Friday, October 30, 2009

Twitter Addiction

Since my blog on Wednesday seemed to be of interest to at least a few people, I thought I'd share this (via L.T. Elliott). Once you do figure out Twitter it does have the potential to be addictive. Or at least get some grumbles from your significant other.

*True story: My DH scored a free night at a nice bed & breakfast in the mountains for our anniversary last summer. I have never seen so many antlers used in decorating before--even the toilet paper holder was an antler. Of course I had to tweet about it. (Of course!) And then we had the most expensive dinner I've ever had in my life, so of course I had to tweet about that. And the crossbows bolted to the wall deserved a tweet, too. Comments in 140 characters or less just burst into my mind, so I whipped out the phone and quickly texted to Twitter. Until my hubby put his hand over my phone and said, "You're not going to tweet everything about our stay, are you?"

I put the phone away.

But, in my defense, I have never tweeted while driving; I always pull over first. :)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't Always Trust the Squiggle Under the Word

The Spell Chequer

Owed Two A Spell Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
it came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques, four my revue,
miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight four it two say,
Weather eye am wrong oar write
it shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid,
it nose bee fore two long.
And eye can put the error rite
it's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased two no.
Its letter perfect awl the weigh,
my chequer tolled me sew.

**I wish I knew who originally wrote this so I could give credit, but I received it as an email.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's with this Twitter thing, anyway?

I'm pretty vocal with friends and acquaintances about my love affair with Twitter. (Thanks, friend and techo-savvy guru Matthew Buckley for getting me hooked!) Usually the response I get is a raised eyebrow and a disbelieving look. I mean, it’s called “Twitter,” which sounds like something a six-year-old would say over and over while giggling, like the word “pooh.”

Eventually some of the skeptics decide to give it a try. Then I get emails, messages, and conversations that go something like this:

“I heard all about this Twitter thing, so I reluctantly gave in and joined. Now I have an account, 4 followers, and I don’t get it. Who cares what I eat for breakfast or that I’m going to the store? This is stupid! I'm going back to Facebook.”

Impatient are you, my young Padowan. Knowledge need you.

*cough* *clearing throat*
Okay, that's enough talking like Yoda. I can't even do it in a blog.

Anyway, what I was trying to say by channeling the little green dude is that perhaps the problem stems from not understanding Twitter and how it is, and more importantly, is not, like Facebook.

*Disclaimer: I am a Twitter enthusiast, not a Twitter expert. You can find several discussions, articles, and blogs about Twitter and why it's popular and how it's changing the world and why the little bird should be your favorite animal, etc. etc. I'm just sharing why I like it and why it's valuable to me.

What Twitter is not:
Twitter is not the place to connect with your ex-boyfriend's best friend's sister that you lost touch with after high school. Neither is it the place to build your own farm, aquarium, or medieval castle. You won't find BeJeweled or MahJong or notes with 40 random questions that you then pass on to your friends. You can't post 140 pictures of your last race, (*adopting innocent, "who, me?" expression*) or take quizzes about which 80's movie you are, or what your birthday says about you, or what your Native American name is. And on Twitter you won't see everyone else you know who is doing all these things.

What Twitter is:
1. Twitter is like removing all the extraneous bits of Facebook and leaving the status, but Tweeters (or tweeps) don't use it like the status updates in Facebook.

2. Twitter is more public than Facebook, because anyone can follow you on Twitter, but you don't have to follow them back. This is why you'll see so many celebrities on Twitter, because they can have a kerjillion fans but not have to wade through a kerjillion fans' worth of Tweets.

3. Twitter is more business. It's for staying current in an industry. I follow hundreds of writers, editors, agents, and publishers, and the vast majority of them I've never met. Yet they carry on a constant conversation with each other and their followers about the industry. When the whole best-seller price war happened I knew about it right away, as well as their reactions to it. I also find out what drives agents nuts, when they get excited about something in the business, and when they have a big deal. The people share links to great blog posts, contests, or things of interest to the business.

4. Twitter is fast. You only have 140 characters per Tweet, so you won't get rambling discourses. If you want to check out someone's link you click on it, if you don't want to, you don't. If you like something someone else said, you retweet it.

5. Twitter is what's happening in real time. Here's an analogy--> if Facebook is the 30 minute evening news, Twitter is the ticker at the bottom of the screen.

6. Twitter is also entertaining. You learn how to tweet something that is a) interesting and/or b) informative in an entertaining, ADHD way. And you get to know another side of people.

7. Twitter brings together people for real time conversations. When your tweet involves a common topic, then you include what's called a hashtag. It involves a # sign and a word or string of words. Then people can search for that hashtag and pull up all the tweets on Twitter about that subject. Some common ones I use are #amwriting (for tweets about my current WIP) or #writegoal (self-explanatory). There are hundreds of people using these hashtags and it develops into a network of people with similar interests. They cheer each other on, or vent to each other.

Like this tweet this morning by @GripeMaster: "Done" in the sense of "done until tomorrow, when it becomes worthless because I changed everything--again."#amwriting

*Oh, can I identify with him!

There are even groups that set up a certain time to talk about a topic. For example, the topic of #nano is pretty hot. Some agents do an hour of answering questions on #askagent, some authors do #askanauthor, and there are several groups of writers, readers, agents, and publishers that participate in discussions like the weekly #kidlitchat and #yalitchat. It's like sitting around and instant messaging with dozens of people at once who like talking about the same things as you, and you don't even have to shower.

You can use the Twitter Search to find the conversations under these hashtags, but if I want to follow a conversation as it's happening I prefer Monitter, which is a free, real time, live twitter monitor. It gives you three columns so you can follow three topics at once--and never get anything done. ;)

Try following one of these conversations. Twitter user @Georgia_McBride hosts #YAlitchat on Wed. @ 9PM Eastern. #Kidlitchat Tues @ 9 Eastern. Here's a link to her post where she explains more about it, and where she posts the transcripts after she's done. You don't have to participate or even have a twitter account, but you can see what it's all about.

Beyond the Twitter site:
Slogging through one column of everyone's tweets on the Twitter site can give anyone a headache. When it gets better is when you start using organizing programs like the one I use, called Tweetdeck. You can organize the people you follow into groups which then have their own column. I have a column for all that I follow, a column for agents/editors, a column for published authors, a column for writers, and a column for my friends that I know personally (that way they don't get buried under the hundreds of other people's tweets). I also have a column for Direct Messages (like private email - but still only 140 characters) and Mentions (when someone responds to me or retweets me - basically anything that has my username in it). Tweetdeck now also has a Facebook feed, so I can see Twitter and Facebook all from one program. It saves sooo much time.

A tiny note on Twitter Etiquette:
Give proper credit. If you like something someone else said or linked to, then make sure to give them credit with their twitter name (the @ sign and their name). Like this tweet this morning from @MFAconfidential:

Getting published takes passion, persistence & patience by @JaneFriedman via @mystorywriter @CafeNirvana ~

You can find a whole slew of articles on Twitter Etiquette, and I don't want to get too long-winded, so just Google it.

The Best Way to Learn is To Follow Those That Do It Right:
If you're only following people that tweet the minutiae of their day, then it's hard to figure out how to work Twitter right. I learned best by reading what others said. So here are a few people I recommend to follow to learn.


**Ahhhh! Brain freeze! I'm drawing a blank and I had a whole list yesterday. I'll write them down from now on and post them all in another blog, promise. Just look at the people I follow on Twitter (I'm @bookmom2000- click on the Follow Me button in the sidebar). There are so many good ones.

You can also check out these lists:
15 Twitter Users Shaping the Future of Publishing
100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter
15 Must-Follow Comedic Film Actors on Twitter

Does Twitter Make You a Better Writer?
Here's one blogger's opinion about How Twitter Makes You a Better Writer. I'm not so sure I agree with it, but I'll still pass it on.

Thanks for sticking with me this long, dear readers. This turned out to be a rather wordy post, so I'll forgo the discussion on how to get followers for a future post. Along with a more complete list when my brain will work with me. I hope this has been at least a little helpful, and do chime in with all the things I've missed or your Twitter questions. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And more links

I just have to share some of this stuff. (So you don't have to actually *write* anything. You can just scour the internet reading stuff about writing.)

Random House has a writing contest for Middle Grade and Young Adult books. The prize of $1500 and a publishing contract isn't too shabby. You still have over a month until the deadline, too.

If you've been living in a cave and haven't heard about the Walmart, Amazon, Target, Sears, and who knows who else price war, here you go. And here's Michael Hyatt's excellent rundown of implications of the whole mess, along with what publishers can maybe do about it.

Here are 10 bits of advice to aspiring authors from Jaye Wells.

In keeping with 10, here are 10 Ways to Write Every Day.

In celebration of upcoming NaNo, here's a post on Girl Meets Word about NaNo and Character Development with a whole slew of good links.

Shack's Sunday Wash-Up, where he's posted tons more links for you to follow

What Do Teens Want? (to read, that is)

And this last link has nothing whatsoever to do with books, publishing, or writing, but frankly it annoys the snot out of me. Some credit card companies will start charging a fee for those who pay off their credit card every month. Yep, you read that right. A fee for staying OUT of debt. Grrrrr....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Word of the Week #74

equipoise - [EE-kwuh-poiz; EK-wuh-] - noun

1. A state of being equally balanced; equilibrium; -- as of moral, political, or social interests or forces.
2. Counterbalance.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Haunted Houses"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

35 Questions of Horror


I've been tagged! Julie Wright - awesomely author and sweet woman full of flair - tagged me. (Pssst. Go visit her blog. And buy her books.)I get to answer her questions and tag some others. I hope these answers are at least mildly interesting to some of you.

And yes, I realize they're really not "35 Questions of Horror," but I'm trying to get in the Halloween mood since it's a week away. I might dig out some decorations, even.

1. Where is your cell phone? In my purse downstairs. Unless my husband is playing WordMole on it, because he doesn't have any games on his.
2. Your hair? In a ponytail - my normal do. Only today is extra wild from 2 hours of sitting in the wind watching flag football games. Only one more week. Yea! I'm a TV football fan, though my hubby would argue that "fan" is the wrong word. I walk through the room, check the score and cheer or commiserate as needed, let my hubby vent to me about a play or two, then walk out.
3. Your mother? Loves Hummers, Supercars, Hard Rock, and addictive computer games.
4. Your father? Is the only one who calls me "Minnie." And I wish I could remember where that nickname came from.
5. Your favorite food? Fruit. It's my chocolate (since I don't like chocolate) and my caffeine (since I don't like any caffeinated drinks).
6. Your dream last night?I can only remember that it involved someone my husband works with and his wife. Oh, and running because my hubby and this other guy just did a relay race down in Las Vegas. I am so jealous that I didn't get to go :(
7. Your favorite drink? Water. But if that doesn't count, then Fresca.
8. Your dream/goal? To write a book that other people will love so much that an agent will represent it, and it will get published, and I can rub elbows with famous authors and finally be cool. (Some of that answer was tongue in cheek, and some was true.) Oh, and to quit sticking my foot in my mouth so that I have to apologize because it came out all wrong. Oh, oh, and to not bark at my children like a drill sergeant. Is that too many?
9. What room are you in? The loft/study.
10. Your hobby? Exercising. (I know, pretty pathetic.)
11. Your fear? Disappointing myself.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy, healthy, and having helped several people. A writing career like I envision would also be nice.
13. Where were you last night? At flag football games, then in bed. I loove my bed. :)
14. Something you aren’t? Fancy.
15. Muffins? Sure. Bring them on! I like poppyseed, but not the ginormous ones from Costco, because really who can eat a whole one of those?!
16. Wish list item? Jeans that fit just right. They're either too big or too short or the waistband sticks out when I sit down or they make my butt look dumpy.
17. Where did you grow up? A little town called Fruita, Colorado.
18. Last thing you did? Took the kids through the spook alley at my husband's school for the Math Spooktacular night. We haven't seen much of my hubby the last couple weeks so I wanted to get a firsthand look at what was keeping him away. It was pretty cool.
19. What are you wearing? Jeans (long enough but a little too baggy), green shirt, fuzzy black sweatshirt, socks, white slippers that aren't so white on closer inspection...
20. Your TV? Yeah, I have a couple. I'm pretty sure they work because the rest of the family watches them.
21. Your pets? Do my 3 kids count?
22. Your friends? I like almost anybody, except for those guys that think they're God's gift to the world. I would often take them down a notch or two in high school. And I wonder why I had a less than stellar dating career... *seeing a connection*
23. Your life? Better than I ever thought it would be.
24. Your mood? Tired and mellow.
25. Missing someone? Often.
26. Vehicle? Kia Sedona. Yep, I sport the hottest of all cars - the minivan!
27. Something you’re not wearing? Ummmm. A wig? Face paint? A rainbow beanie? A chip on my shoulder?
28. Your favorite store? Saver's. I love the deals I find there. And maybe that's why I don't have a great pair of jeans, because they're all second hand.
29. Your favorite color? Green.
30. When was the last time you laughed? Earlier tonight when my oldest son was wrapped up head to toe in one of those Mexican woven blankets and was being goofy at the flag football game. He came up to me and told me he was a nomad and then collapsed on the ground in a heap under the blanket declaring he was a bum. LOL. You probably had to be there.
31. Last time you cried? Last week. It was probably a sappy commercial.
32. Your best friend? My husband.
33. One place that I go over and over? My happy place (think Happy Gilmore).
34. One person who emails me regularly? Tristi Pinkston, since we are putting together a writer's conference for 2010. It will be AWESOME!! (Just sayin') Tristi also makes me smile and comes up with phrases I will unashamedly steal, like frugalista. You can't tell me that's not a *fabulous* term.
35. Favorite place to eat? Some place with good Mexican food.

Wow! There were a lot of questions. Sorry if you're all snoozing now. I'm going to tag any of you that want to do this, because I'd like to learn more about you. Just leave me a comment saying you'll take the "35 Questions of Horror" challenge.


Thinking about Villains

For the Work in Progress update I am still moving on my YA paranormal rough draft, started on the MG dragon book, and am outlining the other MG book. And I'm still pondering the NaNoWriMo question. But I'm leaning toward doing it. At least today.

Now for some deep(ish) thoughts...

While planning for my "Top Sekrit" second middle grade project I've done some pondering about villains. Every story needs an antagonist or antagonistic force, and some of my favorite stories are memorable for the villain as much as the hero.

Yes, I know there's some that argue women love a bad guy, but I think it goes beyond that. Villains have a certain amount of freedom that I think deep down sometimes we envy. Without the moral inhibitions of "good guys" villains can say & do things that we might think, but won't actually do.

*Disclaimer: I'm talking about villains in stories, since real life villains (i.e. murderers, child abusers, etc.) are a whole different ball game. Hannibal Lecter creeps me out and I'll never forget him (in the book or movie) but I pray to never meet someone like that in real life. You can have safe bad guys/girls in stories.

So I've been thinking about and researching villains and came across a really interesting thread at the Experience Project site (I think it's a forum). And one of the people had some insightful thoughts that I'd like to share:

Villains usually impersonate what is morally wrong. Now, defining this will depend on the movie script/book, who wrote it, where the script/book came from and when it was written.

Often in fairy tales, the villain is a stepmother/stepfather. Fairy tales have some kind of "real story to them", and in those, the villain is an actual parent. But you don't want to show parents as villains, so you just kill them and pretend someone else is the bad guy. Unlike parents, stepfathers and stepmothers get to be selfish, greedy, jealous and show many human traits parents aren't supposed to show. Basically, they're there to be labeled as wrong, and they impersonate the kind of behavior you should steer away from.

Modern villains (take Ra's Al Ghul (?) in "Batman begins", or the guy obsessed with the holy grail in "Angels and Demons") usually have traits that are designed to make you empathize with them, but take those "good" ideas one step too far and become evil. Those are there to teach you moderation, show everyone can be a bad guy (or a good guy), and it's all in the balance.

Let's consider criminals now: just because of the name we're using, it means they've broken the law, which somehow represents everything we think it's wrong to do. Killing, for instance, is wrong. But often, what's actually wrong is *why* people kill, and if you're dealing with an educated or smart killer, they probably have good reasons to believe some people should die, but then take it one step too far and actually kill them.

What do you think makes a good/memorable villain?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Have Some Fun

Just in case you haven't seen this. And if you have, then enjoy it again. :) It always makes me smile.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Word of the Week #73

outre - [oo-TRAY] - adjective

Unconventional; eccentric; bizarre.

I think some of the more outre art out there goes beyond avant-garde to just plain weird.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good Linkey Stuff

For your Friday pleasure, and because I have to post this before it becomes too obsolete, here are some good links! And because then I can go back in my posts and find these links again. :)

Deconstruction--The Ultimate Writer's Tool? by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Five Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Write a Novel on Men With Pens

The Secrets to Publishing Success (Jane's 2009 Tough Love Guide) over on Writer's Digest
**an index of dozens of fabulous blog posts**

Doing Dialogue on Romantic Reads
*so that's how it's supposed to be done!*

A few words on First Paragraphs from Lady Glamis.

And if you have not heard about the FTC fining bloggers for book reviews then here you go:
  • Kristen Nelson blogs about it.
  • Another Article here.
  • Janet Reid/a.k.a. Query Shark talks about it in her fluffy-bunny way here, complete with a Publishing Industry Pawn button that is the envy of all.
  • and here's one way a book blog is handling it.

That's all I have to say about it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote to Live By

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

---Lance Armstrong

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To NaNo or Not To NaNo

To NaNo or Not To NaNo--that is the quandary:
Whether tis nobler in mind to suffer,
The slings and arrows of outrageous revisions,
Or to take arms against the sea of book ideas,
And by vomiting out 50,000 words - end at least one of them.
To write--to work fingers to the bone,
And to work fingers to the bone to risk carpal tunnel.
And by Nov. 30th, to end,
The heartache of a rough draft in one fell swoop,
Tis an ambition devoutly to be wished.
To write, to be finished--
To be finished--perchance to put life on hold, ay, there's the rub...

I could go on, but I think I've subjected you to enough of my version of Hamlet's soliloquy. (If you'd like to read the real masterpiece, here's one place to do it.) But just as Hamlet was tormented at this point in the play, so am I tormented by the decision whether or not to do NaNoWriMo. But not as much as Mel Gibson when he played Hamlet. Seriously, the man does insane, tormented, and pushed to the edge of endurance very well! He also looks good in a kilt. *ahem* Back to the topic.

For those who may not know what I'm talking about, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is for participants to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn explains NaNoWriMo, and I'm linking to it because she's already done the work and I don't have to. :)

At first blush, the idea of putting out 50,000 words in one month--and one that involves Thanksgiving--is daunting. But I'm considering it after reading that Chris Baty, creator of NaNoWriMo, said that the key is to lower your expectations "from 'best-seller' to 'would not make someone vomit'".

I think maybe I could do that. Would it be Shakespeare? Heck no. Would it make someone vomit? I don't think so. If you set the bar low enough I just might be willing to give it a shot.

For those of you also debating with yourself (or with a skull) here's another great blog post by Marelisa Fabrega explaining the process of creating a novel, especially geared toward NaNoWriMo participants (and a shout out to Victoria Mixon for pointing me to the post.)

(You've gotta love Inkygirl's humor. LOL!)

I'm also wondering about not officially doing NaNoWriMo, and doing my own off-NaNo writing challenge for November instead. I can just see myself getting sucked into "writing-involved" NaNoWriMo procrastination by spending too much time on the forums, and the boards, and the blogs, and the Tweets, and the facebook pages, etc. I'm sure none of the rest of you have procrastination problems like me, especially when you have a scene to write that perhaps you're not looking forward to or are scared that no matter what you put down it will never, ever match what you envision.


And because it's Wednesday, I will report that the rough draft of Going Under is chugging along. In 204 words I will break 50,000! Yippee!! I'm a couple chapters into the co-writing middle grade project, and ideas for my middle grade book are simmering in the background. Oh, and I did find this really cool article about phase outlining by Lizette Gifford, which is so intriguing that I do believe I'll try it.

By a show of hands, who either is participating in NaNo or wants to? And who might be interested in joining me in an off-NaNo writing challenge for November instead?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take your pick

Entire iTunes library--with playlists--gone. It didn't come back from wherever it went on vacation Sunday. I can restore most of it, but will have to go back and arrange it all into playlists again. There's only, oh, twelve playlists or so...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Word of the Week #72

discombobulate - [dis-kum-bob-yuh-leyt] - verb (used with object)

to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate

I am completely discombobulated by computer events the last couple of days. I went to bed Saturday night and everything was fine. On Sunday morning my oldest son told me there was a weird dialogue box when he turned on the computer and every personal setting, document, picture, music file, bookmark, etc. was gone. The computer looked like when we turned it on the first time out of the box. *panic* Luckily I have online backup (aside: Get it. Do it. It's so worth $5 a month) and so I started restoring everything - a process that would take 12 hours. Then hours later the online backup program showed that it had paused the restore and gone through its routine daily backup, and listed the files that had been changed. What??? It shouldn't have had anything to change, because there were no more files left! But what was even more valuable was it listed the changed files and their location on the computer, which was some freaky TEMP file where whatever had happened had stashed *everything*. So I hadn't lost everything. In fact, I now had duplicates of whatever the restore had gotten to. So I went on a hunt and delete party. I only got through most of the documents, and none of the pictures or music. Then this morning I turned on the computer and my desktop wallpaper of Saturday was back (which it wasn't on Sunday) as well as all my internet settings, and my documents and pictures in the right places and not duplicated. There are a few files missing that I've quickly restored from my backup, but I'm sure I wasn't hallucinating all day yesterday because my family all saw it.

So let me repeat: I am completely discombobulated by computer events of the last day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blog cleaning of book reviews & recommended reading

In an effort to clear up the sidebar of my blog, I'm compiling this post with links to the book reviews and recommended reading I've blogged about so far in the life of Bookmom Musings. I've grouped them according to genre, and sort of alphabetized them (keeping books in a series together). So if you're like me and start feeling twitchy and wild-eyed without a good book to read, here are some that might feed the craving.

**This is in no way a complete list of what I've read lately, just the ones I've blogged about.

Middle Grade/Young Adult
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Alcatraz and the Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson
Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George
Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner
Gone by Michael Grant
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult
Myth Series by Robert Asprin
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
Skinned by Robin Wasserman
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff (and here's Part 2 of that review)
The Second Siege by Henry H. Neff
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Waterkeep by J. Scott Savage

Grown up Fiction (I hate to use the term "Adult")
Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
The Mandy Dyer Series by Delores Johnson
The Maggie Kelly Series by Kasie Michaels
The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch Anderson
Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate
These Is My Words by Nancy Turner

A Future For Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman
Please, No Zits! by Anne Bradshaw
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cast Call for Villains

Today's Work in Progress Wednesday sees the progress meter on the rough draft of "Going Under" (YA paranormal) inching toward the right--60%, Yea!! And because I can't just take it easy and work on two projects at a time, I've also added yet a third progress meter thingey, for a MG Fantasy I'm co-writing, called Dragon Wrangler.

I foresee very little in the way of social fun in my near future. But that's okay, because the weather's getting colder and I don't have any races coming up or scheduled hiking trips up mountains. (Thanks to that white stuff indicating below-freezing temperatures. GAK! Snow!)

But for project #2 I'm issuing a Cast Call for Villains. I need some of history's best story bad guys/women. Like:

Wicked Stepmothers

Captain Hook

The Queen of Hearts

(Or for a scarier take on her, check out Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars series.)

Darth Vader


These are just a few of the villains I could think of. And I could use your help compiling a list. So, what are some of your favorite story villains?

*Keep in mind this is for a middle grade story, so even though I agree Hanibal Lecter is probably one of the best villains ever, he won't really work for this cast call.

(Anthony Hopkins did a fabulously creepy job, didn't he? *shudder*)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Word of the Week #71

mendacity - [men-das-i-tee] - noun

1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness; tendency to lie.
2. an instance of lying; falsehood.

I'm all for some fairy dust to reward real life mendacity with a growing body part.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Last Saturday when I got home from hiking I discovered that Princess was on a story kick. And in our house, you don't just read stories or tell stories, you write stories.

I am so proud. *sniff*

Sit back and enjoy what I could scrounge up and compile into Tales of a Six Year Old Imagination, by Princess Theler.

1. The Magic Ball

Once upon a time there was a dog who was playing with a magic ball. When he rolled the ball cats came out of it. When he bounced the ball water came out of it. He chased the cats and he drank the water. When he bit the ball paper airplanes came out of it. Then he went inside to sleep.

2. The Shop

Once upon a time there was a boy named Turbo* and a girl named Princess*, who wanted to start a shop. So they went and they got some wood and some nails and Turbo got the hammer. So they built the shop. Then they got some toys and some clothes. People came. Then Turbo and Princess got rich.

*nicknames have been substituted for real names

3. Unnamed

Once upon a time there was a starfish who was looking for a friend. He looked and looked for a friend. He found a friend named Flippy. They played and they played. Then they got tired. Then they fell asleep. The next day the woke up then they ran and ran. They they got married and they had a baby.

4. Me and My Dad

My dad is so nice and I love him so much and he loves me so much.

*illustrated with a stick figure dad and stick figure daughter holding hands next to a large, orange heart.

5. Princess's Wish

Once upon a time there was a girl named Princess who wanted to meet a princess named Cinderella. There was many people. Princess was waiting until Cinderella said, "Princess? Come here. Let's do a makeover." When they were done there was spiderwebs all over the castle. Cinderella said there was a spiderweb spray on the mountains. So they went and got the spiderwebs spray and they sprayed the castle and Princess became a hero.

6. Untitled

Once upon a time there was a girl named Princess who had a magic cat. When she petted the cat it made another cat. When she chased the cat it went "meow" over and over. When she fell asleep the cat fell asleep.

7. Rainbows - a picture book
(illustrated in full color)

Rainbows are pretty. Rainbows are up in the sky. Rainbows are made out of water and dust.

The End

I love it that Princess makes her own books. I think she's been watching me. :)