Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confessional Tuesday Again

So as I think I mentioned in my first confessional Tuesday my life is not so overflowing with exciting and crazy adventures that it leaves me with a whole lot of scintillating confessions. This week, however, I did not have to struggle to find my confessional subject.

Here's the thing I'm on vacation at my parent's house and while I told myself this would be a perfect time to get some writing done, the exact opposite is in fact true. First off I am not in my normal space or routine and secondly I just don't feel like it. It's the secondly that worries me.

I don't think I am alone in finding writing to be both my favorite and least favorite activity in the whole world - sometime in the same instant. The act of sitting down in front of the computer and making myself turn away from the internet, Snood, and all other distractions to finally put some words down requires some serious ass-kicking. If someone else could do the ass-kicking for me it would be great because I am not a terribly flexible person (when I was in elementary school and we had the gymnastics/tumbling section, my kind gym teacher used to excuse my pathetic sommersaults and cartwheels with a, "Kate's tall" as if this explained everything.) and kicking my own ass if difficult, but that's the thing, in the end the only person who can kick your ass is you. Wow, that last statement is either exceedingly wise or utter nonsense... what can I say? I'm on vacation.

At any rate here is the bargain I am striking with myself - I will keep up with my blog while on vacation and catch up on some of my reading since it has been too long since I have fallen into a good book, but when I get back - my butt will be seated in front of the computer as I type away or else my butt will have an appointment with my foot.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Raise Your Glass Friday

Ah, it is Friday at last and as much as I would like to sit back and sip a glass of wine while composing a leisurely post - instead I am going to chug down a bottle of Mountain Dew and then churn out a quick post so I can get back to packing and prepping for a through the night drive from Knoxville to Buffalo.

Since I don't want to give short-thrift to anything that deserves some serious toasting in its honor - today I will quickly raise my glass to Snood which in a moment of weakness a few weeks ago I recently re-downloaded onto my computer.

Snood is a highly addictive game that is my favorite way to waste time when I should be writing. However, it is also mindless enough that if I am mid-writing it is the perfect game to play while puzzling over where I want my narrative to go next. I have never been a big game person - in fact the last time I loved a game this much was when I used to play Tetris on classic Nintendo.

So to Snood - though most days I am cursing you - today I raise my glass!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Odds and Ends

I really do not have a lot to report today. I have been busy this week prepping for a two week vacation to visit my family up North and while I am super-exited about this, it is always a pain to get our lives orderly enough that large chunks of it can be transferred elsewhere with us. Basically what I'm talking about here is laundry - and lots of it. Last night we did permanent press, today is hots and baby laundry and then tonight/tomorrow it needs to be packed into suitcases or plastic bags so it can be jammed into our car along with piles of toys to entertain Jamie, my husband Andy's golf clubs, and taking up more room than both of these enough shoes to get me through two weeks of activity. Dressy sandals, comfy sandals, two types of slip-on shoes, sneakers, and hmmm maybe another pair of heels just to make sure all my bases are covered. Yeah, that car will be packed.

In other news I spent some time a few days ago explored Time magazine's new list of the 50 Best Websites of 2008. There was some cool sites on there. Some of my favorites were:
freerice.com - it is a vocabulary quiz where the everytime you get a word right rice is donated to help end hunger. Warning: it is super highly addictive.
IMEEM - I actually haven't gotten a chance to check this music site out because my desktop which I spend most of my time on is currently soundless, but from Time's description it sounds like a great place to listen to streaming music for free. And I love things that are free.
Nymbler - Looking to name a character, a pet, or even a child? This site could be a good place to start.
Open Source Food - And finally because the only thing I like better than a new place to find recipes online is a new place to find recipes online that also has awesome amazing pictures of food - well let me just say that they had me from the first click on their home page. It's like food porn (sorry freaks who accidentally landed on this page while looking for sites that feature actual pornography and food - no go away).

For anyone who decides to check out the rest of Time's list I would love to hear what websites caught your fancy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Confessional Tuesdays

Yes, it's true I liked my thematic Friday so much that I've decided to also have a ongoing theme for Tuesdays - if I can keep both of them going simultaneously it will almost be like learning to juggle!

So this theme will consist of silly little things that I will confess to. If you are hoping for something juicy, exciting, or shocking - I am sorry to say you have come to the wrong place. My confessions will be the sort that if I was to take them to a priest he'd probably say something to the effect of, "Are you kidding me with this nonsense? Get out of her and don't come back until you've committed some real sins - I'm talking mortal sins here!" (PS. In true confession style I must admit that I have never had a priest talk to me in such a manner, nor can I honestly imagine one doing so. In fact the priests I've encountered have all been pretty cool guys.)

Okay, so today's actual confession is that... (drumroll please) this is not my first time blogging. I know, I know I gave the impression in my first post that I was a blog virgin, that I had been saving myself for this one very special blog, but the truth is that I had a short-lived, but rather passionate fling with a (oh, I am ashamed to admit it) myspace blog. It was almost two years ago and we only did it together a handful of times, it was meaningless really, and I promise that I am so much more committed to this blog than I ever was to that one... I really hope that this doesn't change our very special relationship.

For full-disclosure I thought I would post here one of my old myspace posts that fittingly enough deals with the subject of confession. And after this, I promise, we will never talk about that old blog ever again.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Most Embarrassing Story Ever Told
Current mood: nerdy

Okay, so because I think of everything too much (well except for the chaos in the middle eastern section of the world, that I just can't seem to think about at all - I read the headlines and it is people dying in Iraq, bombs flying in Israel, missiles being tested in North Korea, and I think fuck - this looks like World War III - and then I turn to the entertainment section... oh
that TomKat what will they do next?) I've decided that if I'm going to write a blog and it's going to be about me - then I have to put myself out there a little bit.

In the spirit of this - I am now presenting - the most embarrassing story ever told. I suppose it would be more thrilling if I said that I have never told anyone this story before - but it has had limited engagements.

Sophmore year at college in the triple - one late night - us girls had story telling time and all told our most embarrassing stories. I honestly cannot remember Melissa's - but I think it might have been something she had told us before as she tended to just be more forthcoming in sharing
life's crappier moments. I clearly remember Jenny's and it made me laugh so hard I cried - but that is just not my story to share.

I also have told Andy this story - I believe in an attempt at full disclosure - so that he would understand that as wonderful and (ahem) gorgeous he might think that I currently am - there was a time in the middle school years when I was the girl with the bad perm, a haircut that only made it worse, and gigantic red frame glasses. I was so homely it was almost cute. Things did not really improve until almost the end of the high school years. The point is - one never really recovers from this sort of thing - and I carry the extremely painful adolescent gene and could very easily pass it on to our children.

This is a lot of set-up for a little story - so in Golden Girls style - let me begin by setting the scene. Picture it. St. Christopher's school in Western New York - I was in seventh grade. St. Chris's was a small Catholic school that I had gone to since Kindergarden. I loved it up until around fifth grade when for reasons I still do not understand - the world split into those who were cool and those who were not. I was not.

Due to the fact that I was in a class of only around 25 kids - with only ten of them being girls - my group of friends went from being small to miniscule. I had two friends - one, Stephanie, was awesome, our friendship was effortless and the other would have slit our throats in an alley if it meant she could be part of the popular clique. We repayed her by constantly bitching about her behind her back - but still remaining her friend in public - because really having just one friend was just a little too pathetic for us.

Now if you went to middle school or high school you already know what the popular girls were like - there were the leaders who had the gift of random cruelty and the followers who backed them up without question. The worst of these was Molly Z*.

Her gift of cruelty was so great that even the other popular girls were relieved when she was absent from school. Now when I talk about cruelty - I am not referring to teen movie's and Carrie-esque plots of dumping buckets of pigs blood - why go to such lengths when a few little words can have the same mental effect? Remember this is adolescence when your Mother asking you to clean your room can trigger a screaming fit that ends with you screaming "I hate
you - I hate everyone" before slamming your bedroom door. I mean c'mon that wasn't just me, right?

Anyway, Molly had the gift of finding her victims flaws - overweight? She would point it out. Shy and never know what to say? She had a remark ready. Would rather die than have your secret crush revealed? Prepare the casket. For some reason she especially loved to torture my one
best friend, Stephanie. And one thing that Molly loved to do was snap her bra strap and try to unhook it. She thought this was hilarious. She managed to actually unhook it one day as we were coming up the stairs from lunch. I remember clearly Stephanie's look of mortification as she
realized her bra was unhooked. I remember Molly's braying laughter. When we got to the classroom Stephanie went in the closet to try and fix it.

I wish I could say that I had said something in defense of my friend - even a pathetic "what is your problem?" but honestly she mostly left me alone - for whatever reason - and I wanted to keep it that way. Pretty much the whole class saw it - nobody said anything to her. Look, the point here is - and we'll come back to this later - BITCH HAD IT COMING.

Hmmmmm, this entry is quite long. Okay, I guess I will save the actual embarrassing part of the story for my next blog entry. But since I did promise an embarrassing story - I guess I will just have to give you Henny Deed's*.

Imagine Henny as a fifth grader, a skinny almost delicate quiet little girl. In the middle of a test - the whole classroom silent - she farted. This, however, was no normal fart. This was a fart of
such intensity that it sounded like a gunshot and actually lifted Henny off her seat. Luckily for Henny the sound was so loud that it filled the room - making it difficult to tell exactly whom it had come from. When a classmate looked at her questioningly - Henny did what anyone would do. She lifted one long finger and pointed it at the boy next to her.

If you have an embarrassing story - share it in the comments - think of it as therapy.

*Name changed to protect identity.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Most Embarrassing Story Ever Told - Part II
Current mood: nerdy

Okay, where did I leave off? Ah, yes - BITCH HAD IT COMING. This statement is so full of truth of that God himself looked down from heaven as I typed it, nodded his head, and said, "...Word." Don't believe me? Read on.

So, St. Christopher's being a Catholic school meant that reading, writing, and arithmetic also came with a nice big helping of church. From First to Eight grade I went to church at least twice a week (once on Sunday with the parents, once during the week with my class) - and if there was a holy day of obligation - sometimes three. We also had religious studies classes, special times when we were receiving the sacrements like first communion, and finally a twice yearly confession - to cleanse the soul.

Confession was stressful. Despite what is always seen on TV with the traditional booth with the mesh grill to hide behind - this is something that I never experienced. When I made my first confession in second grade we had the choice of the traditional booth or the less formal "face
to face". This entailed basically going in a small room and sitting in a chair, directly across from the Priest, and doing the whole thing that way. It was sort of like going to the Principal's office, but without having something specific to confess. Also you had to follow the script.

If you are unfamiliar - it is as follows:

Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been ? years since my last confession and these are my sins _____?

This is where I had to get creative. I mean how many kids really have sins of any consequence to confess? I had not recently shot a man just to watch him die - I didn't even like to watch
stuff like that on Television. So instead it was - "Um, I fought with my sisters. Um, I lied. And ummm, ummm-" (You really feel the need to squeeze out at least three - otherwise it just seems like you think you're just too good for the whole thing.) "Umm, I don't like to go to the Doctor's?"

Then the Priest will say "Okay" and if you are terribly unlucky - "anything else" at which point you're like - CRAP! Must think up one more thing. "Um, I was jealous of someone else." Okay, that part is done with, now it is time for the Act of Contrition. A prayer that you must memorize and will only use when you are in confession. Consequently, you memorize it for confession and then as soon as it is over you immediatly forget it - until - oh crap - it's confession time again and you must memorize it all over again. As well as I remember it goes something like this:

Oh my God I am sorry for something. In choosing to sin and failing to do good - I have sinned against you and the church. I firmly intend - with the help of your son - to something something and to live as I should. Amen.

Then the Priest would say okay, tell you to say some Hail Mary's or whatever and you were done.

The thing is that the Priests were always really nice and reassuring and were doing everything in their power to not make it a totally excruciating experience - and I usually walked out of the room thinking whooo that was easy - what was I so worried about? The thing is I am a worrier. If I imagine it being horrible - then my brain tells me that it is totally feasible for it to be that horrible. The best way I can explain this is to say that I am 27 years old and I am afraid of the dark. At night, with no lights, I am afraid to be outside of my apartment (which is an upscale gated community in the suburbs). And to be totally clear - when I say outside - I mean outside of the bedroom, where my husband is sleeping and into the dark scary kitchen where the serial killer is waiting. I am sure there are drugs that one can take for this - but luckily I have found that if I wake my husband, he is usually thirsty too and more than happy to go into the kitchen and get some water for both of us.

In Seventh grade there was no longer an option of the old fashioned confessional booth. Our church was burnt down by arsonists when I was in fourth grade and since then church services were held in the church basement or the cafeteria. Confession was held in small offices - with face to face being the only option. As a class we would head downstairs - usually meeting up with another class there. They would split us between the two Priest doing confession and line us up outside the doors. I was somewhere in the middle of the line and was already feeling nervous.

It is the kind of nervous that I feel before going on stage or having to do public speaking - a jittery nervousness that made me feel like I had to pee - NOW! And as the line moved forward it just got worse. I am sure I could have asked to go to the bathroom - however, since a year before when some kids were vandalizing the bathrooms - they had cracked down on security and monitoring who went to the bathroom where and when. In the classroom, you had to raise your hand to ask permission, then sign out when you left the room and sign back in when you returned. It was enough to put you off going to the bathroom forever. At any rate the protocol here was unclear and I decided that I could hold it.

I was up next and as the door opened with the person before me exiting the confessional room - my nervous anticipation reached a crescendo - and I realized too late - that I could not hold it after all.

At St. Christopher's we wore uniforms. Skirts and blouses for the girls. Pants and dress shirts for the boys. Our only way to assert any of our personality through fashion was our footware and at this time the trend was to wear sneakers and rolled down socks. Now if you have to pee yourself in public - this is actually a pretty good thing to be wearing. The moisture avoids your skirt and instead runs down your legs where you socks happily soak it up. To the unobservant - nothing has happened at all.

If I had gone into crisis recovery mode maybe this would be the worst of it. I could've gone to the bathroom - ditched the socks, ditched the underwear, cleaned up a bit and maybe with a bit of luck no one would have been any the wiser. Instead I was in shock. I entered the confession room and sat down. Let me repeat. I SAT DOWN. It was an upholstered chair. I have no memory of that confession, but I can tell you that I did not confess the sin that was foremost in mind, that I had peed myself in public.

When I stood up I left a wet mark on the chair. I can only assume that the priest did not notice. I immediatly went to my teacher and asked her if I could use the bathroom and she said yes. So easy! Too late now. And too late for damage control. My socks are soaked. My underwear is wet. And the back of my skirt has a gigantic damning wet spot. As the realization sinks in that no amount of toilet paper is going to be able to blot this up and as I begin to consider trying to drown myself in the toilet - my teacher comes in to check on me.

It turns out that the person after me discovered that something was amiss when she sat down on the same chair that I had left my (wet) mark on. When she stood up and realized she was wet - some people started to do the math - and found me in the bathroom - still drenched in the assualt weapon. The person I had unwittingly assaulted was no other than Molly. Of course, I was way too mortified at the time to realize that this is actually sorta hilarious. And shockingly, the meanest girl at St. Chris, never said a word to me about it - she was probably too scared of what other bodily fluids I might release.

I wanted to join the witness protection program after this - instead of ever having to face my class again - but my Mom made me go to school the next day and all I have to say about that is - that if you are of middle school age and pee yourself where everybody can see or find out about it and you think that you are going to be teased/tortured mercilessly... then you are correct. I suppose it was character building - but I still sorta wish I could have just changed my name and moved several hundred miles away.

In conclusion.

I never went to confession again. My last year at St. Chris I was coincidentally absent on confession day and after that I went to public school and it was easily avoidable.

And a Moral.

If I tell you that are starting to piss me off, you just might want to watch out where you sit down after that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Mid-Season Finale

Last night was the Battlestar Galactica mid-season finale of it's final season, and the second half isn't airing until January 2009 (when I first read that I was like holy crap that is two years from now, but then I remembered that I am actually right now living in the year 2008 and calmed down a bit) which sucks because, of course, they went out with a totally crazy cliff-hangar in true BSG fashion.

Here are some excellent commentaries/recaps if like me you are into watching a television show and then going online and obsessively reading about what you just watched (I know, I'm not proud of it, but it is the truth).

Salon's take on the BSG Finale
Entertainment Weekly's TV Watch BSG Recap/Commentary
Television Without Pity's Recaplet to be followed later in the week by a much longer (and knowing this recapper who is totally insane but in a great way it will be much much much longer) recap.

If you haven't watched the episode yet I recommend staying away from these links until you have done so... unless you are actually just looking for spoilers - in which case I am cool with that - unlike many people I don't freak out, plug my ears, and sing "la la la - I can't hear you" when someone starts talking about a book, tv, show, or movie that I haven't seen because I don't think knowing what happens really ruins the experience - because if it did no one would ever re-read or re-watch a book, tv show, or movie that they have already read/seen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Raise Your Glass Friday

Having seen other blogs that have certain topics or subjects that they feature weekly (such as my favorite Top Chef blog's Monday pictures that pay tribute and poke fun at host Padma Lakshmi) I have decided to try one of my own. Thus "Raise Your Glass Friday" - inspired by the fact that my husband usually comes home on Friday evenings after work with either a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer to kick off the weekend - begins here where I simply recognize something or someone that has helped me on my writer's journey to publication thus far.

Today I am raising my glass and toasting - Agents Who Blog.

Now obviously I am not the first person to recognize the awesome resource this has become for not just beginning writers, but to anyone with a writing career. In Writer's Digest most recent list of 101 Best Websites they have a whole category devoted to agent's blogs and The Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog has a rather comprehensive list the left side of their page.

Instead of repeating what you could find elsewhere I am simply going to highlight the blogs that I visit daily and/or specific posts that I have found especially enlightening.

Bookends Blog

I already mentioned this blog and one of the contests that is has run in my first blog posting, but I have to mention it again since it is quite honestly the first blog that I visit each morning, and the reason for this is that Mon-Fri there is always some sort of fresh content posted there. If you haven't already I highly recommend bookmarking it and adding it to your daily reading, however don't stop there - because there is a ton of awesome information also buried in the archives. Most helpful to me were the multiple postings concerning query and pitch critiques. I read all ten rounds of the query pitches and all twenty-five rounds of the pitch critiques like the slightly obsessive compulsive person that I am (although when I tell my husband I think I have a touch of the OCD he tells me that I am not clean enough - and just to be clear that is a dig at my housecleaning skills - not my personal hygiene). As I read through I would click back to the word document that had the beginnings of my second attempt at a query letter and re-work it and then re-work it again, bouncing my ideas off of what Jessica thought both did and did not work in the various entries. And in the end I think I had a more successful query letter because of it.

Miss Snark

I don't think this blog needs an introduction. It was the very first literary agent blog I came across because you can't google "literary agent" without getting a tons of hits that somehow come back to Miss Snark. Although the blog is retired the archives live on and days - no weeks can be lost combing through them all. However, what I found the most helpful was the her synopsis critiques. No sooner had I finally cleared the horrible query hurtle when the even more impossible task of writing a synopsis loomed before me. My inability to write a synopsis dates all the way back to grade school when I had to it as part of book reports - I simply have no ability to distinguish important and unimportant details. Disgusted with my synopsis that read much like how a five year-old child might recount an especially exciting day (and then we went to the park, and then it was really hot so we had ice-cream, and then it dripped on my shoes, and then... you get the idea) I began to search the internet for some examples, and come across Miss Snark's Synopsis-Crapometer. I laughed, I cried, and I read until my eyes bled. And when it was all over... okay, well to be honest I am still not going to win any prizes for synopsis writing, but if for some reason my life depended on writing one (Mark Burnett is actually already developing the reality show) - I would live to see another day. Thank you Miss Snark.

Nathan Bransford and Kristin Nelson

Like the Bookends blog new content here is fairly consistent and always informative. What is especially nice about these two blogs are that Mr. Bransford and Miss Nelson have been kind enough to have lovely little links in the sidebar to some of their most essential and helpful posts. The Nathan Bransford blog also has the occasional contest - past ones include best title, best first line, best paragraph, best first page, and most recently best dialogue. (Whooo that was a lot of linking.)

Honorable Mentions

The rest of the blogs that I frequent I don't have any specific stories to tell about them, but they are informative and maybe they will have something that is specifically helpful to you - so check them out!

Janet Reid
Query Shark (also a Janet Reid Production)
Lyons Literary
The Swivet
Et in Arcaedia, ego

Okay, toasting is over - let's drink!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stephanie wins Top Chef Season 4!!!!

This entry has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with my own personal need to see women win reality shows. My deep and almost desperate need to see women win is second only to my desire to see the reality villain lose.

For this reason Season 2 of Project Runway when Santino lost to Chloe was my own personal V-Day - goodness and girl power triumphed over the evil forces in the world. Sadly, more often my reality shows give me little to celebrate. Out of four seasons of Project Runway Chloe was the only woman to win and in season 3 Jeffrey, a guy who proved again and again he was a bully and a jerk, (and no finding out at the end that heovercame a drug addiction does not absolve him) won and in Season 4 Christian, a diminutive one-note catch-phrase spewing machine (that's fierce) who was admittedly more obnoxious than evil, won.

It is the same story - or worse - for the rest of the reality shows I follow: Top Chef awarded three guys before finally giving the title to Stephanie last night (and Ilan and Hyung, winners of season 2 and 3, were both jerks), the blatantly misogynistic Donald Trump had only one woman win in four or was it five seasons of The Apprentice, and on The Amazing Race (a show were the winners are not determined by a panel of judges but rather by getting through a series of challenges both physical and mental) an all women team has never won and I cannot even count the number of times teams who are totally unlikeable have walked away with the million. (Although the season that they first brought in the sneaky Amber and Rob from Survivor and they lost in the finale was a major victory for teams who play nice.)

At any right not only is Stephanie a woman, but she is as equally nice and completely likeable as season 1 Top Chef winner Harold. If like me you are a Top Chef fanatic you must check out the link to the right for a fabulously bitchy Top Chef blog. Also here is an interview with Stephanie on the LA Times Blog: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2008/06/top-chef-stepha.html#more.

Monday, June 9, 2008


After having the same tired old couch since my husband and I first moved in together we decided to use some of our economic stimulus money (thanks gov't for actually doing something useful for once!) to buy a new couch... except once we got into the furniture stores I wanted MORE!! I mean we couldn't have a new couch with our rickety old hand-me-down originally from Target coffee table - now could we? So, off to Rooms To Go we went and soon a whole living room set with couch, chair, two side tables, coffee table, and lamps was ours. Only problem we had to wait two weeks for it to be delivered since the tables were back-ordered. Well, the two weeks have passed and the furniture arrived today only to open the boxes the tables were in (they were self-assemble) and discover they had sent the wrong ones! Huge bummer and now a huge headache for us to figure out how to get the right ones. And as it usually is with these types of things I call one number and they tell me to call someone else, and then I call them and they can't help me either - I have to go into the store.

Okay, so sorry for that little rant - but I just needed to get it off my chest. Now for the writerly portion of this blog - while surfing other blogs (one of my favorite methods of procrastination, although since I just downloaded snood onto my computer last night it seems destined to take a backseat) I came across this Writer Unboxed blog that has a great interview with Ann Aguire - whose book Grimspace I just recently happened to read.

It was shelved with sci-fi and I had to literally squeeze past a guy paging through some full-color Star Wars character guide to get to it at my local Barnes and Noble. Since this is not a section that I usually gravitate towards (Star Wars kind of represents most of the things I dislike about the genre).

I never would have picked up this book if I hadn't been specifically looking for it... and how did I come across it. During my agent hunt I saw Ann Aguire listed as one of the clients on her agent's website and I think the cover was pictured as well and it intrigued me and also reminded me a bit of some covers from Anne McCaffrey books - the only other sci-fi books that I have really read a lot of (hmmm maybe I only like sci-fi written by women named Ann?) and so I checked it online and tracked down an excerpt on Ann Aguirre's website and since I had a gift card from my birthday, decided to buy the book.

Clearly I do not take book-buying lightly - this is because usually I am a library girl and if I am going to purchase something I want to make sure it is something that I am going to get fifty pages into and then decide that I can't stand it. Luckily, I loved this book all the way through and devoured it quickly. Without going into the plot too much (if you really want to know you can find it here:http://www.amazon.com/Grimspace-Ann-Aguirre/dp/0441015999/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213045546&sr=8-1) the book was an excellent mix of action and romance but most importantly had a strong female protagonist - something which I personally can not get enough of (although I did hate that Bionic Woman show from NBC - which made me really sad because I sooo wanted it to be awesome).

At any rate it is interesting to read about the thought processes of authors one admires so here is a link to the interview I found: http://writerunboxed.com/2008/02/22/interview-ann-aguirre-part-1/
The one thing I found especially interesting is when she talks about trying to be the next Susan Elizabeth Phillips - because she is also an author I love and her work totally influenced my first manuscript which was a contemporary romance with humor, but I am now also starting a new WIP that is a little more actiony.

Hmmm... I am realizing that I have promised some funny in my blogs and this one is... not.

Okay, here is an excellent writing joke and one that I know definitely hits home for me!

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Me in Cyberspace

Hee hee... my first blog post and I have already managed to totally amuse myself (which is a start I guess) with the title for this entry which reminds me of the old Muppets sketch - Pigs In Space. If you do not get that reference here is a link to an almost frighteningly detailed Muppets wiki page that will bring you up to speed:

So I decided to join the blogosphere at the urging of my newly joined writing crit group to establish an online presence and get myself out there. In all honestly I am not exactly sure how this is going to go - or what exactly I am going to write about here - but I will aim to be funny, interesting, and informative - although perhaps not simultaneously - that could get a little rough.

Hoping that I've come close to fulfilling the first two goals (cut me some slack here people - this is my first entry) I finish up with a link to something informative. I've been following for a few months now postings on the Romantic Times website from literary agent Jessica Faust of Bookends - she also has a really great blog that you can find a link to on the side panel - I highly recommend checking it out since not only is it super-informative and has new content Mon-Fri - but they also run contests - one of which I am proud to say I managed to get an honorable mention in (here's a link - I'm the KateKQuinn one http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2008/03/contemporary-romance-honorable-mentions.html). But back to the Romantic Times link - Jessica Faust has been doing first three pages critiques of all different romance genres that are a great peak into an agent's mind (or at least this particular one) and what she looks for. She's done five so far - but I recommend bookmarking it and checking back every so often for new ones. As an added bonus for those brave enough to put themselves out there - there is also an email address where you can send your own first three pages for a chance at your very own critique.

Here's the link:

Now don't you feel informed?