Tag Archives: Mayor of dorktown

Trilogy winner and a review that’s not a review

Yes, that blog post title sucks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to title it Winning! like I really wanted to.

Anyhoo…

I’m happy to announce the winner of the e-book of the Zellie Wells trilogy is Brenda Demko!  Yay, Brenda!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the blog hop and left a comment.  I love hearing from y’all. Also, big thanks to those of you that followed me on Twitter and Facebook and signed up for my newsletter and blog.

So, I went to see Young Adult yesterday. (Pardon the segway, I was up very late last night with my wheezing daughter…and I had a hard time putting down the book I’m reading .  Bad combo!) I wanted to see this movie the second I discovered it existed because it’s written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman- the Juno team. I totally loved Juno and could care less if it’s not cool to like Juno anymore.

Besides that, I had a few other reasons for wanting to see it.  I really dig Patton Oswalt – he’s so funny and truthful – I just think he needs to be in all movies. He did not disappoint in Young Adult. I also, obviously, wanted to see it because it’s about a YA author.  Lastly, I’ll admit there was a bit of a nostalgia thing going for me – the characters are my age and I wanted to see if they knew what they were doing yet. Like going to a high school reunion at someone else’s school.

In a nutshell, Young Adult is about Mavis Gary, an author who ghost writes a Sweet Valley High-type series. Mavis’ life is in the crapper and she goes  home to Mercury, Minnesota after being gone for a long time to win back her high school sweetheart, Buddy – who happens to be married and has a new daughter.

We’re supposed to hate Mavis, she’s in Charlize Theron’s body after all. She’s also an alcoholic and her emotions are in arrested development. She’s that popular girl who said hi to you once in the girls bathroom and asked for a stick of gum.  You’ll always remember it and she forgot it while it was happening.  Mavis disses her hometown, disses her parents and generally doesn’t care how her actions affect anyone around her.

Like I said, we’re supposed to hate her.  We’re supposed to think, “Ha ha popular chick, welcome to the real world.”

But I didn’t. I actually had a lot of empathy for her. I got that juxtaposition between having high school be your glory days and having those glory days take place in a town you couldn’t wait to get out of. I understood why she would dwell on the past. For me, as a young adult writer, your head is in that space more than most people.  You can’t help but have a hard time adjusting to adulthood because you spend a lot of time “pretending” you’re still seventeen.

You’re also used to rewriting your history a little bit in your books, so I found it believable that Mavis thought she could go back home and rewrite the ending to her teenage love affair.

Anyway, I don’t have much more to say about it.  It’s a good movie and I recommend you all see it, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows.  It depressed me in a weird, self-reflective way that I’m sure is not a normal reaction. 🙂

The strangest thing, after I went to see Young Adult, I picked my kids up at my parents house and they’d gotten into a box of my stuff in their garage.  My son handed me a scrap of cloth, which turned out to be the front of this guy’s skateboarding t-shirt I’d had up on my bulletin board since the 8th grade.

I don’t know what to do with it.  I can’t throw it away.

 

For a real review of Young Adult go here.

Winner of the Zellie trilogy!

I posted on Facebook and Twitter who won the copy or the Zellie Wells trilogy, but completely forgot to announce it here!  So sorry to all that have been waiting to hear the news.

The winner is Kim Waters, a book blogger from Australia!  Congratulations Kim!

I sent the book out to her today and one to the GRAND PRIZE winner, Sandra Lin.

If you didn’t win this go around, take heart, I do giveaways all the time -like the 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion that starts on the 10th and another around Valentine’s Day.

Also, don’t forget that the e-book of Glimpse, the first book in the trilogy, is free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other retailers right now. AND, the e-book of the trilogy is only $6.15 on Amazon!

Thanks to all who signed up for the giveaway and please forgive me for not letting you all know sooner who the winner was.

ROW80 update

Quick update today: 1094 on Back in Time on Monday and 372 today.

Tuesday I finished up my Christmas shopping and today I had four kids 5 and under in my house, so not a lot of time or peace and quiet to write!  I’m still enjoying working on BiT and have set things up so that it can be a series.

Because, if I need anything, it’s another series to write. 🙂

I’ve also got a new idea in the works – I’m going to be writing a novel in real-time on a blog.  I’ll let you all know more about that when I actually set the blog up.

That’s all I’ve got to report for today! Stay tuned for my 12 Days of Christmas Reading post that will magically appear at midnight on the 10th.  Or noon.  I sometimes do that.

Tangent:  Have you all seen Friends With Benefits?  You should, it’s funny.  Anyway, Justin Timberlake’s character, Will, has a real problem with math.  I could not stop laughing because it’s the first time I’ve seen someone else, who is otherwise intelligent, be just as perplexed by math as I am.  Military time confuses the hell out of me. Also, measurements.  I never would’ve made it through culinary school if I couldn’t have based everything on the size of a pint of beer. I could get that two pints of beer could fit into a quart, but trying to understand how many cups are in a quart made my head hurt. (I totally just Googled “how many pints in a quart?” just to make sure.)

Stop laughing!  I’ve got a learning disability, y’all! 🙂

Where is my mind? and #ROW80

I capped off a busy week with a super fun breakfast/reunion this morning.  I got together with two friends who went on an exchange program to England with me in 1990 and the guy whose family hosted two of us.  I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone – we talked about work and following your passion and kids and we reminisced and laughed and ate good food. It was one of those “picking up where you left off” experiences, really. And, I scored a roll of Rowntrees Fruit Gums. 🙂

Then I took the kids to a fun Star Wars birthday party (did you know that there are blow-up lightsabers?) and now we’re all worn out and I finally have time to do my ROW80 update.

I was a blogging fool this week. I participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt – which was a blast!  Many thanks to Colleen Houck for including me. I also wrote a lengthy post that will go up on the 10th for the 12 Days of Christmas Reading.  So, if YA books aren’t you thing and you didn’t get in on the scavenger hunt, you’ll want to make the rounds on 12 Days – lots of giveaways of all types of books.

Writing-wise, this week was a bit of a bust, but I don’t feel too badly about it because I was doing so many other author-centric things.  600 words on Back in Time and 87 on a pen name story on Friday.  I want to finish both stories this week.  We’ll see what happens –  when I think my week is going to be chill it suddenly becomes busy.

Here’s to us all getting off one stop before Crazytown Central.

In the Mood

Some days, I don’t want to write.

I know I should try to, that’s part of the reason I join anthologies like Death by Chocolate or writing challenges like ROW80, to have people hold me accountable, to get my butt in the chair day after day and put some words down.
But, some days, I’m just not in the mood.  On those occasions, here’s what I do to get myself motivated or to, at the very least, keep my head in the game.

 
1. Music – Dissent, the 5th Day of Sacrifice story, is stuck at about 1,200 words right now. I haven’t worked on it in weeks because I’ve been writing my anthology story and because I don’t know what I want to happen next.  This is a story I need to have out by the first of the year, so yesterday in order to get my brain thinking about it, I listened to my DoS playlist in the car while I was driving everyone to work and school.  It’s amazing how music can get you in the right frame of mind when you associate it with writing a similar story or a previous story in this case.  I had Halo and Bleeding Love on repeat all day. Just thinking about my characters in a video montage sort of way (does anyone else do that or am I a weirdo?) I jump started my enthusiasm for the series and came up with ideas for the end of the scene I’ve been stalled on.

 
2. Sexy New Ideas notebook – Again, I may be a weirdo, but I never have more new ideas for other stories than when I’m trying to complete the one I’m supposed to be focused on. I combat this by keeping an Idea Notebook.  If I can get the idea down on paper, my mind can let it go.  It’s like a promise to myself that I will come back to it later. Of course, there are always more ideas than there is time to write them, but I’ve also found that sometimes the ideas can be combined together – genre mixing at its finest!

 
3. More than one project – I’ve tried only working on one story at a time. It’s not my style.  I find that if I have multiple projects to work on – I usually have 3-4 going at once – and can add a new paragraph to one that is not my main focus, that it does two things: Like with the SNI’s I can get nagging conversations, scenes and descriptions out of my head and it gives me a confidence boost.  Nothing makes me feel better about myself than writing does, so it stands to reason that if I’m feeling crappy and distracted with my main WIP, getting some words down on something else I’m working on makes me feel like I’ve done something, made some progress in my own little world.

 
4. Read/watch TV – Sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing, doing either of these things can feel decadent and like I’m wasting time.  Really, though, they can help – if you stay on genre. I have a particularly hard time writing action/fight scenes – with the Zellie books, I often turned to reading the Vampire Academy books and to watching teen shows like Roswell, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Kyle XY – books and TV shows that are aimed at the same audience as the Zellie books are and contain both a paranormal romance aspect and a lot of action.  With the DoS stories, I can’t tell you how much Supernatural and Nikita have helped me come up with ideas for both characters and new ways to write fights.  So, yes, I’m being entertained and slacking off a bit, but I’m also consciously  studying the ways other writers do what I’m trying to do.

 
What sort of things do you do to get in the mood to write?

This blog is cross-posted on the Death by Chocolate blog and the PacNWYA blog.

Midweek #ROW80 update

Surprise, surprise, I’m actually writing an update on the correct day! Wish I had something more exciting to post.

I had a few blessed hours to myself yesterday and I added 862 new words to my Death by Chocolate story. Uh, I think.  I also erased whole paragraphs because I decided my main character, Aurelia, needed to be more conflicted about coming home. It’s a time travel story and if she doesn’t miss anything about the other dimension, there’s no real tension in the choice she has to make at the end. So, I’m pleased with where it’s at now.

Currently, I’m on the precipice of the “meet cute” scene and although I want the love interest to be awesome and suave and funny, I think I have to make him a douche.  Maybe a douche that’s still really hot? lol Again, there needs to be more conflict.

On the home front, my husband is sick and my kids are still trying to adjust to the time change. This leads to everyone at my house sleeping at weird hours in several places besides their beds. The hubs is favoring the couch, my daughter the floor, and my son and I spend a lot of time in the recliner with our heads hanging over the side. Super comfy.

I’m excited to go on a mom date with Sarah tonight to see In Time.  For once we’re going to see a movie because it looks good instead of because of all the hot boys that are in it.  Although, there are plenty to ogle in In Time – just not our faves.

I know you’re shocked that I’m seeing a movie tonight and not waiting until tomorrow to check out Breaking Dawn Part 1.  I kind of am too, but we’ve decided to check that mutha out next Sunday.  I seriously can’t wait to see the honeymoon scene.  I powered through the books to get to that part because I’d been promised some sex and then, well, we all know how underwhelming that was. I’m sure I’ll do something dorky like clap and embarrass the hell out of Sarah.  I like to think it’s payback for having to see Valentine’s Day just because Abs McLautner was in it. 🙂

Okay, time to go douchify a character.  Have a super swell Wednesday.

Spazmatron 5000 and #ROW80

Good morning! Okay, it’s 11, but I got to sleep in until 9, thus my morning is still new. I slept for ten hours last night and have maybe never needed it more. While I was jealous of all the Halloween parties my friends and family were attending, I woke up this morning refreshed and not hung over, so there is a plus to being a boring grown-up once in a while.

Have I mentioned that Glimpse is Free on Amazon?  (Like, EVERYWHERE.) Sorry for being so annoying, but I just can’t help it!  I’ve had over 5K downloads since Friday evening and it’s making me a spazmatron 5000. Right now it’s holding steady at #16 overall in Free and is #1 in both Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic.  Can you all frickity-frackin’ believe that?

Thank you SO much to everyone for tweeting about it and posting on Facebook and other places – www.woot.com – who knew?  I have no doubt that all of you made those 5K downloads happen.

If you’re over me and my spazziness, take heart, I’m sure someone will write a review on Goodreads soon calling me a no-talent fuck-up and then I’ll go back to being my normal, sedate self. 🙂

*snort* That is so not true.  Is this your first time reading this blog?

ROW80 Act-shun!:

Wrote the pants off of my pen name short story this week and got that puppy edited, beta read and published on Friday and Saturday. My alter ego is pleased that she’s already sold a handful of copies.

Added another 253 words to my Death by Chocolate story last night – mostly pumping up the description and adding more back story to the first scene.  Nothing on Dissent or the Glimpse pilot this week.

Worked on the pen name website, PacNWYA website and wrote a blog post for the DBC blog.

I’m taking the day off from writing today, because at this point I wouldn’t even let a hoarder into my house I’m so embarrassed by the state of it.  The kids laundry is done, but I haven’t done my own laundry since the beginning of October!

Thanks, Sarah, for the 8 new pairs of hand-me-down jeans. I couldn’t have survived or clothed my lower half without them.

I’ll talk at you all again on Wednesday, but will be missing next Sunday’s check-in as I’ll be at the beach with my ladies doing 8-counts, drinking cheap beer and eating Combos.

Happy Halloween and thank God October is almost over!

 

Happy Friday!

What started out as a kind of bummer day has really turned itself around!

I got edits and beta comments back on my pen name short story today and I think I’ll publish it tomorrow. Yay!

The Cardinals won the World Series. Yay!

I carved two most excellent jack-o-lanterns this evening. Yay!

AND Glimpse went free on Amazon! Double Yay!  If you all could help spread the word it would be much appreciated.  I have no idea how long this is going to last, but I’ve already “sold” as many books this evening as I did in the last week.

I doff my cap to the power of FREE. (Please tell me I’m not the only one watching 2 Broke Girls.)

Have a swell weekend, y’all.

Busy Bee and #ROW80

Such a busy week!  We had three RBR tour stops, our last at A Children’s Place Bookstore yesterday, I saw Footloose, took my kids to the pumpkin patch and ended the week last night at Billy’s bar with pizza and vodka tonics and my Cards kicking some World Series butt.

The YA author tour went so well that we’re planning another one in the spring – with even more local authors!  Cheri Lasota, Cidney Swanson, Craig Hansen and McKenzie McCann will hopefully be joining us next time around. (That’s a lot of C’s, people!! Just noticed that.)

If you’re a YA author and live in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line at: Pacific Northwest YA Authors and we’ll talk. Going on tour as a group makes the experience a little less daunting.  Plus, we have all kinds of fun – where else are you going to meet people IRL that geek out on e-book formatting and platform building? 🙂

Now that the tour is over and all I have to worry about are birthdays and holidays and cleaning my hole of a house, I’m going to try to write every day.  I’ve got three long short stories to write by the end of the year – one I hope to publish by the end of this month.  So, if you don’t see me around on the interwebs quite as often, you’ll know what I’m doing!

Word Count: I wrote 788 words on Thursday on my story for the Death By Chocolate anthology.  Right now, the story is called Do Over.  I totally hate that title and am sure it will eventually be called something awesome. 🙂

I’m off to write!  Have a splendiferous ( or glorgious as Kait Nolan would say) week!

Let’s hear it for #Row80

Yes, I’m going to see the new Footloose tonight.  My greatest hope is that it’s like Original Footloose and Step-up had a baby.

The only thing I’m conflicted about is that I find both Kevin Bacon and Kenny Wormald attractive.  Do I have enough room in my pop culture heart for two Ren’s?  I’m sure it will depend on how much wine I have with dinner. Pastini’s Summer Sangria certainly improved my overall enjoyment of Daniel Craig in Cowboys and Aliens, so Wormald’s got a chance. (He totally wants my approval.)

ROW80 – Monday – came up with my short story idea for the Death by Chocolate anthology and had a RBR event in the evening. Tuesday – worked on my pen name story for a couple of hours. I cut two paragraphs and wrote another scene, but I haven’t been keeping track of word count because I don’t work on it that often. Wednesday – 345 words on Dissent. Yes, DoS #5 has a title! I’ve yet to come up with a good subtitle. Ass-kicking Lesbian Angels just doesn’t seem like the right fit. 🙂 I might get a few more words in on it today, but the kids are being clingy monkey children at the moment and not letting me concentrate.

I’m hoping to get some work done on the Glimpse pilot tomorrow before doing the second to last RBR stop at the Beaverton Library.

On the marketing front, lowering Glimpse to 99 cents on Amazon and BN seems to have done what I wanted it to – get more people reading the Zellie books!  Glimpse got a nice new review, the first its had in three months, so that’s happy.

Later days…