Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creepy Gnome

He was left behind by the old owners.  There is a reason for it.  Lately we've been hearing scratching at the door.  Something trying to get in.  We run to look and we always find nobody; and nothing except this gnome...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blog Roll: Amanda Hocking

New feature since I can't seem to come up with something to talk about everyday (resorting to photos).  I figured I give you a bunch of links to blogs I read and like.  They are hopefully appearing on the bottom right side.  They fall into two categories:  a) writing b) daily photos.

I wondered if I had to ask permission before I linked to them, but these guys get thousands of hits each day so there is no way they are going to answer.  I figure if they're upset about it, they'd let me know, and I'd take it down.  I also looked online and so long as I'm not stealing their content but sending you to their sites, it should be fine.

Anywhoo, I figured I'd talk about each one for a few days (gives me something to write about).

Amanda Hocking's Blog

Who?  You ask?  This is the gal who turned the publishing world on it's ear.   She has three titles in the top ten Kindle sales.
I first heard about her when I got my Kindle last year.  I went to the Kindle store, looking for something to download and read.  Noticed there were these series of vampire books, all in the best-seller list.  And the first book was only 99 cents.  What the heck, let's try it.

Well, the title was called "My Blood Approves" and it was very addictive.  I ended up buying all three books in the series as well as the short novella. 

Curious, I went to her blog to find out she's 27.  Yes twenty-frickin'-seven.  And she just became a millionaire from the eight books she self-published on Amazon.  Good for her.  She's got this whole story of how she did it, but I'll send you to her blog instead of re-telling the story in my non-compelling rehash.

http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/2010/08/epic-tale-of-how-it-all-happened.html


I like reading her blog.  She has a thing for Christian Bale.  She's wise beyond her years. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello Kitty Takes Over the World


Look at what I found on my dollar bill.  It is kind of like a secret message, right?  Cat lovers of the world unite! That type of thing?   Or I hear the FBI marks bills in some sort of secret way to trace money.  Who would suspect a Hello Kitty? Very smart...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hibiscus

My Dad planted this tree in my yard.  It is blooming profusely right now.

Pretty and reminds me of Hawaii

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cockspur Coral Tree

Isn't this pretty?  It is called a Cockspur Coral Tree

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pretty Pinks

I think these are a variety of rose.  Oh, the pretty!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Purple

Cute tiny purple flowers

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Purple

These are pretty, aren't they? Neighbor has the cutest white picket fence.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stuck

I am stuck.  I have this whole plot worked out but I've written myself into a corner.  Can't seem to find a way to connect the dots.  It is bothering me.  I think it is because I put together a whole outline this time. Last time, I had no idea where I was going, just kept on writing.  This time, I know where I'm going but I can't figure out how to get from A to B.  Damn that outline.

So, I'm on the blog wasting more time.

Would you be interested in seeing the first chapter of the first book posted here?

Let me know...

Random notes:

  • critique trial partner  #6 promised me feedback last week and never came through.  I'm starting to feel these folks from this organization X I joined are kinda all flakes. 
  • Had a terrific B-day week last week.  Since the world didn't end Saturday, I need to go on a diet!
  • Gummi Vitamins for adults!  Who knew? Yummy.  I also bought seventy-six cans of cat food.  Yup gummi bears and cat food.  over a hundred bucks at target. 
  • Nutella - never had it before.  Also yummy
  • Went and bought some summer sandals today.  Now I need a mani-pedi.
  • How much money does it take to retire???
  • Huell Howser:  I just like the way it sounds.  Never met anyone named Huell before.

Red and Blue

I like the contrast of the red and the periwinkle blue flowers.  Just something I noticed on my walks.

The best $99 I ever spent

Back in the '80's a friend and I went to a Barry Manilow concert at the Greek.  Outside, there was a little table set up trying to get people to buy lifetime memberships to the Barry Manilow International Fan Club.  The lifetime membership was $99. 

The friend took a form and gave it to me as a joke.  Well, I thought it was a good value so I joined.  It has been twenty-somethng years now and it works out to about $4 a year.  Some years I get T-shirts, some years key chains, and every year I get a pin.

This is what I got in the mail Friday.  Best $99 I ever spent!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deliciously creepy

These dolls are just the right amount of creepy.  I think I could make up stories about them.

I am for some reason drawn to Morrow.  Although I don't quite understand the animal skull.
(warning, some of the dolls are nude... lol)



http://www.melancholykitties.com/g_ball_joint.html#morrow

http://www.flickr.com/groups/melancholykitties/pool/

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blogger has been down

Blogger has been down.  At least that is my excuse.  Okay, I admit it.  Ever since I got my ipad, all I do is play games on that darned thing.  I get home, check my e-mail and then BAM!  Three hours go by and I realize I haven't fed the kitties and I forgot to watch American Idol, and I'm too tired to think of anything to write about...

Today is the start of my ipad diet!  No more.  Not only am I wasting time I could be blogging, I could actually be writing something. 

Before I Fall

I think I'm way late on reading this.  It was published last year.  But I didn't discover it until this weekend.  It is described as "Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls". 

The main character is one a group of four of the most popular girls at her high school.  She is truly a 'mean girl' when the book opens, completely self-absorbed, cruel to those who aren't her social equals.  It is a Friday night, February 13th (Cupid Day), and after attending a party with lots of booze and pot, the girls pile into their hummer and drive off. 

Something happens, and Samantha (Sam for short) wakes up and it is Friday morning again...

I really liked this book and how Sam changes over the course of the day that she repeats over and over.  By the end of the book, you feel for her, when you hated her in the beginning.  I admire how the author was able to not make it boring when basically, it is the retelling of the same story over and over.

But mostly, I like how the ending was so appropriate.  (not giving it away). But I would definitely recommend.  Yeah, it is teens but I think the themes transcend age.  There is some frank talk about sex, drugs, and stuff so probably not for grade or middle schoolers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revising again

This weekend I went through the notes that the various partners gave me and attempted to make the changes.  The notes I got from #2 (every other word) were actually easier to make that those from CP #1.

The notes from #2 were mainly word choices: adverbs used incorrectly, vernacular choices, grammar.  And there were a bunch of comments that were just, well, comments.  I fixed what I agreed with (which wasn't much).

CP#1's  comments were much more insightful, and required a lot more thinking to fix.  And since I fixed the first 50, I'll need to go through the rest of the 250 pages and fix those too.

So, it seems I am doomed to revision land again.  Each time I do it, the story changes significantly.  It is probably time to just put this away, start something new.  But since I've invested so much time in this already, I figure it would be a shame to just throw it out... 

And now my mystery writing person has turned in her pages so I must get back to serial killer territory.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cats and Dolphins?

This video is so cute, I had to post it. As you know, I have a thing for cats.  Did I mention I dreamed the other night that I had twenty cats?  Everytime I opened a cabinet, or refrigerator, or closet, more orange tabbies would spill out. 


Sunday, May 8, 2011

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Maggie Stiefvater Contest

Author Maggie Stiefvater (whose writing  I adore) is having a contest and I want to win something.  In order to enter, I have to post a link to this video, which isn't really a chore.  I loved "Shiver," and "Linger," and now the last book "Forever" is coming out.



Here is where you buy the book  http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie.

If you like the song, you can buy it here:http://bit.ly/mPK6mP.

What are the prizes?  First prize - get to read "Forever" 1.5 months in advance of everyone else. 

Second prize - get to read an advance copy of the new novel "Scorpio Races" (sounds like it might have a vampire!)

Lots of other stuff, all of which I would love to have!

Pants

Latest trend in I guess these would be called pants?  Sarrouel Pants.  Apparently they are the hot new trend in Japan.   To me they look like they're ten sizes too big.  I mean, look where the crotch is.  Or should I say "what crotch?" 















Didn't MC Hammer have pants that were similar? (no jokes about dating myself, pls.)  I think his were like Harem pants and made from parachute material.  How do I know this?  One of the guys I know in the ad biz became a millionaire by starting a company that made MC Hammer pants.  He was smart enough to sell the company just at the peak of the trend.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finding writing partners part 3

So #4 responded.  Seems we were stuck in her junk mail or something.  Anyway, she wasn't T'd off at all.  Just never found our e-mails.  She thanked us both for our comments and is going to think about what we said.  Much nicer way to end it, I think.

I'm still looking for one more person to critique with...  I did get invited to a face-to-face meeting group.  I think I'll try that, next. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adventures in finding writing partners part two

I feel like Goldilocks from that fairy tale --  this bed is too hard.  This bed is too soft, etc... I told you how I have a core crtique group but they don't write YA. So, I decided to look for a someone or two who likes to read and write this genre.


Partner trial #1
I found this person on Maggie Stiefvater's partner connection site. She sounded lovely, and we agreed to swap pages. Her story was delightful, easy to read, funny. I did a critique, sent it to her, and received one back. Her points were valid, and very thoughtful. I thought we were a good match.

She responded!  I think I have a critique partner!


Partner trial #2
I found this person on SCBWI connection site. SCBWI is short for society of childrens book writers and illustrators. She wanted to send me her entire novel ( first clue ). She wanted me to sign a non-disclosure ( second clue ). I said, why don't we just exchange a few pages and see if we are sympatico. we agreed, etc etc. I sent off my critque-- didn't really have very much to say, not much wrong with what I read. I did make a few suggestions.


I got back every other word on my submission marked off for something. Some of it I thought was just mean. Plus I got back comments as to why she disagreed with my comments. This person really didn't want feedback, she just wanted me to say how wonderful she was.


So, I did. Told her I was not in her league (which she agreed with).
So this was me saying no.


Partner trial #3 and #4
This person I also found off of that SCBWI connection group. She seemed really nice. Told me she knew another lady and did I want to do a three person group? Of couse I did. After a few days of back and forth, the second lady sends her pages. I don't look at them right away because I'm busy working on critiques for #1 and #2 above.


Then the first lady emails the other two and says she has to quit because she didn't like the subject matter that lady #2 sent?! "Hey! Wait a minute!" I said. I haven't even sent anything and I'm already being rejected?


Never heard back from her. That was rejection #3. I'm not upset over rhis one. It didn't have anything to do with me except that she reached out to me, and I turned other potential partners away to join her group...


Anyway, so then I had all this free time on my hands so I looked at what the second lady sent. I promised not to talk about the stuff without the lady's permission so all I will say is that the first lady's objections were valid. I emailed the second lady, though, asking if she had something less, hmmm..., what's the word? Real?  Did she have anything less "real" that she wanted to be reviewed.  Never heard back.


So that would be rejection #4...


This is definitely harder than I thought it would be...