Catching Fire Contest!!!!

Oh my gosh! Reviewer X is giving away a real copy of Catching Fire!!! I'm not kidding. Go. Go there NOW.

Feature Fun Friday: Nothing like the spelling bee

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Life in Technicolor II by Coldplay

English is the greatest language in the world. Besides causing no end of grief to kids of all ages (it's a non-discriminatory kind of torture) from the time we're in kindergarten, we also just have some of the strangest words I've ever seen. And who can forget the spelling bee? While usually not as entertaining as reality tv or something like the Miss America pageant, it does have its gems. :)

Presenting today for your viewing pleasure, is another double feature. One, a real instance at a real spelling bee, and the other a short clip from the fantastic film, Akeelah and the Bee (man I love Laurence Fishburne in this). A small homage to words, and where we'd be without them. Because without words, how would we have stories? :) Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Embedding has been disabled for the Akeelah clip. Click here to see. (It's worth it, I promise)

WriterGirl Interview with Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): All Tomorrow's Parties by Icehouse.

Hello again everyone! I'm very excited to present the follow-up interview to yesterday's review of Life on the Refrigerator Door. As a debut author, I'm doubly excited to welcome the wonderful Alice Kuipers to The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl.

[Me]: As a story about the relationship between a mother and daughter, do you recommend leaving notes on the refrigerator door as a viable means of developing a relationship? ;)

[AK]:I think communication is really important in any relationship. Lots of times we forget how important it is to communicate well with those around us that we love. I know that I often don't make time to talk with people who matter to me. Whether we use notes, emails, text messages, letters, or, even better, make the time to talk face to face, I think any relationship benefits from those sorts of efforts.

[Me]: How come neither of them had cell phones? I was very curious on that fact.

[AK]: Claire has a cell phone, it never gets mentioned in the notes because she never answers it when her mum calls or she forgets to turn it on. I think her mum has one too, she just keeps forgetting it at home. Mainly, they just happen to be in the habit of leaving each other notes. I've had lots of letters from readers who say they've kept a note their mum left them, sometimes from years before... there's something concrete about the written word that perhaps gets lost with cell phones and the internet.

[Me]: What made you think of using just notes to tell an entire story? It’s quite brilliant, I think, and very difficult, too. Were you worried about the reception it would receive, being so short?

[AK]: Thanks. I came up with the idea when I read a note my boyfriend left me. I'd been writing for many years but never had the right story to tell. Suddenly, I wondered if I only let myself tell a story using notes what could I create on the page between two people? As with the note my boyfriend left me if someone else had read it they would have known something intimate about our relationship. As a writer, that was interesting to me - could I reveal the intimacy between two people with very few words?

As for whether I was worried about the reception it would get, no, I wasn't worried. I didn't really think about who might read the book, I just loved writing it. It's been very surprising to me that it's ended up being published in 29 countries and won prizes and met so many readers. Maybe if I'd imagined that, I might have been more worried!

[Me]: It must have been hard to write with that format. What was the hardest for you, writing it that way? Any unexpected constrictions?

[AK]: It wasn't very hard to write because it was deeply enjoyable. Challenging at times, but never in a way that wasn't thrilling. One difficulty was making sure I said enough without saying too much. A friend read an early draft and was confused by what Peter was. I thought just the name Peter (like Peter rabbit) would be enough for a reader to know he was a rabbit, but after her feedback, I mentioned twice that he's a rabbit (once on the first page) which I think helps readers.

[Me]: Now I have to ask, what is your favorite scene, personally?

[AK]: I like the final scene. I remember thinking of it and knowing suddenly that the book was finished. It was sad because I'd enjoyed writing it so much, but also a good moment because everything came together on the page.

[Me]: I loved the fragmentation that came with some of the scenes. Like, there would be a fight that was suddenly mentioned in a new note with no reference in the previous one (obviously). That made it so real for me. How did you accomplish that? Did you ever mess up when writing those scenes?

[AK]: Thanks, again. When I wrote the book, Claire and Elizabeth (her mum) felt entirely real to me. The fragmentation you talk about came without me thinking about it very much. I had the two characters in my head and I could picture everything that was happening to them around them leaving each other notes - I could really see them. Maybe that's strange, but I suspect it happens to lots of writers. It probably happens to you when you're writing something you really enjoy working on.

[Me]: What were the challenges (writing, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing this to life?

[AK]: There was lots of research to get the tone right, and to make sure I understood breast cancer well enough to make the story real. Some of that research was very sad and sometimes very hard to incorporate well.

The main challenge was not to finish the book! I wanted to write it forever and letting it go was really difficult because I knew I'd never write a book like it again.

[Me]: This is such a unique idea and execution so different. What was the spark that ignited it to life?

[AK]: A friend of mine lost her mother to breast cancer. The circumstances were entirely different but the emotion was raw and moving. As a writer, I wanted to explore that loss in a respectful way, in a way that would honour my friend. I hope I achieved that.

[Me]: Did you have to cut out anything you didn’t want to cut out? (editors or otherwise?)

[AK]: There were lots of edits and cuts and reorganising scenes that, again, I enjoyed. Normally you editor won't make you cut out anything you don't want to. They usually ask you questions that make you think, hmmmm, could I do this better? The answer is normally, yes! Then you end up making cuts that they probably thought should be made but were clever enough to make you think you'd come up with the idea.

[Me]: When did you know you had to write this story? When did it become more than just an idea in your head into something that was real?

[AK]: I write all the time, every day. My problem is choosing which story to work on, which to finish, which to abandon. Life on the Refrigerator Door kept me interested and in love with the story from beginning to end. Like I said, I just didn't want to finish it when I knew it was finished, so letting it go was hard. Bringing it to life was totally consuming.

[Me]: Is there anything new in the pipeline? Please tell me there is, this was a great read.

[AK]: Thanks. Yes, my next novel is coming out in May 2010. I've finished it and am doing the copy edits now. I have yet to give it a title, though. I'll let you know once I chose one!

[Me]: Finally, do you have a website, or another way for readers to contact you?


Thanks so much Alice. I really loved this book. Please keep up the fantastic work.

And thank you, Heather. Thanks for your great questions and your interest. Your blog is really great. And keep going with the writing. I remember wanting to be a writer and may main advice to anyone like you who wants to be a writer is to write, write, write and then write a little more. Good luck with Ransom The Dawn.

WriterGirl Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Scarborough Fair by Haley Westenra

Finally! My first review! Let's rewind to my mind altering post when I came on the idea that one of my missions as WriterGirl should be to bring forward books drowning in obscurity. To make it something different, I put some rather interesting rules on myself, including:

I will focus on YA and Children's literature (with very rare exceptions).
I will not review any book that is one of the top 25,000 selling books (based on Amazon ranks)
I will try and aim for books 100,000 or larger.
I will not review books before my 2005 (with very rare exceptions).

So first up to bat is Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers!

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers.

Amazon Rank: #362,537

First Line: Hey Claire-Bear
carrots and rabbit food for Peter
ground beef
juice - you choose

My Take: This is a sweet little gem of a story. As you can guess from the "first line" and title, this entire story takes place through notes written on the refrigerator door between a mother and daughter. It's quite unique and very well executed. The premise that neither of them have cell phones they use stretches the believability of this story, but it is the charm of discovering their relationship for yourself through these notes that pulls it through this hiccup. The complexity came from what was not said, what you had to guess of what had happened between the notes. It felt almost like a comic book in that sense, trying to piece the action together between the white borders. This structuring makes it not only realistic, but keeps you engaged in an otherwise very short read. Realize: some notes are only a few words, and you could easily breeze through this in an afternoon. I had read almost half of it in the bookstore before I realized how far I was, and purchased the thing.

The Final Word:
Enjoyable, very sweet, a predictable tear-jerker, wonderful read to share with your own mother (even if she's not a reader), and a perfect summer read.

Similar Vein Stories: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Peeled by Joan Bauer, and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

There's peanut butter in my deltoid.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Someone to Save You by OneRepublic

I didn't put up a post for Memorial Day yesterday because I couldn't find the words adequate enough to express how I feel about the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. We will forever indebted to you, and I would have rather put up a post of silence than one ignoring them altogether.

But I have a new story for you today that will hopefully have you crack a smile.

First, I have to tell you some exciting news so that this will all make sense (and give you a prep to know where I will be for two weeks) :D Ready? I'M GOING TO THAILAND FOR TWO WEEKS ON A HUMANITARIAN AID TRIP!!!!! Seriously, I could not be more stoked than I am right now. And this news is about the only thing that could get me to the doctor's to get my shots I need for the trip.

Let me explain (it's like those matching questions in English on the SATs). :)
I am to shots as:
-Superman is to Kryptonite
-Batman is to bats***
-Indiana Jones is to snakes***
-All of the above
(the last two are especially appropriate, though you will receive full credit for answering any of them)

I was prepared. I made the call myself. I was like "Yes Heather, I can confront my fears! Those needles should be afraid of me!" *shudder*

I even went and got my immunization history so I knew what I would need (or more appropriately, what I would not need. Yes, paranioa has its place in the world) :)

But last night (and all this morning too, by the way), I was hyperventilating, pep talking myself into going. My mom was on hand, I'm sure putting her head in her hand and sighing. Yes, I am well over 18 and fully capable of driving myself to the doctor's - but I wouldn't. I absolutely refused (and consequently begged) not to go alone. So there my wonderful mother was, ready to take me to get my shots. Actually, about the only thing that got me in there was the knowledge that getting these shots was much better than contracting malaria, or dengue fever (I actually laughed when they said I could get that. I should have been terrified, but all I could think of was George of the Jungle).

So there I was, practicing my yoga breathing like no other (fill the stomach, let it rise into your chest and fill your lungs completely, and then let it back out slowly. Breathe. Repeat. Thinking of Enya and butterflies while doing this helps, by the way). ;)

The first part wasn't so bad. The wonderful lady sat me down (with my mother) and talked about the country. Number One Rule seemed to be: DON'T DRINK THE WATER. Second was avoid animals scratches and bites (who wouldn't?!) so we don't contract rabies. We wouldn't want that, now would we? (no, no we wouldn't). *nodding head vigorously* Third big one: avoid mosquitoes. They'll carry just about every disease you've heard of in your nightmares. Think Jumanji. Gotcha. No problemo.

Then came the shots.

I flipped.

Before, I had glanced at my immunization sheet and saw my last set of shots was in 2002. Internally, the conversation went like this:
[Me]: No flipping way! I HAD to have had shots since then! Who wrote this?
[Me]: Calm down. You were just traumatized as a child. Do you remember that nurse who had to put the same shot in three times?
[Me]: I know! Wait, where's the tetanus shot? I stepped on a nail in eighth grade, right? Where's that shot!? *looking frantically*
[Me]: That would put it in 2002, like it says on the paper. Calm down.
[Other Me *hyperventilating*]: I can't calm down! I hate shots!
[Me]: Well, too bad. Here it comes.

To be honest, my lady friend was incredible. She had my three shots poked and inside me in under thirty seconds. She stuck them in right after another, before I even had a chance to react. She was fast. And now she's my new best friend. But I was still there, my mom had to put her arms around me to keep me from squirming. Yes, squirming. Screaming, no. Hyperventilation? Mild.

They say to exercise your arms to make it go away faster, but how can I when it feels like a glob on peanut butter is stuck under both of my deltoids? (another reason I really hate shots. It's the gift that keeps on giving).

Oh, and one last funny thing. I react very strongly to drugs. Like, a baby Tylenol will probably sedate me quite happily for hours. I won't even mention the story when I got my wisdom teeth out. Me and narcotics? Not good friends. Wow loopy dreams. So when the nurse said that one of the shots would make me drowsy, that means "you'll blink a lot" for most people. For me, it means passing out cold for a couple hours. Which I did happily.

There's still peanut butter there, but it should go away soon. :) Yay Thailand! Here I come!

Feature Fun Friday - I Love the Whole World

I love cool videos. And I love songs that get stuck in your head (if said song is also cool). So today's Feature Fun Friday is a perfect fit. I had not seen this video before, so apparently, I haven't seen the Discovery Channel in a while. This video ties into FFF because ideas for stories come from here. Yep, our world. Just look anywhere. We live in a seriously awesome place. So "boom-de-ya-da" is all I have to say to that (and that :38 is the bomb) :) Have a great weekend everyone!

Books and authors and hobbits, oh my!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): How To Save a Life by The Fray.

The book festival was amazing. Aside from the fact that I felt like an elf wandering through a sea of hobbits (aka adorable little kids clutching Fablehaven books running around), it was incredibly awesome. There was almost NO line for Brandon Sanderson, which makes sense, since this is a book festival for kids and he is famous for his adult stuff. So, I got to talk to him, by myself, for a really long time. Seriously, who gets that chance? I bet that isn't gonna happen as soon as he starts his signings for his Wheel of Time release. (And he's supernice, by the way. And he led the fantasy panel, which was awesome).

Let's see, talked with the infamous Hales (Shannon, husband Dean, and amazingly sweet illustrator Nathan). And I saw the color cover art for Calamity Jack! Oh my gosh! Gorgeous. If you haven't read the graphic novel, Rapunzel's Revenge, do. It's so cool. And Calamity Jack is the sequel coming out this year.

Talked to Brandon Mull for .2 seconds before he was mauled by more hobbits *ahem* I mean kids. But this isn't to brag though, this post is actually to announce which book I got for next month's contest.

It was a tie between Brandon Sanderson and Aprilynne Pike. But since Aprilynne is a debut author, and is now on the NY Times bestseller list (rock on!), I went for a signed copy of Wings. See? Isn't it pretty?

So keep a lookout for it next month!

Hero Fuel (can I copyright that?) :)

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Wisdom of the Snow by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Every superhero has them. Just like having a sidekick, all us heroes have an evil nemesis. Think of this as my kryptonite. Well, actually, books are my all-too-real kryptonite, but that is a different story entirely. :D No, actually, this is to me what spinach is to Popeye. That's what this is! Bwahaha, that's a much better example. Turn those tables around. It's not my nemesis. It is my lifeblood - my version of coffee in the morning.

Yep, it's Carnation Instant Breakfast. 2X the protein of an egg, 2X the calcium of yogurt, and complete with more nutrients and minerals than I can pronounce. ^_^ And of course it helps that for all intents and purposes, it is chocolate milk. Yum.

This is my fuel when the going gets tough in my writing. When the going gets tough, the tough get Instant Breakfast.*

*note: when I was in DC on my internship at the Smithsonian, I could not find Instant Breakfast anywhere. Not at Peapod, or Safeway, or Target or any other of the stores where I searched for it. I was freaking out. Finally I found it at one store. Talk about a reunion. I was hugging the thing in the middle of the store, almost spinning it around like Sound of Music or something. I wonder if Popeye ever had withdrawals like that...

I'm in LOVE!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Yellow by Coldplay.

Oh my goodness, Scriveners, where have you been all my life?! Best. Writing. Program. Ever. For those of you who don't know, Scriveners is a Mac-only writing program. Remember when I said that I have wanted a Mac for years? Well, besides being pretty much virus incompatible (boo-ya baby!), I also wanted to try Scriveners. I had heard a lot about it from other writer friends. They touted it like the best thing since pancakes and sliced cheese. And you know what? They were right.

Like most writers, I've been using Word for most of my life, or minor variations of it. But it is business/letter writing program. Meaning it was not designed for the creatively inclined. This is. I did not realize how big of a difference it could make until I downloaded the 30-day free trial.

1. Writing - Unlike Word or other similar programs, Scrivners does not give you a page number, only a word count. Thus, you have one continuous "page" of text so you can focus on writing instead of how many pages you've covered.

2. Editing - because of the single sheet idea, you are instead encouraged to break up your writing into "sections," be that scenes, chapters, etc. This is huge. Because they also have the most ingenious thing called (appropriately) "a corkboard." And just like it's real-life cousin, you can drag and drop scenes around at the drop of a hat. For someone who had rearranged scenes more times than she can remember, this is like Prometheus' fire. Before, I had to scroll/scan/find the scene I needed, highlight the darn sucker (try doing that with a touchpad), copy, scroll to the place it's supposed to be, paste and hope I didn't miss anything. When I tried moving a few sample scenes from my newest novel, I was so giddy (giggling to myself, high-pitched) my family had to come in and see what was wrong with me.

3. The Research Feature - You can keep your movies/pictures/website links in the same application. And you can split the screen so you can see them at the same time. No more opening the image, which is the source of all your inspiration, quickly trying to keep a mental picture in your head, then opening Word to try and type it in before it disappears. Lather, rinse, repeat. Bwahaha! No more evil impracticality of crappy writing programs! This is seriously the coolest thing.

Like I said, I didn't know what I was missing until I saw what I could do. This may not work for everyone, but it fits my weird brain perfectly. I am totally buying this the second the trial version runs out. I knew I was buying, oh, about ten minutes into the program, when I couldn't stop my fits of incessant giggling. And this is so perfect for my new project, because it deals a lot with time (not time travel, just time) and there are snippets from places that I don't know where they will exactly go yet. Scrivener = new BFF. ^_^

(And if you look really closely at the pictures, you can read what I was working on today. Not sure how much that will change, but that is what a first draft looks like. And plus, if I ever get famous, you can say you saw this scene and you were there.) ;)

Feature Fun Friday - Beauty and the Beast Library Scene

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Solipsist by Kaki King.

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my all-time favorite movies. Beauty and the Beast is amazing, right up there with the Lion King and all Disney's other "greats." Okay all future boyfriends, take note - this is how to win my heart. Seriously! You can't get any sweeter than this. He looks so happy, just to see her happy. This is fairy tales at their best, right here.

Good help is hard to find

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Never Know by Jack Johnson.

Bye the way, that post too1k overwq4 20 minutes to putq in, becauseqq q my ADORAB1E little sist4er has been helping jme write this (she's 16, by the way). efedfse And you know1 whawt? I'm goinq to leave these typos in, just qto show yoeu what I am 1CURRENTLY4 going dw thrqough. GAH! HELP ME! EGBTHYUGF GAH!

I made the semi-finals!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Into the Fire by Thirteen Senses.

Okay, I entered a contest on Monday, not expecting much of it (in fact, it was Beth's pure awesomeness that gave me the courage to enter it at all), but she just told me today that I made the top 50 out of over 300 entries! The contest is for a one sentence pitch of our novel. It was pretty intense. Mine is #39 ^_^ (and here is a chance for you to see what my "secretive Ransom the Dawn" is about) ;)

We find out winners Monday!

Not a contest, but something like it.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Along the Perimeter by Preston Reed.

I have something unique and exciting to offer all my readers on my blog. Not quite a contest, not quite a shoutout, but something in between. Like a secret handshake, just for you current readers. ;)

I'm going to a book festival this Saturday. It's big. And there will be authors there. LOTS of authors. And so I'm offering you guys a chance to say what YOU want to get in my next contest. :) I will be buying one book there for my blog. And it will be signed. By the author of your choice. You just have to comment and tell me who. Ye who gives the most (or loudest) shoutouts wins. So actually, you may want to get your friends in on this. Here are some of the big name authors who will be there:

Carol Lynch Williams - author of The Chosen One
Shannon Hale - author of The Goose Girl, Princess Academy, Book of a Thousand Days, and too many others to name.
Jessica Day George - author of Princess of the Midnight Ball, Sun & Moon, Ice and Snow, and Dragon Slippers
Aprilynne Pike - author of Wings
James Dashner - author of the 13th Reality
Mette Ivy Harrison - author of The Princess and the Hound
Nathan Hale - author of Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School

Here is the link for any others I may have missed that you might want. Good luck! You have until Friday night (since the event's on Saturday) :)

[EDIT]: ACK!!! How Could I forget Brandon Mull and Brandon Sanderson!?

Brandon Mull - author of the Fablehaven series
Brandon Sanderson - author of the Mistborn series and he is also " The Chosen One" picked to finish the Wheel of Time series.

How could I be so stupid?! Those aren't small names! *banging head on wall*

A serious problem

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Morrowind Main Theme by Jeremy Soule.

So, um, I'm realizing my beautiful new Mac has no name. I name all my favorite things (my old Toyota hatchback was named Squishy. Yes, after the jellyfish in Finding Nemo). And I don't feel like my super cool friend is really mine until it has a name. Any helpers? Please? Somehow tied into literary-ness would be ideal. I need to christian my baby.

The Best Day EVER

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Beautiful Day by U2

So happy. Sososo happy. Can I describe how joyously elated with a dash of pure euphoria I feel right now? I GOT A MAC!!!! I have my own beautiful white baby all my own now. A superhero should never be without his secret weapons. Batman has the batmobile, superman has his cape, WriterGirl has her Mac. ^_^ I kinda feel like this:

Yeah, like that.

I have been wanting a Mac for years, and I promised myself a new computer if my beautiful laptop (which I'm writing this on right now. He's still my hero. I love you Goranu!) could survive four years of college with me. We both made it, and so I have a new friend. Who says Macs and PCs can't get along? :) And best part of all? I got it - get this - for only $900. When does that happen?! Oh, it's so beautiful. Here's me and my new baby.

I can't wait to see what stories I write with this. My fingers are already twitching to get on it. I don't think there's anything that can burst my bubble today. In fact, I'm having a hard time getting back on the ground. I've gone to the white side, and I'm so happy. I'm going off dancing now to Viva La Vida. Whee! ^_^

Feature Fun Friday - Stephanie Meyer The Host Interview

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): She Is by The Fray

We haven't had an interview on here yet, and hey, I figured, why not open the floodgates with someone big? Like, bigger than big? Here now, in the virtual flesh, is Stephanie Meyer talking about her non-vampire, sci-fi story, The Host, which has been out for exactly one year this week, and has been on the NYT Bestseller list for almost as long. O_0

This is my favorite of her stories so far, not only because I am a speculative fiction nerd in the extreme (I'm really just discovering this. I don't know how I didn't pick up on it with all the sci-fi movies I watched as a kid). And it certainly isn't because I have a first edition copy, signed by her, and I got to meet her a year ago ^_^ (no, it really isn't). No, I love this book because I really feel she came into her own in this book. Her characters are real and complex, and I love what she did with the girl characters in particular. I would love to see more of Wanderer and Melanie (Ian rocks my world in that regard). So, kudos to Mrs. Meyer, and here's a salute to (in my opinion) your best work being on the bestseller list for a year. Congratulations! And everyone else, I hope you enjoy the interview, and have the most fantabulous weekend ever!

Tangent - yummy food!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Sage of Lamberene by Sam Cardon & Kurt Bestor

Okay, this is via Aerin. She wanted to know the recipe for my "yummy food" from Cinco de Mayo, so here it is! And it really is the easiest, tastiest recipe you could ever have. Like seriously, if zombies attack, you can make this all out of the cans in your house, minus 1 ingredient.

Yummy Food-ness

Saute 1/2 large onion (sliced), then add,

2 cans of black beans
1 (normal sized) can of hominy (it's corn, not puffy rice, like I first thought. It's in the Ethnic food isle, usually) :)
1 can diced, UNFLAVORED tomatoes (NEVER pick the Italian-seasoned kind for this. Blech).
2 tbs, minced garlic
Chili Powder (a lot) to taste
Cayenne or Red Pepper to taste
A Red Chili (optional) sliced/cut/whatever - to taste

Stir until warm/soft. Eat in tortilla. Yummy-ness all around.

(You can also shred some canned chicken in another pot and add a little barbecue sauce, heat it up, and oh my goodness, does it taste good!). I hope you enjoy Aerin! Tell me if any of you, my beloved readers, try it. My sister just invented the recipe on the spot based on what we had in the house. I think she's pretty amazing.

As I was passing...

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Today I was sitting next to my sisters, reading a book, my twin was next to me and my little sister came in.

[Twin]: You're that far in?

[Littlest Sister]: *nods*

[Twin]: You bought that yesterday!

[LS]: Yeah, and I'm at the part --

[Twin (to herself)]: I haven't even cracked open my comic book yet.

[LS]: I'm gonna have to buy the next one --

[Twin (still to herself - dazed)]: And that thing's got pictures. . .and color. . .

[Me] *laughing hysterically*

A little bird told me. . .

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

A little bird told me some very interesting news recently. Apparently some book trailers are making it to the big screen. Very interesting. I remembered the first time I ever saw a book trailer. It was on a dvd, for Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. The first one. (it was a terribly boring trailer, but it was the first I had ever seen). Let us hope this idea catches on even more. Spread the literature love, I say!

And in some sad news - Harper Collins has suspended its First Look program, while they say they work on an even better program.

And this is more for my "writer readers" out there (hey, that sounded kinda funny. And cool. A funnycool). Unless you've been living under a rock, you know of a Scottish sweetie by the name of Susan Boyle who has swept the world by storm. But literary agent Rachelle Gardener has turned the tables around, and showed how we can learn from her as writers. It's actually a very insightful post. She also apparently has a book deal in the works. Go figure.

Now off to see Newsies with my little sister, who has been sick all week with laryngitis (how she swung a chocolate cake out of this whole affair, I'll never know. I never could at that age).

Of Tomatoes and. . . Antelope?

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Such Great Heights by The Postal Service.

Today has been quite a day of adventures. First, I saw an antelope. An honest-to-goodness antelope. Two of them. It happened while I was driving. There's an open theater near my house and just as I was going past it, on the crest of a hill, sprung up two antelope. My first literal thought was "I'm not in Africa."

I never knew that they lived here in the desert. It was incredible. I only wish I could have taken a picture. But driving+camera=not a good idea. But here is a pretty close approximate. It almost has the right angle and everything.

My second adventure today was squeezing stewed tomatoes. Yep, I live the high life. My sister needed them without the water for our Cinco de Mayo dinner, and so I got squeezing duty. Pulling them out of the jar was interesting enough. Like pulling a sci-fi slug from a jar. It was fun to poke. I still do indeed, play with my food. ^_^

The color was fantastic.

So, today's lesson is - take life by the tomato and squeeze it! (not entirely sure where the antelope comes in). . .

And the winner is. . .

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Starlight by Muse.

PJ Hoover!

Rather than hold you in suspense, I thought I would tell you right out. But now the story of how I came to pick the winner. First, an exchange between my family while we are driving home in the car:

[Me]: How should I pick?

[Twin *turning around from front seat*]: I think you should take all the names and throw them up in the air and see which one sticks in your eye.

[Me]: But what if none of them stick in my eye?

[Twin]: Keep throwing until they do. *smiles*

So I did that - sort of. I adapted. First I cut all 124 entries (can you believe that?! That's awesome) and put them in a handy red bowl that had recently been holding Cheese Nips. ^_^

And then I threw them up in the air!

And mixed them all around (thank you to all my cousins who taught me 52 card pick-up when I was seven).

Then I put them in my graduation hat. Right now it is by far the coolest hat in my house :D

One last funny anecdote, when I threw them all up in the air (first of all, they twisted really cool as they fell down), they scattered everywhere. I had to check under the couch and all the furniture to make sure no one got left out. And the funniest one I found was PJ's, just hangin' out on my shoe rack. She totally wanted to win. :) Good job PJ! Go ahead and email me your address and which book you want and we'll get that sent to you lickety-split. Keep a look-out for the next contest guys!

Contest Reminder!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): I Want To Break Free by Queen.

Last chance to put a couple of entries in for the Uber-book-giveaway! It's for ANY book under $50. That's a lot of book. Use your imagination. The world is your oyster. ^_^ It ends tonight at midnight, but you can still get your name on several entries. One of the fastest ways to earn three entries is just to say what kind of real-life superhero you are. Not a lot of people have taken up their chance with that one. Another is to become a follower. That's another three entries right there. And mentioning it on your blog is another three.

Leave posts either here or on the original contest post. And for those who have already entered, please please leave a comment if you posted this contest on your blog. I will try and check each of you, but I don't want to miss anyone (and you may want to do your own personal count of your entries, just to make sure I don't mess up). I will get the results to you by Monday morning! Now I have to hurry and get ready for my diploma ceremony. Ack! There's not enough time! See you guys soon!

Feature Fun Friday - Libba Bray rocks it out!

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Pride by U2

Here is a fun treat I really didn't mean to stumble on. Here I was, minding my own business, hunting for some good obscure books. I found a really good lead (and dang is he low on the list. I'm so excited). Not telling who it is, but on his blog he had a link with a video of an author rock band. How cool is that? The sound quality is a little hard to hear, but I really just couldn't pass up the author of A Great and Terrible Beauty serenading a toddler with rock music. Life is good and happy now. (and if all goes well, you'll be getting this Friday and not Thursday. *crosses fingers*). Have a great weekend everyone and wish me luck at my college graduation! I made it!!!!! :D :D :D

Libba Bray: Vocals
Natalie Standiford: Bass
Barnabas Miller: Drums
Daniel Ehrenhaft: Guitar

And for a double feature, who doesn't want a little candy every now and then?