Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome K.T. Hanna

Couldn't figure out a way to leave a message on your blog (which is cool BTW) so I figured I'd just say thank you here.  Check it out KTHanna.com

Blog traffic

So there is this campaign going on where a bunch of bloggers are getting together to try to increase traffic to their sites.  I love my six followers but I sure would like to get a few more people to visit, especially when I start marketing my book(s). 

If you are in the same boat, here is a link to the site:  I'm going to try it.

http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/2011/08/third-writers-platform-building.html

Today is the last day to join so hurry if you want in.

September Already?

I cannot believe it is September already... Where has the summer gone? Kids are already back to school and the Halloween decorations will be going up as soon as Labor Day is over.

I remember Labor Day was always the last of the aerial banner towing over the beaches on east and west coasts, Chicago lakes, Florida coastline.  Can you imagine trying to schedule airplanes during the midst of hurricane season?  Bad idea.  No wonder so many of the flights got cancelled.

Plus, the banner towing is dangerous.  They have these giant hooks that they stand up in the air, the banners lay flat on the ground. The little planes swoop down and grab the hooks and then pull the banners up into the air.  If you are not a skilled pilot, you can get into some serious trouble.

My co-worker went on a ride with one of the pilots one time.  I don't think I would, even today.















Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Weather

Universal conversation starter - the weather.  OMG, it is so hot here in south Fairview. 

Actually, though, the entire summer has been so pleasant.  Today is the first day of the year I used the central air conditioning.  Although, I think I recall we always swelter in the Fall, more of an indian summer type heat.

But today, the cats and I had had enough.  I mean, it is so hot all I could do is wait until the sun had set before I can even think about doing any work.

Needless to say, no writing done at all this weekend.  I'm very glad the critique submissions were all last week because the weather was nicer, more conducive to writing.

Oh, and so I watched the USA network show "Suits."  I'm really liking it.

I got the new Richelle Mead series "Bloodlines."  I'm sure I'll be writing a review at least.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feeling Good!

Two good critique sessions this week.  Good feedback on both submissions.  And I caught up on fixing of Melody.  I think I'm calling it "Melody's Secrets" now and the Jane book is now called "Fairview Holiday"  Any guess what it is about?  It is fairly obvious.   

I'm ready for 9/1 submission.  I need to work on Olivia now due for 9/11. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Europane

You haven't seen too many articles on dining out recently because I've been bringing my lunch to a) save money and b) shed some lbs.  But a gal can only eat so many salads.  Today I went to Europane on Colorado.  It is mainly a bakery but they sell sandwiches and salads for lunch.  I got a chicken salad on multigrain bread. 

You could tell it was mainly a bakery since the bread was so soft and fresh and delicious.  The chicken salad was not full of mayonnaise like it is most places.  The chicken was fresh and in just the right sized pieces.  And it wasn't overly salty either.  There were assorted greens, not just regular lettuce. 

I was very happy with my sandwich.  Oh, and I got my sandwich to go.  When I opened it, there was a chocolate chip cookie thrown in too!  The cookie was fresh baked and delish!

I didn't want to just get a sandwich so I got some bread pudding too.  I haven't had it yet but it keeps calling to me.

My rating: * * * * * (5 stars)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where She Went


This is the sequel to "If I Stay".  I read that too.  I think my biggest comment was that it wasn't really a teen book. 

I feel the same way about the sequel.  It is more of an adult voice than a teen one.

In "If I stay" we get the POV of Mia, a concert-level cellist who has just been in a horrific auto accident that killed her parents and her little brother.  Throughout the novel, her decision is whether she will fight to live or decide to pass on to the hereafter.  It is only the love of her boyfriend, Adam that pulls her through.

In this novel, the POV is Adam's.  After a miraculous recovery, five months later, Mia picks up and goes to attend Julliard, without a backwards glance for Adam.

Devastated, Adam becomes a big rock star.  Mia becomes a concert cellists.  Their paths cross one night in NYC and they hash it out.

IDK, didn't really care for it.  Too much talking, too much analyzing of emotions.  Not enough action for my taste.  Not that it wasn't extremely well written.  It is.  Just not my taste, and not the kind of angst that I want in my teen reads.

My rating:  * * (two stars)

Animal Behavior During Earthquake

I thought this was an interesting article about how animals can fortell an earthquake, or react during an earthquake.  Not that you have a flock of flamingos handy...  Maybe they can write a book about it... (ha, see previous entries).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/24/139912800/hearing-something-we-cant-hear-how-animals-foretold-the-earthquake?ft=1&f=1001

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love Is Hell

I borrowed this from the library.  Does anybody go to the library anymore?  Anyway, each of the stories is quite good.  I recommend it.  Each story had a supernatural element to it.

Melissa Marr's was one of the weaker ones in my opinion.  But her story was last, which probably means she's the biggest name.  Her story was about a gal and a Selchie.  Something to do with a man who is also a seal.  The seal sheds his pelt and becomes human.  The girl who keeps his pelt controls him.

Anyway, the love aspect was kind of weak, which is why this was not my favorite.

Scott Westerfeld (The Uglies, the Pretties) wrote a story about two kids in the future where there is no disease.  Everything is controlled by their 'bioframe'.  So they have to take this class in high school called 'Scarcity' where they experience what it was like to have disease and such.  One boy decides to try sleep.  And the girl decides to try puberty!  lol  This was probably my favorite.

Justine Larbalestier writes about a young girl living in a community that reminded me of the Amish who falls in love with a boy who is a foundling.  He's constantly shunned because of his green eyes and musical talent.  The townfolk think he is fae (fairy-folk, not gay, people)...  Liked this story too.

Larie Faria Stolarz writes about a teen boy ghost which haunts the room of a girl in high school.  This was quite cute.  It did remind me of the "Ghost Whisperer" tv show with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

The last story by Gabrielle Zevin, I couldn't remember... mainly because it was kind of been there, done that.  I knew the ending after reading the first page or so.  It was a tidy ending, but not a happy one.  So I kind of liked this one the least... But still, read it all the way to the end.

 But this book of stories is definitely worth your time.

My rating: * * * * (4 stars)

Boo, The World's Cutest Dog

Okay, this is disheartening.  This dog has a book publishing deal as well? I was born the wrong species...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Maru part 2

So Maru has his own blog?  and the book is his third book to be published.  Can I really be jealous of a cat's writing career? (he is cute...) Maybe I need to put my two lazy-a** cats to work.


http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com/

Maru the Cat


Maru just got a publishing contract.  What gives?  Maybe I need to video tape myself jumping in and out of boxes...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Higglety Pigglety Pop


For writer's group one of the ladies is having a baby and we're being asked to bring our favorite children's book for a shower gift. 

Here's mine.  It is kind of obscure.  It is called Higglety Pigglety Pop!  About a terrier named Jennie who runs away to experience life.  Theres some stuff about a mop and a pig wearing a sandwich board too.

I remember this story so well, even now, XX years later.  The drawings were so great too. 

Did you read this book?  What is your favorite children's book? 

(PS I loved all the EB White books too)

My rating:  * * * * * (5 stars)

Writing This Past Weekend

I'm getting into a groove finally.  I was stuck for the longest time but then CP #1 told me about this creative coaching and I've been working with my assigned coach.  She's very good and I'm finally to a place where I'm not stuck and getting into a regular writing routine.  I've got three books going at the same time but one is wrapping up (Melody) so I should soon only be dealing with two books. 

Two going at the same time is about all I can truly handle.  I'm really happy where Melody book is now.  It isn't 500 pages anymore.  In fact, I think I cut it in half and it doesn't meander anymore, it has a plot and it sticks to it! yay!

So now, I'm getting ready for some writing I'm going to post here so that I'm not constantly whining about stuff you never see.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fairview (home to beautiful people)

I'm looking over the faces below of everyone I cast and I gotta say if there are this many good looking teens in Fairview, I'm moving there, asap!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fantasy Cast for "Olivia"

I picture a young Wynona Ryder as Olivia.


















And this guy from "Glee" as Schroeder.

Chord Overstreet.

Fantasy Cast for "Jane"


A young Audrey Hepburn would be perfect as Jane




















And Ben Barnes as Aidan/Will/Alex (whatever his name is...)

My fantasy cast for "Melody"

I think I did this last year too, but I've found more perfect people.

A young Rachel McAdams would be perfect as Mel 


















And Benjamin Stone as Kyle 
And a younger version of Prince Carl Phillip as Spence


















Oh the pretty-ness of them all! What do you think?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Covers

Just a bit of daydreaming.  Here's my cover for "Melody"
(book 1 of the Fairview series)




















And here's the cover to Book 2.  This one is kind of bland.  I need a better one.  Plus it is a clue that the main character, Jane is kind of bland herself.















And here is book 3.  I'm happy with the name Olivia.  (see below post for why).  No liver here...











Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sarah Dessen

I'm reading Sarah Dessen " that summer" which was her first novel? and published in 1996. (it was later made into a movie with Mandy Moore) 


And on page one she mentions Barry Manilow!  An author after my own heart!  I'm going to do that too.  I'm going to mention Barry Manilow in every book I write.  ha!  Kind of like Alfred Hitchcock giving himself a cameo in every movie.  I'm sorry but the hair in the photo below does not look real. Does it?

Things that make me say "Aaugh!" (My weekend)

Spent the weekend playing games.  Seriously.  What a total waste of time. But so addicting...
Have you played these? 

This one is "Puppet" something or other.  Maybe Puppet Town?  Anyway, a child is stolen away by a town populated by puppets. Like creepy puppets.

Like the little puzzles you have to solve to find the kid.











So then I played this one.  It is called "Dark Tales."  The first game was called "Murder On the Rue Morgue" or something.  You have to solve a murder.  I'm not giving away the ending but it was pretty hilarious. 

Then there was a part two that had something to do with a black cat.  That was entertaining as well.

Yup, played both of 'em.




Finally, I'm halfway through this one.  "Mystery Trackers Raincliff".  This one reminds me of the Mystery Case File series (the hard ones)  Although, these aren't very hard.










So 3.5 puzzles in 2 days.  Aaugh!  What a time-waster.  I need to stop. 

I had writer's group tonight.  We were down one so it went quick.

I finally decided on a name for my main character.  I called her Alice to start but that reminded me too much of Alice from Twilight.  Then I named her Mia but that was too close to Mel, who is the main character from my first book.  Then I named her Hope but I hated that name.  Plus I have another character whose name is Will and somebody said both are verbs, one syllabul.  So out went Hope.

Finally, I decided on Olivia.  Liv or Livvy.  So today Critique partner says "I sounds too much like liver."  Aaugh!  I'm not changing it again.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer

Summer lemons.  Reminds me of the Isle of Capri off of Naples.  They had huge lemon groves and we had lemon ices on our way up the steep slope. 
Here is the view from Capri
It reminds me of that movie "An Affair To Remember" when they go to visit Nicky Ferrenti's grandmother.  They have to walk all the way up because the streets are so narrow no cars can pass.  That is what it was like trying to get up to Villa Jovis.

Anyway, Here is the bar (and Godsend) that we stopped at along the way to have some lemon sorbet



The Scorpio Races Trailer

This is a new book coming out by Maggie Stiefvater.  She did all the artwork, composed and played the music, AND she wrote the book.  I don't know, I must have been out sick the day they were passing out the artistic talent genes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fountain

No, this is not the same neighbor.  Just a pretty little fountain.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Stream

Same neighbor with the vineyard and berries.
He also has a little stream in his front yard.  How big is this guy's yard, huh?  Anyway,

"No sir, I'm not stealing your stream!" (I'm such a smart aleck, aren't I?)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Berries

Same neighbor with the vineyard.  Think these are blackberries.  Although they could be those berries at the end of "Hunger Games".  You know the ones...

"No sir, I'm not stealing your berries either!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer

Summer is full swing here.  This neighbor has a vineyard in his back yard and it is looking like his grapes are about ready to harvest! 

He's kind of very vigilant about his yard,  this is the second time I've taken a photo and the second time he's come out to see what the heck I'm doing.

No, sir, I'm not stealing your grapes! Swear!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Time Suck

Facebook, e-mail, blogs, tweets.  I check them all incessantly throughout the day. If I added up all the time I spent checking and reading the stuff, I think I'd have another three hours a day. 

So I'm trying to give up posting on Facebook this week.  I still need to check it, because people are communicating with me solely through that venue, but I don't need to post every time I go to the bathroom or when the cats do something.  I have the blog for that (lol).

Simplify!  That is the new motto! (at least this week).