Friday, April 30, 2010

Websites You Never Wanted To See

I'm designing my website. Has anyone else done this already? I'm a little disappointed that my designer vetoed my first theme, which was various pictures of my head on Richard Simmons' body. He said it gave him nightmares.

Buy my books! And eat more vegetables. Just not...uh...THESE vegetables.

So now I'm all out of ideas, unless you count the theme where I highlight celebrities with hairstyles that look like food.

Forget the nightmare-inducing vegetables. The web needs sites devoted to hairstyles that look like yummy breakfast foods. And buy my books!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's right either. So... if you've already done your site, how did it go? And if you haven't, have you already planned it all out?

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I started looking at the sequel yesterday, because I am a lunatic. One of my favorite scenes is actually inspired by a senior prank played by one of my friends when he was in high school. I'm not going to give you the exact deets, because duh, I want you to read my book. But it got me thinking about pranks. Fun, mean spirited and otherwise.

I think my favorite prank ever was planned out by one of my college roommates. This was the guy who looked vaguely devilish and was obsessed with the X Files. Anyway, his high school graduation was supposed to be outside, only for some dumb reason they moved it into the musty, yucky gym. They were concerned about allergies or something. Well, the seniors all wanted to graduate out in the sun where it was pretty and didn't smell like old socks. No go. Administration wouldn't allow it.

So roommate went to school with boxes upon boxes of alarm clocks. And put them in the rafters. Set to go off at different times. By the time all of them went out, the noise was deafening. Graduation was moved outside. I hear it was lovely.

I'm not exactly advocating this. I do think it's funny, and it was a creative way to accomplish the goal. But roommate got into a LOT of trouble over it, so please bear that in mind, Gentle Readers. (And you not-so-gentle readers? REALLY bear it in mind.) But it's great book fodder, isn't it?

What are some of your favorite pranks?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celebrity Round Up

I'm a huge pop culture junkie. When I need to relax, I read trashy magazines. (This is, however, a far cry from college, when I used to read the Weekly World News and decorate my door with the headlines. Oh, how I miss those days.) When Slayer and I play trivia, I'm the pop culture and lit person. He does science and sports, because as much as I love science, I'm really only an expert on imaginary scientific achievements and Mad Cow disease, which is not imaginary although it sounds like it should be.

In other words, Slayer answered a lot of science questions during the writing of BAD TASTE IN BOYS.

My favorite celebrities are the ones that are unintentionally funny. As you probably know, my favorite celebrity of all time is Richard Simmons, although after seeing him on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, I'm not so sure that he's unintentionally funny. I think sometimes he's even funny on purpose.

Hiya, people! I'm funny! My shorts, however, are HILARIOUS.

And then there's Batman. My son idolizes Batman. I can't get past the part where it's a guy in a giant, nippled bat suit. People get arrested for things like that.

Criminals should fear my nipples. Everyone else does.

And then there's the Hoff. I adore the Hoff. I like to watch him sing in German and make up fake lyrics to sing along. I like to imagine what he'd do if his chest hair was made of bacon. (But really, doesn't everyone?) But most of all, I like watching this.

WARNING: You should not watch this video. I am not responsible for what happens if you do. Unless you have a sense of humor like mine and don't mind an F-bomb, in which case you have to watch it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Frum

Does anyone else out there name their computers? Ever since I was in college, my computers have all been the Frumious Bandersnatch, or The Frum for short. I tried to rename the laptop, because I have a desktop downstairs that is The Frum, and we'd have serious computer identity issues if we gave them the same name. So I called the laptop the New Hotness.

Big mistake.

The New Hotness overheats. Constantly. Which seems only natural since he is the new HOTness, but I didn't expect him to take me so literally. The power cord actually fell apart under the pressure. "Why isn't this working?" I asked, and then it literally fell into two pieces. It reminds me of the night Slayer proposed to me, and we toasted each other with sparkly liquid, and I was so shaky excited that I put my glass down on the edge of the table. It fell over and shattered. So Slayer's washing the remaining glass in the sink, and he says, "Well, at least we still have ONE glass."

The bottom fell off. Plunk. Right in the sink. Not kidding. Not even exaggerating for comedic effect.

Anyway, I've learned my lesson. I have a new power cord and two computers named The Frumious Bandersnatch. And Slayer and I only toast each other with plastic cups.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Mortor or Mordor?

A friend sent me this one, and I have no idea how to embed it, but it is so worth clicking on this link, if only to see how much Gandalf wishes he was a ninja.

But then again, don't we all? Except for those of you who really ARE ninja. You people don't have anything to covet. Except for Gandalf's beard...

Back to working on my super sekrit ninja-related project.

Oops. So much for the super sekrit part.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Zombie Games of Awesomeness

Alright. I am done with edits. For now. (Dum dum DUM.) And we all know what that means: it's procrastination time! And when it comes to procrastinating, I love to play games. I'd really like to play Humans vs. Zombies. You need to visit this site, if only for the pictures. There are pictures of happy people fleeing the zombie hordes. You need to see them.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough people willing to shamble towards me and Slayer while we pelt them with Nerf guns. So for the moment, I've been playing Zombie Fluxx. Really, it doesn't get much better than a game that requires you to create a zombie baseball team or make brain sandwiches.

What are your favorite zombie themed games? I gotta know! I have some procrastinating to do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bacon Bits and Chest Hair. (I don't understand me either.)

Can someone explain to me what's up with all the bacon related products? Because I was totally on board with the Tactical Bacon. The concept makes sense to me. People in the throes of a zombie invasion deserve bacon too, and the only way they'll get any is if it's in a shelf stable can. I'm all about supporting that cause.

But they lost me at bacon infant formula. The fact that it's waiting list only frightens me.

And then... there's this. Words cannot even express how hard I laughed at this one. It's the BA-K 47.

Yes, I'm a gun. Made out of bacon. I don't get me either.

What's next? A lifesize bacon statue of him?!?

I only WISH my chest hair were made from bacon bits. But doesn't everyone?

Somebody please explain this to me. PLEASE.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Signs That You've Edited Too Much

It sounds like a lot of us are stuck in Revisionland/the Edit Cave. So let's talk about something important: How do you know when you've edited too much? For me, it's a simple line. When I go to put on shorts for the first time and notice that the tops of my thighs are bright red--not from sun but from laptop burn--I know I've been editing too much.

What about you?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's All About You

So I realize you're probably sick of hearing about editorial revisions, because really, one can only talk about changing verbs from present to past tense so many times before it becomes completely yawn-worthy. So let's switch the tables and talk about YOU for a change. How's your writing going? Anything my crack team of intrepid blog readers can help you with? (But not my intrepid team of cracked blog readers, because trust me, you don't want their advice.)

Free advice you probably didn't want in the first place. And pictures of bathtubs with writing all over them. Yep, it's just an average day in Carrieland.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Wally Pleasant

This song cracks me up. I saw Wally Pleasant every time he came through Toledo when I went to college, and my boyfriend at the time was the first person to ever ask for his autograph. Awesome.

Stay tuned. If I ever find my camera, I shall regale you with pictures of my new zombie printed platform heels.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Six Degrees of...

Thanks for the kind words yesterday. They really meant a lot.

So now, there's something very important I'd like to tell you about. I hope you're sitting down, because this honestly is reality-shaking news.

You all know the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, right? Well, I'm two degrees of separation from...

Two degrees? We're practically BESTIES!

The first boy I ever went on a date with (not the one with the pompadour, or the mobster, or the one that thought he was a werewolf, or the one that got the cue ball stuck in his mouth)? Well, his mother worked on one of Richard's Sweating with the Oldies videos back in the day. So it goes:


So it occurred to me last night, while I was busily changing verbs from present to past tense, that this means something very important. You. Yes, I mean YOU, who are reading these words right now? You're three degrees of separation from, well, THIS:

Three degrees? We're practically BESTIES!

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doing the Job

Some days, I don't feel like being funny. My kids have been going through one of those post-vacation phases wherein they don't listen, don't sleep, and scream things like, "I hate you; you're mean!" It's hard to be funny after that.

I think this is one of the major distinctions between the hobbyist (accidentally typed "hoobist" the first time...I have no idea what that is but it sounds pervy to me) and the professional. Because I know a lot of you do what I do: you put your butt in the chair and write. You write when you don't feel funny (or romantic, or adventurous, or like a yeti midget goatherder, depending on your book). You write when you'd rather be sleeping, hanging with friends, or watching some reality tv show you'd never admit in public. You write when it's a chore as well as when it's a pleasure. Because you're a professional.

You write funny even when funny seems like a really cruel joke. And somehow, the funny rubs off on you, and things don't seem quite so bad. My daughter is screaming at the top of her lungs right now. I think I'll go be funny. Because once I've dragged my butt to the chair, I'm inevitably glad I did.

Back to the regularly scheduled funny tomorrow. I just wanted to say that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Gwar on Joan

Gwar + Joan Rivers = hilarious.

At least, that's what I think.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Autograph City

I've been thinking about autographs, thanks to ongoing conversations with Natalie Whipple and Amy Spalding. So you can blame all this on them if you want. Note that I didn't TELL you to blame, but just...suggested. Gently.

Anyway. Autographs. I've always laughed at the concept of celebrity autographs, and on the rare occasion when I have met A Famous Person, I haven't bothered getting one. Except for when it comes to books. Try to borrow one of my signed copies, and I suddenly turn all neurotic: "You want to borrow that? Uh...okay. But you realize it has my name in it, right? Written by the author? He BREATHED on that book. So if you want to borrow it, you have to keep it coccooned in saran wrap at all times, and keep it in a safe when you're not reading, and...."

A little silly, huh?

And why do we covet a piece of paper with a name written on it anyway? Especially since 99% of them are completely illegible and could be written by a monkey just as prettily. Why don't we collect fingerprints? Or a strand of hair, which would provide the added benefit of making DNA cloning possible when such technology is developed? Although really famous people would then all be bald, so that probably isn't such a great idea.

So do you have any autographs you particularly cherish or one you'd kill to have? My first lit-autograph was Gwendolyn Brooks, and it still gives me warm fuzzies. And I'd kill for a Terry Pratchett. Not like he really needs a link, but I'm link-happy today.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Here are my updates:
  • We are back from the beach.
  • My hair is crunchy.
  • No, really. It's crunchy. I spent way too much time in the water.
  • No, I'm not a merpire.
  • Yes, I'm a little disappointed about that. I've attempted to *sparklesparklesparkle sloshsloshslosh* but it's not the same when a human does it.
  • I guess this means I have merpire envy.
  • I did not see any merpires at the beach. Darn it.
  • But my edits are almost done.
  • My edits are not crunchy.
  • Therefore, using logic, we can deduce that my edits didn't spend too much time in the water.
  • I'm a little slappy after spending almost two days straight driving home. Can you tell?
  • Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that I missed you. You're wonderful for saying such nice things about my new title. Yay, new titles! Yay you!

Okay. Gotta go wash my hair.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

EXCITING News, At Least To Me

Soooo. I'm taking a vacay after Easter dinner on Sunday, which means that you'll be getting a few posts from me on and off next week but not a lot. That's okay, though, because it means I get to leave you basking in my Exciting News.

You know what that means? Excitement. And news.

Yeah, I'm the mistress of the obvious, alright.

Anyway, you all know that I wrote a book, right? And said book will be published by Delacorte NEXT YEAR. That's right! You can have some zombie awesomeness all your own! I'll even sign it for you, you kewl blog reading person, you! The book was called NO PAIN, NO BRAIN. And if you picked up on the past tense there, you are very observant, grasshopper. Now go try and catch a fly with some chopsticks. I'll wait...

Yeah, I can't do that either. I've tried. Really.

As much as I love NPNB as a title, and as much as I will miss it, I'm REALLY REALLY excited to announce my new title. It's the perfect choice for a love story. Kinda. With zombies.


You likey? Me likey. A LOT.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pay It Forward Author Interviews - Andrea Cremer

You should already know the drill by now. Interviews! Awesomeness! Inspiration! The Royal We! It's a week of wow here at Chez Harris.

Seriously. Wait 'til you read my news on Monday. I'm very excited. And yes, I'm taunting you. Taunt taunt taunt. Which is different from tauntaun tauntaun tauntaun. No, really. It is.

Today's interview is with the really REALLY awesome Andrea Cremer. Andrea's book Nightshade has one of the most gorgeous covers ever, with a photo by my absolute favorite photographer ever. (Suza Scalora. *sigh*) Anyway, Andrea's character Ren has haunted my dreams (not that I'm complaining). That's right. I got an ARC! Taunt taunt taunt! (But not tauntaun tauntaun tauntaun.)

1. Tell us about your book. (And by "we" I mean me and Richard Simmons and all our loyal subjects.)
Nightshade will be in stores October 19, 2010 (Philomel/Penguin). The first in a gritty and spellbinding series, the world of Nightshade is filled with living shadows, sinister forces, and dangerous magic. Alpha Guardian Calla Tor must discover secrets long hidden that will lead her down a path of love and treachery.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication (finding an agent)?
There's a myth among aspiring writers that you can't get published without connections. It really is a myth. When I made the commitment to publish Nightshade even if it took everything I had, I didn't know anything about that world. I did research. I learned about agents, practiced writing queries. Submitted to the agencies that seemed the best fits for my work. And my ms was pulled out of the slush pile. No connections whatsoever. To get published you need patience, an iron will, and belief in the value of what you've written.

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?
I never got to the point of wanting to give up - becoming a novelist and continuing to write for the rest of my life had just become too important to me once I was in the writing trenches. However, there were many times when I thought "This is NEVER going to happen," and I'd cry and call a loved one and they'd cheerlead me back into hopefulness. If you're trying to break into the publishing world you must understand it's an uphill battle. There will be rejection. There will be despair. It's up to you to decide how much it's worth to you, because the climb is not an easy one. I always knew once I started down this road, giving up wasn't an option. I wanted it too much. But there were times when I thought it might cost me my sanity. Seriously.


Thanks so much for the interview, Andrea. And for Ren. Aaaah, Ren.

Visit Andrea on the web at:

And you should totally check out the other interviewers this week. MORE questions! MORE awesomeness! MORE royal 'we'! How can you resist? Well, you can't.

Elana Johnson
LiLa Roecker
Beth Revis
Leah Clifford
Victoria Schwab
Kirsten Hubbard
Kim Harrington
Suzette Saxton/Bethany Wiggins
Amy Holder
Tiffany Schmidt
Susan Adrian
Dawn Metcalf
Kathy McCullough
Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pay It Forward Author Interviews - Kim Harrington

If you haven't heard this already, you are either living in a paper bag, or you've unplugged this week, and I envy your willpower. This week is an Official Week of Awesomeness, because I'm participating in Pay It Forward Week! This little baby is the brainchild of Elana Johnson, she of the awesomesauce e-book, and LiLa Roecker, my future partners in the Midwest Writing and Armwrestling Awesomeness Tour. The concept is simple: all this week, 15 of us pre-pubbed author types are interviewing fellow debuts about Issues of Importance. I'm talking things like "Do you ever feel like giving up?" and "Do you like M&Ms?" That's right, baby, these are things that will help YOU in your writing.

Today's interview is with my fellow Elevensie and all around kewl cat, Kim Harrington. I met Kim at SCBWI NY, and she was so nice and funny that it took all my willpower not to stalk her around the conference. (Okay, maybe there was a little stalking going on. Don't tell her, kay?) Kim's debut, CLARITY, will be coming out from Scholastic in February 2011. Mark your calendars. I predict there may be riots.

No, really. She's that good.

1. Tell us about your book. (You know, I'm starting to worry that maybe I'm NOT royalty. Maybe I have an alternate personality named Richard Simmons. ZOMG. That would explain a lot.)
CLARITY is a paranormal mystery set in a tourist town on Cape Cod. There’s murder, psychics and romance, and I really can’t wait for people to read it! It’s coming out in February 2011 from Scholastic.

Dude, we can't wait either. Riots, I tell you. RIOTS!

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication (finding an agent)?

I’m what you’d call an overnight success.*

I always loved writing, as a hobby. Many years ago, I decided to start writing short fiction for publication. I got many stories published (in online and print mags, anthologies, etc.). Then, I decided to try my hand at a novel. Just to see if I could finish one. I did finish it. It was crap and about 100 agents agreed. But I was kind of hooked at that point, so I wrote another one. And another one. And then I wrote CLARITY.

*Okay so I lied about the overnight success part.

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?
Hell yeah. In between every book and probably somewhere along the way during each book. What hit me especially hard was book three. I thought it was “the one”. I loved it. I snagged my fantabulous agent with it. But it didn’t sell. I started to think I was wasting my time. I didn’t have what it takes. It would never happen for me. Blah, blah. Wah, wah.

Then, one day, a line came to me out of nowhere. And from that one line grew a new main character and her family. I knew I had to write them. And now that one line is the last sentence in chapter two of CLARITY.

I think it’s only natural to feel all the ups and downs. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little pity party for yourself now and then. But, sooner or later, inspiration will strike and you’ll end the pity party and park your butt back in the chair. It happened to me.


Thanks so much for the interview, sunshine. Although when the riots hit, we'll all know it's your fault. I did mention the riots, didn't I?

Visit Kim on the web at:

And you should totally check out the other interviewers this week. MORE questions! MORE awesomeness! MORE royal 'we'! How can you resist? Well, you can't.

Elana Johnson
LiLa Roecker
Beth Revis
Leah Clifford
Victoria Schwab
Kirsten Hubbard
Kim Harrington
Suzette Saxton/Bethany Wiggins
Amy Holder
Tiffany Schmidt
Susan Adrian
Dawn Metcalf
Kathy McCullough
Gretchen McNeil