Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Made of Win

Okay. Y'all are funny. Here are some of my favorite entries from the Supertitle contest:
Human Blob vs. The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, by Colin

Joker's Guide to Plastic Surgery, by Ann Eyberg

The Invisible Woman's New Clothes, by Davin Malasarn

Aquaman vs. the Crushing Realization of His Own Ineffectiveness, by Natalie L. Sin

But my absolute favorite, and the winner of the signed copy of Wolverine: Worst Day Ever AND the Wonder That Is My Blog prize pack, is Barb's work of genius:
Horton Hatches the Spawn

I would so read that book. Especially if it was illustrated. Barb, drop me an email with your address, will ya?

You should also check out the Goth Girl Rising trailer contest. Remember that book trailer that I made a couple of weeks ago? Yep, contest fodder. I know some of you have also jumped on the trailer bandwagon, so check it out.

EDITED TO ADD: Ack! I'm so glad Glamis is around to remind me of these things. Anyone who wins or places in one of these contests is a new member of the Semi-Secret Order of the Blog Ninja! I will add you to the list, and if you want to copy the graphic and post it on your blog, go for it. Go ninjas!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Zombie Thriller dance

This is why I want to move to Georgia. Dancing street zombies rule. Dancing street zombies without rhythm rule even more.



The contest winner will be announced tomorrow! There's still time to get your book titles in!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sinfully Tagged

"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Keri Mikulski singled me out for a tag on this one, which either means that she thinks I will come up with something funny (no pressure or anything) or she thinks I lie all the time (but really! I DO think Richard Simmons is hilarious!).

Anyway, here are my answers...

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?

Richard Simmons. Actually, what you all don't know is that I'm his mom. I came here via time machine (actually, before that, I came here via spaceship, but that's a different story altogether). Anyway, he's my son.

Explains a lot, don't it?

Envy: What do your coworkers wish they had which is yours?

What DON'T they want? I mean, I'm perfect and all. Who wouldn't want my ability to put both legs behind my head and entertain at parties? Who wouldn't want to know all the moves to the Thriller dance? (Performed it this weekend at a wedding, although I had to skip a few moves because the room kept moving. I don't drink very often, so when I do, it's a short bus ride to happy town.) Who wouldn't want to be Richard Simmons' secret mom!?!?

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?
I caught a few zombies wandering in my backyard last night and barbecued them. There's nothing like a BBZ sandwich. Or twenty.

Lust: What really lights your fire?
I'm really into Richard Simmons.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?
Everything pisses me off. I'm really an angry person. In fact, answering these questions is making me hulk out. AHDTR^AW#Y^S$% &AS#$WERA@#%HA@%tnawna&#$h^aa

Ahem. Sorry. Better.

Greed: Name something you keep from others.
When I meet them, I make them guess my name. If they do it, I agree to spin a bunch of straw into gold and then laugh at them if they believe me. If they don't guess it, I make them refer to me as Hew Royal Awesomeness.

Sloth: What's the laziest thing you've ever done?
I'm lazy all the time. Actually, I make all three of my kids do all the work around here while I lie around and eat bonbons.

Mmmmm. Bonbons.

I tag Jamie, Kiersten, Mercedes, Natalie, Natalie (No, they're not clones.), Sherrie, and Tiny T. If you hate me for tagging you, just pretend you didn't see this. I won't tell.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Haiku Reviews

Haiku reviews are one of the kewlest ideas ever. (Okay, that was NOT meant to sound as blatantly egotistical as it sounded. It was meant to be unblatantly egotistical.) Seriously. Not only did they inspire a contest, but they won me fourth place. So awesome.

(Have you read The Warded Man yet? If you likey the fantasy stuff, you should. [I have to go for the parenthetical parenthetical to say that I accidentally typed 'fantasy studd' the first time. But of course, who doesn't like fantasy studds?})

That got me looking around on the Net for some more haikuey goodness. Kinda like gooey goodness only not really. This reminds me of a time when I was in college, and a girl came up to me and said, "You know, I've got a sweater exactly like that, only it's got short sleeves, and the pattern is a little different, and it's a different color." Yeah, thanks. Your sweater is EXACTLY like mine.

Anyway, going back to the whole haiku thing, I found haiku film reviews on wunderland.com. Here are some of my favorites that they had up there:

X-Men: The Last Stand
More of the X same
X stuff; filmed well, but leaving
me thinking X meh.

Stardust
Neil Gaiman knows
that good children's fairy tales
are made for adults.

I Am Legend
Super Zombies who
should know how to drive and shoot
scream and bite instead.

Awesome, huh? You should go read the rest of them.

Anyway, here are some of my latest haiku reviews. If you are like me, and The Hunger Games was buried somewhere in your to-read list and just hadn't made it to the top yet, get your arse out there and buy it NOW. Read my haiku below for an in-depth explanation of why.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Wow wow wowie wow
Wowie wowie wow-wow-wow
Wowie wow WOWZA

The Way of Shadows, by Brent Weeks
It started out slow
But the ninja awesomeness
Comes later. Stick with it!

Fragile Eternity, by Melissa Marr
Man, it's hard to beat
Wicked Lovely; this one was
Still a lot of fun

Samurai Girl: The Book of the Sword, by Carrie Asai
It's got martial arts
And was written by 'Carrie'
Of course I loved it.


Don't forget to enter the contest for the Wolverine book!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Revisionist History a la Carrie

Am I the only person around here who bores the heck out of my significant other by telling the SAME stories over and over again? I was making waffles the other morning, and I was standing in the kitchen thinking about how there was a waffle press in my college cafeteria, and we used to make fresh waffles, drown them in about a half gallon of syrup, and then put vanilla soft serve on top.

I need to pause for a moment to tell you that I am literally salivating.

Anyway, every time we have waffles, I feel compelled to tell Slayer about the amazing soft serve waffleness. We have waffles a lot. I'm sure that by this point, the thought of amazing soft serve waffleness is enough to make the poor man want to jump out the window.

So I've decided that a little revisionist history is in order. My stories are old and tired, and I need the new hotness. So from now on, every time I tell these old standards, I'm going to replace things.

Think Slayer will notice?

Well, yeah, since he reads the Wonder That Is My Blog. Whoopsie.

But anyway, the next time I tell it, it'll be different. I'll tell about how there was a waffle press in our college cafeteria, and I used to make waffle fish, and cover them with about a half gallon of sparkles, and then put soft serve on top. It'll be kind of an homage to merpires.


We love you, Ward. Hope you don't mind if we smother your likeness in ice cream.


Hmmm... I've got an old standard about this one double date that I went on where my friend's date vomited veal parmigiana all over her, and we made up a song about it. ('I feel like puking veal,' sung to the tune of 'I feel like making love.' My days as a song parody writer have been long and semi-distinguished.) I wonder what I could do with THAT story.

A lot of very inappropriate things come to mind...

OBLIGATORY CONTEST SHOUT-OUT: Did you know that I'm running yet another contest? You can win a signed Wolverine book and a Wonder That Is My Blog prize pack. I just received the Dismember Me Plush Zombies in the mail. Heh...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Censorship

Yeah, you read the title right. First, we've got the serious stuff. There's a great discussion going on RIGHT NOW at Fabulous Agent Kate's blog about censorship, book ratings, and all kinds of interesting stuff. It's definitely worth checking out.

For me, the thing about censorship is that it always makes the book in question sound a lot more... well, ENTICING. Once I hear that a book is the subject of a big ol' brouhaha, I want to read it. Part of it is that I want to make up my own mind, but I'll also admit it freely: I'm lookin' for something JUICY.

Yeah, JUICY.

And the whole act of censoring it or condemning it or whathaveyou only increases the juiciness. Look at what it did for the Count.



This video really makes me *BLEEP*.

By the way, did you notice that I'm running another contest? AGAIN? Check out yesterday's post for a chance to win a signed book.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Bleeping Contest?!?

Yep. You read it right. I'm running another bleeping contest ALREADY. That's because the wonder that is Barry Lyga has provided a signed copy of Wolverine: Worst Day Ever for me to give away. That's right, bay-bee. SIGNED. I didn't think this book could get any better, and then it did.

So, without further ado, I'd like to announce the Supertitle Contest. Bring me your tired, your poor, and your superhero-related book titles. Anything goes; use superheroes from comic books (and I have to admit that if there isn't at least one Batman eyebrow-related entry, I will be v. disappointed), or make up your own. Or just give me titles about superheroness in general. As with the rest of my contests, wit rules. If you can make me snarf, you're more likely to win. Past winners of my title contests are:

The BRAINS contest (for witty brain-related titles): No Pain, No Brain

The snarfy subtitle contest (for mock subtitles to existing books): The Scarlet Letter: The A is Not for Awesome

This contest will be open for entries until noon EST on Monday June 29th, and a winner will be announced on the 30th. Enter as many times as you want by posting your titles in the comments section of this post. The winner will receive the aforementioned signed copy of Wolverine: Worst Day Ever, which is this awesome mismash of story and comic book. You don't know how much willpower it is taking to give this baby away instead of hoarding it to myself, my precious. You'll also get one of my patented Wonder That Is My Blog prize pack, which contains random geektastic stuff like ninja devil duckies. You can see one of my most recent prize packs here, but please note that the contents vary from pack to pack depending on what is making me snarf at that moment.

Also please note that this prize pack doesn't contain a gift card, since I just gave one away last week. But it's Wolverine! He's swexy! And it's signed!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Contestarama!

Have you entered these contests? Because you should. Because I have entered, and if you entered too, you could be like me.

On second thought, that's a good reason NOT to enter them, isn't it?

Anyway, the fabulously kind Keri is running her monthly book giveaway. If you haven't entered or read her AWESOME book, you should. I can't wait for Change Up.

And then, another Carrie (what is it with YA and all the Carries!?!?) is giving away three tres cool YA books. I am all about Eyes Like Stars. Must... read... it...

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Winner, and more answers that are not 42!

Okay, before I go on, JaxPop submitted a question late last night, after I wrote this morning's blog. And I think he is kewl, because he asked a question about Richard Simmons.

And here's the answer: I have no freaking clue what is up with the Richard Simmons obsession. I was not obsessed with Richard Simmons prior to starting this blog. Nor did I have a thing for superhero eyebrows, or Zom Cruise, or most of the running gags that I've got on this thing.

I blame it all on you. Not you as in JaxPop but you as in all of you. You keep encouraging me. This is a dangerous, dangerous proposition. Think about it, people... you helped birth the zombietubbies. If you keep encouraging me, I shall have to come up with something even stranger.

Anyway, that's the dealio there.

One other thing I forgot to do: I've been trying to learn how to make a book trailer, and here's my first attempt. What do you think?



And last but definitely not least... I mentioned this yesterday, but I really struggled with the whole picking of the winner for the Zom Com Contest. A few of you made me laugh so hard that I cried. My one consolation is that I have a great prize coming up for the next contest. An AUTOGRAPHED prize. So y'all better come back for that one, because this one was neck and neck until the very end.

But I've got to give it to Solvang Sherrie. Carrie's Zombie Evolution is pure, unadulterated genius. The picture of me with the zombie bugeyes practically laid me out on the floor.


Sherrie, please email me with your address and the preferred gift card of your choice (B&N, Borders, or Amazon). And thanks to everyone for entering! We'll be doing a plain old title contest soon, since it requires a lot less, y'know, thinking.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Answers (A post in which I resist the urge to use 42)

You asked yesterday, and I answer! Because that's how it works: question, answer; question, answer. If you gave me the answer and I gave you the question, that would be Jeopardy.

Hmmmm. I think we might need to do that next time.

Anyway, Jamie wants to know my favorite brand of peanut butter. I'm a little perplexed by this. Actually, I'm a little perplexed by any question for which I cannot answer 'zombies.' I mean, I could, but it wouldn't really make any sense, and I am all about making sense.

Why are you laughing?

Barry is eager to learn whether zombie Tony the Tiger or zombie Rainbow Brite is more frightening. Now this is my kind of question. I suspect that zombie Rainbow Brite is scarier, but I am not certain. I do however know that the ultimate in fear is this:




EEK! It's a zombietubby!


Cate wants to know if I've ever thought of running a zombie exercise class. Why yes, Cate, I've thought about this quite a lot but eventually decided against it. See, when I taught aerobics, I taught WATER aerobics. I'm not entirely sure, but I think there might be a problem if we all started doing froggie jumps and someone's leg fell off and started floating around in the pool. I mean, I remember what it was like the one time that kid went doo-doo in the water, and I can't imagine that a severed limb would have a better reaction.

Kiersten wants to know how awesome a publishing company run by the two of us would be. It would of course be a seven hundred on a 1-10 scale of awesomeness. In fact, I predict that if Kiersten and I start a publishing company, Richard Simmons will become our mascot, and we will all cowrite the Zombie version of Sweating to the Oldies. And all of you will become rich.

I am so glad I proofread this before I posted it. Because it originally said that you will all become Rick. I know a guy named Rick. He calls me Trippy. I like him, but I don't think you all want to be him.

Kelly asked one that kinda made me think, but I don't hold it against her. She wants to know my favorite horror film and one that I hated. Can I have two favorites? Because Shaun of the Dead and Fright Night II are tied for first place. One has zombie acting lessons and the other has rollerskating vampires. I cannot choose between these two paragons of awesomeness. My least favorites are all those horror porns where there's so much gore that you begin to fear that the world will soon experience a severe shortage of red tinted corn syrup.

Kasie is curious to know about my potato fixation. I have never met a potato I didn't like. Not like I've been introduced to many potatoes in my lifetime, but really, I am non-prejudicial when it comes to tubers.

Horror Girl, aka Samantha, wants to know what I think about when I wake up in the morning. Unfortunately, I am not a morning person. I've actually been thinking that I should put a tape recorder next to the bed, because I would probably come up with some good entries for the zombie dictionary I keep talking about. For example. this morning, I said something like, "Haaargnnnnhh." Which translates to "I dreamt about zombie chipmunks last night."

I did. Dream of them, I mean.

Shelli wants to know my middle name. It's Ann. And yes, my full name is Carrie rather than Caroline, and the book came out right around the time I was born. I heard a lot about that when I went to prom, and my proms were indeed cursed. At the first one, my date ended up being the prom king, and the queen was his date from the year before. At the second, my best friend confessed his love for me. Unrequited. At the third, my boyfriend broke up with me the morning before, but we went anyway and he totalled the car. We were dropped off at prom in a police cruiser. At the fourth, my boyfriend went around popping all of the balloons with the pin from my corsage.

Keri asks if I listen to music when I write. Yes, I do, but it's all in my HEAD. I walk around with my own personal soundtrack playing in my brain. Right now, it's playing this:



I have an insane love for this song. I used to put it on all my romantic mix tapes.

And Danyelle, if I could have a superpower, it would be the power to play that mental soundtrack out loud so the rest of you would have to listen to it too. Does that make me a supervillain?

Them's a lot of answers, but the one answer I don't have for today is who wins the prize for the Zom Com Contest. I gave myself until tomorrow, and that's a good thing because there were WAY too many deserving entries.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rampant Illness

The Batson has the flu. I mistakenly wrote this as "the baton has the flu," which seems like the beginning of either a nonsense poem or a story by me. But only if the baton is being wielded by Richard Simmons.

Anyway, due to the whole illness thing, I have about five seconds to write this blog entry, so I'm going to open it up to y'all. Ask me some questions, and I shall enlighten you on what it's like to live in my world. What do you want to know? I can tell you a few things quickly; get the basics out of the way if you will.

My favorite color is zombie. Which is really a sneaky way to get out of having a favorite color, because zombies are notoriously colorful. Every time I see a zombie, I think, "Wow. What pretty colors." If I can have multiple answers, my favorite colors are zombie, orange, purple, and yellow.

My favorite supernatural creature is the zombie. The whole lurch and moan thing gets me every time. And did I mention the colors?

My favorite food is not zombie. It's potatoes.

What else do you want to know? I've got to go take care of a hurling child, but rest assured that I will be waiting with bated breath to hear your questions of vast importance.

Oh, and the Zom-Com contest ends today at noon. Get in a few zombie book titles at the last minute for a chance to win a $25 gift card, a free book, and a bunch of random stuff. I've already picked up a finger puppet of dracula holding what looks like a bat.

Get it? Vampire. Bat.

Snarf.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Couple More Zom-Com Contest Entries

Don't forget that entries for the Zom-Com Contest close tomorrow at noon EST! I received a few entries via email that were beyond snarftastic, and if you haven't checked out the ones in the comment thread, DO SO IMMEDIATELY! Just don't drink anything while you are, because it WILL come out your nose.

Anyway, here are the emailed entries. First, we've got an image from Solvang Sherrie.



Another image from Kiersten:



And then I received a short story from Jason entitled 'Starship Zamedi.' After a little discussion with him, we've decided to post a couple of lines from it so that he can still submit it for publication. So here are my favorites:

"There are a lot of zombies who care about you on this ship. Madam Captain herself is worried sick about you, and only stayed away on my advice."

"How could she be worried sick? We don't even eat."

"It's a figure of speech, Mr. Diagnostics."

Must go off and snicker to myself for a while.

By the way, my normal Tuesday post is below; I just wanted to get these puppies out into the world where they belong.

For the Love of Contractions

I think there aren't enough contractions in the world. And when I say this, I'm talking about the grammatical kind of contractions and not the kind that make you scream nasty things to your spouse whilst in labor.

(I didn't do that. We played Apples to Apples instead. Slayer was smart; he let me win.)

Anyway, in today's Twitterverse, it's important to preserve as many characters as possible, so I think the world needs more contractions. That's my official stance, anyway. In reality, I just think that it's fun to come up with random contractions. For example, Slayer and I were watching Chopped the other night. (Mark of a good spouse: will watch cooking shows with you.) And we were trying to come up with the most disgusting things that you could have in the basket to cook with. He won hands down with squid and Pop Tarts.

I'll pause a moment to let that sink in before I make the image even worse.

So after he suggested this amazing flavor combo, I suggested a name for it. A contraction-type name. Squ'arts. Somehow, that name makes it even worse. That name makes me giggle. Slayer thinks it sounds like the name of an unfortunate bodily function. I think it completely suits the taste sensation that is squid-flavored Pop Tarts.

Of course, this got me started. Think about how easier it would be to type if you could get away with Wa'rt instead of Wal-Mart. Or Dunk'nuts instead of Dunkin Donuts. I'm no longer serving chicken nuggets at our house; they will now be known as ch'uggets. I'll give them to my kids with some po'hips.

Is it just me, or does that make me sound vaguely street? Yo, homes, can I get me some ch'uggets and some po'hips?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Bruce Lee v. Ironman

Here's this week's Thing That Makes Me Snarf.



I wonder how long it took to make that. Because I really want to find a Richard Simmons action figure and a Batman action figure and make one of these videos. Of course, that would also require that I had, like, TALENT at video making, but I figure that's no chance of me getting a Richard Simmons action figure, so I can make these kinds of empty promises safely.

Having said that, it's time for a few haiku reviews. I'm done with the Read 50 Books in 2009 Challenge, but am continuing the reviews due to popular demand. (Confession: Any time I use the word "popular" in a sentence that refers to something I'm doing, it makes me snarf.) Anyway, if you're looking for something to read, maybe one of these babies will suit your mood.

Wings, by Aprilynne Pike
A fairy mishmash
Combining a lot of myths
With blossoms, not wings

Beastly, by Alex Flinn
Do I hear "Woo hoo"?
A great fairy tale reboot.
Read it in a day.

Right Ho, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse
Poor Bertie Wooster,
I snarf at your misfortune
Because Wodehouse rocks.

The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han
Not my usual
Genre of choice, but I say
It's darned well-written

I need recommendations! What have you read lately that's awesomely good? I'm currently reading Gods Behaving Badly, and let me tell you, they're REALLY behaving badly. Darned pervy gods.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Win Kewl Stuff Weekend Edition

Have you heard about the Take the Dare auction at Cynthea Liu's site? There's autographed stuff up for grabs as well as a bunch of rocking good critiques. Check it out here. Just don't outbid me, because then I will cry.

Just kidding.

I've been thinking about posting about contests and drawings over the weekends. Drop a comment if you'd like that. And if not, PBBT! on you.

Just kidding about that too. I wouldn't spit on my readers. I'm nice that way.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Preliminary Merpire: Wannabe

Yep. It's time for another Preliminary Merpire single. And it's to be sung to the tune of THIS:



I've got the giggles already. Hopefully you're laughing too and not searching for a toothbrush to scrub your eyeballs with.

Anyway, here are the lyrics, merpire-style:

Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I really really
really wanna supernatural boy.

If you want my lovin, better be a stud,
Better beat up villains and smash them into mud,
Now don't go wasting my precious time,
If you are a cyborg we could be just fine

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I really really
really wanna supernatural boy.

If you wanna be my boyfriend, you gotta have an ochre fin,
Pointy teeth that I can see every time you grin,
If you wanna be my boyfriend, you need super skills,
Normal is too boring; I want some major thrills.
What you think about that? Now you know how I feel,
Say you’re a werewolf? Are you for real?
I won't be hasty; I'll give you a try
If you try to eat me then I'll say goodbye.

Yo I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I really really
really wanna supernatural boy.

If you wanna be my boyfriend, you gotta have an ochre fin,
Pointy teeth that I can see every time you grin,
If you wanna be my boyfriend, you need super skills,
Normal is too boring; I want some major thrills.
So here's a story from A to Z, you wanna get with me
you gotta listen carefully,
You got big scary claws or fangs in your jaws,
you got super speed, you are the guy I need
hope you won’t make me plead, you are just my breed,
and as for me I’ll bleed,
That’s the way it is, this whole human biz.
That’s the way it is, this whole human biz.

If you wanna be my boyfriend, you gotta have an ochre fin,
Pointy teeth that I can see every time you grin,
If you wanna be my boyfriend, you need super skills,
Normal is too boring; I want some major thrills.
If you wanna be my boyfriend, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta,
you gotta, you gotta, fly, fly, fly, fly
Fly up in the air and show me all your flair.
Fly up in the air and show me all your flair.
Fly up in the air my supernatural boy.
If you wanna be my boyfriend.

It's kind of embarrassing how many times I've gone through and performed this in my office.

Don't forget the Zom-Com contest. We've got some freaking hilarious entries so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Me = Awesome (and Semi-Egotistical)

Want to know what I sound like when I'm being kind of, sort of serious? Stop by the Enchanted Inkpot and read my latest and greatest on Humorous Fantasy. You know you want to.

I also posted a blog entry early this morning that you might want to take a look at. Go there; love it; buy the t-shirt. Of course, that would necessitate me making a t-shirt, and I'm not that talented, so I guess that option is right out the window.

But seriously... it struck me last night that there was such a thing as making a contest TOO open-ended, so I've decided to add a couple of prompts to the Zom-Com contest. You can use one of the prompts OR do your own thing. You can find the prompts at the end of the Zom-Com description.

Ah, Young Love

The Batson's last day of Pre-K was yesterday, and I can't believe how quickly it went. It seems like just yesterday I was dropping him off at the school bus and then sprinting around town in the pouring rain because they put him on the wrong bleeping bus home. So right now, I'm one of those annoying proud mama types. If you think this is bad, you should have seen me the day he came home and exclaimed, "I'm a writer now, just like my mom!"

Sniff.

Of course, he followed that up with a Mother's Day gift in which he listed a bunch of facts about me. Apparently, I know everything about writing, and I'm as pretty as an owl. I guess I should stop turning my head around backwards in front of him.

So now, he's a big Kindergartner, and his greatest worry is that his girlfriend will forget him over the summer. Yeah, girlfriend. He proposed to her already. She went home and asked her mother if she could marry someone shorter than her. Apparently, the answer was yes, because now they hold hands on the bus.

His solution to the whole summer romance problem is that he should buy her a present, because that will help assure that she won't forget him. And he asks me what he should buy her. I think this might be a mistake. I may know EVERYTHING there is to know about writing, and I may be owlishly gorgeous, but I am not typical when it comes to the giving of the gifts. I think stuffed zombies and ninja bobbleheads are the pinnacle of kewl. The best gift I've ever received was a potato. I'm not the person you want to be asking about romantic gift givery.

Of course, she did ask for a lightsaber for her birthday, so maybe this is a match made in heaven after all. We can fight evil together, and then we'll all go out for potatoes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Zom-Com Contest!

Alright! The peeps have spoken, so we're going to do another thinking type contest, only I'm not going to ask you to think too hard because I will feel guilty if you break something. Anyway, this contest is called the Zom-Com Contest, which you have probably figured out if you actually read the titles to my posts. And if you don't, PBBT! on you.

Anyway. The purpose of my contests is pretty simple: make me laugh the hardest and you'll win. It ain't rocket science, people. And your task is to make me laugh with a zombie-related object of your own creation. Note this last bit, folks: linking to someone else's awesomely hilarious zombie story will not win you this title. You must make it up yourself.

So what qualifies? Anything, really. Make a lolzombie. Write a zombie haiku or a limerick. Tell a zombie joke. Make up titles of books about me and zombies, or you and zombies, or you and me and zombies. Write a song about zombies. Photoshop a picture of Zombie Richard Simmons. You get the idea, right? Anything goes, so long as its yours, so long as it's undead, and so long as it's snarfy. Post it in the comments section if you can. If it's a graphic, you can put it on your own blog and put a link in the comments section, or you can email it to me direct at carr dot harr at yahoo dot com.

I'll give you a week for the contest, which means that entries will close June 17th at noon EST. I will announce the winner by the 19th. Enter as many times as you like. The more, the snarfier. But please keep your entries PG-13. I write for teenagers, remember?

The winner will receive one of the infamous Wonder That Is My Blog prize packs. Contents vary, but at minimum this one will contain a $25 gift card to the online book retailer of your choice and a copy of Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth, because zombie books written by people named Carrie are kewl. I linked to the old prize packs so you could get some idea of their contents yesterday, but I guess I'd better do it again just so you can bask in the awesomeness.

Awesome.

Doubly awesome.

See what I mean?

Alright. Did I forget any essential bits of info? Ask me in the comments. Otherwise, bring on the zom and the com. I promise not to drink anything while I read your comments, because I expect you to be funny.

No pressure or anything.

UPDATE (6/11/09)
Last night, I realized that there is such a thing as leaving a contest TOO open-ended, so I decided to give you some prompts to help get y'all started and avoid any flaming brains. (Although the zombies might like that.) The contest is still open to whatever bit of Zom-Com you want to put together; you do not have to use the prompts. But I realize that not all of you have the time or inclination to obsess about funny zombie stuff like I do.

So... if you're running low on ideas and still want to enter the contest, how about making a lolzombie out of one of these? We've got an armless zombie, and a zombie ordering from McDonalds. There's a free lol creator here, because I'm all about enabling zombie nonsense. You could also caption one of the photos if you're not interested in fooling around with the lol creator thingy.





OR... write a haiku about Zom Cruise. (That would be a zombie Tom Cruise, if you're relatively new to the Wonder That Is My Blog and are unfamiliar with the fabulousness that is ZC.) OR... give me some titles and/or hooks for a book about me and zombies.

There! Does that help?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Contests and Tapioca, But Not Tapioca Contests

My brain has turned into tapioca. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that it's tapioca-er than usual. Because it's usually a little tapioca-ish by default; know what I mean?

I just like to say 'tapioca.'

So it's about time to do another contest type thingy here at the Wonder That Is My Blog. And I need to ask you; do you like the bigger contests where you actually need to think in order to enter or do you prefer those leave-a-comment-and-win-something type jobbies? Despite the aforementioned pudding brain problem, I've been thinking about this and am pretty sure that I am in the former category: I've been making you all come up with silly titles and such in order to win prize packs of random snarfishness.

No, seriously. The last one contained a ninja devil duckie. And the first one had a Whack a Zombie in it. Really, what more is there in life?

The unfortunate reality of this is that random snarfishness can get quite expensive. (Although you might argue that snarfishness is priceless, kind of like those credit card commercials, and you would be right.) So I want to know, do you like these contests, or is it just too much freaking work to enter and who really wants a ninja devil duckie anyway? Or are you all freakshows like me and actually ENJOY the silly title contests? Because I am all about giving you what you want. Unless what you want is, like, gross. Or illegal. Or illegally gross. Grossly illegal, even.

In those cases, you're out of luck.

This seems strangely apropos.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Lord of the Rings in 60 Seconds

Look, Jane, look! It's something that makes me snarf!



I think this video has a very important message: it's time to step beyond the magic rings and give the other magic thingies their due. Imagine being a pair of magic galoshes, just waiting for someone to recognize your awesomeness. But nooooo. Those #$*)ing cutesy little rings get all the attention.

Magic galoshes are pretty much the nerds in the world o' kewl magic objects. And since I am a nerd, I identify with them pretty strongly. Y'know, in case you couldn't tell.

My WIP has a holy object in it, which is pretty much a stone's throw from a magic object in terms of literary devices. And I think that in the interest of kewl magic objects everywhere, I need to step outside the usual magic object box. I shall not use a ring, or a gem, or something pretty like that. I will not kowtow to convention and break out the holy hand grenade.

Nay! I shall do something different.

Like this:


It's Holy Richard Simmons.


I blame this whole idea on Super Brave Mercedes. She sent me the most hilarious thank you gift ever: a handmade purple ninja with his own Richard Simmons doll. I nearly gave myself a coronary, and now I've got Richard on the brain. So thank you to Super Brave Mercedes for the ninja, and to Humongously Awesome Hollan for the ninja pictures. My office is nice and ninja-y now. Y'all deserve to go into the Semi-Secret Order of the Blog Ninja just for sheer awesomeness. I also belatedly realize that I never added Kiersten to the SSO, and as the office assistant to The Universe, she deserves it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Version of a Writing Prompt

I cannot do the writing prompt thing. Rather, I've been in enough workshops that I can write to a prompt, but said writing always sucks rocks. The one exception to this rule is an old friend of mine: we used to send each other insane writing challenges, like the time that he challenged me to write a poem about wobbly hamsters. I just spent about 15 minutes scouring our mess of an office to try and find a copy of my 'Paeon to Wobbly Hamsters' without success. So just pretend that I posted it, and it's really witty.

The funniest part about this anecdote is that I worked on a scientific paper a couple of years ago in which the phrase "wobbly hamsters" was used a few times. In fact, there was an illustration of a wobbly hamster. That made my day, let me tell you.

Anyway, I'm going to do the Carrie version of a writing prompt. I'm listing off 10 of the best search items that led people to The Wonder That Is My Blog in the past couple of weeks. And then I'm writing a poem using those items. If anyone else has a site meter, I'd love to see yours. You poem, not your meter.

Wow. That sounded vaguely pervy. Oh well.

And here are the items:
  • Evil baby eyebrows
  • Because the ninjas are too busy
  • Did you hear that probably not cuz I'm a ninja
  • Hot thumbs
  • I'm a bimbo
  • Game ninja cooking for zombies
  • Pumping iron good vibrations
  • Seven semi ninja
  • Boob door knocker
  • Snarf foot

And here be the poem:
Ninja strikes the
Boob door knocker
A single clank heralds
Death on the front porch
When she answers
he says, "Did you hear that?
Probably not, cuz I'm a ninja"
and gives her the hot thumbs
The end for her is brief

Villain waits,
seven semi ninja arrayed like playing cards
When Ninja arrives, he arches an
evil baby eyebrow but
the bodyguards fail to strike
distracted by a ninja game:
Cooking for Zombies

"Fall under the power of my
snarf foot!" snarls Ninja
and Villain gropes for assistance but finds none
because the semi ninjas are too busy
"I'm innocent," he cries
but Ninja cuts his throat
delighting in the good vibrations
of pumping iron-rich blood
onto the floor
"Right," says Ninja,
"And I'm a bimbo."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This Is Why You Shouldn't Steal My Stuff

One time, I chased a robber. This makes me sound a lot more badass than I really am.

See, it was the summer after my freshman year of college. I'd just filled my rusty little hatchback with the contents of my dorm room. I'd use the word "packed," except that this connotes some kind of organization, and I had none. I was too busy flirting with guys and cheating at euchre to do something silly like PACK. And then I drove to my mom's townhouse. By the time I got there, I was starving, and the house was empty. Mom was out, and there was nothing to eat unless you count cottage cheese, which I do not.

I hate cottage cheese with the fire of a thousand suns.

So I walked to Arby's. We didn't have an Arby's on campus, and I have always been addicted to their baked potatoes with everything. I love potatoes so much that Slayer once gave me one for Christmas. I had this sentimental attachment to it and refused to eat it, which was a bad move on my part. Diamonds last forever, but potatoes do not.

Although I'd still rather have a potato if given the choice.

I walked to Arby's and returned with my potato and a Dr. Pepper. I am now beginning to regret telling this story because I am now hungry.

My car was parked right outside the door, and the neighbors huge 80s van was right next to it. You know the kind of van I'm talking about. It was one of those purple monstrosities that look like it either belongs to a bunch of hippies or a serial killer who used to be a hippie. Either way, that thing was big.

And that's when I saw the guy crouching at the door.

It was probably a mistake for me to move all of my stuff in and leave it sitting in a heap in sight of the door. I had a stereo, a fridge, a microwave. I also had about 15 penis cozies because I used to crochet them for friends as gag gifts. And no, I never saw anyone model them. Most of them were purple. They matched the van.

Something tells me that the robber wasn't after the penis cozies.

Anyway, something inside of me snapped. I dropped my potato. My fists clenched. I barked out: "HEY! I see you!"

He ran behind the purple hippie van, and we danced a little. I watched his feet under the van and kept trying to intercept him, but he kept backing away from me. And finally, he took off running.

I ran after him. By this time, I was so hopping mad that I was shouting obscenities at him. I think I was less angry about the potential for losing my stuff and more angry at the fact that for a moment he scared me. I didn't stop to think about what I'd do if I did in fact catch him. He was a pretty big guy, and this was during my teaching-aerobics-and-dancing stage. (I did modern and jazz, not THAT kind of dancing, thankyouverymuch.) I was maybe 120 pounds on a good day. So I feel compelled to point out that while this story is hopefully amusing, please don't repeat my mistakes. I'm lucky I didn't get creamed.

Anyway, he ran a lot faster than me, because you know, he was scared that I was going to scold him to death. And then I threw my shoe at him. In his general direction, really; I was standing in the middle of the street and he was long gone by the time the shoe flew, but it made me feel better.

After scolding me, the police officer who came to take my statement asked for my autograph. Later, I figured out who the guy was. Apparently, petty thieves also like ugly purple vans.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Query Ninja - Smurfette's Laugh

Yep. It's Query Ninja time. I'm thinking I need a pithy theme song or something. Like instead of "It's Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords, it could be "It's Ninja Time."

Humor me.

Anyway, if you're new to the whole Query Ninja thing, you can check out Da Rulz here, and the past two episodes here and here. If y'all are nuts enough to keep sending me queries, I might just have to put in a sidebar or something.

Daring, aren't I?

Anyway, here's the query, courtesy of the fabulousness that is Tres Smurfy BT.

Dear Fabulous Agent,

Lusted after, abused, haunted, and with family and friends dying around her, Smurfette is starting to think being a pioneer was a bad idea.

From England to the virgin soil of Smurfland in a cramped sailing ship. Harassed aboard and ashore by the first smurf and by the spiritual leader of their group, both who have problems keeping their thoughts pure when it comes to young smurflings, Smurfette struggles to find true love, and her place in the new village.

Hostile cats, smurfy superstition, and cartoon legend collide in an atmosphere charged with unbridled lust and misplaced passions. Searching for respect from Papa Smurf and company, Smurfette’s only hope is an old black smurf.

With settings reminiscent of 'A Kingdom for the Brave' by Tamara McKinley, but with the passion of 'Madame Bovary' by Gustave Flaubert, 'Smurfette’s Laugh' has a ready made audience of slacker readers looking for a fast paced read set during early Smurfland settlement.

I sharpen my writing skills in the short story markets, with pieces published at venues such as Smurf & Smurfling, Smurf to Smurf, and Yellow Smurf.

I’m studying for an Advanced Diploma of Art in Professional Smurfing, and I’m an active member of the Australian Smurf Writers Association. For more information please visit http://smurfsaremadeofawesome.blogspot.com or contact me directly.

Yours truly
Tres Smurfy BT

Smurfy, isn't it?

I hope y'all don't think I'm being redundant here, but I'd like to invoke the Church Lady Rule again. There's a heckload of stuff going on in this query, what with all of the smurfish lusting, the haunting, and the dying going on. (We're here to mourn the loss of Brainy Smurf at the hands of Azrael the cat. Let us bow our smurfs and smurf.)

Anyway, there's so much going on here that I end up feeling a little overwhelmed. You've told us bits and pieces about each element in the book, and I'm sure they're so awesome that they're just smurfy, but I don't feel like I know enough about any of them to tell for sure. For example, you mention hauntings and legends (MadLibbed as "cartoon legend"), but then you don't tell us anything about those elements. Rather than telling us a little about a bunch of things, maybe focus on a couple of things that really rock.

And that means the Church Lady Rule.

The main question is what sets you apart from all of the other sweeping historical epics set in 1980's Smurfland. Based on what we know from the query, this seems to be the legendary haunting bit. There are plenty of epic passion plays out there, but how many epic passion plays can you name in which the Ghost of Thundar the Barbarian keeps popping up?

I dare you to come up with one. I DARE you.

Whatever element you choose, whether it's this one or some other bit of awesomeness that we don't know about yet, it's just a matter of weaving the elements together into the query in a way that feels natural. Smurfette moves to Smurfland; she's threatened by the passions of two very threatening Smurfs. And then the hauntings begin, and...
She's blamed for them and accused of Smurfcraft? Uh... witchcraft?

She's threatened by them, and one of the bad Smurfs may be the only one with the ability to save her?

She's so intrigued that she follows Thundar into the wild and meets the old black Smurf, not realizing that the bad Smurfs are following her?

Something even more Smurfishly awesome?

I don't know where your story goes, but hopefully you get the idea. Take the passion elements you have in the query, add the complication of the Church Lady element, and stir it all up.

And then there's the old black Smurf, who potentially has the solution to Smurfette's quest for respect. I think that if you're going to bring up a character like this, you've got to bring it back around to Smurfette before you close out the query. The book is about HER choices, right? HER adventure. So what is Smurfette's reaction to the potential solution? What potentially keeps her from taking the solution, running with it, and living happily ever after?

I think if you could just tighten the focus a little, this query would be just smurfy. But it's time to open comments up to the rest of you peeps. What words of wisdom do you have for Tres Smurfy BT? Bring it on!

And mucho thanks for sending in your query. You rock the casbah!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lolzombies

I have discovered something that is made of awesome. For years, I've avoided all things LOL. I have run from lolcats, shook my head in befuddlement at loldogs, and uh... well, I can't think of anything else so please insert something else funny here. Anyway, I hereby take back any insulting lol-related comments that I have ever made. I discovered this.

Yeah, it's lolzombies.

Of course I made a few of my own.









I was going to do another title contest soon, but I'm tempted to do lolzombies instead. What you thinkz?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Sweating with the Ninja

This week's Thing That Makes Me Snarf is extra special, or at least I think it is and expect you to humor me. It's a movie made by... well, me. And it's called Sweating with the Ninja.

And about Keith, who sent a link to the Xtranormal site to me? Well, he's made of awesome. He's also the newest member of the Semi-Secret Order of the Blog Ninja.



Or should that be the Sweaty Semi-Secret Order?
 


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