Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Strong women for the win!

Reading Jon Skovron's blog post today really made me stop and think--how often do strong musical women get a shout-out? There's nothing I love more than a woman with a powerful voice and kickin music skills. Jon mentions several notable female musicians in his post, and here's more I'd love to add to the list:

Chrissy Hines from The Pretenders
Meg White from The White Stripes
Belinda Carlyle from The Go-Gos (gotta love all-female bands!)
Susanna Hoff from The Bangles (same thing!)
Annie Lennox
Shirley Manson from Garbage
Veruca Salt
Hayley Williams from Paramore
Courtney Love from Hole
Amanda Palmer from The Dresden Dolls
Delores O'Riordan from the Cranberries

Okay, I could totally go on and on and onnnnn, but I wanna know--which female rockers do you love the mostie mostest? I'm always on the lookout for new music to jam to!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Monday

Most of us dread Monday because it symbolizes the end of our time off. The Monday morning alarm catapults us into the dredge of work, school, homework, responsiblity...blah, blah, blah.

Yesterday, I started to realize that I was already dreading the morning...and you know what that was doing to me? Making me bitchy. So instead of enjoying the beautiful Sunday afternoon, I was already cranking about Monday.

And isn't that exactly the opposite of how we should end our weekend?

So today, I'm looking at Monday as the beginning of a great week instead of the end of a fantastic weekend. Because everyone loves a good beginning...right?

Happy Monday, y'all! What do you plan to do to make today a good one?

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's my birthday

Turning 40 is harder than I thought.

I really liked being thirtysomething.

So, today, instead of me blogging something to amuse our readers, I'm asking our readers to amuse me instead. I'm in the corner with Ben and Jerry...waiting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Couple of Events

If you're in the DC area and are looking for an agent (or just want to know more about what an agent does), then here are the events for you!

On Saturday, September 25, Washington Romance Writers is hosting "A Day With Literary Agent Nephele Tempest." From tackling a tricky synopsis to finding the agent that's right for you, Nephele offers an agent's eye view of publishing.

Then on Monday, September 27, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts is hosting a Writer's Evening. Learn what an agent can do for you as a writer, plus hot topics in publishing. Special guests are Elaine English, Jeff Kleinman, Gail Ross, and John Mason, and a networking reception with refreshments is included.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Kids

Last weekend I spent some time watching football. Not the Patriots-- The Marshfield Rams. Not the High School Rams-- the 8 and 9 year old team. I was wondering, as I wandered into the stadium, why they were be-decking it in orange balloons and streamers. And then the Rams took the field in green and white-- with flaming orange socks.

Stephen Bandera was the reason for the brilliant splash of color. A student at Marshfield High, he passed away last spring at the age of 16. Orange was his favorite color.

Since the game I have had Stephen, and the heart-felt support shown him, in my mind. We hear so much about teens that is negative, nasty, and dismissive. That attitude bothered me a lot when I was teaching, and it still does. I've always found it to be untrue. I've always been moved by how good, generous, and supportive kids can be when the chips are down.

Stephen has been gone for a while now, but his classmates refuse to let him go. They've kept his memory alive, kept his spirit in their hearts, and have continued to do good in his name. They had a raffle at the game... they've run marathons, and more. This young man will not be forgotten.

Too often people gleefully point out the bad, celebrate the mis-steps, and criticize the flaws. I was really proud to be a Townie this weekend. I usually am. But seeing kids care with a fierceness that simply will not relent-- to grip Stephen's memory so tightly, even half a year after his death, made me incredibly grateful we have such terrific kids in this town. I found myself wishing very much that I had known this young man.

They really do get it right more often than we give them credit for.

More about an inspirational life:

Wicked Local Article

Another Wicked Local Article

YouTube Tribute from a Friend

Friday, September 17, 2010

Like balls in the air

As you may or may not know, I'm working on the third book in my Blood Rights series that releases next fall from Orbit books. The series is being billed as gothic urban fantasy and involves a lot of characters and a lot of story lines.

Basically, they're complicated. I don't think they're so much complicated to read as they are to write, though. See, while the reader will have all the story lines laid out for them, I have to keep them all in my head, all moving along, all traveling toward the same interwoven end.

It's a lot like what I imagine juggling to be. Thinking not just one but two and sometimes three steps ahead. What happens halfway through one subplot will impact the ending of another. A bad beginning and the ball drops. A wrong choice and the ball drops. Information given too soon - or not soon enough and the ball drops.

And that's just one book. The kicker is the series on the whole works the same way because the same characters are featured in every book. There are character arcs to consider, larger plotlines, growth, development...lots and lots of balls in the air. (And I'm a pantser. Scary, huh?)

So like a juggler, I keep moving, keep writing forward, keep pushing through each subplot, weaving and layering as I go because if I stop? If I forget to keep one going? It all comes down. Or at the very least, leaves a gaping hole. But there's a frantic energy to it as well and that energy is what motivates me to get on the keyboard every day and see what's going to happen next.

What are you juggling? How's it working for you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carina Press is awesome.

I was supposed to post yesterday. And last week. I'm lame and forgot--yes, I suck, and I own it. But in my defense, I've been craaaazy busy with work, teaching, and.........editing!!

I'm not sure if you guys know, but I'm an editor for Carina Press, a brand-spanking new imprint of Harlequin that publishes e-books. It's incredibly awesome--I get to read submissions in all genres (except YA and nonfic, which we don't take), decide what I want to acquire, and pitch it to Harlequin. And if we get it, I get to edit it and release it into the wild. It's a dream job, and I dig it oh-so much. :D

We're actively acquiring submissions right now! You can check us out at -- check out our submissions page for details about what we're looking for, and send us your full manuscript and synopsies. We love drowning in good stories, so send, send, send away! It makes me a happy camper, and you don't want me to be sad, do you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Queen for a day!

Yesterday was my first book signing for LOVE SUCKS! Books-A-Million in North Little Rock, AR totally treated me like a queen. I sat at the front of the store while hoardes of people all my friends and a few strangers worshipped showered me in friendly for a couple of hours.
Here I am with my two kids. Rader is the 12 year old behind me and Ian is the 16 year old next to me.

And here I am with some of my schoolmates. My HIGH SCHOOL mates. Not kidding. I am very blessed.

The signing was a huge success and I get to do it all over again on Friday in Oxford, Miss. I can't wait to see everyone! It's gonna be a good week!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Claiming negative slurs

 There are things about us that we can't change and things we never want to--but it hurts to have those things singled out and stomped on. You're a bitch if you don't let people push you around, a whore if you have sex, a prude if you don't. If you're blonde, you must be stupid. If you're intelligent, you must be awkward, thus a geek. Fat people are lazy. If you have a physical deformity, God help you, plus you must be retarded. And if you really are retarded, then it stands to reason you can never be happy. Nothing is safe, your religion, your skin color, you sexual preference. Nothing. 

But who isn't either sexually active or not sexually active? You can't be neither and you can't be both. There isn't anywhere to hide from being different. We're ALL different. 

I read The Duff last night by Kody Keplinger and it really got me to thinking about why derogatory labels hurt so much, and what makes it better.

Words, as we all know, can be hurtful. If you step back and look at them, they are just a bunch of random letters formed into a sound--but I know I have more scars from words than I do sticks and stones. There seems to be something empowering about "taking back" the negative stereotypical slurs society foists on us. The gay community has done it with "queer" and to a certain extent "fag", though that one sticks in my craw. Who hasn't seen the bumper sticker that proclaims, "You call me a bitch like it's a bad thing" or "Babe In Total Control of Herself"? Nerds and Geeks proudly assert their awkwardness these days. 

The Young Adult genre is an excellent platform to take apart even more. On one hand, teenagers seem to be the most adept at totally decimating each other with insulting slurs.On the other hand, I also think that they are smarter than adults in a lot of ways because they aren't jaded yet--and I think it's within their power to see what isn't working out so well in the adult world, mock us old fuddy duddies, and change it. 

Do you think claiming slurs as a badge of honor is helpful or hurtful?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I Hate Jellyfish

I'm on vacay right now in Hilton Head. It's been a great trip...until I got stung.

So there I was, happily jumping waves with my baby in my arms. She was squealing with delight and we were having a great time. All of a sudden there was a sharp searing pain first in my left leg, then a few seconds later it spread to my right leg. It felt like someone was stabbing knives into both of my legs...or perhaps a shark had dug his teeth in and was gnawing away.

Needless to say, I started screaming my head off. I wasn't scared so much for myself (OK, yes I was), but more for my baby. See, I was convinced I was going to drop her into the ocean at this point.

It probably just took a few seconds before my husband got to me and took her away from me, but in those seconds, I was convinced we were both going to be dragged away my sharks. It was probably the scariest experience of my life.

The whole time, my dad was trying to tell me I'd just stepped on a shell and was fine. Well, he was right that there were no sharks, but it was considerably worse than simply stepping on a shell.

I limped out of the water, because my this point, both my legs had started to swell up. It was low tide, so I had a very far way to go to get to the lifeguard station, and I couldn't straighten either leg, so I was limping with both legs bent, tears streaming down my face.

The lifeguards sprayed my legs down with vinegar and told me to pack it with wet sand. Then a gentleman offered me some shaving cream, which really did the trick.

By the time we got back to the beach house, the welts were still there, but maybe a tenth of what they had been. It no longer felt like a shark was ripping my leg apart, but it still stung badly.

It's been almost 24 hours and now I just have a low-grade stinging sensation left, but it's still there. And the welts are still there.

I think I'll pass on the beach today.

Monday, September 06, 2010

September Maybe

I have always been fond of September, and never for the same reasons as most. Or maybe that's in my head. Most people I know associate September with autumn, although we don't enter fall til late in the month. Of course, leaves do begin changing and hurricanes come to my part of the world. But in spite of the month hosting the equinox, which brings a season most associate with endings, I always feel a great deal of hope and renewal in September.

That's probably because we go back to school in this month. Even though my school days are done, I still love that feeling. A new school year is all about promise, potential, and opportunity. It's a clean slate. New clothes, new supplies, new teachers, new class-mates... and a chance to make this the best year yet. Let's face it, most of us found the bloom off the rose a few weeks in. By Columbus Day we'd be watching clocks and drifting off into daydreams during Sociology. The cute guy had said something awful. The former-not-so-b-ff was the new frenemy.

But September was pre-let-down. September was all about possibilities. I glance out the window even now and the leaves have not yet turned. Earle was, it turns out, a big dud. So if nights get cold soon we'll begin to see glorious colors. And maybe the cute guy will smile in stead of sneering. And maybe the BF really WILL be F. And maybe this autumn will go on record as the best ever. And maybe...

It's all about the maybe. I'm very, very fond of the promise in maybe.

Welcome, September. And thanks for the MAYBE!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Ghosts and giveaways!

Check out this book! GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING - in this fourth installment of Marley Gibson's popular GHOST HUNTRESS series, THE COUNSELING finds heroine, Kendall Moorehead at a crossroads in her life. Kendall has just discovered who her spirit guide really is, lost her boyfriend, and nearly died doing the thing she loves most–ghost hunting. It’s time to take a break and try to reconcile all the changes she’s going through. So Kendall heads to the Sierra Mountains, where there’s a camp especially for young people with gifts such as hers. It’s a time for reflection and self-discovery. But when she gets to California, she once again finds restless spirits–and the boy in her last vision. It may be the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one.

What people are saying about GHOST HUNTRESS:
"Real life ghost huntress, Marley Gibson, pulls no punches in this series." - Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, SyFy's GHOST HUNTERS

"Every young woman needs to read this!" - Steve Gonsalves, SyFy's GHOST HUNTERS and GHOST HUNTERS ACADEMY

PLUS - there are big giveaways going on! You can check out those deets at Books, Boys, Buzz - or Marley's website - - for contest, giveaway and prize package running through September 15th. You can also tweet the following to either @ addy and get entered: @marleygibson @hauntedhighways having huge prize giveaway for launch of GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING -