Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paranormalcy's Book Birthday Party

Today, my friend Kiersten's book Paranormalcy hits the stores. This is freaking exciting. I read Paranormalcy back when it was a wee manuscript and Kiersten said things like, "Do you think it's good?" and I said things like, "Heck yeah! Are you BLIND?!?" Yeah, my supportive friend skilz awe me sometimes too.

Anyway, in honor of Paranormalcy, I'd like to invite you to a party. I've got a stellar lineup. And Kiersten, please pay close attention. You'll be accosted by these people on the street today. Please don't call the cops; I have to pay them extra if they get arrested. Okay?

David Hasselhoff will be bringing the balloons.

And if you're lucky, I'll also sing my hit song, "Do! With olives!"

My ninja support squad will provide the music. So please don't be worried if you hear dueling electric guitars coming from thin air.

Don't mind the ninja ego, peeps. You ARE this awesome.

Princess Leia will do her dancing routine for us, and all the guys will gawp.

Um. On second thought, never mind that.

Then, Richard Simmons will leap out of the bushes and give us all heart attacks.

Happy book birthday, Paranormalcy! Um...why are you all rolling around on the ground and clutching your chests?

But seriously, people. Paranormalcy is a fabulous book, and I'm proud to call Kiersten my friend. I hope you'll pop on over and congratulate her today.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Awesome Like the Batson Awards!

This weekend was HUGE at La Casa de Harris. My son played in his first soccer tournament, and his team made it to the championship. They went into overtime, penalty kicks, and finally sudden death. It was a total rollercoaster, with each team scoring neck and neck throughout the whole thing. And then?

My kid won his first championship.

He played like a champ despite the 90 degree weather and even scored a couple of goals. But the thing I'm most proud of is that everyone was commenting on his sportsmanship, because he's always cheering on his teammates, and he listens so hard when his coach talks that I think he might crawl down Coach's throat. I'm so ridiculously, crazily proud of him.

So today, I'd like to give out some awards on the Batson's behalf. Because there are a lot of awesome things I'd like to celebrate. Without further ado, I give you the Awesome Like the Batson Awards!

First, I'd like to celebrate all of YOU. Because this little blog has just passed the 50,000 visitors mark! Of course, about 10,000 of you are here because you're looking for pictures of Katie Couric, but you still showed. So without further ado, I'd like to give you the Whatever the Reason, I'm Glad You're Here award.

Although if this is the reason you're here, I might judge you a little.

Have you met Lenny? He may be an almost teen (I've got that right, don't I, dude?), but I'm entirely sure that he's wiser than I am. He's also an aspiring writer, so stop by and give him some encouragement. Lenny loves raccoons, so I'm giving him the Samurai Raccoon Blogger of Awesomeness award.

Even this samurai raccoon isn't as awesome as you, Lenny.

And last but not least, I'd like to give an award to the zombie purse I found the other day. That's right, the Super-Subtle Things to Get Me For My Birthday award goes to THIS.

I can be purchased at Too Fast Online, if anyone wanted to buy me for someone's birthday. Speaking hypothetically, of course.

More awards to come later. Right now, I desperately need to purchase groceries or learn how to summon food with my mind.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Pirates v. Ninjas v. Zombies v. Robots

This is pretty much what it's like in my head. Except in my head there's more color.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Message to You

Good morning/afternoon/whatever-the-heck-time-it-is, friends, neighbors, stalkers, people I met once but have unfortunately forgotten, wildebeasts, merpire wannabes, monsterphiles, and people who Googled Katie Couric's name but ended up here by mistake. (No, really. That last one happens a LOT. I have no problem when visitors get here using search terms like "when sparkles attack." But I have to admit that I'm kinda weirded out when they visit me to get the latest deets on the Couric.)

I had this brilliant idea last night for a blog entry, and I went to bed safe in the knowledge that I had something witty to say today. Apparently, the aliens got to me again and brain probed that great idea right out of my head. They need to get a bleeping blog so I can read it and admire my idea from afar.

Anyway, I'm sorry. You can pretend that I remember what I was going to say, and it was very funny, and you liked it. While you're at it, I suggest you also pretend that I gave you a pony, and there's a hot merpire of whatever gender you prefer living on your bedroom floor. I will warn you, however, that he/she smells like fish sticks. I suggest you invest in a little Febreeze if you don't have some already.

There's a marketing plan for you, Febreeze! Your slogan could be: "Febreeze makes merhunks smell better," or "Febreeze--For the times when you don't want your hot supernatural date to smell like fish sticks."

Anyway, that's enough of that. Please pretend I said something witty here... (Scans entry about Febreeze, fish sticks, alien blogs, and wildebeasts.) Yeah, you'd better pretend. And then check out my interview with Jen Daiker over at Unedited. I made a lot more sense that day. The aliens hadn't gotten to me yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Slayer

Today is Slayer's birthday. I've been lucky to marry a bee slaying savior, ninja extraordinaire, and all around fabulous person. He's my go to guy for all questions medical, combat, and boob-joke related. So please do take a moment to wish him a happy one in the comments. I'll pass around the cake. You probably won't see it, though, because it's a ninja cake, and they tend to be invisible. But trust me, you liked it.

Love you, honey.

And in other news, you can find me on my agent's site talking about brands. Woot! I am kewl! Or...uh...something.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One of Those Days

It's been one of those days. One of my daughters has screamed all morning, and I think I've started this entry about ten times now. Most of the deleted versions started with something like, "AUGH! GRAAAAH! BLARG!" I deleted them because I didn't want you to worry that I'd been infected by the zombie virus.

Speaking of zombie viruses, have you see this yet? One of my critique mates sent me this video. I'm not trying to make light of what happened with these kids, but MAN. It's like my book came to life (minus the cannibalism part, which is probably a good thing). And that's bleeping COOL.

Anyway. In an effort to cheer myself up, I give you my favorite random picture of the week:

I am zombie Stephen Hawking. All your base are belong to BRAINS!

Wow. I feel better already. I bow down before the healing powers of zombie geniuses. And Stephen Hawking jokes that make no sense whatsoever.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Merhunks

So how did you do on those goals last week? I'm all ready to celebrate with you. In fact, I got you something. I just couldn't help myself. I saw it in the store and immediately thought of you. Because it's all gorgeous and... um... yeah.

I feel compelled to say for posterity that I really didn't think of you when I watched the merporn. I was joking about that. I was too busy laughing.

So this week I will be ALL OVER THE INTERNET. But I won't be wearing a tail. Or posing in a fountain. I hope that's not a letdown. You'll still come visit me, right?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stick It To the Man

Blogger doesn't want people to comment on my entries. I say this because at least once a week, one of my posts ends up without the little commenty links. (And if it happens with this entry, I will KNOW they're sadistic comment-gobbling poop-heads.) I can't fix it. I don't know why it happens. Trust me when I say that *I* love your comments. I print them out and wallpaper my office with them.

Actually, I don't. But I should. Our office has the world's worst flowery wallpaper. It would be much cooler if it was papered in your comments. Or THIS:


Obligatory credit for the sticker thingy is here.

Anyway, I just wanted to say sorry for the suckery. Anyone else have this problem? How did you fix it? Besides ordering your local neighborhood ninja attack squad to stick it to the Blogger man, of course.

Oh, and if you do see an entry that you just HAVE TO COMMENT on, try clicking the title. That usually brings up the commenty bits.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Footloose Fail

Do you need a little inspiration to reach your weekly goals? Never fear; Carrie's here with snarfish videos to stimulate your creativity. Or something.

Yeah, I'm a mean person. I laughed out loud at that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Celebration of Suck

Remember how I set that goal to be done with the first draft of my new book this week? I did it with time to spare. I hit that point where the words flew, and it was nice outside, so my kids splashed around on the Slip n Slide while I wrote about carnivorous plants and greasy mobsters.

So I think it's time for a celebration! Of course, the whole thing sucks, but it's a first draft. It's SUPPOSED to suck. But I'm proud that it sucks with a beginning, a middle, and an ending. It's a complete array of suck, and that's an accomplishment.

I'm saying this somewhat tongue in cheek, but I really do believe in what I say. I remember finishing my first book, reading it over, and feeling embarrassed at the suck instead of feeling proud that I wrote a whole book! Full of words! And it wasn't all "sparkle sparkle sparkle sparkle spar-CALL!" Although in retrospect, I might write that book. It might be fun.

So I'm choosing to embrace the suck. Because I've got lots of ideas to make it NOT suck, and I can't wait to implement them, and really, can anything with carnivorous plants be truly sucky? Of course it can't.

So without further ado, here's my new mascot:
Suck! Suck! Suck! Suck! GRAAAAGH!

He's not very articulate, but that's okay. He's a first draft mascot. Once my manuscripts are all sparkly, they get a new mascot:

Sparkle sparkle sparkle spar-CALL!

It's like fate or something. How're you all doing on your goals? I wants to know!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bacon Makes It Better

You may have heard this already, but over the weekend we had a bacon party. And oh my god. My house still smells of bacony goodness.

There were bacon wrapped hot dogs. Bacon dip. Bacon wrapped chestnuts. Chocolate covered bacon WITH SPRINKLES. (Bacon and sprinkles. Better than chocolate and peanut butter if you ask me.) I made bacon and maple syrup cupcakes that were out of this world, if I do say so myself.

We learned that I'm three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Sadly enough, I'm only two degrees from Paris Hilton. That was really hard to deal with. In fact, the only thing that made me feel better was THIS:

Yep. This is a bouquet made out of BACON. And it smelled delicious.

So you do realize that YOU are three degrees of separation from Paris Hilton, right? I suggest baking up a nice bacon bouquet. It'll make you feel better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trailer-ish Thing

This weekend was so many different kinds of awesome. Bacon party. Hoff Roast. Sleep. But one of my best moments was waking up to find that I'd received an Email of Awesome.

Remember how I mentioned that I really wanted a Movie Voice Guy? Now I have one. Mason, lunatic extraordinaire, recorded a movie trailer kinda audio thing for Bad Taste in Boys. And then I added some video-ish stuff.

The result is historic.

Admit it. You want one of these too. But you have to ask yourself: Are you ready for this jelly?

Yeah, I have the best friends and readers EVER.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Any Excuse for a Sparkly Merpire Extravaganza

I've reached that point in my WIP. You know the point that I'm talking about. It usually hits about two thirds of the way through the manuscript, and all of a sudden you realize that your baby kind of sucks. It's not your fault that it sucks; it's just that your mobsters refused to cooperate with what they were supposed to be doing, and the justification for your MC doesn't work. So he seems a little like a doofus.

And normally, THE POINT makes me really frustrated, and I have to take a step back from the manny and do something else for a while. But not this time. This time? The point makes me laugh.

It's funny, because I've reached this point with four or five manuscripts now, and every time it takes me by surprise. Like I expect THIS manny will behave and the rest of the mannies will gnash their teeth in envy. Or they would if they had teeth. Mine don't. I'm strange, but not that strange.

Anyway, I've decided to forge on through this time, uncooperative mobsters and doofus MCs notwithstanding. I'm finishing this draft NEXT WEEK. That's my goal, and I hope you'll help hold me to it. Anyone else want to set a goal or two? We can throw a sparkly merpire extravaganza once we've all reached said goals.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bad Romance, Carrie-Style

Here's something I haven't done in a long while. I'm a firm believer that the searches that lead people to your website say something about you (even if that something is "your readers are blinking INSANE"). So here are some of my most recent search terms, inserted into the lyrics of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance.

Why? Why the heck NOT?
Ra Ra-ah-ah-ah
Roma Roma-ma
GaGa Oh la-la

I want your merpire, Your backery
I want your Google fu for teachers, whee!
I want your love
Harmonica love
I want your love

I want your cheezburger
The touch of your hand
Your watermelon costume, spitting seeds in the sand
I want your love
It's mentally scarring
But I want your love

You know I want hot monsters
And you know I need hot monsters
I want it bad
A carousel dress

Yeah, I'm going to be singing this all day now. It really IS mentally scarring, but I can't help myself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Buddy Appreciation Day

This morning, we're celebrating the website launch of my Wonder Twin and fellow 2k11-er, Amy Holder! Amy's website is so freaking pretty. And it dings. I've spent about the past five minutes moving my mouse over the ding-y things to the rhythm of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance.

I hope you'll head on over there and pelt her with virtual confetti. I believe she'll even be running some kind of giveaway type thing later on today, which only serves to elevate her awesomeness.

Which brings me to my topic of the day: virtual writing buddies. I don't know many authors IRL, and most of the people I do know are hobbiests. Not that I have a problem with writing for fun AT ALL. I think it's fabulous, and I love talking to these people about books in general. But some of the most nerve-wracking aspects of this profession are, well, linked to doing it PROFESSIONALLY.

Wow, that was deep.

Really, the only other people on this planet who are going to relate to the urge to Twitter stalk the people with your manny, the only people who will think it perfectly rational that you know more about potential agents or editors than you do about your own neighbors, the only people who will understand why on earth you'd take a shot at joining one of the strangest and most difficult professions out there--those people are fellow writers.

I appreciated a bunch of my critiquers in my acknowledgements for Bad Taste in Boys, but I also wanted to take the time to appreciate friends who, even if they don't have time to read the manny, are still some of the best friends I've got. So today, I'd like to say thanks for being there to:

Amy Holder
Amy Spalding
Ellen Oh
Keri Mikulski
Kiersten White
Kiki Hamilton
Laura Riken (get a website, woman!)
Natalie Whipple

Your turn! Who are your writing buddies you can't live without? Drop them in the comments or write your own blog post and tell us where it is.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Things That Make Me Snarf - Star Trek Tik Tok

Man, they drank a lot more in Star Trek than I remembered.

I think they need to make a Star Trek I'm Too Sexy video. Or maybe "My Humps," by Spock. Yeah, I'd totally watch that. Wouldn't you?

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Sparkles Attack

Over the weekend, Masonian sent me an article about legitimate uses for sparkles. (And no, none of them involve vampires in the sunlight.) I am happy to be in the know about these things. And to have a good excuse for my glitter addiction.

"Me? I'm not addicted. I just need more wackiness in my diet. And protection from bullets."

Apparently, dogs need protection from bullets too, because when I googled "when sequins attack," I found this dress from trixieandpeanut.com:

At least when I watch you sleep it isn't quite so creepy. Okay, maybe if I'm wearing this, it is.

Maybe we should leave the sparkling to the undead. Because vampires and sparkles go together like...uh...like...

Okay, why do vampires and sparkles go together? And if you were the only human around who knew about vampires, how on earth would you go about convincing people about their sparkly existence without getting sent to the hospital with the padded rooms and compulsory craft time?

I think that conversation would go something like this:

Yeah, I kinda thought the same thing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flu, Schmoo

Not a whole lot to say today, because the Harris household is flu ridden. It was a long night. Frankly, I don't think I would have even gotten out of bed if it weren't for my three-year-old daughter repeatedly and deliriously screaming, "Go away, zombies!" from her bed this morning. I had to laugh. It was either that or run for a machete.

So let me leave you with this. I hope you have earplugs.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Roast. And Bacon.

I'm thinking about throwing a party. See, Comedy Central is holding one of those comedy roasts on August 15th. You've heard of these things, right? If you have, you understand why I'm not posting a clip--they're foul and crass and the kind of thing that makes me laugh like mad and then feel vaguely guilty afterwards.

And the subject of the roast? It's him.

Roast me, baby. But, uh, please? Watch the chest hair.

The only way this could possibly get better is if they roasted Richard Simmons. But I'm quite happy with the Hoff. So anyway, I'm tossing around the idea of throwing a Hoff Roast party. But that didn't seem strange enough, so then my frequent anonymous poster (you need to pick a nickname, dude, or I'm going to give you one) sends me instructions on how to make a bacon torte and says something like, "I'd really like it if you dropped everything to make me this."

And a lightbulb went off over my head! It was like the heavens opened up, and a beam of bacon-scented light came down, and lo, it was beautiful. I knew my destiny at that moment. And my destiny is to throw a Hoff Roast/Bacon Party.

So now I'm looking around at bacon products. And I ran across the Bacon Bra. Have you heard of this? You slap raw bacon all over your bits (get it? BITS?) and then sit out in the hot sun to cook it.



I'm kind of speechless at that one. But I've actually worn a chain mail bikini, and I can't say for sure which is worse. I CAN say that I'll be wearing normal clothes at that party, though.

What's the strangest party you've ever been to?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fan Mail & the Writing Gods

I've started getting what I'm going to call fan mail. Emails mostly, from people who read ye olde blog of monsterrificness and are interested in reading the book or asking advice or sending me links about kewl monsters.

I love you people. And I am floored.

It's funny, because we all hear the same writing advice, don't we? "Write for yourself," They say. "Don't write what you think some imaginary audience is going to want to read. Write YOUR story."

And to a certain extent, They are right. And although I'm not entirely sure who They are, I suspect They are Glow-in-the-Dark Ninja Writing Gods, but I can't substantiate that statement.

Yeah, I have no idea where I come up with these things either. But moving on.

It's quite strange to go from writing for yourself to realizing all of a sudden that people are listening to you. And they have OPINIONS. I've been trying to prepare myself for the negative ones, because I know they will come. I know some of them will be well thought out, justified, and delivered with respect. And then there will be others that, um, AREN'T. I'm as okay with that as I'm going to get. But I never thought to prepare myself for the fan mail. And every time I open one and read that you are excited about my book, or you loved something on the blog, or you saw some hilarious thing and thought of me even though we've never met, I get this dizzy, elated, my-head's-going-to-pop-off-my-body-and-pinball-around-the-room kind of feeling.

So thanks. Let's all collectively thumb our noses at the Glow-in-the-Dark Ninja Writing Gods. Because clearly, they don't know everything.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Movie Voice Guy

Over the weekend, I was walking 'round in the woods while Scillius Maximus used his Movie Voice to announce my approach to the trees, gravel, and random woodland creatures. You know what I mean by Movie Voice, right? That booming, melodramatic voice they usually use in previews and things? And then he started announcing Bad Taste in Boys, which was really cool but beside the point. Because I started thinking. And we all know how dangerous that is.

Way back in the day, I decided that if I became famous, I was going to hire a soundtrack guy. Soundtrack guy would follow me around in an outfit covered in speakers and play music suitable for the situation. (The old version of soundtrack guy had him carrying an orchestra on his hat, but I tossed that idea out because sometimes I expect to be in situations that would require some rock and roll. [And because he might have a hard time fitting through doors that way.])

Soundtrack guy? You're fired.

I'd much rather have Movie Voice Guy follow me around, reciting appropriate music lyrics. For example, if I went out to a club, Movie Voice Guy would announce:

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.
I. Don't. Think. You're. Ready.

And then we'd probably get thrown out, but it would be worth it.

Oh! Oh! It would be even better if we went to our local high school football game so I could hang with the cheerleaders, and then I could climb on top of the cheerleader pyramid and shake some pompons, and then someone would hand me a really cute baby, and then I'd talk nonsense at it while Movie Voice Guy recited Lady Gaga for the onlookers:

Rah rah ah ah ah
Rama rah rah rah
Gaga OOOH! La la!

I'm so glad Lady Gaga wrote that song. Because you know, the whole baby on top of a pyramid thing happens to me all the time.

Really, I just need to hire this guy: