Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Edits continue, spell-check is ignored, days are lost, cycle is repeated

Call me a ‘pantser’ if you must, although I prefer the term ‘organic writer.’ It makes it sound a little less like I have no idea what in the seven hells I’m doing.

I don’t despise outlines because I think it makes the writing bland, or even becayse they give me the screaming night sweats (although they do; my distaste for them is secondary only to query letters, bad grammar, and agents who ‘only reply if interested’). No, I don’t do outlines because I can’t.  You see, I don’t actually know what’s going to happen next.

I have a vague sense of the major events and themes in my stories (sometimes), but I don’t know how I’m going to get there until I’m actually there. The story ebbs and flows as I travel through it, plot points and conflicts peeping up like mischievous islands beneath an opaque veil of fog. They advance, they recede; they creep in and take me by surprise or pop up in an entirely different place than last time, but gradually the story unfolds before me like a map. It can take a long time, and I can’t always predict what part of the story I will learn next.

Last week, for example, while wracking my brain and scouring the undulating ocean of darkness for the next chapter in Book 2, I stumbled upon a chapter for Book 3. Startled me clean out of my knickers. “Where did that come from?” I wonder. But we mustn’t offend the Muses, now, must we? We take what we can get, say thank you, and file it away for later.

It wasn’t what I needed that second, but it gave me hope for my series.

I was snooping around the forums and I found a thread where someone was asking for advice: A publisher wanted synopses for all three books in her trilogy so they could consider offering her a three-book-deal. It sent me into a moment of blind panic.

“What if someone offers me a three-book-deal?” I wondered, uncharacteristically optimistic for no logical reason.

I can imagine the argument between myself and the psychopath who demands three synopses from me:

“How am I supposed to know what happens in the next book? I don’t even know what’s going to happen in this one! What do you mean, ‘because I’m the author?’ What do you mean, ‘because it’s my world?’ Earth is your world…can you tell me what’s going to happen next week? Then how should I know what’s going to happen to Anaiiya? It’s not enough that I spent countless hours  hand-crafting you a literary masterpiece, now you want me to predict the future? Are you insane? I have trouble coming up with a couple hundred words three or four times a week for my blog. I hate you!”

There. I’ve ruined everything.

Serves me right; shame on me, jumping ahead to a three-book deal. I know better than to tempt the Fates like that.

So what about all of you?  I know lots of writers have their stories meticulously planned out, but I've almost never been able to do that.  How do you all write?

Friday, May 27, 2011

There's something about fresh morning air that just makes me sick

Heaven save me; it’s soooooo early. I could throw up, it’s so early.

I’m a night person, you see. I stay up until 4 AM and sleep until noon, then work from 1-9 PM. Every day.  It was magical...until last week, when the university decided that during the summer the library would close at 6 PM on Fridays.  Now I have to be here by 10, which means I have to wake up at the unholy hour of 9 AM.

I can normally handle that; it's only one day a week.  But today is the day the contractor came by to put a new roof on our house. After about 6:00 AM I startled awake every three minutes, certain that I’d hear a knock at the door at any moment that would set the dogs into howling, foaming-at-the-mouth projectiles. After about an hour of nothing actually happening, I gave up and dragged my groggy self out of bed. The dogs were ecstatic that I was up so early. They're always so happy, no matter how early it is.  I could have kicked them.

The roofers showed up at 7:30, but I had to stay awake and wait for their supervisor to arrive. I wasn’t going to write a $5,000 check to the first guy in a toolbelt who walked by.

Now I’m at work, and I could not be unhappier about it. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I should still be in bed with the blackout curtains nailed to the wall to shut out the daylight. Mornings are for sleeping through. At least I got to see a squirrel and a mockingbird have words on my way in today. That made me smile, despite the unnatural morning brightness.

Still not as bad of a morning as one Saturday about 2 years ago, when my husband and brother-in-law decided to start a rubber fire in the kitchen at 7AM and sing two different songs very poorly at the tops of their lungs. I got up after twenty minutes of fragmented nightmares about them deep-frying cats, certain they’d set the house on fire and gone mad from the fumes.

I was almost afraid to leave my room.  What if they really had gone insane?  What if I found them rain-dancing through the house in their tightey-whiteys, faces covered in peanut-butter-and-jelly warpaint and setting random pieces of furniture on fire? 

But no.  They were delighted to see me up and about at that ungodly hour and offered me some of their half-burned culinary abortion. They claimed it was Mexican food, which is, in my opinion, just as unacceptable to cook at 7AM as the sofa. I threatened them with death if they did not SHUT THE HELL UP AND OPEN A F*#%ING WINDOW!! 

They found that amusing.

I don’t think they realized how serious the situation was; I am a mean, nasty person in the mornings, no matter how gently I am woken up (hence my predisposition to sleep through them). Being startled awake by a tone-deaf sing fight and the pungent aroma of burning Teflon did nothing to alleviate that, shockingly. I may have appeared groggy and slow, but I could barely see straight from all the rage. I was seriously one off-key country song away from making the news. When they turned away and started singing again, I just went to work early. I figured it was better than prison.

Yay, it’s Friday!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creativity Exercise #7

1. Your parents tell you you’re moving far away. What do you do?
Throw a hissy fit, run away to the neighbor’s treehouse, live off snickers bars and root beer for a day or two, then remember I’m all growed up and married with a house of my own, and get back to work before someone fires me. Also, put my parents in a home for thinking I still live with them.

2. What would you do if your best friend started acting like he/she liked you as more than a friend?
Stop watching porn together & practice-kissing each other. Clearly that crazy b*tch has gotten the wrong idea somehow.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A mirror or other reflective surface

4. What do you like to do when you’re in the car?
Wash dishes

5. Do you listen to music?
No, I smell it.

6. Ever moved?
Never. I’ve been in the exact same position since I was born. Makes it a challenge to type.

7. What was the last reason you threw up?
Excessive, unrelenting nausea.

8. What’s your middle name?
The one between my first and last names

9. What is the worst sound ever?
The brown noise

10. Speak any other language?
Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est!

11. What’s your favorite type of flower?
The kind you bake with (I think you spelled it wrong).

12. Can you live without your cell phone?
Not for long. I’m using it as a makeshift kidney at the moment.

13. Can you say the ABC’s backward?
The ABC's backward

14. Can you give advice?
Of course I can. I wouldn’t use it if I were you.

15. Are you a pathological liar

16. Are you fighting with anyone?
Yes, it makes typing this really difficult.

17. What’s the last thing you ate?

18. Have you ever had a birthday?
No, I’m still a newborn. I have this nagging sensation that I’ll never live up to my potential.

19. Favorite time of year?

20. Do you think two people can last forever?
If they’re loaded up with enough preservatives, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Changing Worlds

I think the main cause for my writer’s block is that I’m not “living” in my WIP. I play my storylines in my head like a movie all the time. Driving in my car, walking around, during lunch…anytime I have a spare moment, I spend it there. My problem is that I’m still currently living in a story which is totally unrelated to my WIP.

I should let it go. I’ve been living there for a looooooong time, but it will never see the outside my imagination.  Ever.

It’s mine, and you can’t have it.

But if I’m never going to make it into a book (and I’m not), then as much as I enjoy that world, I need to let it go. At least for now. At least until I get some other projects finished. I have four half-started short stories and three unfinished novels clamoring for my attention. My negligence is shocking. If there were a social services department for art, they’d revoke my creative license.

At least I’ve made some headway toward living in my current WIP. That’s the only reason why I’m 12,000-words into it. I put that little counter up and now it taunts me. Hateful little widget. I KNOW I haven’t written anything in four days! Leave me alone!

It would help if I could come up with a soundtrack to play while I’m trying to come up with ideas, but everything I like is already associated with either Eyes of Stone, or that other story that you can’t have. It’s hard to reassign them. Thus far, the only songs that I’ve been able to use are “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5, which is too fast to perfectly fit the scene but the lyrics work, and “This Night” by Black Lab, which only works for the opening chapters.

It also doesn’t help that I just got the new Lonely Island cd and I’ve had “Ronnie & Clyde” and “Creep” stuck in my head for three days. They’re hilarious and fantastic but they so don’t fit into Anaiiya’s world. “If you wanna make friends at the ATM, do the Creep.” Awesome, but not helpful.

Maybe if I didn’t hate radio so much I could discover new music. But I lack the patience or the inclination to sit through mind-numbing commercial blocks, endless repetitions of the same four terrible songs, and hours of inane radio host chatter about how taxing it is to make a peanut butter sandwich, just to try to catch a snippet of a song I might like. No. It’s all hip-hop or rap now anyway, and unless it’s a song about being on a boat, Mother’s Day, or contains the phrase, “this is not my dad – this is a cell phone,” I can’t stand that stuff.

If you know of some awesome music that might be conducive to fantasy settings (including but not limited to desert worlds, exile, and slavery), I’m taking suggestions.

Also...has anyone else been having trouble logging into Blogger this week, or have I gone insane?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I want one of those!!!

I’ve decided that I want one of those fancy tablet PC things. Not an iPad, because it's too big and expensive (and it doesn't support Flash...wtf??).  Plus, Apple is a bit of an elitist snob and I don't enjoy that.  But maybe something like the Galaxy Tab would work.

But why does a practical-minded girl like me want one in the first place?  Not because they're cool; no 'toy' is worth $400 bucks.  No, I want one for somewhat practical purposes...well, as practical as a portable computer can be, I suppose.  I want one because I keep getting writing ideas as I’m drifting off to sleep, and my “analog” tablet just isn’t doing it for me. I have to turn on the light, squint and grope for the notepad and pen (usually dropping it onto the floor and setting the dogs into a frenzy), then try to scribble down all my great ideas before they abandon me. Then in the morning, I can barely read what I scrawled onto the paper while half-asleep.

I’ve also tinkered with texting my ideas to myself, which usually works somewhat better, although my qwerty pad has been acting up so I’ll get texts like “grrrrdan tuuuuu oo ! draaaaan” instead of “The Guardian turns into a dragon.” And, of course, predictive text is out of the question when writing fantasy. Try spelling “Anaiiya” with your predictive text. Go on. I’ll wait.

...yeah, me, too.  It doesn't work so good.

So I’ve decided that some sort of tablet PC may be the answer. Something portable like a cell phone, yet versatile enough to have some app version of Microsoft Word.

If only I weren’t so desperately poor.

Well, if only I weren’t saving up money for the 4th of July. We live outside the city limits, so we get to shoot fireworks off in our driveway if we want to. And we soooo want to. So until then, all of our spare change is going toward trying to blow up the neighborhood and feeding everyone who comes to watch us try to blow up the neighborhood.

OK, now I’m excited about the 4th of July. This is why I haven’t gotten farther along in my WIP, because I get easily distracted by the thought of mortars and cakes.

So maybe I can get a tablet PC in August, unless anyone here has one they don’t want.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

OoOoO! Another Blog Award!!

 Infinite thanks to Lexcade for bestowing upon me the

I feel all squishy inside!

As with the Versatile Blogger award, there are rules.

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you (done!)
2. Share seven random facts about yourself (If you've done this one already, list seven of your favorite things)
3. Pass the award on to five buddies
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Ok, so, hmm...who to share this award with?  It seems like everyone's already gotten this one at some point or another (lol), so I'm just going to parcel them out to anyone who I think has an awesome blog and if you've gotten it before, bask in the glory of receiving it yet again! :)

Yay, presents!

Ok, so seven of my favorite things...

1.  Book:  The Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner.  Seriously, I love this book.  I have gone through 3 copies of it from all the re-reading.  It's been something like 8 years since she last put a book out and I just found out she's about to release another.  I'm so excited!

2.  Movie:  Children of Men.  If you haven't seen it, you simply must.

3.  Person:  My husband, David.  He cute.

4.  Song:  Apocalypse, Please by Muse.  MUUUUUUSE!!  I love their music!  It's so dark and a little twisted, just like me. ;)

5.  Food:  It's an Armenian dish called "pennerlies."  They're these little puffed dough pockets filled with cheese you can't find anywhere but Wisconsin.  I try to wheedle my Mom into making them for me every year on my birthday.  I can make a lot of Armenian food myself, but I've never attempted pennerlies. I don't have a dining room table or an oklavu (Armenian rolling pin that looks like a broom handle) with which to roll the dough out to the size of an entire dining room table.

6.  Fantastical beast:  Dragons.  OMG, dragons!

7.  TV show:  Dexter!!  Again, it's all creepy and twisted, and I like a touch of insanity in my fantasy world.  Not in my real world, though.  Keep that to yourself. :)

Oh, and to my blog contest award winners...I mailed your pendants out today!!  Sorry they took so long, but the humidity has been abysmal and it took all week for the glue to dry. :(  I'm still a little concerned about them, so if the bubble wrap makes them look all funky in transit, let me know and I'll redo them for you.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Dream Log #2

OMG, it’s too early to be awake.

Anyway, I haven’t been keeping up with my vow to post my half-crazed author’s dreams since the last raptor one, largely because my dreams were too personal to immortalize on Google’s cache, I forgot them, or they just weren’t interesting or coherent enough to whittle into a blog post.

But last night’s was!

I started out as some disgraced goddess bound to human form for some crime (I don’t remember what it was). My sentence was completed, I guess, because I was in the process of moving my stuff out of my crappy little apartment and reclaiming my place in the pantheon. The goddess who’d exiled me hung out at my place as I packed, looking unhappy and keeping up a running commentary on how ugly my furniture was and how I deserved to be a human forever. She had this wooden box filled with bismuth representations of other gods and goddesses. I didn’t know why she kept showing them to me, but she kept telling me who they were & what they ruled over.

Then I went to a friend’s birthday party, but I was feeling depressed (I don’t remember why) so I fell asleep on the couch and they let me sleep through the whole thing. I was annoyed at that, but everyone acted as though they’d done me a favor. When I tried to ask my friend how she liked my presents, since she callously opened them while I was asleep, she showed me the fancy new magical/electronic doodads she’d gotten instead (they were pretty cool, though).

So I left and went to Half Price Books, where, naturally, Patrick Stewart ran his comedic Shakespearean acting troupe. I watched some footage of their plays where chainmail was the only costume they used (including beards). They asked me when I was going to come in for that second audition they’d been bugging me about. I set up an appointment, then got lost trying getting out of downtown Dallas and was late to work.

Then the dogs decided to have mild coronaries and woke me up two whole minutes before my alarm went off.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Evil & Villains

It turns out that Book 2 may turn out quite a bit darker than Book 1. That might raise an eyebrow or two among those who have been Beta-reading for me, since Eyes of Stone isn’t exactly fit for children in the first place. Well, guess what? It surprised me, too. I’ve finally gotten around to introducing my villain in my new book, and frankly I’m a little shocked at him. He’s a bad, bad man, and it’s only chapter three. Things can only get worse from here.

I love how my own writing can surprise me, how I can start out with one idea of how the story will go, then watch helplessly as it takes on a life of its own and goes marauding off in a completely new direction.

Writing Levi (new bad guy – one of them, anyway) got me thinking about the definition of ‘evil.’ Personally, I have always defined evil as ‘unmitigated selfishness.’ People who are evil, truly evil, have no concern for anyone else. Every bad thing they do is justified and necessary for realizing their own goals. But there’s more to it than that.

In doing some research on the subject of evil, I came across this: Dr. Michael Stone’s Scale of Evil. I mostly just copied this from his website/Wikipedia (links follow). I thought it was pretty interesting, and perhaps it will be useful to others who are working on their villains.

1. Those who have killed in self-defense, and who do not show traces of psychopathy.

2. Jealous lovers who committed murder, but that although egocentric or immature, are not psychopaths.

3. Willing companions of killers: Aberrant personality, impulse-ridden, with some antisocial traits

4. Those who have killed in self-defense, but had been extremely provocative toward the victim for that to happen.

5. Traumatized, desperate persons who killed abusive relatives or other people, but who show remorse for their crime and are not psychopaths.

6. Impetuous, hotheaded murderers, yet without marked psychopathic traits.

7. Highly narcissistic, but not distinctly psychopathic persons—some with a psychotic core—who kill persons next to them, with jealousy as an underlying motive.

8. Non-psychopathic persons with smoldering rage, who kill when the rage is ignited.

9. Jealous lovers with marked psychopathic features.

10. Killers of people who are “in the way,” such as witnesses. Extremely egocentric, but not distinctly psychopathic.

11. Psychopathic killers of people who are "in the way," such as close friends or even family members.

12. Power-hungry psychopaths who kill when they are "cornered.”

13. Psychopathic murderers with inadequate, rageful personalities, rage being the reason of their killings.

14. Ruthlessly self-centered psychopathic schemers who kill to benefit themselves.

15. Psychopathic cold-blooded spree killers or multiple murderers.

16. Psychopaths committing multiple vicious acts, with repeated acts of extreme violence.

17. Sexually perverse serial murderers: Rape is the primary motive and the victim is killed to hide evidence.

18. Psychopathic torture-murderers, where murder is the primary motive, and the victim is killed after a torture that was not prolonged.

19. Psychopaths driven to terrorism, subjugation, intimidation, and rape, but who stop short of murder.

20. Psychopathic torture-murderers, where torture is the primary motive, but in persons with distinct psychoses (such as schizophrenia).

21. Psychopaths who do not kill their victims, but do subject them to extreme torture.

22. Psychopathic torture-murderers, where torture is the primary motive. In most cases, the crime has a sexual motivating factor.

My villain falls somewhere along the 19-21 range. How about yours?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Creativity Exercise #6

1. Is it cute when guys kiss you on the forehead?
I’m pretty sure that counts as assault. So yeah, sooooo cute.

2. Are you afraid to tell your true feelings?
Tell them what?

3. Group dates or single dates?
Definitely single; I’m not what you’d call an “orgy person.”

4. Are diamonds a girl’s best friend?
Diamonds are terrible friends! They always forget their wallets and they constantly talk about you behind your back. You know who’s a great friend? Cash.

5. Is your hair up or down today?
It’s down. But I’m trying to cheer it up.

6. Do you straighten your hair?
I try, but it keeps breaking into liquor stores. Maybe boot camp would straighten it out better.

7. Do you cry during romantic comedies?
Constantly. It’s usually something along the lines of, “Make it stop!”

8. Do you think lip gloss is the best?
The best what? Car wax? Assassin? Way to eat Chinese food? No. It’s none of those things. You’re stupid.

9. Do you like to wear band aids?
Always. Especially on my face. There’s no more fashionable way to say, “I have leprosy.”

10. Are you close to your siblings?
None are within arm’s reach at the moment, so…no.

11. Did you feel better or worse or the same yesterday?

12. Name one of your childhood Halloween costumes
Ok. “Frank.”

13. What’s something you can’t leave the house without?
My lungs

14. Can you swear inside your house?
No. There’s this machine, you see…

15. Are you smiling?
Only on the inside

16. Can you play the piano?
Heck yeah. It’s a moron. It’s almost too easy.

17. Do you ever throw up?
Not as often as I throw down

18. What are you wearing on your feet?

19. Do you burn candles?
Not if I bake them at a low enough temperature.

20. What do you hear?
Sounds, mostly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:  Dreadfully Ever After - by Steve Hockensmith

The last book in the mash-up trilogy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies starts out a few years into Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam’s marriage.  As a married lady, Elizabeth is no longer allowed to carry a sword, although her hand-to-hand combat skills are just as deadly as ever.  During a walk home from her sister’s house, Elizabeth reluctantly confesses to her husband that she finds the thought of motherhood somewhat… unappealing.  In his shock, Mr. Darcy allows an unmentionable to get too close, and it bites him.  Elizabeth knows she must kill her husband, but cannot bring herself to do it.  Instead, she seeks the aid of the legendary Lady Catherine.  Lady Catherine reveals that she knows how to cure her nephew – but the price for her assistance is high.  Perhaps too high.  Elizabeth boldly agrees to whatever terms the Lady Catherine requires, which may cure her husband but kill her marriage.  She sets out or London, her family at her side, to slay zombies, fight off ninjas, and seek the cure before Darcy is lost forever.

As with the previous two books, Dreadfully Ever After was action-packed, fast-paced, and full of humor, suspense, and even a few surprises.  I’m not a big reader of the ‘classics’ (your gasps of horror inserted here), so these horror/regency/classics mash-ups are perfect for me.  Modern apocalyptic twists make stuff I probably should have read a long time ago more appealing. 

This one takes itself a little more seriously than the first two books, but it still has the wit and humor I’ve come to expect from the series.  It was nice to see Mary and Kitty enjoy some limelight, although I did miss spending more time with Elizabeth and Darcy, who are separated for the majority of the novel.  The middle of the book was a bit draggy, with more angst and less action than I’d like, but the love scenes are still interrupted by frequent bouts of violence and entrails flying through the air. 

If you enjoyed the first two in this series, you’ll enjoy this book. 

4 out of 5 stars

·         Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
·         Paperback: 320 pages
·         Publisher: Quirk Books  
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-13: 978-1594745027
·         ISBN-10: 1594745021
Amazon Page for Dreadfully Ever After

Monday, May 16, 2011

My first blog award!

Thank you so much to LisaAnn over at Kicked, Cornered, Bitten and Scratched for endowing upon me the Versatile Blogger award!!

It's my first blog award!  Yaaaay!  How exciting! 

In return, I should like to pass this blog award on to:

1. Adventures of the Cautionary Tale
2. JetInk
3. Mary Ellen's Musings
4. Blackbird in My Window
5. Daniel Kaye

Ok, now on to my seven random facts:

1.  I spent five years frittering away money at Court Reporting school before realizing that I actually can't write at 225 words per minute.  I am enrolled part-time at a REAL school now, mostly because I can't afford the student loan payments.

2.  I am 1/4 Armenian.  I wrote a children's novel about my great grandmother, Serpouhi Boranian, and her family's struggle to flee the Armenian Genocide.  No, it's not published.

3.  I once qualified for MENSA...but only for the language portion.

4.  One of my life mottos is:  "Can I make that cheaper?"  It applies to clothes, jewelry, purses, food, blankets, carpentry, etc.  I do all manner of crafts and other projects.  I have built a shed, sewed elaborate Halloween costumes, crocheted blankets, and more, mostly because I'm too cheap to buy them myself.

5.  I love baking!  I'm told I make some mean cakes & pies.  My personal favorite is the white chocolate respberry amaretto custard.

6.  I trained my dog Punkin how to close kitchen cabinets because I was too lazy to get up and shut them myself.

7.  I am one of the most introverted and shy people you'll never meet.  I'm only witty and charming on paper.

That's it!  Thanks again to LisaAnn for this honor. 

On a personal note, it's been a great month so far!  I was published for the first time, I got 1 partial and 1 full request from two different agents, my mortgage payment finally went down from the back taxes my mortgage company messed up last year, and I'm still waiting to hear back from the Angry Robots, but Osama bin Laden is still dead. 


Have a great week, everybody!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A day of Paraprosdokians

A “Paraprosdokian” is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

This is just for fun, because someone on the forums started a thread of these, and sarcasm makes me happy.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.  The first one is my favorite. 

· “I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk.” – Stephen King

· “I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my father, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.” — Bob Monkhouse

· "I like going to the park and watching the children run around because they don't know I'm using blanks." —Emo Phillips

· “I only know two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle,’ and the other one isn’t.” –Ulysses S. Grant

· "If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." —Dorothy Parker

· "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." —Groucho Marx

· "A modest man, who has much to be modest about." —Winston Churchill

· “She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when'." —P. G. Wodehouse

· "If I could say a few words, I'd be a better public speaker." —Homer Simpson

· "I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long." —Mitch Hedberg

· "I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night." —Bill Hicks

· Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

· I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

· Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car

· The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

· The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

· When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department usually uses water.

· Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

· If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

· Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

· Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

· To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

· If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.

· Some people are like slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

· Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

· A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

· Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.

· I discovered that I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured
by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blog contest winners!!

Two two second-place prizes of one pendant each go to Phoenix & Kellie!

The grand-prize of THREE pendants goes to Nikki Stuckwisch!


Nikki, I couldn't find your email address, so email me at beckahrah @ gmail.com and I'll send you my design templates for you to choose from.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks everyone who entered!  It was a tough choice, and if I had more glue I'd probably have sent everyone pendants.  I'll probably have more contests like this in the future, so stop by again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Review - Dexter is Delicious

The newest book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay is called Dexter is Delicious. Best. Dexter. Title. Ever. Why? Because this book’s about cannibals. Fantastic.

I think this is perhaps the best book so far in the Dexter series. It was humorous and witty, and gave us a rare glimpse into the psyche of a serial killer who has inconveniently grown a soul. The book begins just after the birth of Dexter’s daughter, who sparks feelings of real love in his heart for the first time. In his zeal to protect his bundle of joy from monsters like himself, Dexter swears off killing forever. His Dark Passenger finds this sudden change of heart first amusing, then annoying, and in a fit of pique abandons Dexter just when he needs his help the most.

A cannibalistic coven has taken up residence in Miami, led by the son of a wealthy and powerful government official. Dexter must help his moody and foul-mouthed sister Deborah find the flesh-eaters before they devour a young woman they’ve kidnapped. Even without his Dark Passenger’s leathery assistance, Dexter is able to use his predatory instincts to locate the girl—only to find she’s not exactly what they thought.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The previous two were a little slow and a tad disappointing, so I wasn’t truly looking forward to reading this one. But I am a HUGE fan of the Showtime series, so I had to read it, and oh, what a delightful surprise! I adore witty writing, and book made me smile and chuckle and gasp in horror.

Mr. Lindsay did an excellent job of immersing me in Dexter’s struggle to cope with his newfound humanity. How does a soulless monster react when he suddenly cares about the people he’s only pretended to care about until now? How does he handle his stepchildren’s own dark and deadly desires, when he has resolved to put his own away forever? I especially love Dexter’s ‘conversations’ with his Dark Passenger; a character in and of itself who chuckles, snarls, or sulks as the need arises.

Delicious, indeed.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Amazon page for Dexter is Delicious, by Jeff Lindsay

Hardcover: 368 pages
Paperback: 384 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition - September 7, 2010
ISBN-10: 9780385532358
ISBN-13: 978-0385532358

**Blog contest ends tomorrow!!  Get your entries in now to win free jewelry!**

Monday, May 9, 2011

Only 2 more Days...

Only two days left to enter my blog contest!

Just follow my blog and come up with a witty response to the question:  "What is the best/quickest way to your heart?" and post it in the comments of Friday's post.  The three who tickle me the most get free jewelry!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blog Contest!!

In celebration of my first really-real publication credit—and to shamelessly promote my empire—I’m holding my first blog contest.

I’m going to be giving away a total of FIVE glass tile pendants (although I can make them into rings, if you’d prefer), handmade by yours truly, celebrating the old mythological writing gods/patrons etc.  They’re sure to bring you luck and inspiration in all your writing endeavors, as they undoubtedly have for me.

One 1st place winner will get THREE pendants!
Two 2nd place winners will get one pendant each!

They’re custom-made, so you can pick which writing god(s) you’d like. I’ll email the winners my designs and they can choose their favorites.

You can find my list of writing gods/patron saints/inventors, etc., here.

Here are a couple of pictures of some I’ve already made.  They are 1.25" long by .75" wide and double-sided, although the bail covers up some of the picture on the back.  Please forgive the quality of the photos, as my camera decided to grow a sense of humor the instant I started snapping pictures.

You’re intrigued, I can tell.  You’re thinking, “OoO...pretty!  How do I win these fantastical pendants?”

1. Follow my blog (duh).

2. Check out the current (.pdf) issue of Writer's Beat Quarterly (Optional, really; I can’t enforce this at all).

3. Post your wittiest, cleverest, most unique response to the question at the end of this post in the comments, ‘Creativity-Exercise’ style.  Limit 2 entries per person, and you can’t win twice.

4. The response that makes me laugh so hard that everyone around me thinks I’m having a seizure wins the grand prize, THREE PENDANTS! 

5. The two responses that make me almost look like I’m having a seizure get ONE PENDANT each.

6. The selection process will be subjective, based exclusively on which posts bring me the most joy.  Bonus points for spreading the word around on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

7. Should the urge strike me, I reserve the right to go glue-crazy and pick additional winners, but this is in no way guaranteed. 
The Question is:

“What is the best/quickest way to your heart?”

(And you can’t answer, “Through my sternum,” because I just said that.)

You have through May 11th to post your wittiest response in the comments below.  Good luck!  Yay, prizes and jewelry!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I! AM! PUBLISHED!! Blog contest tomorrow to celebrate!


I am officially published! My satirical piece, entitled Motivational Speakers, was selected as the Editor’s Choice piece for the May, 2011 edition of Writer’s Beat Quarterly. Ahh! I’m so excited! Check it out here, or download the .pdf file directly HERE!!

I’m on page 12. Ahh!!

Stay tuned; I’ll be hosting a blog contest tomorrow to celebrate!!  There will be jewelry involved.


EXCLAMATION POINTS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh; also, Happy Star Wars Day to everyone!  May the Fourth be with you! ;)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Get it down, then get it right

“Get it down, then get it right.”

It’s probably the single best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten about writing.  What a shame I can’t remember where I got it from.  It’s also a shame that I seem pathologically unable to follow it.

I’ve gotten a whopping 20 pages “completed” in Book 2.  I’m not even going to go through the traumatic effort of naming it yet, because I suck at naming things.  Frankly, I don’t need that kind of aggravation right now.  Not while those 20 pages are stinking up my universe.

They stink because this is a sequel, and I’ve never written a sequel before, and all the backstory is pissing me off.  It’s clogging my literary arteries like a lifetime of chili-cheese fries, but it’s necessary.  I know that.  I know people will be confused if I come out of the gate with “Anaiiya flew off into the sunset.”  What?  Who?  She flies?  Why does she fly?  NO!!  (Slap)  That’s a BAD writer!

Ugh.  So I try to push through, dribbling some backstory in here, a little exposition there, a physical description somewhere off to the left, I think I’m on a roll…and then I make the mistake of re-reading it. Grief, despair, and self-hatred abound.  And yet I have to re-read it, because I don’t remember what I’ve already said.  And then I hate it, and spend an hour trying to rephrase everything and moving paragraphs around until I've forgotten what I'm doing.

I’m halfway to pulling a Paolini and just making the synopsis of Book 1 into a prologue.

You know what…no.  Not gonna be a Negative Nancy three days into a perfectly innocent month.  I have 20 pages done that I only hate sometimes, I got a "good" parking spot today at work, half the yucky things from last month have been resolved (sort of), the weather is still mild enough to keep the air conditioning off, and bin Laden is still dead.

I knew this was gonna be a better month than April.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden is dead!

Bin Laden is dead!  HUZZAH!!

CNN Reports

Fox News Reports

Thanks to all our troops and the CIA and everyone else who finally brought that madman down.  Three cheers for everyone, and go USA!!