Friday, August 30, 2013

On Being Dumb

Lately, I've just felt so DUMB.

I don't mean dumb in the way of making mistakes while querying, ie: addressing my queries to Dear Agent(s), or telling them how much my kids really want me to be a published author. And I don't mean dumb in the way of mistakes while writing, ie: screwing up the grammar during dialogue or using way way too many adverbs.

I think by now I know MOST of those dumb things writers can do (I say most because I know I still do dumb things from time to time).

No, I feel dumb in a completely different way.

For the past year (or maybe more) I've felt like I'm in a blog slump. I just have nothing interesting to say. I read other people's blog posts, interviews, even tweets, and think, wow, they're so smart, so witty, so interesting... Meanwhile, I've got nothing. No new ideas to share, nothing wow-worthy. Nothing that will make people laugh or think. Nothing that hasn't been said before, and way better than I could ever do.

What's the cure for this dumbness? I'd really like to know. Until then, I'm determined to read even more blogs, rather than less. I'll keep reading like I always do, and get back to my writing routine. I'll live my life, and hopefully somewhere in there, I'll find out how to be interesting again. Until then... any tips?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Best Book of August

It's the end of the month and YA Highway wants to know:
What was the best book you read in August?

Although I'm not quite finished it yet, the best book of August is most likely Maid of Secrets (unless the ending turns out to be really crappy- which I doubt). I love historical, I feel right involved in the time period even though I don't know much about it. Meg is an interesting character- a confident thief but much less confident in her job at court. No confidence when it comes to men. There are plots and schemes, a murder to solve and nobody is who they seem. It's keeping me engaged and I can't wait to see how it ends. It made me really sad when I heard during WriteOnCon that historical just isn't selling in the bookstores. Buy it people! Historical is so good!

PS: If you thought I'd pick Siege and Storm for my fave, here's why I didn't. For some reason, it took me forever to get into it. I'm not sure why, but it wasn't until I was more than halfway through that I really wanted to read. As much as I loved Shadow and Bone (and the Darkling), this one didn't capture me as much. :(

Monday, August 26, 2013

Manic Monday

It's the last week before Back-to-School. I'm going to take every opportunity to sleep in while I still have the chance. Here's what I'm up to when I'm NOT sleeping:

Manic Writing

Oh the guilt. If I didn't start doing these Manic Monday posts, I wouldn't have to see how supremely pathetic August has been in the writing department. But once school starts and I get back into my routine, I'm going to kick my WIPs butt! Translation: finish it once and for all.

Manic Reading

Just finished Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo and just starting Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan.

Manic Watching

I just finished season three of Merlin and boy was it awesome! I LOVE that show. It started out good for me in season one, but two and three are even better! I'm really anxious to get season four from my library. *bites nails, twitches legs, jumps up and down, paces, basically goes CRAZY*

Manic Listening

This song is adorbs! Love it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Change of Plans

I was sitting at the computer yesterday, all set to write today's blog post. I even had a topic picked out (shocking). And then the hubs asks me for help. To do this:

Photo: I look hot.
Good times.
He decided to put underground sprinklers into our lawn which is all fun and games until I have to be out there refilling the trenches.

Now it's Friday morning and I have to hurry to take my kids to swim lessons. That post will have to wait for another Friday. So have a happy weekend and I hope you're all geared up and have your pitches ready for Pitch Madness tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Memories and Popped Balloons

This week Road Trip Wednesday wants to know:
Memories are a big part of this month's Bookmobile selection, CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn. Did you ever have a childhood memory that you viewed differently as you got older? (Any memory! Good ones too! Be creative.)

I have very few childhood memories, which is a little sad. I just have a terrible memory in general. Some memories I think aren't actually my own memories but ones I've created based on stories my family has told me or pictures I've seen. Now that I'm older, I don't think I view any of them differently than I did before. I can't think of anything I look at a different way than maybe I saw it as a child. The only thing is now that I'm an adult, the sting of certain things that happened as a kid isn't there anymore.

For example: I had some rotten birthday parties. My poor parents tried so hard to make my birthdays as a kid special. But no matter what, something went wrong with every single one from when I was around 6 to about 13 (which was my last party). And it wasn't my parents fault. In most cases, it came down to that one girl who just couldn't be happy, or who had to complain about everything we did, or who wanted all the attention for herself. Unfortunately for my own kids, this has soured my feelings towards birthday parties and we don't really have them. I let my kids pick at most three friends, and pick an activity- movie, restaurant, swimming, skating, or one time my son wanted to play Wii. These are still birthday parties, but not the big blowouts like a lot of the other kids have.

In this case, I don't think I view these memories any differently. The sting has worn off, obviously. But the memory itself is intact enough that I don't want my kids to have the same birthday party trouble as I did.

You know, I kinda feel bad writing this. Like I'm not being fair to my kids. On the other hand, I try my best to make their birthdays special without it being a huge money-spending, every-single-kid-at-school-invited kind of thing. And I think that's okay.

So, I don't know if I really answered the question, but there you have it anyway.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Manic Monday

Well, I'm back from my family reunion and as tired as all get out. There was a lot of late nights, too many early mornings, and SO MUCH driving. I don't even want to get in a car for the next month or so, but too bad for me I have to drive to get pretty much anywhere.

Anyway... here's what I've been up to this past week.

Manic Writing

People way better than me probably still manage to get writing done even while away for a week and a half. I got nothing. The first thing I plan to do before I get back to my WIP is catch up on WriteOnCon. I'm totally bummed that I had to miss it this year but I plan to spend mucho time-o to read every word.

Manic Reading

I reread the first two Percy Jacksons and then had to quit because Siege and Storm was ready for me at the library. Unfortunately, I got about as much reading done this past week as writing so... *buries nose in book*

Manic Watching

I feel like manically watching So You Think You Can Dance since I'm so behind. Last night I watched the Top 14 episode and especially loved this number:

Manic Listening

My whole playlist! Because that's what I do when I drive. Listen to music and sing along badly. For me, that's better than an energy drink any day.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I'm off next week. I've got a family reunion and lots of driving going on. I wish I could say I was "attending" WriteOnCon but I'm gonna have to miss it this year. Boo. At least I'll be able to read through what I missed, I just can't take part in the live events. Double boo. If you're around, you should definitely check it out.

Another thing to check out? YA Highway is having their annual gigantic giveaway. Go here to enter. And trust me, you'll want to.

Have a great week while I'm in the middle of this:

Ha, just kidding. My family is awesome!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Check Out My Spots

So this week's Road Trip Wednesday question is a little random:

If you could be any animal, which would it be, and why?

That's easy. Since probably the second grade (same grade I wanted to be a writer- hmmm) I've always wanted to be...

A leopard.

Aren't I pretty

Why? No idea. I love cats, although I'm not some crazy cat lady, I swear. I don't even own a cat. But I've always loved the big wild cats. Leopards, tigers, lions, panthers, cheetahs. For some reason, the leopard has been top of the heap. Maybe it's their awesome spots. Maybe my grade two class did a spotlight on them or something and that's where my love came from. Who knows.

Either way, I'd be a leopard. Speeding through the forest, or lying out in the sun licking my paws.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Manic Monday

It's not such a manic Monday today since it's a holiday, but here I go anyway.

Manic Writing

I'm sending out queries for Sway right now and on Saturday I got my first full request! Yipee! Here's a Sway teaser:
“You going?” Lexi asked me.
“You know I don’t want to.”
“I know.” Her arm still linked with mine, she patted my hand. “But you should. Show Eric that you don’t care who he dates or what he does with his life.”
“But I don’t care.”
She arched a brow. “Uh-huh.”

Manic Reading

On the weekend, I really did read like a maniac. I read The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore, which was exciting at first but the ending was a little bit meh. Then I read Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield which was good. Now I'm rereading Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightening Thief. I'm gonna reread The Sea of Monsters next, in prep for the movie which I'll probably be taking my oldest kids to this week. Here's a teaser from The Lightening Thief:

He was seven feet tall, easy, his arms and legs like something from the cover of Muscle Man magazine- bulging biceps and triceps and a bunch of other 'ceps, all stuffed like baseballs under vein-webbed skin. (page 50)

Manic Watching

The Bachelorette. Oh poor, poor Desiree. I was a bit behind and watched last week's episode last night and I'm still feeling sorry for Desiree, and Brooks too. I don't know how she could possibly pick someone now. Poor Chris and poor Drew, too. Sheesh. I feel bad and yet I can't wait to see how it all plays out tonight. (stupid TV)

Manic Listening

In honor of getting a full request (eeee!), here's Michael Buble singing Cry Me A River, just like Eric sings to Ava in my MS.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Last week I watched a movie called The Impressionists, which was about Impressionist painters (obvs) like Monet, Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Cezanne. I was struck by how hard these artists worked to get their art appreciated. People hated them! They thought Monet's work was unfinished, they didn't like how Manet painted women staring straight at you out of the canvas, they hated pretty much everything Cezanne did.

Now, I'm not comparing myself to Monet here. I'm not trying to usher forth some new wave of writing that's never been seen before. (I almost wish I was, then I'd stand out more in the slush.) But I really felt for these painters, struggling because they believed in their art. They didn't quit. They didn't (as far as I know) give in and paint what the masses wanted to see, what was popular of the time. They painted what they felt, how they saw the world.

I write because I love it. But I aim to get published because I BELIEVE in my writing, my art, like they did in theirs. I may never be famous. I may never have millions read my work.  It's likely I will never achieve anywhere near their level of success, even posthumously. But I write what I write because I BELIEVE in it. I believe in myself. That's what The Impressionists taught me.

Well, that, and a bigger appreciation for Monet.