Monday, February 28, 2011

My Trip, Pool Noodles, and Volcanoes

I'm back! The trip was lovely. Some highlights:
  • Wrote 15,000 words on the WIP, which once again feels like a Shiny New Project even though I'm almost at the end.
  • A sunburn was achieved. For me, it's not a vacation unless there is peeling involved.
  • I climbed a volcano and lived to tell the tale.
  • We saw LeVar Burton in the airport. I have had THIS stuck in my head ever since. I know he was in Next Generation, but I'll take any excuse to sing that song.
  • A crazy Italian man hit me on the head with a pool noodle.

And here are some photos!

I climbed this!

And this is the part where the volcano erupted, and Slayer had to beat up some random woman in white pants.

Okay, okay. So MAYBE I forgot my camera and am making this last bit up. But the pool noodle really happened.

Friday, February 11, 2011


So, next week, Slayer and I leave for Hawaii. This means that I'm going to be spending Monday and Tuesday madly packing and washing and occasionally Tweeting "LOOK! I'm madly packing and washing!" I won't be blogging again until after I get back. But Things Happen when I go on vacation. Like the time two Mexicans tried to get in my hotel room by saying, "But we have to POOP!"

I should state for posterity that it did NOT work.

So when I come back to this here blog, I will have plenty to talk about. And please, don't feel too jealous, because I will pay a price for this vacation. I predict that I'll have a sunburn about five seconds after I step off the plane. NOT EXAGGERATING.

Oh, and I also wanted to send a shoutout to all you robbers out there. Someone will be staying at my house. And unless you're coveting zombie penguins, I don't have anything worth stealing.

But I don't want to leave you snarfless while I'm gone, so here are a list of links that I go to when I need a laugh. Add to it in the comments? There's always room for more funny.

But BEFORE YOU GO, please know that When Parents Text contains some PG-13 stuff, and Damn You, Autocorrect! can be absolutely foul. But it's the kind of foul that made me laugh so hard I snerked yesterday, and tears were running down my face, and my kids came running and stared at me funny.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hex Hall is so...Hexxy

Happy Bookanista day! The short explanation--Thursdays, lots of cool writers (and me), books we love, awesome list of links at the bottom, girl with freakishly long legs on the graphic. And there you go!

So. Today we’re celebrating HEX HALL by the amazeballs Rachel Hawkins. This totally hexxy book came out in paperback this month, so if you haven’t read it yet you now have no excuse not to get a copy. And you need to do it FAST because the sequel comes out next month.


So now, I’m gonna hex you up. I mean…uh…list off five quotes from HEX HALL that cracked me up. Seriously. It’s funny. So funny that I had a hard time choosing quotes and eventually just started opening the book at random and picking something that made me laugh.
  1. ”Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his heavenly beings.” pg. 25
  2. ”I figured Elodie wouldn’t want to go back with me to see Alice again after the “my gaping chest wound, let me show you it” thing…” pg. 277
  3. ”Of course, the only words I managed to yell at the werewolf as he ran at me were, “BAD DOG!” pg. 19
  4. On the upside, my crush on Archer was totally gone. Once a boy has slammed his kneecap into your rib cage, I think any romantic feelings should naturally go the way of the ghost.” pg. 118
  5. ”But this room looked like it had been decorated by the unholy love child of Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake.” pg. 33

Seriously. This book is funny, let me show you it. And it's purty too.

When you're done drooling over the cover, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Edit a MILLION Times

I'm beginning to dread the question "How many times did you revise BAD TASTE IN BOYS?" Not that it's a bad question by any means, just that it's so hard for me to answer. I end up arbitrarily picking a number and tossing it out there, which means that depending on when you read my interviews, I'll have edited ten, fifteen, or a million times.

Seriously. When I sit down to write, it goes something like this:

WOO! Time to tackle Chapter 8! I've got my Dr. Pepper, and my comfy sweatshirt, and I even brushed my hair which is an achievement in itself. I've been wanting to write this scene for a while too! *opens document* Oh, but WAIT. I'm not happy at all with the beginning of Chapter 1. It's too slow, and I want her to do the handstand on the table right away, because I like that bit. I'll just tweak it a little...

*a half hour later*

There! Now I can tackle Chapter 8! *writes for about five minutes* Oh, WAIT! I just thought of the perfect sock-related one-liner for Chapter 4! I have to go put that in... and while I'm there, I think that scene could use a little tightening. It feels slow.

*a half hour later*

FINALLY! That's so much better. Now I can tackle Chapter 8! For REALZ.

Only it's never for realz. It takes a major effort of willpower for me to sit down and straight out draft a chapter. Of course, this also means that by the time I'm done, the first half of my manuscript has been edited lord knows how many times, and the last bit is straight out first draft material.

So I guess the answer to that how-many-times-did-you-edit-BTIB question is "I have no freaking idea," but it's not very fun to read, is it?

Anybody else do this?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - Whose Line & the Hoff

I laughed so hard at this that I CRIED. Cried, I tell you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When Gags (and Gaga) Run Out of Control

If you've been around here a while, you know that I'm a big fan of the running gag. As an example, you could go back to my mutant wombat phase--I think I must have referenced mutant wombats at least once a week for a couple of months there, and to me it just got more and more ridiculous every time I did it. Of course, it's also possible to overrun a gag, as evidenced by my first set of edits in which my lovely editor said, "Yes, this was funny the first three times you said it. Now, not so much."

My son has inherited my running gaggy tendencies. For a while there, every joke involved butts. Now that, you might say, is pretty typical for an elementary school kid, and you'd be right. Eventually, we got sick of the butt jokes and told him to find something else to joke about. His selection? Grandmas. Every joke involved grandmas, as in: "Knock knock! Who's there? Grandma! Grandma who? Grandma head!" And then he'd laugh uproariously. Or he'd sing "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, using only the word grandma: "Grand-ma-ah-ah-ah! Grandma-ah-ah-ah!"

It was, admittedly, pretty funny the first time he did it. The sixtieth? Not so much.

So we got sick of the grandma jokes and told him once again to find something else to joke about. And they'd been talking about continents at school. So he decided to joke about Africa.

At first, he did a lot of African Lady Gaga renditions, and that wasn't a problem. But then, we were at the grocery store, and one of his sisters wasn't listening, and I'd just given her a stern talking to for running around in circles and screaming while I was desperately trying to find the chick peas. And then he says, "You're so stupid! What are you, from Africa?"

Color me embarrassed.

So then we had to sit down right in the middle of the aisle and talk about how some people are of African descent and how did he think that would make them feel and so on. And the whole time I'm looking up and down the aisle and PRAYING that no one heard that.

The whole thing made me think. And I probably owe all you mutant wombatians an apology too. I promise not to sing about you to the tune of Lady Gaga anymore.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Truth Will Set You Play Ridiculous Board Games

I'm still a little stunned from yesterday. I'm used to posting silly things about random supernatural creatures that also serve as alternate light sources, so that kind of honesty was a little scary. Would people want to read it? Did I come off sounding like a total Boo Boo Whinyhead? So I just wanted to say again that your comments really mean a lot to me. And hopefully, someone will read that post and all those comments and get something they need out of it.

So really, THANKS.

After a day like that, we had a pretty quiet night. Slayer and I played Trivial Pursuit, and I am embarrassed to admit that I MISSED A QUESTION ABOUT RICHARD SIMMONS (and about 700 about golf, but that's beside the question). We got a little punchy, as we inevitably do during TP. (It has the same abbreviation as toilet paper! Coincidence? Well...probably.) Slayer demonstrated how difficult it is to tell the difference between pink and orange after working for 12 hours straight. And I demonstrated that sometimes lawyers and basketball players are interchangeable.

It's all a part of that happy thing, our board game playing. What games are you into lately? We need a new one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney

Today is Bookanista day! Bookanista day makes me happy. And today, I’d like to talk about Daisy Whitney’s THE MOCKINGBIRDS. Here’s what it’s about:

Some schools have honor codes.

Others have handbooks.

Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

I’m usually pretty silly about…well, everything. I hope you aren’t disappointed, because today, I’m going to be serious.

When I was in high school, I was date raped, so this book really hit home for me. So much of what Alex goes through in THE MOCKINGBIRDS is familiar. Just like her, I tried to convince myself that I’d wanted it, tried to remake it in my mind as something consensual. I remember afterwards, how it felt like nothing would ever be the same. Like I was unfixable.

But if I was going to write a sequel to this lovely, hopeful book, I’d write about how time passes. How one day you’ve got your hands full trying to make it to graduation without giving up and swallowing the pills you’ve got stashed secretly in your pocket, and then one day you turn around and realize that you’re HAPPY. You’re no longer focused on just surviving; now your job is to be funny and to tell tall tales about ridiculous circumstances and about being brave despite impossible odds. You realize that’s been your dream all along. You realize that somewhere along the way, you dared to start dreaming again. You realize you deserve those big, impossible dreams. You realize they aren’t so impossible after all.

You wish that someone had had the guts to write this book when you were seventeen. You’re glad Daisy Whitney had the guts to write it now. You wish you could skywrite the title above every major city so that some girl somewhere with pills in her pocket could read it and decide to flush them, because if there’s a message to this book, it’s that there is life after date rape or whatever your label may be. I think this message works just as well for THAT guy who is gay, or THAT girl who is poor, and so on. Like Alex, you can choose not to be defined by whatever your THAT is and go on living your life. In my case, it’s one hell of an awesome life.

Daisy Whitney, you rock more than sparkly vampires.

See? I can’t stop cracking jokes even when I try. But damn it, I’ve EARNED that. And it just goes to show that what THE MOCKINGBIRDS says is true. I’m not defined by date rape. I may, however, be defined by my irrepressible sense of humor. And I’m damned proud to be THAT girl.

So, on that note, please go check out a little more Bookanista love!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things That Make Me Snarf - The Ninja Glare

Sorry I'm a little late in posting this morning. We got snowed in, and the kids are all crazylike.

So I played this video for them and made it worse. Now they're all running around kicking the air and yelling, "OMG! I'm a ninja!" Or maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wanna Win a Contest?

Did you know that BAD TASTE IN BOYS is one of the featured titles over at the Class of 2k11 this month? That means that you can recreate the cover OR mash up my title with another book (and oh boy does that invite inappropriateness) and WIN FABULOUS PRIZES.

If this writing thing doesn't work out, I should totally because a game show announcer.

There are lots of other titles out there that you can recover or mash, too. Checketh out the instructions here. Just think, all you have to do is make a cover or mash some titles, and you could win a 2k11 ARC or new release!

*drops streamers on your head*

So! Email those new covers and titles to! I've already seen one new BTIB cover that made me laugh my socks off. And now my feet are cold.