Monday, November 30, 2009
Because frankly, I'm still kind over the moon about it. Sorry if you've read this a hundred-million times.
I almost watched 20/20 Friday night because they were featuring 'Real-Life Vampires' and then thought..."Seriously, what are the odds they'll feature my book cover for this story?" Apparently I should also buy a lottery ticket because the odds were 100%!! You'll have to sit through a commercial once the video loads but at -6:34 on the timer, you'll see my beautiful cover with my name front and center!
Inside the World of Real-Life Vampires
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I was trying very hard to be a good girl this year, but I'm wearing down as the holiday grows near. So I know I said all I really wanted was world peace, but I think you'll agree I'm a good girl-- okay, technically I'm a good girl. And it is Yule and all... or will be soon.
So can I ammend my wish-list? Erm... with jut a few items. Also the world peace cra-- err-- thing. Yeah, definitely that, too.
K... here goes.
1. A DROID. I KNOW-- I have two cell phones, but I'll give the blue one back.
2. Miss Dior Cherie, by Christian Dior. I KNOW-- I already have a lot of perfume. But it's yummy and delicious.
3. A Singapura cat. I KNOW-- I only do rescues. But I saw it on animal planet, and my need-- it burns. They are the smallest of all cat breeds, are virtually maintenance free in the brushing department, and have personalities that stay kitten-like throughout their lives. How can I not insist upon one under the tree? I mean... come ON... look at that face!!
4. The world peace thing.
5. Um, have you heard about the cheesecake of the month club? I KNOW...
Know what? I really need to quit while I'm behind. Love you, Santa... mean it!!
Friday, November 27, 2009
I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends yesterday,and I hope those of you who brave the crowds today come back with treasures.
I plan in knitting, watching movies, reading a book, and maybe playing Sims 2. And eating.
Maybe I'll even open my own book and put some words down, but frankly, I'm not sure I have it in me. I tried to write while the turkey was roasting yesterday and couldn't remember the main character's name. I'm halfway through the book, it's not like I just started the story.
So, I've given myself a four day holiday to just enjoy all the things I work so hard for.
How about you?
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Mr. Brice is putting together our baby's dresser/changing table so we can start washing baby clothes and put them away. (Right now our living room is overrun with bags and boxes of baby gifts because my friends here in DC threw me a baby shower on Sunday...wow, I feel so honored with the overwhelming generosity. Amazing! And I'm so very, very thankful.)
Anyway, I'm banging away at the keyboard, trying to get some revisions done while Thanksgiving dinner cooks.
This morning I've been engaged in some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions, such as watching the Macy's Parade and the National Dog Show. I *love* the dog show!!! It's asbsolutely one of my favorite traditions.
Just seeing all those dogs is so fun. They're so sweet. My little Bailey is so intrigued watching them. My only complaint is that it's only purebred pedigreed dogs. OK, fine, those are nice. But give me a shelter mutt any day.
As far as I'm concerned, the Chow Lab should be an official breed eligible for the Dog Show. Of course, Bailey is pretty enough to be a show doggie, but he's DEFINITELY not well-behaved enough. LOL!
Anyway, a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
--holiday items in the store on October 1 (or sometimes earlier)
--Christmas CDs put out by every freaking artist ever known to mankind
--bombardment of Christmas music on the radio right after Halloween
As you can tell from my tone, haha, I'm super tired of Christmas being shoved down our throats so freaking early in the year. Whatever happened to enjoying fall, and Thanksgiving (hah, see, I did tie it in!), and then moving into Christmas? Why is 1 month of celebration before Christmas not enough anymore?
Now, don't get me wrong--I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I think it's magical, and I adore that this is truly a season for giving and sharing and caring about others. But the commercialism and oversaturation of the season is just too much for me to handle anymore.
I don't know about you guys, but by the time Christmas actually arrives, I'm totally suffering from Christmas Burnout. Symptoms include:
--avoiding all Christmas aisles in stores (which is increasingly hard to do)
--writing snarky blog posts (hahahaha)
--not wanting to hear any new Christmas CDs (I'll stick to the classics, thanks)
--turning the station away from Christmas music (I don't want 24-hour Christmas songs!)
So, am I Uncle Scrooge here, or do you feel the same way too? Do you too suffer from Christmas Burnout, or do you dig getting started on the holiday celebration as early as possible? Share!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
That's not to say I might not go shopping on this day, I'm just not one of the people who show up before the sun.
In fact, I think my mom and I are planning on doing some shopping at one of the local retail villages. I'm thinking it should be pretty quiet as the stores are all boutiques and none of them are selling 97" TV's for $398.
Are you going shopping on Black Friday? Do you get up with early birds?
Monday, November 23, 2009
So here's my list of 10 things that I take for granted but am truly thankful I have in my life:
- Music: a day without music is a day not lived
- My computer (not just for being able to stay in daily contact with my friends in other states, but for also providing me a creative outlet on a daily basis)
- My legs so I can walk: I walk about 20-25 miles a week. It started out as exercise and has turned into a necessity
- Rivers, lakes, oceans, etc: Water is a calming force for me which is one reason I walk along the banks of the Arkansas River so often.
- My pets--especially my sweet faced pug Ruby: yes I just picked a favorite. Get over it.
- The health of my family: this one isn't so weird, but it is something I know I've always taken for granted in the past.
- The fact that we FINALLY sold our house in Oxford after almost 2 years on the market.
- My sense of humor: if you don't find me funny, that's okay. I'm only trying to entertain myself anyway.
- Four-leaf clovers: I find them and they make me smile.
- The maid: Oh wait...that is the one thing I'm thankful for in the future...if you looked in my kitchen right now, you'd definitely know Alice ran off with Sam.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I am going through a little bit of a struggle these days, and working hard to be positive and cheerful. But one of the issues is confidence, and another is focus. When I look terrible I get a bad return-vibe from people; and under good circumstances people usually feed me with positive energy. And when I feel really sick I tend to wind down and want to do nothing; so my writing is negatively impacted.
But the crux of the coming dread is hair. As in, I've already started to loose mine again and will most likely be bald by the end of the month.
I'm not vain. I've never been beautiful, but can pull off cute. I actually like being scruffy, boyish, and average-gal most of the time. While we all fall victim to occasional bouts of "man I look like poop," I actually think most of my life I was very nearly immune to that syndrome. But I have to say... the first time I lost all my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes I noticed how terribly the general public treats people who show signs of severe illness.
Ironically, I can't think of any medical condition that would require the kind of treatments with these results that is contagious or economically specific. Yet every time my hair has gone away I was treated as if I were poor, dirty, and contagious. Rationally I know this is a knee-jerk reaction based in fear: she has something that terrifies me on a visceral, primal level-- I must run from it. But the degree to which it really does change my mode of moving through the world is a little scary.
For instance, last baldy-round I was in a jewelry store with the money I'd been given for my birthday, wanting to purchase a bracelet I saw. I was in immaculately clean jeans, with a nice knit top, and a Red Sox cap covering what was obviously a very bald dome. After fifteen minutes of clearing my throat, standing ignored, and even being told to wait after vocalizing a request for help, I left. The only other customers in the store were a couple. There were three people behind the glass counters. I finally just left. I also noticed that cashiers who saw me on a regular basis around town became careful about touching me when returning change or receipts. Many stopped making eye-contact, though I think this is probably more based in pity than anything else. It's not easy to know somebody is sick but not want to offend them with questions or stares.
Still, the prejudice is always there and always baffling. And if anything, my normal, instinctual reaction-- which is to be determinedly cheerful and joking about the whole mess-- doesn't seem to work.
Anyway, I'm considering getting a tattoo on the back of my head just to have some decoration. And maybe I'll dress kind of tough and bikery. Like it's on purpose. Because frankly, if I'm going to scare you, I'd rather it be that kind of fear.
That's right-- I'm bald, I'm bad, and I'm brooding. You wanna make somethin' of it?
Well... maybe not so much bad as... err... cranky? *sigh*
Friday, November 20, 2009
Let the count-down begin! Rhonda Stapleton's Stupid Cupid releases on December 22nd, just in time for Christmas! She's kicking off her Stupid Cupid book launch contest! Here's what's up for grabs:
--a copy of Stupid Cupid, signed by the author
--a $30 bookstore gift card to the store of your choice
--a $30 iTunes gift card
--a $30 Starbucks gift card
That's a $100 value!
So, what do you have to do to enter this incredible contest? Simple--write Rhonda a horrible love poem. The more purple-prosed and nauseating, the better. Visit her blog for more details and be sure to spread the word! ALL DETAILS AVAILABLE HERE!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
How many times have we said those words? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? If you attend public school in the US, you say it literally every morning.
How many of us have actually ever though about the words we were saying? I know that I was probably in second grade before I realized that there wasn't something called a "pledgallegiance." It was just so rote that I never even realized what I was saying.
Well, there's a very precocious 10-year-old boy in Arkansas who has not only thought about the words, but who has decided that he won't continue to say them until they actually hold meaning for all Americans. He analyzed the Pledge one weekend because he wants to be a lawyer. (Can you see why I love this kid?)
He's specifically referring to that last clause: "liberty and justice for all." Until there really is liberty and justice for all, he wants no part of saying the Pledge.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Glee. Need I even say why? It has high school drama, romance, and MUSIC. And it's so cheeseball funny that I can't resist. I also love how the characters are so unique and fun and get themselves in these weird situations.
Sons of Anarchy. I'm not normally into motorcycles, or gangs, but this show is amazing. It's packed with action, drama, and yes, some hotness. haha. I'm REALLY digging this one!
Pawn Stars. It's all about a pawn shop run by 3 generations--a man, his son, and his dad. And I love it! They show lots of different items people bring in, and it's fun seeing about all the things people have to pawn or sell.
Rescue Ink. Burly tattooed men, saving animals in places most people are afraid to go. What more could I possibly want in a show? It's awesome and heartfelt, and I've totally cried. It's so sad to see the animal abuse, but I love that these guys have soft hearts and really care for animals.
The Office. Okay, this show is like crack. I can't stop watching it. Every time I see one on TV, I turn right to it. Even my kids love it! LOL. There are so many stupid people in there, and how can you not love watching Pam and Jim? Or Dwight? Or Michael?
There are more, of course, but right now I'm interested in hearing from you. Are there any shows that are must-see on your TV?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have a large collection of homemade natural lip balms in flavors like butter rum, blueberry and pina colada. I adore those. I'm wearing the pina colada right now. I'll probably apply it 50 more times before the day is through.
So tell the truth. What's your addiction?
Monday, November 16, 2009
I love vanity plates. I really like the ones I have to work to guess...they're kinda like a puzzle. Here are some of my faves that I've seen over the years:
TIH2 HO (mirror image: Oh Shit)
PMPN8EZ (Pimpin' ain't easy)
MKITSO (This made my Star Trek TNG heart smile: make it so)
IW84NO1 (I wait for no one)
IAM 007 (Bond? is that you)
GDAM8 (G'day Mate)
I personally want to have BCHN FCHN (Bitchin' Fiction) as my plate but it's too long. Sigh. I also considered MELODRMA but again, too long. Maybe just go with DAYDRM or MEL O
This weekend, I saw a plate that I never could decipher so I thought I'd post it on the interwebs and let you guys help me out.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Last week I cancelled Christmas, but it's back on. No, really. I thought it was over, but it's not.
Why? Well I have discovered the gift for the woman who has everything. I no longer want the Droid (ok, I do, but not as much). I can pass on diamonds and pearls. I'm all set with candies and sugarplums. Nope. There's only one thing I want. Start the collection. I give you the ideal gift, the solution to all your fitness problems, the perfect way to firm your abs and spread holiday cheer over the drifts of snow en route to Gramma's house. Keep your Harry Winston trinkets, kids, I'm getting in line for...
THE HAWAII CHAIR!
Seen Below As Demonstrated by Ellen DeGeneres
I wonder if it comes in pink?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Whose the kitchenator at your house? Do they have an egg separator? I bet they don't have THIS egg separator!
From the website: The Peter Petrie Egg Separator is the most unappetizing kitchen tool ever. And sadly, the stupid thing works. Just crack an egg into the hand-crafted ceramic head and tilt it forward.
When the yolk is blocked by the nose, the albumen tastefully drips into your bowl while the yolk is left behind. The Peter Petrie Egg Separator is skillfully made by potters and is perfect for egg white omelets, cakes and other recipes.
Mmmmm and only $12.99
Does your dad follow you turning off lights and appliances as you leave the room? Does he ever say, "Do you know how much electricity you are wasting?"
Now he can tell you!
For just $23.40 you can figure out your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month, even an entire year. You can buy that doo-hickey here.
How about an old fashioned picture of Aunt Gertie that changed into a zombified demony thing?
These pictures don't do it justice, so go the site so you can watch it morph.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
But I thought it was quite interesting when I was browsing the Teen section of the bookstore the other day, and came across this cover.
The version I saw had a sticker that said "Bella's favorite book." I found it very interesting that HarperTeen issued a reprint of Emily Bronte's classic "Wuthering Heights" with a very Twilight-esque cover...especially when you consider that Little, Brown is Stephanie Meyer's publisher (not Harper). But hey, I guess everyone wants to cash in on this gravy train.
(Personally, I think Harper should just cash in on some teen vamps they've already contracted...our very own Mel Francis' "Bite Me" totally rocks. And I'm not just saying that because she's my friend. It really does kick some Twilight butt.)
Anyway, I guess I really shouldn't complain. Anything that gets kids interested in the classics is A-Okay by me.
Hmm...I wonder if one of the reasons I never could relate to Bella was that I always sort of couldn't care less whether Cathy and Healthcliff perished on the moors or not. I know it's probably sacrilege, but I couldn't stand "Wuthering Heights."
But hey, to each her own.
What do you think about the new "Wuthering Heights" cover?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
1--you can tell how a guy's gonna treat you by the way he treats his mom (or other significant females in his life)
2--spend at least a few minutes by yourself every day
3--faith and action must go hand-in-hand
4--don't trust someone who says, "trust me"
5--if you want to see the best and the worst in someone, go on vacation together
6--the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know
7--don't ditch your friends for a guy/girl--it's important to keep and nurture those friendships
8--it's NEVER too late to try something new
9--chocolate has zero calories when used in a therapeutic manner
10--even if you give 100% into a relationship, it's still only 50% (because you're only 1/2 of a couple)
So, what words of wisdom do YOU have to share?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Until the Kanye mess.
Sometimes I have 'underdog' syndrome and when Kanye stole Taylor's spotlight, I immediately went to iTunes and downloaded her latest album.
Then I listened to it.
And I kinda liked it.
And the more I listened, the more I liked it...even though I didn't want to admit it.
But hey, if I can openly love Avril Lavigne...why can't I like Taylor Swift just a little bit?
I don't know why. It doesn't make sense to me, but for some reason, I didn't wanna let myself be a Taylor Swift fan.
Until this past weekend when she hosted SNL. She did a great job in all of her skits, but this one--made me a fan.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
It's not right. The people at Nabisco are clearly trying to kill me. I was minding my own business, wandering right past the cookie aisle, when I was accosted by a display clearly designed by sadistic minions of the devil. There they were: The Limited Edition Mint Fudge Oreos.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "Limited edition?" Yes. Limited edition. And it's not just the Mint Fudge edition we need to dodge and avoid like David Beckham on the field. No, as if those fudge-dipped, decadent little orbs of evil weren't enough, the Nabisco psych-- err-- people have whipped up several "limited" Oreo versions. Take, for instance, the Strawberry Milkshake, Peppermint Candy, and Banana Split editions.
Still think they're innocent? Well let me ask you... why LIMITED? Hmm? Why get us all hooked on those new, shiny, beckoning delights with their glorious, dark cookies cradling new, exciting secrets in a clearly salacious and indecent manner? Why not just give us the new indulgence, such as they did with the Double Stuff Oreo? Why wasn't THAT a "limited edition?
I'll tell you why... the double middle was like a trainer drug. It lured us in. It got us hooked. We unscrewed those first temptations, delighted at the sheer luxurious excess, licked them with reckless abandon, and re-screwed the dark discs without realizing our descent into darkness had begun. It starts with double-stuff. Then it's "oh-look-a-special-edition."
Thanks Nabisco. Why don't you just sell them in a handbasket?
Friday, November 06, 2009
This week, we're going for a mash up.
You have Weezer--one of my favorite rock bands.
You have the Snuggie, a cult phenom blanket with arms.
I bring you, the Weezer Snuggie.
You think I'm joking, but I'm not.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
You may recall that I recently attended the KidLit Con, a fabulous conference that brings together bloggers, writers, and editors in the YA world. While I was there, I met a lot of cool people, including today's guest, Pam Bachorz.
Pam is one of the "2009 Debutantes" along with our very own Rhonda. You can read their group blog here: http://community.livejournal.com/debut2009/
Pam lives outside Washington, DC, in the same Maryland neighborhood that previous Fictionistas guest, Diana Peterfreund, lives in. Freakazoid factoid of the day...we discovered over dinner at the conference that Pam and Diana had been in the housing market at the same time and actually almost bought each other's homes. Weird, huh? (Cue Twilight Zone music.)
Pam's debut novel, CANDOR about brainwashed teens in a planned community, was released by Egmont USA in September.
Please give a warm Fictionistas welcome to Pam Bachorz!
AB: Tell us something about yourself.
PB: I like cupcakes, writing and people who tell the truth.
AB: I like people who are straight to the point. LOL! Tell us about CANDOR.
PB: CANDOR is a story for ages 12 and up about a boy, Oscar, who lives in a town where everyone is brainwashed--everyone, that is, except Oscar. he's secretly found a way around the Messages that turn all the other kids into Stepford clones. But when rebel Nia moves to town, he must choose between love and safety.
AB: How did you get the inspiration for it?
PB: I was living in a planned community in central Florida, and took the dog for a walk one late night. The mosquito truck drove by and we were coated in the white spray that the town swore was harmless. What if, I wondered, it had Prozac in it? That would explain why everyone in the town was so happy and friendly. From there I developed my idea of a town where everyone pays a premium to be brainwashed (but neglects to clue their kids into the plan).
AB: Sounds intriguing! What authors do you read?
PB: I read YA and Middle Grade books, mostly. I try to read widely, spanning genres, though lately I have mostly been focusing on books pubbed in the last 2 years. Right now I'm reading RUINMARKS by Joanne Harris. Some of my favorites include Scott Westerfeld, Jeanne DuPrau, Pete Hautman, Neal Shusterman, Gail Giles and Nancy Werlin.
AB: Who is your favorite character (from your own books or any others out there)?
PB: My very favorite literary character is Anne Shirley, from L.M. Montgomery's ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series. She's a redheaded writer with spunk and a genius for getting into trouble (I can't imagine why I like her...)
AB: LOL! What five things are always in your purse?
PB: My Blackberries (yes, plural, one for play and one for work). A notebook to scribble down ideas. Hopefully a pen to go with the notebook but does that always happen? Nooooo. And I have this little wool wallet/change purse that my friend Viv gave me... I stuff both cash and my CANDOR business cards in there, so when I'm trying to give people a CANDOR card they probably get really excited for a second and think I'm going to bribe them to read my book!
AB: What music are you currently listening to?
PB: Right now I'm loving Brandi Carlile's new album, GIVE UP THE GHOST. I love any song with a ton of energy (like, say, anything by the Fratellis or Lady Gaga!), passion (thus Brandi) or with beautiful harmonies (like The Story or The Indigo Girls).
AB: Tell us about your pets, if any.
PB: No pets, sadly. We know our lives are too busy right now for a dog. But I really miss having one. (No cats in this house, we're all super allergic!)
AB: One item of makeup you can't live without.
PB: Colorstay lipstick.
AB: Worst high school memory.
PB: Seriously, I tend to block the bad stuff. I ought to get myself "unblocked" so I have more material for my writing, huh? Well, probably it was when I failed my driving test. I am a self-admitted overachiever and I could not BELIEVE that I had failed. OK, sure, I made a left on red but nobody was coming! Yeah, the driving examiner didn't buy that either. I was so spooked that I didn't take the test again for nearly a year.
AB: Ouch! Tell us your best prom story, and you get bonus points if you let us post your prom picture. (Oh, come on, we had to ask!)
PB: I skipped senior prom! I did go to junior prom but there was no big eventful story there, unless you count one of my guy friends showing up in a powder-blue suit WITH cane and somehow pulling it off. I wish I could share my sister's horrid prom story but she'd kill me. I would just like to say to her prom date that dude, I know what happened and don't ever cross this big sister's path.
I, um, don't know what I did with my prom picture? Too bad. I actually still really like my dress.
AB: If you could go back in time and talk to TeenPam, what would you tell her?
PB: I would tell her to chill out and smell the roses a little bit. Have some more fun and don't worry so much about being perfect all the time!
AB: What are you working on next?
PB: I just turned in my second YA to my editor at Egmont USA, so now I'm mulling. I'll get revisions soon so it's hard to start on the next one but I've got some ideas, so I'm just playing with characters at this point. Plus I'm writing podcast scripts (http://www.pambachorz.com/candor-podcast/) for CANDOR still!
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
(image courtesy of treehugger.com)
What is your ideal reading environment?
In the fall and winter, my favorite thing is to cuddle up in the corner of my sectional couch, tuck a blanket and a bunch of pillows around me, and read. I like it quiet, but with a nice fire crackling in our fireplace.
In the spring and summer, I love to sit in my back patio, just digging into a book as the warm breezes filter through the big screened panels of the room.
But honestly? I can get lost in a book anywhere. I've brought them while waiting for doctor appointments, during my lunch break, while I have downtime in the car--anywhere that gives me a few minutes to dive back into whatever story I'm engrossed in.
How about you? What's your favorite way to read? Are you the kind of person who can read anywhere, or do you have to have a certain environmental setup to focus on a book?
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Not any more. Now there's Poken. What's a Poken? According to the website, it's this:
Poken solves one simple problem: how do I remember the email addresses and screen names of everyone I meet? You Poken, of course. When you meet other Poken owners in the real world, quickly swap information. No more writing down email addresses or long blog names. Just touch Pokens and connect.
Poken holds your contact information: name, address, email, mobile phone, and the rest, and it also holds your social networking account names. Poken contains your FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and other accounts.
Already know all your friends' profiles? Even better. When you Poken and they Poken, you'll automatically have updates when they open a new social networking account.So what do you think? Would you Poken? Or do you think it's just a fad? Personally, I'd love to try one out.
Monday, November 02, 2009
I've never participated in National Novel Writing Month before and I'm not really going to this month either. BUT, I have to do something because my writing well has been bone dry.
So I'm setting a goal for finishing a synopsis and a proposal for the month of November. I can't do a novel in a month. I have no intention of putting that kinda pressure on myself--I'd be doomed to fail if I did. But I am going to set a real goal and meet it because I have to pull myself out of this funk.
Have y'all ever done NaNoWriMo? Was it successful?