Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Books! Bait! Awesomesauce!

I know you've been waiting with bated breath (and not baited breath, which would be gross) to hear about my favorite books this year. And since I'm a Cybils judge this year, I'm splitting them into two categories. This way, we can see if the other Cybils judges are as crazy as me. They probably didn't make any Richard Simmons Christmas cookies this year, so probably not.

Anyway, here are my favorite reads of 2009. What did I miss that you think is a must-read?

Category: Fantasy! Science Fiction! Awesomesauce!

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement Moore
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor

This list is all YA, all the time, because I read mostly YA. Although one of my new favorites is Skulduggery Pleasant. Sooo kewl. I kind of want to invite him over for New Year's.

Category: Young Adulty Fabulousness!

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black and Cecil Castelluci
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Paper Towns by John Green
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Whee! And don't forget that Cybils finalists are posted on New Year's Day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

WTF Monday - Now with Holiday Cheer!

Last night, Slayer and I were watching some television and not wrapping presents, because we are stellar procrastinators. Srsly. If there were Procrastination Olympics, I'd be a gold winner for sure. Not that I'm discounting Slayer, but I think if I begged, he'd let me win.

I think that's a nice thing. Although maybe not.

Anyway, there was this commercial that said, "Dancing is good for you." And then: "And so is fish oil." So I'm buying Slayer a tanker full of fish oil, we're going to fill our basement with it, and then go dancing. That should be EXTRA good for us. We'll be like superheroes or something. I'll be the Dancing Queen, and he'll be Fish Oil Guy.

On second thought, I may need to work on those superhero personas. I know Maureen Johnson loves the ABBA, but I'm not sure I can stand to be known as, well, someone who would wear THAT.

I'd rather be known as a fan of THIS:

Yes, that is a Richard Simmons Christmas cookie. I'm decorating cookies with the kids this week, and you all know what I'm going to be making. Hee.

Friday, December 18, 2009

WTF Friday, Now with More WT!

My brain is broken. Today's entry will probably be nonsensical. However, that's not much different than any other day, so never mind.

I started the new book. I think I mentioned that yesterday, didn't I? And I used the phrase "merpire yingyang." This is now my new favorite phrase. Pretend that I put it into the meme yesterday under the My Favorite Words category. Frankly, it's so awesome that I think I need to write a song about it.

I have looked and looked for "Paeon to Wobbly Hamsters," which is a poem I wrote years ago. I think you'd like it. (Yes, I mean YOU.) Unfortunately, I think it was swallowed by one of my old computers. Maybe, just maybe, I'll write another poem with that title. Because titles don't get much better than that, do they?

I should note that I can't take credit for it. One of my oldest writing buddies challenged me to write a poem about wobbly hamsters. He wrote one too, and we traded. His was kind of gross but in that amazing imagery kind of way. Mine was quite naturally silly. Or maybe it's more accurate to say mine was, quite naturally, silly.

Damned commas.

Anyway, kudos to Monte for coming up with majorly cool hamster related poetry ideas.

I have this nagging feeling that I was supposed to do something this weekend but can't remember what it is. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Thank god. Tere Kirkland tagged me. This saves me from having to, y' know, THINK.

This meme is about writing, so I figured what the bleep. I'll give it a try.

1. What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have? The last thing I wrote was the first two pages of my next book. Whee! Of course, now I'm in the obsessive-edit-two-pages stage, where I read and reread every blinking word in an effort to make it "perfect," all the while knowing that I'm being an idiot and perfect is unattainable unless you are Richard Simmons. The first thing I wrote is a book called "The Beautiful Butterfly" in Kindergarten. It got a special award at the Young Authors Conference and solidified my geek status for all eternity.

2. Write poetry? I used to. One of my killer poems was "Slumber Party with the Pope." Fer real.

3. Angsty poetry? *hangs head in shame* Yes, I used to do that too. I should probably note that "Slumber Party with the Pope" does not fall into this category. Neither does "Paeon to Wobbly Hamsters," although it would be funny if it did.

4. Favorite genre of writing? Young adult, natch. This would explain why I WRITE IT. Durr.

5. Most annoying character you've ever created? Probably Tickle Bits from the No Pain sequel. Yes, you read that right. Tickle Bits. If you think that's bad, you should have seen her original name.

6. Best plot you've ever created? Well, there's this vampire, see, and he glows in the dark, because sparkles are so overrated. And he falls in love with this girl who actually has two left feet; it's a birth defect or something. It's a romance. A very romantic romance.

7. Coolest plot twist you've ever created? Did I tell you she had two left feet?

8. How often do you get writer's block? Not too often. I find that writer's block only comes when there's something really wrong with my plot. It's my subconscious' way of saving me from having to rewrite half a book.

9. Write fan fiction? Dudes, he glows in the dark. She has two left feet. Do I need to get any more blatant?

10. Do you type or write by hand? I've written a few short stories by hand. Revenge of the Mucus Shovel Fairy was actually written in a notebook while I was on vacation. But generally, I'm a typist.

11. Do you save everything you write? Only the good stuff. Which means yes.

I am very modest.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it? Absolutely! Actually, No Pain went on the back burner for about three months, because my plot didn't work. One morning I woke up and said, "Eureka!" or something equally inspirational but not quite so lame. That day, I picked it back up, finished it within about a month, and the rest is history. Or at least it should be.

13. What's your favorite thing you've ever written? Um... have I mentioned that No Pain sold to Delacorte? Nuff said.

14. What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written? I don't know. I'm hoping it's one that they read. It may or may not have glow-in-the-dark vampires in it.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama? Um, have you been listening? Glow-in-dark. Two left feet.

But really, most of my books have some romantic element in there.

16. What's your favorite setting for your characters? I tend to gravitate towards modern suburbia. I like the idea of all these wacky things happening in my hometown.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now? Two. I'm doing edits on the No Pain sequel and slowly but surely starting Fangirls, my next book. I don't like to draft more than one at the same time, because my mind is chaotic enough as it is.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing? I'd call publication a pretty freaking awesome award. But if you're talking real awards, I have to go all the way back to "The Beautiful Butterfly." Le sigh.

19. What are your five favorite words? Snarf, publication, snarfy publications, and publication-snarf.

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself? Probably Kate from No Pain, but I'm a lot sillier than she is. Really.

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters? I hate questions like this. I'd like to sic a rabid dog on them. I get ideas by doing this strange thing called "thinking." I wish there was some magic answer, but there isn't.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams? No, but I sometimes dream about my books, which is kinda fun except when you're writing a lot of scenes with puking in them. Srsly.

23. Do you favor happy endings? I favor realistic endings. If it's realistic that the characters are happy, that's fine.

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? Obsessively. I edit as I go. For god's sake, I edit emails.

25. Does music help you write? Nope. I end up singing and dancing. It's hard to type and do that at the same time.

26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.


Hey, that's what popped into my head.

Okay. Finally done. Now here's the deal. I'm going to ask you a simple question? Do you know what you're posting on your blog next? If not, you're officially tagged. You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Awesomesauce

I am speechless. Scillius Maximus the Great (fo shizzle) made this for us. I shall let its awesomeness speak for itself.

The link is worth clicking. Trust me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 12 Days of Wacky Searches on Carrie's Blog

Remember a while back when I was the David Hasselhoff of Turkey? Well, now I'm apparently the Katie Couric of Michigan. I only get a few Turkish visitors each day, but four or five people visit my site looking for Katie Couric. I hate to break it to you, dudes, but she's not here.

Anyway, in honor of the holidays, I bring you the 12 Days of Wacky Searches on Carrie's Blog:

On the first day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the second day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the third day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me a rollerskating vampire, a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me underwater beefcakes, a rollerskating vampire, a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me a couple of holiday heinies, underwater beefcakes, a rollerskating vampire, a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me the WTF Blanket, a couple of holiday heinies, underwater beefcakes, a rollerskating vampire, a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Carrie's blog gave to me tampons used as a weapon, the WTF Blanket, a couple of holiday heinies, underwater beefcakes, a rollerskating vampire, a Richard Simmons rainbow puke image, a wolf with scary eyebrows, directions to make a stingray costume, a book about zombie computers, Muppets with braids, Miss Bimbo Twilight and the Katie Couric of Michigan.

So never say that I don't give you anything.

And yes. These really ARE searches that led people to my blog. Weird.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Richard Simmons on Whose Line

How is it possible that I haven't posted this?!?! I am a bad, bad person.

Bad Carrie. No biscuit.

Anyway, please sit back and enjoy the skit that made me a Richard Simmons fan for the rest of eternity.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unofficial Official Agent Day

Today, if you haven't guessed from the title, is Unofficial Official Agent Day. This little baby is the brainchild of the uber-kewl Kody Keplinger, who has amazing talk-like-a-gangsta-skillz, along with a book concept that rocks the freaking casbah. The idea is that agents tend to get a lot of... well, CRAP. And it's Undeserved Crap. So a group of us wanted to take the time to show our agents how much we appreciate them.

On the count of three, everyone say, "Awwwww!"

But seriously? My agent, Kate Schafer Testerman, aka Daphne Unfeasible, is so darned kewl. Let me tell you why.

Kate sends me links for zombie plates, because she thinks I'll like them, and she's right! She knows to wish me a happy Halloween, because she knows it's my favorite holiday. She remembers the little things about me that only my close friends keep on top of, and that makes me feel awfully darned good. While we're in a business relationship, she keeps it friendly and low-key, and that's just how I like it. Some people like hoity-toity, but I'm not one of them.

She likes the name Daphne, which is one of my favorites. There's an unfortunate corrolary to this, though. Now I can't have a Daphne in my books. I already have a Kate, and I'm just lucky that I didn't make her a sniveling weenie.

She's fabulous at all the things that agents are supposed to do. She answers questions at ridiculous hours so I don't have to wait, negotiates one hell of a contract, and helps keep me sane. I suspect that this last one is harder than all her other duties put together.

The fact is that publishing is a hard business. Agents aren't in control of all this (see Undeserved Crap above), and I think they're affected by the lunacy just as much as writers are. It's important to have a good agent as well as an agent that's a good fit for you, because that makes the interminable waits, submission purgatory, and all the other publishing weirdness bearable. I am lucky enough to have both of these things.

(Note that I'm NOT blaming editors for things either! If you want to sling Deserved Crap, I think it needs to go to the amorphous God of Publishing, because it seems like a general process problem to me more than anything else. Editors get Undeserved Crap too.)

So thanks, Kate. Have some fabulous virtual shoes.

There's plenty more Unofficial Official agent love spreading through cyberspace today, kind of like a fungus only not really. Check out Lisa and Laura for the massive linkage.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Feel So Freaking Kewl Now

OMG. I'm so thrilled that I've been reduced to using ridiculous abbreviations. My book. MY book is listed at Goodreads. And there are some people who are crazy enough to want to read it! I don't know most of these people, which actually makes it COOLER, because that means they aren't listing it because they're afraid I'll bite them if they don't express appropriate book-related appreciation... which of course I would do.

I'd like to meet them and kiss them. Except that it would probably freak them out, so maybe I'll just give them gifts. Like, um... brains. Or I gave Masonian the letter Z the other day, because he gave me a link to a zombie shirt. Sorry, people. You can no longer use Z without giving Masonian credit.

Anyone who lists No Pain, No Brain as a wishlist or to-read book on Goodreads can have a letter. You know you want one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Zombies Doing Yoga

I got a copy of The Zen of Zombies for my birthday, courtesy of Scillius Maximus the Great (fo shizzle), and it is made of awesome. I totally would have shown up for this video. Warning that the zombies may be a little scary for younguns; there's some awesome makeup in this video.

I've been thinking about zombie themed ideas for when No Pain comes out. I'm thinking maybe Zombie Equestrian Events. You'd come to that, right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gifts That Make Me Snarf

Normally, I'm so organized. Normally, I'm done with Christmas shopping by now, or at least so close to done that I can gloat. Not this year.

But I figured that at the least, I could turn my Christmas foot-draggery into something that would work for YOU, my loving readers. (Awwww.) So here are a few brilliant ideas for that hard-to-please person on your list.

Forget the Snuggie (aka the WTF Blanket). Have you bought a Girlfriend Lap Pillow for that special someone on your list? Because they're made to feel like real legs, and nothing says I-love-you like dismembered legs.

Or show the woman you love how much you care by having someone make a Barbie that looks like her... if she was undead.

Of course, you all know that I really want one.

If you're really stuck, go for the default and buy some clothes. Like this Vampirism does not make stalking attractive t-shirt. Or if you're buying for someone with a serious masochistic streak, try the Pressure Points: A Guide to Killing Me shirt.

Yeah, I want those too.

If you're looking for something bigger, why not go for furniture? Show that special someone how much they mean to you. Buy them a chair that may at any time decide to eat them.

Yep. Want.

Or if you don't like that, how about a chair made out of stuffed panda bears?

The best part about this list is that I'm now done Christmas shopping. Slayer, I hope you like pandas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

WTF Monday - Now with More Random!

My son has been working diligently on his writing, which of course thrills me to no end. Last night, he sat down with pencil and paper to write a bunch of random words. He's at that stage where the words go down randomly on the page and without any spacing whatsoever, so you end up with lines like:
The dog is fat lip, Batmatman!

Carnut, go love! Ha, that hug!

I want to write a comic strip, just so I can create superheroes named Batmatman and Carnut, and put those lines in there. If only I could draw.

I've been thinking a lot about this Zombocalypse name thing. If you missed it, we were talking a while ago about needing a Zombocalypse name. In the movie Zombieland, they used names of cities, which I find kind of boring. And then the lovely KC suggested using the name of your favorite cartoon character followed by an action verb. I adore her for coming up with something workable, except that my Zombocalypse name would then be Tick Snarf. I'm not sure I can deal with that, but I like the formula. So I think there's going to be an option. You can either use KC's Fabulousness, or you can use your favorite nursery rhyme character combined with something violent.

Hence, mine is Little Bunny Kung Fu. Kiersten gets props for suggesting it.


So then, of course, I started thinking about all those silly name formulas. Like, if I was a gangsta (Yo!), I'd be Peanut Butter and Chocolate Heels (favorite ice cream, favorite shoe). If I was in Star Wars, my name would be Harcao (first three letters of last name, first two letters of first name, add O). If I was a hippie, my name would be Total Maple (what you ate for breakfast, favorite tree).

But the best one?

There are a few formulae for the adult film star name, but I like using the name of your first pet plus your mother's maiden name.

Mine? Superstar Rug.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Books! Challenges! Bad Poetry!

The Story Siren

I'm taking on the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, because I am kewl. The rules are so simple that even I can follow them: Read at least 12 books by debut authors in 2010. The best part? It's an excuse to get books.

I'm sorry in advance, Slayer.

It's going to be easy, though, because the debut awesomeness is plentiful. Here's what's on my list so far:
  • The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff
  • Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
  • Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • Everlasting by Angie Frazier
  • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
  • The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson
  • Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
  • The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
  • Other by Karen Kincy
  • The Witch’s Alphabet by Caitlin Kittredge
  • Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Anna and the Boy Masterpiece by Stephanie Perkins
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Have I missed anything that you think is a must read?

In other news, I'm so far behind on haiku reviews that I've lost track entirely. But here are a few things that I've read lately that you might like if you're looking for something new and awesome:

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Add one girl Templar,
Fallen angels, cute boys,
And stir. Result? WOOT!

The Dreaming Volumes 1-3 by Queenie Chan
A quick read graphic
novel, bursting with cool
Australian myth

Scepter of the Ancients/Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
I am now in love
with a sarcastic, gutsy
talking skeleton

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

Frankly, I think this version is better than the original.

My favorite Muppet is Animal. I'm sure this says something about me. Like I'm a drummer and have the mental status of a five-year-old. And I have bright red facial hair.

We can't be right all the time, I guess.

With love,

Little Bunny Kung Fu
*Prepare for the Zombocalypse!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Carrie Harris Awards

I want to start my own awards show, with random, nonsensical awards that no one else gives out. For example, there's the Best Rolling Award. I was a dance minor in college, so obviously I'm really into that kind of thing. And every time I see the Australian Dance Theatre, they roll. Repeatedly. Kinda like this.

They'd also get the Best Kneepads Award.

The movie Behind Enemy Lines would get the Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Running. Have you seen it? If not, here's the trailer.

Okay, so that's about three minutes. What you missed is about an hour and a half of Owen Wilson running in slo mo, and sometimes at regular speed, y' know, for variety. Sometimes he runs in snow, sometimes in the woods. And eventually, he gets covered in mud. And runs.

And trust me, people. He's a damned good runner. That's why he gets the Lifetime Achievement Award.

I also want to give out the Best Hair Award, but I'm undecided about whether to give it to Richard Simmons or Princess Leia.

My hair is half my body weight.

If both my hands were tied behind my back, I could fire this gun with my bun.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf - Hollywood Bloodsuckers

This one is PG-13 for some cartoon violence and bleeped out language. Thus endeth the obligatory warning for peeps with kids.

I'd totally see Rockula in the theater. Have you all heard about Transylmania? I am all for any film with the slogan "College students. The other white meat." Definitely going to see it on the strength of that alone.

Slayer wants to take me shooting in the interest of gun safety. I told him that was fine as long as we found some place where people wouldn't look at me weird if I painted my targets to look like zombies and yelled, "Double tap!" after each shot. Or two shots, I guess.

That makes me think, which we all know is dangerous. In the movie Zombieland, all the humans gave themselves nicknames based on locations that mean something to them. In other words, the two guys were Tallahassee and Columbus. But really, I refuse to be known as, say, Cleveland. No, in the event of a zombocalypse, I want a name with style, a name that says something about me. I'm thinking Little Bunny Fu Fu, but I'm not entirely sure.

What would your zombocalypse name be?