Tag Archives: chili fries

Oh, yes, it’s ladies weekend and #ROW80

I’m allowed to start looking forward to the weekend when it’s only Wednesday, right?  This week has sucked so far, as I’ve got a cold and my washer and dryer crapped out just when I really needed them.  Off to Best Buy we went and procured ourselves a new set.

They were delivered yesterday, but the outlet in my laundry room was designed for a range instead of a dryer. My poor house.  I love it.  It’s orange, has a tree growing in the center of it and has lots and lots of windows, but it was built in 1964 and has apparently had nothing but DIYers (including me) habitate under its skylights. Something always has to be updated or redone because it was slapped together with hillbilly carpentry.

Many thanks to Ben, an electrician, for coming out and putting a new outlet in on such short notice.  Also, thank you for being hot and having an accent. I can’t really remember anything you said to me, but the washer and dryer are all hooked up and I’ve got on clean underwear for the first time this week.

Yeah, so when that’s a highlight you can bet I’m ready for a weekend away with my girlfriends.

We go to my friend’s family cabin at the beach every November – In fact, I think this will be my 9th year. The only time I’ve missed it was when I was, like, two days away from giving birth to my son.  We all lounge about and read US and People magazine, drink Bud Light, eat junk food and just generally have a grown-up slumber party.  On Saturday we hit the outlet mall and get started on our Christmas shopping. We play card games and make up dance routines and try on each others’ clothes. There is some hair braiding, I won’t lie. We, without fail, burn our dinner on the first night and have something fried with ranch dressing on it at the bar the second night.

The best part is we get to be how we used to be for a weekend. Before husbands and kids and jobs and mortgages and all the have-to’s that come with getting older. I get called by my first name and no one asks me to get them anything besides maybe another beer. I can forget that I’m on my second set of washer and dryers in my adult life.

The next best part is on Sunday when we go home and get to see our husbands and kids and we offer to get them anything they want and it’s good to be called Honey and Mommy again.

No matter how successful I want to be as a mother and writer, how driven I am, how much I sacrifice “who I used to be,” it can’t all be about getting ahead.  Sometimes you have to relax, do some 8-counts, play Apples to Apples and not worry about word count or deadlines or if your kids have clean jammies.

My point: Acting like a jackass 18-year-old can be good for you. 🙂

ROW80: I wrote 376 words on Dissent on Tuesday and head plotted the rest of the scene last night while folding, you guessed it, laundry.

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The Toilet Business Contest Winners!

Thanks to everyone that commented and shared your crappy job stories.  The jobs fell into two categories: crappy office jobs where people yelled at you or gross jobs that turned your stomachs. I’ve had both types and both have sucked pretty equally.

I had a hard time picking the winners.  I came up with six contenders, but was only going to give five e-books away.  And if I am going to change the rules and give away six, why not give one away to each person that entered?

So, everyone wins! (This is why I was a horrible manager.  Such a pushover!)

Congratulations to Pamela, Marty, Sharon, Keri, Lara, Claret, Deniz, Cara, Jon, Ro, J.R. and Cindy! I’ll send the Smashwords coupon code to all of you today.  Please leave an honest review on Smashwords, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble if you feel so inclined.

Happy reading!

One Year

It’s my indieversary!  And stop haterz, self-publishversary just doesn’t sound as good, okay? 🙂

Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been a published writer for a year! A year that started and ended just before my birthday, so, to me, age 35 will always be the year I got my act together and finally started doing what I wanted with my life.

I’d like to thank my readers for buying my books, writing reviews, and helping me realize my dream of making a living from writing.

A big awkward girlie high-five to all the book bloggers who have reviewed my books, interviewed me, spread the word and held contests.  I appreciate the support you’ve given me and I hope you all know how instrumental you are in helping to build my writing career.

To all the writers I’ve become friends with this year, let’s have a convention or something.  And by convention, I mean a big party where we all drink beers, quote Buffy and get to hang out in person.  You guys are the best.  Thanks for showing me the ropes and commiserating and having my back.  Thank you for writing books that don’t suck and feeding my reading habit as well. 🙂

Soooooooo many thanks to Sarah, my BFF. Thanks for the editing and suggestions and chats on FB and all the Busch Light/ Masterpiece Theatre evenings.  If you like what I write, then I know it’s good enough. 🙂

Eleventy-billion hugs and kisses to my sister for lovingly and repeatedly telling me to get off my ass and write a book already.  Thanks for believing in me!

And to my family – my crazy kids, my long-suffering-at-his-horrible-job-so-I-could-make-a-go-of-being-a-writer husband, my fantastically supportive parents – I love and appreciate you all more than you could know!

I don’t really have anything brand spankin’ new to give away right now, but if you all would like an e-copy of Day of Sacrifice Vol. 1-3, simply leave your e-mail in the comments and I’ll send you the Smashwords code.

Thanks to everyone for making my first year as an indie author a fabulous one and here’s to the next year being just as great!

Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.  After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel. 

Dear Toy Manufacturers:  Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.  Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them) and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in. 

 I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.  My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. 🙂

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.  This is the time of year when I read a lot.  As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the second Outlander book.  I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.  I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.  I’d rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.  I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.  I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.  I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.  Great books, but YA and at $10, kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)  That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.  It was 99 cents.  Devoured it.  Loved it.  Needed more. 

But who published her books?  I couldn’t figure it out.  I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.  More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!  Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.  Query redo!  More submissions!  More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!  I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.  Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.  By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.  Really?  But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.  Damn.  I was inspired.  So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.  A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.  A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.  This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog and liked Glimpse-I geeked out on her books. I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.  It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.  I published two novels and a short story this year.  Wrote another short story that will be out next week.  Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.  Found a community.  And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.  Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.  (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

I gotta get out of this place

This week has been weird and I blogged on different days than I usually do and bitched more than I usually do and I’m glad it’s the weekend!  I’m going to the beach with my girlfriends for our annual “get away from your family” weekend.  There will be outlet shopping, beer drinking, Cool Ranch Dorito eating, and lots of super professional dancing. 🙂

So, just a couple of quick things:  Today is the last day to enter for the chance to win Glimpse, Glimmer, and Day of Sacrifice at Amanda Hocking’s blog.  Go here and sign up you all!

Read a great new review of Glimmer at Book Noise 411 and stay tuned for a giveaway there!

I’m gearing up for an awesome post on Monday, but I need to let it ruminate over the weekend.  Hope you all have a good one.

Tiki is a go.

Hello, all!  I’m back from a whirlwind weekend in Vegas, in which the wedding I was going to was called off, but the reception at the tiki bar was still on.  I’ll post some pictures later.  I managed to only get one photo on my camera, the hubs has all the rest on his.  It was fun hanging out with all my old L.A. friends and reminiscing about when we all worked at Tower Records. (For you kids out there- there used to be these stores that you went to to buy music.)  I also found a new slot machine that didn’t fail me the entire time we were there.  Of course, it was Press Your Luck.  NO WHAMMIES!!! (Again, for the kids, there used to be these things called gameshows where they actually just played games, there weren’t obstacle courses or helmets involved.  Press Your Luck was one of those.)  In addition, I pimped out my books and a couple of other indies to the woman that sat next to me on the plane.  She’s a 5th grade teacher in Renton and I always find that teacher’s talk a lot about books.  I tried not to be sleazy about it and waited until the conversation organically happened.  (You get two chicks together of a certain age and Twilight is bound to come up. )  Anyway, a shout out to the blond teacher with cute hair who knows way too much about produce and was going to see a show at 3 am. If you ever read this I really want to know if the show you got dragged to was The Thunder From Down Under.  That was my guess.

It seems all my Vegas luck extended to home too.  Just like Susan Bischoff said on her blog:  When you go out of town you sell more books.  It was nice to come home to higher sales numbers and lower Amazon rankings.  I believe I will put this theory into practice this week by pretending I’m out of town while getting Glimmer ready to publish.  You’ll be seeing a bit less of me this week on the Interwebs, but never fear, I’ll be back with a vengence next week.  Cheers!

I traded in my mojo for elastic waist pants

Right now I’m waiting for the comments from the beta readers to start coming in and it is forcing me to do things that I don’t like to do, like clean my house.  I’m not good with a lull.  I clean, I eat too much, I go to Target everyday and buy cleaning supplies and food.  I could write, work on the beginning of Glow or my novella, but I’m supposed to be taking a break. A break that I really wanted two weeks ago.  I have a DVR full of shows I’m not in the mood to watch and I finished yet another romance novel yesterday. I’m sure my boredom will go away tomorrow, for tomorrow is GaGa!

I posed this question yesterday on Facebook: What does one wear to a Lady Gaga concert when you usually dress like a mom?  A few people suggested earplugs and leotards.  Others, sequined tank tops and jeans.  Who knows what kind of ensemble I’ll put together?  Prior to having kids this would not have been a problem for me.  I used to dress better.  Used to be more eclectic and funky.  Now I buy the same pair of comfy elastic waist Land’s End Pants in every color they come in.  I also used to dye my hair, wear my contacts, and put on make-up everyday.  For one day it looks like I’m going to have to harken back to the days when I used to give a fuck.  Or, if that fails I suppose I can just sport a boa.

Just call me Tmolus the Mountain God. Seriously. Call me that.

The weather is beautiful outside and I’m really enjoying looking at it from my office. 🙂  I’ll probably get roped into going to the park in a little bit, so I thought I’d do a quick post.

The performance of King Midas this morning with the understudies went really well.  We had an enthusiastic audience, which made the actors try harder and perform better.  I was super proud to be their director.  Our next show is Monday evening and I have to go on stage again.  Eek!  I will have my lines memorized this time and I know it’s coming, so hopefully I’ll do better than the last time I stood in for Tmolus the Mountain God.  Note to self: remember to bring on the dang palm frond (a.k.a. Tmolus’ main prop that I left backstage during my last awesome performance.)

After I got home from the play I sat down to write on Glimmer, but just wasn’t feeling it.  I wrote more than 800 words every day this week, so I’m not going to stress it.  I’m at a place where I am confident that I will be finished with it if not by the end of next week, then by the 26th.  There are still time issues that I’m grappling with and some things I really want to change, but I have to refer back to Glimpse to make sure I’m not contradicting myself.  All I have to say is that it is really annoying that pregnancy lasts 9 months. Ha! Just like in Glimpse, the beginning of the novel starts off slowly and then bam, bam, bam, things happen more quickly as we get toward the end.  Unfortunately, my flow is being thwarted by the damn baby who needs to get born at a healthy gestational age.  Why did Grace and Mike only have to fool around that one time?  Why did I torture myself this way?  I guess that’s just a problem I’m going to have to figure out.  Perhaps tomorrow.

I spent a good chunk of time marketing this week as well and have discovered that there are literally 7 million popular book blogging sites. (All right, not literally, but almost!)  I’ve lined up two more Glimpse reviews for the fall, which is great because hopefully they will be positive and encourage people to buy both Glimpse and Glimmer when it comes out in November.  Now that I’ve been at this marketing game for almost three months, I feel like I’m getting better at it.  People want to like your book and spread the word, all you have to do is ask! Well, and send them a free copy.

My sales this week weren’t quite as good as last week.  After getting used to busting through the Top 100 in a couple of categories daily, that didn’t happen so much this week.  I don’t know if it is because I have a giveaway going on or what, but with the spotlight and the good review, hopefully things will pick up next week.

The kids seem to be taking the longest nap ever and now I wanna go to the park!  Another half an hour and those little buggers are getting a mama-kiss wake-up call!  After the park I think a trip to the store is in order.  Pizza for everyone but me for dinner.  I’m looking forward to purchasing some macadamia nuts, string cheese, and pepperoni.  Uh, kind of.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Go see Inception!  That’s my plan for tomorrow night.

quickie

Just a couple of funny tidbits to add this evening:

I got home from doing King Midas tonight (we rocked it) and found this delightful video on my Goodreads page.  I know I talk about Zoe Winters all the time on here, but the chick cracks me up and she’s a good writer and one of the people who inspired me to go indie.  She did this video that I found hilarious, especially the part about the query letter.  Here’s the vid:

I have a strong desire to make one of these videos now.  Perhaps I’ll use the dialogue Sarah and I had on FB chat this morning while playing the Scrabble-we were having two conversations at the same time, one about some crazy chick from Sarah’s high school posting a picture of an actual dead body on her FB page, the other about my sister’s friend Colleen meeting Kathy Griffin in Las Vegas and giving her one of my sister’s Levi Johnston Playgirl photo shoot lino cuts.  That would make for one kick ass vid, don’t you think?

Another thing I wanted to tell you all about is Switched by Amanda Hocking.  Switched is the first novel in a new YA trilogy and I am hooked already.  It was released as an e-book yesterday, I bought it for my kindle yesterday afternoon for only $2.99, and finished it this morning.  If you’re in the mood for a quick paranormal romance YA novel, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.  I daresay I liked it better than her My Blood Approves series and I’m a huge fan of those books!

Caitlin from Written Word Review posted her interview with me today.  She asked some pretty great questions.  Take a look at it if you get a chance-I actively try not to give the same answers to similar questions in every interview, so you might actually learn something new about me if ya want to. 🙂

Also on the review front-over at Page Turner’s Blog they’ve let me know that they’ll be posting a review of Glimpse sometime later this week, keep yer peepers open for that.

On a final note, if you notice my temper being quite short this week, don’t fret, I stopped eating carbs again.  I saw a picture of myself taken over the weekend and I was like, “Who is that fat ass?  OMG.”  Let’s just say that some changes need to be made.  Currently, I’m noshing on pickles and celery schmeared with blue cheese-it’s good, but you know I wish it was a hot fudge sundae. 🙂

A very unbarbeque to you. To me? To you.

I’m supposed to be finishing up cleaning my house right now, but my momentum  has come to a stand still.  All I had to do was stop cleaning, go pick up the kids, bring the kids home and put them down for a nap, and start cleaning again.  Instead, I arrive at my parents house and my mom has decided to give my son a mullet.  Now, I told her to cut his hair if she wanted, she usually does a fine job, but something possessed her to only cut the front, making the boy look like a mini Ray Cyrus circa 1991.  So, we had to go to the Supercuts and get it worked out.  The boy was actually very good and now looks like a sweet little man. However, I got home and it was 3:00 and I hadn’t eaten yet or checked my e-mail since 7 am, so I sat down to eat and read and here I still be.  The kitchen floors are so gross, they really have to be the next thing I do.

The reason I’m cleaning is because I’m having a- well, we’re calling it a bbq, but I’m not actually bbqing anything, so I guess I’m having an informal dinner party centered around a large cut of meat I will be roasting in the oven.  My friend from high school, Eric, and his family just moved to Beaverton from Missouri and we’re all getting together to eat and drink beer and be glad that the weather has finally managed to get above 55 for the first time in two weeks.  My neighbors up the street are coming over too and we haven’t really hung out with them much, but they have kids the same age.  It should be a very kid friendly Americana sort of evening.

Thanks to those who stopped by and checked out my guest post on A Fanatic’s Book Blog yesterday.  I enjoyed doing that.  Also, I think it helped draw attention to Glimpse .  I see on Goodreads that several more people have added Glimpse to their TBR piles.  I sent off another review copy today to The Page Turner’s blog, so that’s exciting.  I’m looking forward to seeing more reviews within the next couple of months.  I only have 4 up on Amazon now and my goal is to have 10 by the time Glimmer is released.  I think that’s a doable goal.

And because I looked at my calendar just now I would like to report that three weeks from tomorrow I will have seen Eclipse. 🙂  Very happy to go to the moms and gays early bird showing with Valerie and Pernille.  Sarah can’t make it because she’ll be hungover in the woods, possibly sleeping or working on her very un-Cullen like tan.

Okay.  Time to finish cleaning so everyone can get here and see my house is clean and then set about getting it dirty again.  Have a lovely weekend everyone!