So, I didn’t get much work done yesterday. But that’s okay, because I was doing this:
Are you dying from all the cuteness??
So, I didn’t get much work done yesterday. But that’s okay, because I was doing this:
Are you dying from all the cuteness??
I joined a blog fest over at Something Else to Distract Me today, and the topic is gone but not forgotten TV shows. We’re supposed to list our top five shows that are no longer making new episodes.
This is tough!
Although I get my Michael Weatherly fix on a fairly regular basis on NCIS, I still miss me some Logan Cale action. Jessica Alba and Weatherly were a match made in Manticore, and I was so sad at how the series ended—so lame, and so much left unresolved.
As bizarro as season four got, I miss all the Seth Cohenisms. And although there are O.C.—like shows out there, they’re nothing but sad imitations in my eyes. It’s nice to see some of the actors pop up from time to time—Benjamin McKenzie is on a show that no one watches, Alex pops up on House reruns (Is she still on it? I’m behind on House), and Summer’s dad is on NCIS from time to time as well as All My Children, which I don’t watch—it’s not enough!
One of the best-written shows ever. That is all.
#2—The Cosby Show
Bill Cosby just makes me smile. And no matter how many times people on Twitter try to say he’s dead, Heathcliff Huxtable will always be alive in my heart.
#1—Space Ghost Coast to Coast
This one really stings because they’ve been pretty stingy on the DVD releases as well.
Two things happened this week that inflamed a writerly itch in me (OK—that doesn’t sound so good, but it’s a good thing—I swear!).
First: Sunday, I attended a meet & greet, where I met (and greeted) a bunch of writers in the Harrisonburg area. As an icebreaking exercise, we were supposed to write up to 500 words in response to a prompt (the bird). I ended up writing a short short story that leaned toward—gasp!—suspense. What?? Completely different from anything I’ve written, well, ever—but it was kind of liberating.
Not that I don’t love YA or plan on changing my genre and writing suspense novels or anything, but it was neat to see what I could come up with in a short amount of time (I did it in about an hour)—and when I’m not the one picking the topic. I got some decent feedback on the piece, too. Score!
Second: Yesterday, I was forced to break out of my hibernation—there were groceries to be bought, movies to return, shoes to pick up, and a new computer charger to find & purchase. <—Yeah, that one was pretty important.
So, I’ve been listening to the same few songs lately, and I was looking forward to listening to them again, during all my errand-running. But when I pulled out my iPod right after I took off, it was dead. Grr.
That was particularly annoying because the ‘burg doesn’t have great radio reception and I don’t yet know the stations very well, but it turned out to be a good thing too.
I flipped around radio stations and heard a lot of songs from my college—and even high school—days. And, I don’t know about you, but songs almost always take me back to exact places and times, feelings, etc. Some of the songs I heard (“Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, anyone?) yanked memories out of the depths of my brain like a magician pulling a bunch of handkerchiefs through my ear. (You’re welcome for the visual, bee tee dub).
But these two change-ups in my routine sparked something. I know it’s not groundbreaking advice, but it’s been a long time since I’ve entertained the idea of a new manuscript (almost a year!), and I’m proof that altering your yoozh can be fodder to your shiny, new ideas because I got a lot of those yesterday.
Anyway, I highly recommend stepping out of that comfort zone. I know it’s the dead of winter, and it’s nice to wrap up in your robe and settle in to what is comfortable, but if you go out into the cold a bit, you might get some interesting kernels of ideas you never would have gotten!*
Speaking of songs I’ve been listening to over and over (and over) . . .
Stuck in the winter doldrums? Love this song—think the video’s a little creepy**:
**Especially the part where the mom is giving birth and, like, spontaneously combusting. Nope—not helping me not be afraid of childbirth, Katy Perry!
How much coffee do you drink? Writers and nonwriters alike can answer—I’m just curious.
I went on a writing retreat with Sara McClung and Cristin Terrill this weekend, and they seem to think I drink a lot! Which, I know I do . . . but I didn’t really drink that much in front of them, and so now I’m interested to know how much people generally drink.
How many cups a day? A week?
Thank God my Facebook friends reminded me that today is Groundhog Day—otherwise, I might have forgotten the utterly pointless holiday this year. However, any reminder of Bill Murray is a good thing—so there’s a reason to smile. 🙂
But that got me thinking about how I’ve been kinda Punxsutawney Phil with my manuscript. I’ve stayed a bit underground lately—my loyal blog followers may have noticed this—because I have been swamped with work. However, it’s mostly because I’ve been going over and over my latest manuscript. I finally finished editing it to my satisfaction two weeks ago, but now I’m trying to come up with the perfect title (no such luck yet) and writing and rewriting my query ad nauseum.
Some of my friends are starting to ask why I’m *still* not jumping into the query pool. They think I’m worrying too much about it. And I suppose I am.
But no matter how many times I rewrite my query, it seems like there’s something I can change—a new word I can use—something to cut. Then it’s back to the drawing board because I don’t want to put it—and myself—out there until I’m 100% on everything.
Some call this crazy; others call it the “right way” of handling it. I don’t even know anymore!
I suppose I’m being a little wackadoo, but I’m just afraid of opening that query door and seeing my shadow.
However, I am starting to realize that, until I pop my head out, I can’t know if it will be an early spring or six more weeks of winter for my writing career. Right?
Tell me: How do you know when it’s time?
I realize, of course, that many of you probably put me to shame in terms of how many books you read in 2010. However, several of the bloggers I follow have been posting their 2010 reading lists, and it’s been kinda fun to see what everyone’s been reading—so here’s my list (in no particular order—just the order in which I remembered them):
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Allie Finkle#7—Blast from the Past by Meg Cabot
Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
Runaway by Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries, Part 1 by Meg Cabot
PD2: Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot
PD3: Princess in Love by Meg Cabot
PD4: Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot
PD 4 and a 1/2: Project Princess by Meg Cabot
PD 5: Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot
PD 6: Princess in Training by Meg Cabot
PD 6 and a 1/2: The Princess Present by Meg Cabot
PD 7: Party Princess by Meg Cabot
Rhymes with Witches by Lauren Myracle
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
Quintessence (draft) by Alicia Caldwell
Season Ticket (draft) by J.M. Lacey
Behind Hazel Eyes (draft) by Alison Miller
Shiver of Blue (draft) by Marice Kraal
Dramarama by E. Lockhart
Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
The Boy Book by E. Lockhart
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambuchino
Gimme A Call by Sara Mylnowski
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
That’s 35—which is a lot for me. I’m sure there are one or two others I’ve forgotten to list, but I wasn’t really keeping track. I will this year, though! My goal is to read 52 books. And with the books of awesome I got for Christmas [The DUFF; The Sky is Everywhere; Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd; Prom Nights from Hell; How to Be Bad; The Hunger Games; Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and my new Kindle], I might have a shot!
What did you read?
I had a pretty great day today.
I got up super early (which is just regular early for regular people, but super early for the vampire girl—a.k.a. moi), went to the university where my husband teaches, and filmed a news show for the Virginia Department of Health’s Bright Futures project.
And when I walked in the studio, WHSV’s (that’s Harrisonburg’s news channel) Yuna Lee was there—playing my co-anchor! So cool!
Anyway, we spent about three hours filming, and it was fun to play newscaster.
After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon working my husband’s office and meeting some of his students. I’m still not used to people calling him Dr. Schultz—hee! It’s always just really fun to see how students interact with him.
So . . . I was going to do this week’s blogosphere post before I turned in for the night, but I’m too wiped. Hoping to sneak it in tomorrow afternoon after we do our power shopping (being that there isn’t a ton of shopping in the ‘burg, we’ll be traveling about two hours away to an awesome mall in Short Pump, Va., to finish out our Christmas list).
1) I was a theater chick all through middle school, junior high, high school, and college, and my life never seemed to be lacking in the day-to-day drama.
2) Throughout high school and college, if you’d asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you I wanted to be on General Hospital.*
3) My first manuscript has something to do with a girl who wants to be on a musical soap opera (think: Glee/General Hospital hybrid).
That said, I’d like to pay homage to the soap gods every once in a while with a series I’m calling “Suds Me, Baby.”
This first installment will highlight my number one soap crush, Port Charles’s favorite
mobster coffee importer, Sonny Corinthos.
Portrayed by Maurice Benard (cousin of former San Francisco Giant Marvin Benard),
Michael “Sonny” Corinthos came on the General Hospital scene in 1993 as a strip club owner and minor mafia employee of then-notorious mobster Frank Smith.
Rivaling only All My Children‘s Erica Cane in number of lovers, Sonny has come out on top (hehe—pun intended) in terms of love, time and time again.
Brenda Barrett (portrayed by Vanessa Marcil-Giovinozzo) was his first love on the show and, some would argue, will always remain his greatest love (time will tell, as VM-G recently returned to GH, and the two have already shared some screen time. *swoon!!*).
After his first wife, Lilly, was blown up in a car bomb (yeah, the writers *might* have stolen a detail or two from The Godfather), this
mafioso entrepreneur picked up the pieces of his shattered life and went on to sire a slew of children with a number of leading ladies, including
Carly Benson, Alexis Davis, and a couple other chicks who miscarried because they were either shot or fell down staircases (or both).
This stand-up guy even adopted Carly’s son Michael, when he was married to her. What’s more, he discovered he fathered a son he didn’t even know about—the delicious Dante Falconeri—way back in his Brooklyn days.
He has managed to
mostly stay out of jail over the years—after all, he’s just businessman—and even though he’s had his share of setbacks (getting beaten as a child, losing his friend Stone to AIDS, losing his sister I forget how—I almost forgot he even *had* a sister—being bipolar, having Mike—vomit—as a father), he and his dimples always seem to persevere.
With he and
enforcer pal Jason Morgan (portrayed by the always-leather-jacketed Steve Burton), Port Charles is never a dull place.
*Shut up. Don’t laugh. It’s been on the air for 47 years—and some of the actors have been on the show almost as long. Do you have that clutch or steady of a career? (Didn’t think so.)
I just returned from a great weekend in Columbus, Ohio, where I not only got to meet five Write-Brainiacs IRL (who I’d never met IRL before) but I also got to meet and hang with a few other really cool folks who were attending World Fantasy Con—some of whom I “knew” from Twitter and some of whom I didn’t. Plus, there were a ton of agents and authors I’ve interviewed and/or stalked researched, so it pretty much awesome.
An exhausting, but all-around faboo, weekend. I’m always so sad when these writerly functions come to an end and it’s back to the real world!
PAYING IT FORWARD
I’d like to show a little love for WB member and woman-of-awesome Candace Ganger, who is running another contest—I Heart Joy like BR80—over on her blog, The Misadventures in Candyland.
IN OTHER NEWS
On the way up to the buckeye state, my husband and I were entertained by the “Scare Me in 1,000 Words or Less” entries, and we have the winners:
First prize—a book + DVD combo of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . . . and Kenneth Branagh’s mutant of a movie adaptation of the same name—goes to . . .
Shoot me an e-mail with your snail mail addy, Cluffer, and I’ll send out your swag this week!
Second prize—a 10-page critique from me—goes to . . .
E-mail me and we can chat about it, Andi.
Congrats, guys! All the entries were good—so hard to choose!—but in the end, I went with the most classically suspenseful and classically scary.
OKAY . . .
Well, since I am making a big push to complete my second manuscript this month for NaNoWraMo (National Novel Wrap-up Month), I’m off in search of a couple thousand words!
Good luck to NaNoWriMo and WraMo folks galore!
I don’t think I’ll be doing a blogosphere post this week—just too much going on. We’ll see—maybe I will.
This week’s craziness:
1) I’ve had a fever for a week and a half now. I finally went to the doctor yesterday, and he says I may or may not have mono. WHA?? He doesn’t think I do (I don’t either), because I don’t have swollen glands or anything, so I’m just kind of monitoring the fever. It seems to be getting better today, so that’s good.
2) Just when I started to feel *a little* better on Monday (only to revert back to a higher temp on Tuesday), I found out the company that hosts The Write-Brained Network (Grou.ps) is all of a sudden going to charge for its services. They came out of nowhere with this (after vowing about seven months ago—when I moved the group from Ning who was doing the same thing—that they’d *always* be free) and basically bullied its group admins by saying we have until Nov. 1 to cough up the cash. Nice.
If the service was great, it would be one thing—but it’s not. So, I’m contemplating a move back to Ning—even though they too charge, they are good—and reliable.
The only thing is . . . we are triple the size we were when I first had to move the group—we are over 100 members!—and there is a lot of content that would have to be moved. So, yes, I am kind of freaking out. A move would be labor intensive.
Luckily, I have a great team of folks behind me to help. But I’m not sure what to do about potentially losing members in the migration. The shoddy service I’m now paying for (at least until I can figure out what to do) is not putting my messages through to the group members, so I can’t even get the word out to those who don’t visit the site every day. Harrumph!