Archive for the ‘authors’ Category

fifteen for friday 1-20-12

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The single mom for a weekend edition…

1. Yes, just this one little weekend. Hubs is in L.A. at a nerd convention.

2. Have you ever gone into a store, say, like a Target and started looking at the clothes and one top looks very familiar? You look down and realize you are wearing that top right then. Suddenly, you turn red and leave as fast as you can hoping you don’t get stopped for shoplifting. Yeah, me either.

3. Many people believe that there is a great need for a sarcasm font. I nominate MS Comic Sans. Let’s get this thing rolling, folks.

4. Funny break

5. If you decide to do parent taught driver’s education for your child please be aware that you will be asked to raise your right hand and swear that you will be responsible for your child’s driving until they are 18. They snuck this little ritual in on me after Bird did the eye test, took a picture, and I had paid the sixteen dollars. Yes, PTDE is half the cost of traditional driver’s ed, but I’m not sure I can handle the responsibility.

6. Reading time:

7. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore: I will read Rosemary until the day she stops writing. I am proud to say that I have read all of her published books to date. I love her style and how she sucks you right in to her stories as though you’re walking right along with her characters. Amy Goodnight carries a solid Texas name but her branch of the family turns out to be quite a bit less than traditional. And, omk, love interest Ben is swoon-worthy.

8. Connected by Jolyn Palliata: Jolyn is one of my writer friends from wayyyyy back to 2009. I know, forever, right? Anyway, she is really getting her stuff out there. Connected is a novella about two souls, one with a living body and one without which are by some twist of fate, interconnected. Rhys’ (my fave male name ever, btw) conscious is stuck inside Addison and at first it is a very uncomfortable situation. Fast, and fun Jolyn will pull you in to their story and won’t let you go even after the twisty ending. Disclaimer: This is not, I repeat NOT for a young adult audience.

9. Next I’m reading Amber Eyes by Jolyn as well. I read this a few years ago when it was in it’s primitive form and loved it, loved it, loved it then. Jolyn has edited it and sent it out into the world. Check it out. And last time I read it, it was for young adults.

10: For writers:

11. Check WeBook out and tell me what you think. I think it’s a very clever idea. I wonder if it will be successful in finding agents, etc.

12. Randomness:

13. So it’s mid January and the high today should be 77 degrees. I really love Texas in the winter.

14. The Sims 3 is coming out with a new expansion pack and Katy Perry is in on it.

15. Check ya later!

the fault in our stars

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I’ve read John Green before. Heck, I’m even a nerdfighter. Please, look that up. I’ll wait if you promise to come back. Unfortunately, I haven’t read his award winning Looking for Alaska, although I plan to do so soon. See my itsy-bitsy reviews of the ones I have read here and here.

Now, with that out of the way, I have to say that The Fault is one of the best realistic books I have ever read. I normally don’t pick up books that I can tell from the review are going to make me cry like a heartbroken baby with teething issues, but I couldn’t pass this one up. From Amazon:

“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.”

Mostly though, I was on a mini-hot-streak of yearning for really good YA. Serendipitously, Kindle on my phone popped Mr. Green’s brand spanking new offering right in front of my greedy eyes. I saw the name, read the tag line and purchased it. I read it straight through because I Could Not Put It Down. Luckily, hubs was fast asleep by the time I couldn’t hold the waterworks back any longer.

Even if you HATE crying, especially in front of family members, read this book. I’m going to yell now, so cover your ears. READ THIS BOOK! Intertwined with the sadness is John’s signature humor, his insanely marvelous mental capabilities and his genius for writing scenes and dialogue that feel really real…even if you don’t happen to talk that way.

Bravo, John Green, bravo.

P.S.- It’s not sappy, I promise.

fifteen for friday 08/27/10

Friday, August 27th, 2010

…the return. Remember these are random thoughts, k?

1. You think your commute is bad? Feel better? Glad I could help.

2. Looking over old drafts can be disheartening. See the purple marker? It’s purple for a reason.

old manu 0013. Purple prose –noun

writing that calls attention to itself because of its obvious use of certain effects, as exaggerated sentiment or pathos, esp. in an attempt to enlist or manipulate the reader’s sympathies. (dictionary.com)200px-WoT02_TheGreatHunt

4. So I’m reading The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan right now. It’s the second book in The Wheel of Time series. It’s a fantasy book. Yeah, I lost like 15 cool points just writing that. I think I may be getting dangerously close to negative cool territory.
6. (WARNING: shameless plug) Into android applications (the phones not the robots)? Want to know more? Check out this site.
elf defense 0037. You never know where or when you may come in contact with a rogue elf. It’s best to be prepared.
8. I wonder if they have real elves to practice on?
9. Are children the only ones who take this class? It doesn’t seem fair to have a full grown human fighting against a little elf.

10. I wonder how Santa feels about this?
11. OMK, every time! I get to this point and I just wonder…do I seriously not have 15 random thoughts in my head?
12. Is it okay to have 90 unopened email in my inbox? Looking for validation.
13. There should be a term for the great fatigue felt in the first week or two of school. Back-to-school lag? Sudden routine syndrome? That one sounds good!
14. I once had a guest blogger on here, Jenny Martin, librarian. Well, guess what? She got herself an agent! Way to go Jenny!
15. I think I might look into this wattpad thing. Not sure about it yet, though.
See ya next week!

fifteen for friday 2/12/10

Friday, February 12th, 2010

record breaking snow edition:

Feb Snow 009

1. I realize that this may not look like record breaking snow to a lot of the country. But I have never in my life seen so many healthy white snowmen. Feb Snow  snowman009Usually they are streaked with dirt and full of dead leaves and grass.

2. Personally I wouldn’t mind never ever making a snowman.

3. I dislike cold immensely.

4. My bushes don’t like it either.

5. Do cats have armpits? If they do, that’s what my cat was up to in the snow last night. He must’ve liked it though, cause I couldn’t get him to come in.

6. Hard to believe that only a month ago it was in the 70′s. That’s Texas for you though.

7. This list is boring. I’m talking about the weather for goodness sakes.

8. Just finished reading Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen. Lots of useful stuff in there for actors. And I guess for compulsive liars too, if that’s your cup of tea.

9. Some people have too much money.

10. Why are Hoarders, Intervention and Celebrity Rehab so entertaining? Trying to figure out if it’s the train wreck aspect, but for the grace of God, or “Whew, dodged that one”!

11. What I’m going to read when I decide to leave the house (or when the snow melts or ten degrees are added to the temperature, whichever comes first):

12. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan – Came highly recommended by a real life school librarian.

13. Bloodroot by Amy Greene (no, haven’t found it yet)…and why did the local librarian look at me like I was crazy when I asked for it? You’d think, being a librarian that you’d be used to hearing all kinds of strange titles, and I don’t think Bloodroot is the weirdest ever. Maybe that’s just Fort Worth.

14. Fort Worth can be backwards sometimes. Can you tell I’m a Dallas girl? I mean, the closest bagel shop is like five miles away…FIVE MILES!

15. Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner – The second book to in the Sarah Prine series. Loved These is My Words, and I’m ready to take on some more of the old west.

PS – Writing writing, always writing. Will tell more when I have something worthwhile on the subject.

PS#2 – Today is this blog’s one year anniversary!! Yay Writer’s Cramp woo hoo!!!!

katherines lucky words

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

background

These are the books I’ve read for the last week or so…

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: Funny, funny, funny. Loved the footnotes especially. A light read.

Lucky by Rachel Vail: For me this was uber light. For rich kids whose parent(s) lose their income it might be more significant. I suppose it’s hard for me to relate. But I did enjoy it since I’ve always liked to imagine what it’s like to be wealthy. Nannies, housekeepers, stocked pool houses and all.

These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner: This book reminded me of Lonesome Dove for it’s rough and tumble western setting, though it’s not nearly as graphic. The novel is written in diary form you would think would be limiting but never feels that way due to the writer’s skill. It’s interesting to see the transition of the character’s writing from teen to mother, both for her growth as a writer as well as her growth as a person. The character is based on the author’s Great-grandmother.

Have you read any of these? What did you think about them?

As for my own writing…I’m thinking of jumping back to my long neglected novel. With so much time that has passed, maybe the changes that need to be made will be clearer. My poor protag in my current short story is going to have to wait in the woods for a while.

tuesday’s gone

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

well, not yet anyway.

51EQhdaOW-L._SL75_Here’s what went down at the local library I 1) picked up Paper Towns, then 2) looked and searched for and inquired after These Is My Words but 3) it was nowhere to be found. To assuage my melancholy regardingthis fact, I 4) picked up An Abundance of Katherines, (by John Green, author of Paper Towns). If you’ve read Paper Towns, you know what the numbered sentence is about. If you haven’t, what are you doing here?! Go get it (only I think I got the last one at the Southwest Regional branch of the Fort Worth Public Library–so don’t go there).

Another reason to get the book is that it was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for best Young Adult novel. And it’s pretty good to boot.

outsidersIt was interesting reading from the 18-year-old boy point of view. Besides The Outsiders (written by a teen girl, S.E. Hinton) you don’t really get the male perspective in a lot of YA fiction. The nether region jokes were not so awesome for a 34 year old mom, but were in fact much more tame than what I remember boys talking about when I was a teen.

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Youngsters who enjoy this book might even want to voluntarily pick up Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman which is a public service that John Green has provided.

On to writing:

So, I wrote a pterodactyl sized (but feathered) bird into my short story yesterday. And I’m currently wondering where I may have gotten off track. Before you say, “oh, that’s not so bad” let it be known that the bird dropped off a little man wielding a sword before picking up my protag and flying off with her. Oh the humanity!

I’m thinking that this might be my story’s way of avenging itself after being left untouched for over a month.

pterodactylusNT

*In searching for a pterodactyl image I found out that pterodactyl is not the proper name for the flying lizard…in fact, pterodactylus is the correct name and they are much smaller than their brother, pteranodon who would actually be the creature I was talking about in my story.

fifteen for friday 1/22/10

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Backbaloon

1. Thanks to Laura for getting me on here today.

2. It’s been a busyish  month since I’ve last been on.

3. Christmas and New Years have passed.

4. My dear Grandpa Tolbert passed away on 1/09.

5. The newest addition to our family was born on 1/13. Hi Zo-Zo…Auntie Jen LOVES you!

6. A death and birth within a 4 day period causes considerable reflection.

books7. K, onto books. I mean book. The most recent I’ve read I finished before Christmas…don’t all gasp at once now. I read Wolf Hall and in the midst of it I noted on my Facebook status “plodding joylessly through Wolf Hall. It took me a few weeks to read. The writer’s style is such that fast reading is just not an option. Some of it was daily grind stuff. Some of it was convoluted, wasn’t really sure what was going on at the time. Some of it I had to reflect on who “he” was. She’d be talking about another character and “he” would come up and one sentence later you’d realize she’s talking about Thomas Cromwell, the main character. So if you read it, just know that “he” is almost always Cromwell. It will save you time. So after I gave this tepid (that’s putting it mildly, I suppose) review on FB, I finished the book. And it stuck. And that’s how you know a book is really good. I researched the Tudors, the queens, Cromwell, etc. online. And it stuck some more. And then I started watching the Tudors on Netflix. And I knew what was going on, the back stories, etc. Then I realized what all the reviewers tried to tell me, that Wolf Hall is actually genius. I really think that the author slowed my reading down on purpose. So here’s to you, Hilary Mantel. Now every one go out and read Wolf Hall. Pls and Thx.


patrick and toothless lanie 0058. All I want for Easter is my two front teeth.

9. The sound is BAD but you have to check out my kiddo’s first comedy set. I may be biased, but I think he’s rockin’ hilarious!

10. Max is reading!!! And Patrick Star’s shadow visits his room.

patrick and toothless lanie 001

Patrick Star!!!!!

11. Pants on the Ground. ‘Nuff said.

12. If you’re Lizzing and pulling a Lemon, you’re in bad shape.

13. Don’t get Jersey Shore. Can someone please explain?

14. Working on a short story at the moment. Only taking me months. Again.

15. Hooray for 70 degree mid-January days. Me loves.

reading list

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

What I’ve been up to reading-wise:images

**A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – I don’t usually head back into middle grade fiction all that often (my only real exception is Harry Potter–which I think should be YA–but that’s a different argument). And I was reluctant to do so this last weekend. Alas, I had not been to the library or bookstore recently so I went into my son’s room and trolled around for some good reading. Of all the uncracked books in his library, Wrinkle stood out. I remembered when Mrs. Baker (of fourth grade fight fame) read this to us in the classroom and I’d really enjoyed it then so I thought I’d give it a whirl 14 years later and see if it held up. It did. It was short and sweet and relevant. Read it to your kids…or to the kid in you.

15020952

**Dancing in Red Shoes will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone - Body image book. Short, fun and feminist. Definitely PG-14.

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**Devil’s Kiss bySarwat Chadda- Reading this now….more to come!

9781416971214

**Extras by Scott Westerfeld – Who woulda thought that a trilogy could include four books? I think the official term for this fourth installment is “a companion book to the series”. Especially since Tally Youngblood is not a main character and the events taking place are four years in the future from the Uglies, Pretties, Specials era. Anyhoo, I’m still in the first third of this book. But I did stop reading to start Devil’s Kiss…so it doesn’t bode well. Although, many books have been saved in the last half. I hope this is the case for Extras.

super unplus happy gray

Monday, December 7th, 2009
the view from my desk

the view from my desk

Not a fan of the slate gray day and other grumps…

I swear I did nothing to en-grayify this photo. I cut out the grass out of this pic of my backyard because of it’s pitiful condition.

Next…

my coat closet

my coat closet

Is this how your mother taught you to hang up your coat? Apparently it’s how I taught my 13 year old to hang his. At first I found the coat on the floor of the closet. Called him on it, and he complained that there weren’t any coat hangers (even though I keep an AMPLE supply in the linen closet in a convenient coat hanger basket). So I handed the child a coat hanger…and above is a picture of the state of my closet a couple of hours later. I wonder what he did with the hanger I gave him?

westerfeld

I’ve been in a book slump for a bit now. After I finished The Splendor Falls (a great book–READ Rosemary Clement-Moore. Now. Thanks.) I’ve been reading The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld which I was really super dooper excited to start. I read the whole trilogy and I know this will sound nuts to a lot of people, but it really left me wanting. Something was missing here…only I can’t seem to articulate what that might be. I suppose I couldn’t relate to Tally Youngblood (the protag) who was pretty much a completely different person in each book due to the different surgeries that alter the mind as well as the body. And I really disliked the manifesto at the ending…it seemed to come from an unauthentic place. *SPOILER* I know Tally was always concerned about the environment, but she never really tried to educate herself beyond remembering what she was taught growing up at school…but she was also taught in school that all “random” people (those who are pre-surgery) are ugly. Brainwashing. So she’s okay with some brainwashing or mind altering, but not all?

This in no way means I am anti-environment. Just saying.

Please chime in if you have differing views on this (or backup would be nice too). I’m always happy to talk books.

what i’m reading

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

What I’ve read recently:

along-for-the-ride-cover

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

I wanted to love this book for many reasons. First, it is the latest (and the last one to be read by me) of the Sarah Dessen books (at least for now). I was under the assumption that her successive novels would just get better and better. After Just Listen and Lock and Key, I was sure I would adore Along for the Ride. I enjoyed it enough, but it took me several days to read. That definitely means that I did not love it. I didn’t want to spike it into the book depository or anything. It was just okay.

pdfh_4

Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

This was a FUN read. Smart and sarcastic Maggie Quinn is having a helluva senior year. Strange things are happening and her “spidey senses” are tingling. Suspend all disbelief when reading this book and it will be a fun-house read. The story moves along quickly, lots happening. I got through it much faster than Along… and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next Maggie Quinn book.

And what I’m reading now:

onwritingOn Writing by Stephen King

I am a huge non-fan of non-fiction. I try to put it off as long as possible. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised when I started reading On Writing and didn’t want to put it down. The first third of the book reads like a short biography, and King knows how to write about experiences. It’s vivid and quick, no wasted words. The second third is the heavier stuff, but even that King makes light. He writes like he loves it (even grammar!) and urges you to love your writing too. I’m not through it yet, but at this rate I will be soon–and for me to read non-fiction this quickly is stunning.