entry

Well, I wish I had a ton to report on the writing front.. but yeah, there isn't much to say. I kinda flubbed it. I think I just got freaked out by the prospect of jumping in again, and let my nerves get the better of me.

I did open up a new scene... toyed with it a for a few, but kept getting distracted. Then I said... better luck tomorrow. *rolls eyes* Sunday I was sick all day... Today I had some obligations I had to take care of (where do they come from, I ask you?).

That said, there is Still Time tonight. I'm vowing to work on it, no matter how much I would rather pick up a book and get lost in the "easy words" (snrk -- don't the really great ones make it look SO easy, tho??) of someone else's world. I'll tell you what.. UNDER THE DOME has been calling my name in a big way, and holy heck, I really shouldn't even think of beginning that monster during this WRITING vacation. Yet... it's voice is So. Loud. Bah!!!


Okay, I'm off to work. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Good Morning, All!

Yes, it is me. I know most of you are probably rubbing your eyes and gawking at the screen in disbelief... but yes, I am back. Hopefully for quite some time, and on a regular basis.

Life... well, yeah, it's been busy. I've barely had time to check email, let alone keep caught up with all of the things I would like to on the net. And writing? Well, it's been on the back burner in a major way.

That said, I have officially taken an entire _two weeks_ vacation and have but one plan for that time... WRITE WRITE WRITE.

As part of that goal, I will also be blogging -- EVERY DAY. I'm doing this for several reasons.
1. I really do want to reconnect with all of my wonderful 'net buddies.
2. It's a way to keep myself accountable. If I know I have to check in every day and report my progress, you can bet your patootie I will have SOMETHING to say for it. There's nothing worse than reporting ZERO progress--trust me, I know.
3. It's a way for y'all to give me a swift kick in the arse if you see I'm lazing around and not doing anything. And trust me, after nearly a year without a vacation (aside from my jaunt out to Colorado last weekend), I WANT...NEED...CRAVE... ack, I'm tired... Yes, I want rest. Major rest. I'm sure I'll get plenty of that in the next... count 'em...SIXTEEN DAYS... but that's a lot of time, and I can get plenty of work done, too. Right? Right. So don't be afraid to throw me a WTF or two if I keep coming back with nothing to show for my time off.
4. I've been quiet for far too long, dontcha think? I have things to say... gripes to lodge, thoughts to share. Blogging is one of my favorite things to do... why have I stayed away so long??
5. It's just FUN. :)

So yeah... even though it was my first day of vacation, I awoke VERY early -- 530 -- and started my day of prep. Yeah, unfortunately that comes with it, too. My fridge and cupboards are a disgrace--full of outdated food that had to be tossed, and just generally bare of all essential eatable items. My first plan of action was to get that in order, and soon I'll be heading out to the store to stock up again. I want to make life as easy and orderly as possible so I don't get the urge to slack off here.

My apartment, sadly... also needs attention, but I'm not going to go overboard just yet. LOL. I MUST WRITE, too. And that's on the agenda right after the grocery store. Quite honestly, I'm not really sure where to begin... it's all a bit overwhelming to think about, but screw it... I'm going to jump in feet first and see where I land. My best option will probably be to take a small scene and see what happens. I have a couple of big scenes that have been in the back of my mind for a very long time, so perhaps I'll just pick one up and see... just see.

Okay... Deep Breath!

Hope everyone is doing well -- I'm good, I'm alive, and I'm ready to bang out this flippin' book!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I've Turned...

...a year older since the last time I posted. How the heck did that happen??

Anyway -- just a quick wave. Things ARE slowing down for me...but just when they do, wouldn't you know it, I'm sick AGAIN. Blurgh. It's a miserable, disgusting kinda sick, too. I'm not fit for human consumption.

Too tired to do anything but wallow in my own moroseness.

Hopefully I'll be better soon because I really miss chattin' with y'all.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dipping A Pinkie Toe In...

Well, I'll admit my writing has been.....nonexistent. My schedule is hectic as all get out and what little time I have, I'm usually exhausted, a bit cranky, and in the mood to do nothing much other than laze around. Watch TV. Read a book. Sleep. :)

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and took one small step towards that goal tonight. I had a writing date with my friend Jenna. :) We promised each other that we would both hop online and write tonight. On IM so we could poke each other into action if need be.

I didn't want to write tonight. Oh no, Jen did not want to write. First of all, I ran around town doing a bunch of errands, taking so long doing them that I was late for our date! Then I wanted to giggle like a schoolgirl about some girly gossip things...then I wanted to give myself a pedicure and go to bed. Uh, but wait...I promised I would write. Well shit.

I made a load of excuses to myself, but Jenna--bless her--was there to remind me that we were going to write tonight. That said,I vowed I would get at least 200 words before calling it a night.

I still put it off...checking this blog...watching this video... giggling some more about our girly gossip stuff. Eventually I ran out of excuses and dang it...I had promised at least 200 words.

So, I started. And it hurt. It hurt bad, and I stretched muscles I haven't used in a very long time. But dang it...I did it. 217 words.

It ain't much. But it's a start.


We have a date tomorrow night, too. ;)

P.S. For the curious among you, I worked on FAKING IT tonight. 217 brand spankin' new words for one of the scenes I've avoided all this time. The words fall somewhere in the middle (of course) and honestly...even if I'm feeling a little rusty, there was a glimmer of that old feeling. Hmmm. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hey All!

My apologies and all that. I know I've been super quiet. The truth is that life has just about steam-rolled me for the past couple of months. I'm seeing a pinprick of a light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. someday I hope to take some vacation! lol. I know I will be this summer, and boy am I looking forward to it!), but alas things are busier than ever and it won't be letting up for a while.

I hope everyone is doing well..I wish I had something concrete to blog about today, but I really don't. My big plan for the night is sleep. (g) That said, I'm reading when I can...trying to write...and doing a whole lotta thinkin' about writing in general. And what my next step is. I can't say I have a concrete plan at this point, but I'm thinkin' on it...and I hope you'll send some seriously positive energy my way as I struggle through this rough patch. If only I had another 10 hours in every day, yanno? That said, I'm considering a little during which I'll plan to do nothing but write. And I mean nothing. :) It's just a matter of figuring out when...and how to spring it on the boss people. Oh, they'll just love this. (not.) But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. And trust me, I'm ready for something drastic. :)

What about you guys? Is anyone out there still listening? :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Am Alive.

Yes, yes I am. Tho very busy. More soon. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Thee To ATWOP!

Very exciting stuff going on over at All The World's Our Page today! Deanna Raybourn, author of the Lady Julia Grey novels, has graciously allowed us to interview her. Even better, she's taking follow up and random questions. EVEN better...we're giving away some of her books!


I was recently introduced to her books by Kristen Callihan and Rachel Walsh -- both fans for quite some time now. I DEVOURED the first in the Julia series -- SILENT IN THE GRAVE. It was soooooooooooooo good. You should definitely check out her books (SILENT IN THE GRAVE, SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY, and SILENT ON THE MOOR) -- both at our contest and your local churches. :) I know I will be.

AND be sure to check out her current release, THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST.

A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all.

With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh—and a disappointed suitor—far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.

She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians, replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle's master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.

Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora's imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute—Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.

Before her sojourn is ended—or her novel completed—Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal…and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire.

Ohhh...sounds good to me! LOL. Go forth and buy, people. Her interview was such a blast, and believe you me, I was taking notes. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Isn't It Kinda Sad...

When the only way you can force yourself to take a day off is by getting sick? Yup. SICK as a dog right now. Plus, I got the added bonus of completely losing my voice. LOL. Those of you who know me in person know I'm a TALKER... not being able to speak to people is a punishment of the worst kind. Couldn't even CALL anyone to tell them not to expect to see me today. Thank God for email!

Anyway -- I'm going to take full advantage. I'm about half-way through SILENT IN THE GRAVE and plan to finish that up... and did I mention that my awesome friend, Amanda (who I met at the Rocky Mtn Gold Conference and who LET me read her most awesome book!), sent me GRACELING by Kristin Cashore?? It's totally awesome, too. I'm a ways into it so hopefully I can finish both up today.

Ahhhhh reading. Such a balm to these ick sick germs.

Dishes? They can't wait. Laundry? There's still room to stack the pile a little higher. Work? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.

Happy reading.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Killer Opening Lines!

Picked up SILENT IN THE GRAVE by Deanna Raybourn tonight. The opening had me at hello:

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.

*envy pangs* *envy pangs* *envy pangs*

MAN, I wish I wrote that! LOL.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sorry For The... silence!

My internet has been on the blink and getting to a coffee house, etc has been a bit tough with my schedule this past week. Needless to say, the technician is coming tomorrow. I should be back on the air by mid-morning. YIPPEE!! :)

I really don't have all that much to blog about...been working a ton and really just trying to keep my chin above water. Been a tough time, mostly because I've been fighting tooth and nail with a cold that is trying to latch on. I'm not letting it, though. I have no time to be sick. lol *glares at all sick germs*

I do have a book review to do, so hopefully I'll get to that soon. Other than that, I'm trying to get myself into a serious writing routine. It's tough, not gonna lie. But I must, I must... :)

Hope y'all are doing well! Catch ya on the morrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers

Well, my reading journey has officially kicked off this year. I'm proud of myself for actually finding time in my crazy schedule. That said, I may be a little tight on time in the coming weeks. We'll see if I can add another book to my list...may have to wait.


Let's talk about this book.

Brief Summary: Regina is a MEAN girl. She's been a part of the Fearsome Fivesome for a very long time and being nice just isn't the way they do things. But then one day, Regina finds herself shut out from the group, accused of canoodling with Anna 'the leader's' boyfriend. Even worse, no one else at her school wants to be her friend because she's helped make their lives hell for the past few years. She begrudgingly attaches herself to Michael Hayden, a boy who doesn't fit anywhere,and one whose life Regina has helped ruin. Terrorized by her former friends, Regina begins to face who she has let herself become.

Yeah, the new year didn't make me any better at these summaries. LOL.

SOME GIRLS ARE is a disturbing, disturbing book. In a totally good way. At first I was almost overwhelmed by it. It's told in a very in your face approach -- first person, deep deep, DEEP POV. Almost stream of consciousness. I was so inside Regina's head, I felt like I was Regina.

The thing that was really disturbing about this book was that I saw myself in a lot of the characters. Let's face it. High school was rough. I think each of us has probably known the sting of being outside a group at one time or another.. and I think each of us has probably been the one on the inside, watching, almost triumphant over the fact that we're not the one scrabbling to get "in." Feeling sorry for the wannabe's but not really willing to reach out a hand lest we lose our small foothold with whatever group.

I have to admit I spent a good deal of high school and a few years beyond trying to impress people. Stupid the knots I tied myself into at times. It's almost as though I was too afraid to be the person I was--the good and the bad--lest someone I wanted to impress not be impressed. Or find out who I really was and hate me.

Ahhhh, high school. Aren't you glad it's all over?? I will admit I had a fairly good time, tho. Just wish I would've focused a little more on discovering who I was without all the rest of the bullshit that goes along with it.

But yeah, Summers' characters are very real. I've been that mean girl, I've been the meek girl...and everywhere in between. I think that's why this book resonated with me so much. It took me back to those times of insecurity and self-doubt.

And let me tell you...these girls are MEAN. Shockingly mean. But then, so is Regina. So in the end, I wasn't sure who to cheer for at times.

This book really made me think about how perceptions of events can easily become jumbled...distorted or lied about to suit whatever purpose different individuals need filled. What may be innocent to one, may be outright treachery and reason for a complete shut out to another. And it also reminded me of how much I love writing about teenagers. The minute by minute play action that is a friendship and how sides can change SO easily.

It's a good book. Y'all should read it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let It Snow...


I'm tired of shoveling grass. (g)

Seriously, tho...most lifetime residents are saying they haven't seen this much snow since they were kids. This winter is a DOOZY.

The forecast? No new snow that I know of (YET)...but BITTER cold. Y'all it is two degrees at the moment according to Yahoo. The windchill factor is supposed to feel like -25...possibly -50. Tell me how much I don't want to go outside right now. Tell me how much my car does NOT want to start in that. LOL.

Gah, I wanna go back to bed. I wanna hide under the blankets until spring.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let's Hear It For YA!

I had a bit of a rant about young adult books today over at ATWOP. Here.

And in honor of this rant, I did an impromptu worship session at church..

I got this (Do you remember the debacle with CRACKED UP TO BE?! This time they had Courtney's book In Stock. I love those two little words.)

..and this...

..and this...

..and THIS.

And in the name of getting the whole world to read YA, I'm busy scheming... My YA world domination plan is hush hush right now, but an announcement will be coming soon. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year Of Books!

I'm a bit ashamed of my list of books read in 2009. It's VERY short. That said, my list of audio books listened to is MUCH longer. Even though I didn't have a lot of time to read, I at least fed the literary part of my brain on a regular basis. While I didn't love every book on this list, I took something away from all of them.

I had this crazy idea of doing mini book reviews of each of these books..but yeah, too timely. Instead, I'll put *'s by each...1 to 3, 3 being a book that I REALLY loved.

Books read:

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle***
VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead**
CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers**
FROSTBITE by Richelle Mead***
A STUDY IN SCARLETT by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle**
AN ICE COLD GRAVE by Charlaine Harris*
FINGER LICKIN' FIFTEEN by Janet Evanovich**
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins**
THE DEMON'S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan*
SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead***
PAPER TOWNS by John Green**
BLISS by Lauren Myracle*
THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold**
CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins***+++
CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare**

Audio books listened to:

THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova*
DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon**
1ST TO DIE by James Patterson*
THE RUNAWAY JURY by John Grisham*
REBEL ANGELS by Libba Bray***
THE SWEET FAR THING by Libba Bray***
SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King***
DEAD UNTIL DAWN by Charlaine Harris***
ALONG CAME A SPIDER by James Patterson*
DRACULA by Bram Stoker***
GRAVE SIGHT by Charlaine Harris**
LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS by Charlaine Harris***
PHANTOMS by Dean Koontz**
GRAVE SURPRISE by Charlaine Harris**
DEAD TO THE WORLD by Charlaine Harris***
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell***
KISS THE GIRLS by James Patterson*
DEAD AS A DOORNAIL by Charlaine Harris***
ERAGON by Christopher Paolini*
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Gaston Leroux***
TRICKSTER'S CHOICE by Tamora Pierce***
JACK AND JILL by James Patterson*
A LETTER OF MARY by Laurie R. King**
ALL TOGETHER DEAD by Charlaine Harris***
THE TWO TOWERS by J.R.R. Tolkien*
UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld***
PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld***
SPECIALS by Scott Westerfeld***
THE WASTE LANDS by Stephen King***
BOOK THE FIRST: THE BAD BEGINNING by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)**
STRANGERS by Dean Koontz*
EXTRAS by Scott Westerfeld**
THE MOOR by Laurie R. King***
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson**
A TIME TO KILL by John Grisham*
WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD by Joan Lowery Nixon*
ENTER THREE WITCHES by Caroline B. Cooney**
FROM DEAD TO WORSE by Charlaine Harris***
CAT AND MOUSE by James Patterson*
DEAD AND GONE by Charlaine Harris***
TRICKSTER'S QUEEN by Tamora Pierce**
WIZARD AND GLASS by Stephen King***
THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks*
O JERUSALEM by Laurie R. King***
ODD THOMAS by Dean Koontz**
BOOK THE SECOND: THE REPTILE ROOM by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)**
SHOOTER by Walter Dean Myers**
THE LANGOLIERS by Stephen King**
JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen***
REALITY CHECK by Peter Abrahams*
REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier***
SECRET, SILENT SCREAMS by Joan Lowery Nixon*
THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON by Caroline B. Cooney**
B IS FOR BURGLAR by Sue Grafton*
THE OTHER SIDE OF DARK by Joan Lowery Nixon*
FINGER LICKIN' FIFTEEN by Janet Evanovich***
ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen***
POP GOES THE WEASEL by James Patterson*

A Year In Review

Well, we're callin' it quits on 2009. It's been quite a year for me. A lot of good stuff happened, but also a lot of bad. As cheesy and cliche as it sounds, I always take a few moments to look back at the previous year and also, look forward, to what's up next. Please humor me while a wax on for a while.

First, it's been a tough year on the writing front. Lots of reasons involved, which I'll touch on in a bit, but the end result is that I still haven't finished revisions of FI. It's frustrating at the best of times, humiliating at the worst. Especially because I keep making these promises to myself that I won't let another month, day, hour go by without doing everything I can to get to The End. The story is there--the end is in sight--but for whatever reason it feels just outside my grasp. Never thought I would be grappling with this problem, so I find myself at a bit of a loss to explain exactly what's going on.

I know I've had a lot of Real Life distractions, but regardless, I hold myself accountable for not pushing through and just...finishing, the rest be damned. Yanno?

That said, I'm making progress...slowly. The reality is that there have been some legitimate limits to my time --and in all honesty, writing took the backseat to other things this year. And while I'm unhappy with this compromise, I really had to make the tough decision to focus on things that were more important. Yes, even more important than writing. This does not make me happy. :)

It's a long story, but let me summarize briefly. I started having an issue with my foot in the latter part of 2008. I thought it was related to a stress fracture I'd had a few years earlier. It wasn't. When I went to the doctor thinking that at worst I'd have to get orthotics, I was surprised to learn I was diabetic. Guess all my late night, Mt. Dew fueled study/writing sessions were a bad idea. Especially with my genes. (g)

That said, I'll be forever grateful to my doctor for making the leap and figuring out what was wrong with me. It's been a bumpy road, but in the end, one of the best things that's happened to me. Why? Because I no longer feel like shit all the time. There's no telling how long I went undiagnosed, but I had always blamed my exhaustion and overall level of ick on stress and work...and well, law school, and writing, and revisions, and blah blah blah blah. Little did I know that I was exhausted because my blood sugars were hitting the proverbial roof...and then some.

Adjusting to life with diabetes is a struggle. I say this in present tense because I'm still adapting. There's a great deal of discomfort involved when you adjust to lower blood sugars -- the descent was, let's just say...HELLISH. LOL. Headaches, nausea,'s all just horrible. Of course, as soon as I started hitting good levels, my body just kept on going. I started experiencing extreme lows. At the moment, my doctor is reworking my medications yet again. This is the third time this year. Each time is a period of extremes, when my body doesn't know what the heck to do. I basically have to start over and experiment to see what carbs I can eat, when, how much exercise I can do without feeling faint. Etc. Etc. Unfortunately, this is probably my life from here on out. It isn't going away. I'm okay...mostly. I have a few "why me" moments -- especially in groups when everyone else can chug endless amounts of Dew and gobble down an entire pizza if they choose, and I, well, can't. Sigh. But mostly, I'm okay. Who needs mountains of cheesy pizza anyway?? Sob. (g)

The other issue I've been grappling with is my foot. Yeah. It wasn't magically cured when I began treatment. I'll cut to the chase -- my blood sugars were too high for too long. I have nerve damage in my foot--neuropathy. What does that mean? Well, I have loss of my toes mostly. My right foot has pretty much gone back to normal. There's a slight sensation loss, but nothing major. My left--the injured one that started this whole thing--isn't good. Because of the neuropathy, that foot is slow to heal. I suspect that my foot injury (I have something called plantar fasciitis) has exacerbated the problem.

End game is that last April, everything hit at once. On top of the adjustments to my blood sugars (remember--hellish), I was running about going to a gazillion doctors appointments. I had to juggle diabetic training, physical therapy sessions, podiatrist and doctors appts (including the dreaded neurologist who finally said, have neuropathy) meds...low sugars... oh, and a big move to a new apartment. Not an easy patch. Writing just wasn't an option. Nor was it an option when my meds were adjusted again that summer...

Not that I've ever let myself off the hook, mind. This, of course, didn't help the situation one bit.

I don't do well under guilt. It immobilizes me. Instead of doing a little when I could, I fixated on all the time I wasn't able to focus on writing. The time I had to spend in classes...or with the doctors...or the times I wanted to be writing but had to go out for a walk to get my sugar levels back in range.

So yeah...the end is still the same: I haven't finished my book. I blame myself even though I know there's been just cause. Even though I told myself that above all other things, I would focus on my health. In fact, I remember sitting down with family after being diagnosed and saying that my COMPLETE focus would be on my health -- book aside..awaiting agent aside... ME first. Ironic that I would consider 2009 an overall failure when I did exactly what I set out to do.

1. I'm healthier.
2. I've successfully reached and maintained an excellent blood sugar level -- to the point we're now experimenting with LESS medication.
3. While the neuropathy in my foot hasn't really improved, it hasn't gotten any worse either.

So yes...I'll try to focus on the positive for now.

Are you ready for some good stuff? Me too. :)

Some positives for the year:

1. I went to two writing retreats this year and got to meet some truly wonderful writers that I've been conversing with at compuserve for quite some time.

The first was back in March--to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was AWESOME. Jo, Beth, Carrie, Tara, Julie, Donna, and Jenny--y'all are rock stars. I had so much fun...Long live gnomies! :)

The second was to Denver and Evergreen, Colorado. Beth, Tara, Julie, Donna, and fun to spend more time with you. And SO cool to meet Lisa, Dreamer, Kari, Dyann, Julie B, Kari, Kerri, Tricia, Stephanie, and rowdy-girl Rhonddalyn!! Did I leave anyone out?? LOL. Those were a crazy few days, but it was a MUCH needed vacation and I had a total blast.

2. I attended my first writers conference. It was quite the experience. I learned a lot that weekend -- received some great feedback from one seriously stellar agent. (Thank you, Kristin Nelson!) While this year hasn't been the most productive when it comes to *cough* finishing those damn revisions...this conference renewed what fragile belief I had in my writing abilities. It made me realize that while I haven't reached my publication goals yet, I've got something goin' on. And someday...I'll get there. This little light o' mine is gonna shine. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not this year even...but soon.

3. I started a new blog with Rachel Walsh, Claire Gregory, and Kristen Callihan. All The World's Our Page is going strong and I feel blessed to be blogging alongside such three talented ladies. They're damn good people. When I'm not gaping at the fact that they let me come along for the ride, I'm laughing my ass off at our crazy antics. Seriously, our email chains are something else. LOL.

4. I have wonderful friends and family. I've been a bit absent this year, but please know all of you have been in my thoughts.

This year has been a rough one. I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't. But I have a lot to be grateful for. And though I don't want to get all carried away with "resolutions and goals," I know 2010 is going to be fantastic.

I'm ready to make some good things happen. :)