Thursday, December 30, 2010

Calling all Inkerites: Please take the floor.

So we inkers have been blogging for a while and we've been writing for years. As I look forward to a new year, I started to wonder about those who follow our blog. What do you like? What could be better? How can we improve in 2011? Something introduced you to this blog and something makes you stop by once in a while to see us, so what is it?

There are a lot of exciting things happening this year for our writer's group with conferences and opportunities. I'd love to hear what is new in your lives.

So please take the floor. Consider it open mic night at Inking Cap for New Year's Eve 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Writing YA

I know a lot of aspiring authors. Of those aspiring, I think about 50% are writing for the YA market. I am one of those aspiring YA writers. The other day I was reading this blog from Kristin Nelson that I thought was worth posting.

I've been reading the Gallagher Girl spy series by Ally Cross. The thing about her series that really stands out to me is that her characters are unquestionably teenage girls. Not grownups stuck in a teenage body, or kids forced to grow up too fast because of circumstances. Just teenage girls.

How do we, as adults, capture a younger voice, thus capturing a younger audience? Who are some of your favorite YA characters?

Saturday, December 25, 2010


My favorite story, non-fiction:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all athe world should be btaxed.

(And this ataxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her afirstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the binn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the cLord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

St. Luke 2:1-20

Thursday, December 23, 2010

As for me, I am a believer!

Snowfall and winter dreaming, capturing Christmas Magic. Modern thinking pulls me from the fond fantasies of my youth and whispers, "It can't be true."
"Bah and humbug," I say to the wicked whispers of the technology age.
Twinkling lights and unexplainable phenomenons of kindness guide me to the other truths of a short man in a warm red coat who represents the desire to bring joy and unselfish gifts of love to all the world.
I am a believer in the magic of Christmas. Are you?

PS my 5 year old son says Rudolph had a green nose. Maybe he's right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Going Home

 I've come home for Christmas.

My sweet husband has hidden for the last 11.5 years how much he misses his home state of Washington.

Now we are here and the weather is being very unfair.  She is showing her best side.  This morning we could see the ocean and the blue sky.  How am I going to convince my dear husband that the weather here is terrible when she plays me like the fool I am?  Look at this family walking through the forest in the middle of December.  You can't walk like that in our mountain home.

How am I going to convince him to face this?

This is what we faced getting "home".  Let's hope we have better weather getting to our real home at the end of the week. :)

Setting (as previously mentioned) makes a huge difference on a person.  I am who I am because of all the different places I've lived, esp. rainy, dark, dreary Seattle.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I always swore I'd never live in Utah, and here I am. My life today is much different than when I lived in L.A. In many ways, I am a different person. I'd like to think, a better person.

My current work-in-progress is set in L.A. It takes me back to my former world. It's also made me think about how much setting impacts character development. Take the same character and put them in New York, the French Riviera, a small village in Africa, or another planet and their fate may be quite different.

I often wonder how intrinsically different I would be as a person if I had been born in a different state or country. How much of who I am today would exist, regardless of my environment?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


How do we measure success? What does it say about us?

After spending more than half the night waiting for things to come together so that I can meet with one of my favorite agents of all time, success this morning is just getting my computer to work and getting everything arranged.

My oldest son is in a production of "A Christmas Carol" directed by our very own Rose (DJ) and I'm helping back stage. Yesterday was opening night. Success was getting all the way through the play without any major hiccups. The K-6 graders sang beautifully, the lead actor slowed down so you could actually understand his lines, and of course my son was fabulous as he belted his 3 lines as well. SUCCESS!
These are little successes but if I don't count them then I feel like I might always be waiting for success and never achieving it.

What successes have you had recently? Found that perfect gift? Overcome a challenge? Managed to fit in that work out? Tell us about it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today I am sending out a big wish of luck to fellow Inkers.  Some of us have big things happening in the next few days so I thought I would collectively tell you all:

Good Luck!

Happy thoughts and warm wishes to all.


Nobody have an aneurysm or anything, but at the end of this Tuesday I am FINALLY posting. All I really have to say is that it finally snowed here in Reno and I am delighted. I can only take so many gloomy days with nothing in return. At least, when it snows, I have an excuse to get warm and cozy with a book and some hot chocolate. When it's just gloomy, I feel obligated to still be productive, you know? Do some dishes, make my kids do homework, run errands, yada yada yada. Now I can sit back and watch those beautiful flakes fall and sip my hot chocolate with a complete and utter lack of caring about what I'm not getting done. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Quotables

I started today with a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. After spending 7 hours in the car en famille running errands and shopping, I'm afraid it has been gradually beaten out of me.

In an effort to get some spirit back, I turned to thinking about some of my favorite scenes from Christmas-themed movies. Here is a selection:

A Christmas Story
[Ralphie is visiting Santa at the department store, only he can't remember what he wanted]

Santa Claus: How about a nice football?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out 'football'.
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

Christmas Vacation
[Clark's meltdown after a series of VERY unfortunate events at the family Chirstmas Eve - language cleaned up]

Clark: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f***ing Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white a** down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of a**holes this side of the nuthouse.

It's a Wonderful Life

Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
George Bailey: That's right, that's right.
George Bailey: Attaboy, Clarence.

Miracle on 34th Street

Doris: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.

Die Hard
[It was set at a Christmas party]

[Reading what McClane wrote on the dead terrorist's shirt]
Hans Gruber: "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."

Ahhhh. I'm feeling better already. Feel free to add any of your favorites.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Last night's fortune cookie said, "You will bring sunshine into someone's life."

So here is your sunshine in December.

Anyone else have sunshiny type news to send out to the blog o' sphere?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


How do you deal with Holiday Stress?

Do you remind yourself that, Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause?

Do you sit down and drink egg nog or hot cocoa?

Maybe a nice bubble bath with Vanilla bubbles?

Sit by the tree and relax?

Read a good book?

Walk through the snow?

What is your de-stresser? 

(I'm in need of tips.  I was up all night stressing and now I feel like I've got an ulcer.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I'm basically stealing this news from our friend Graham Chops, but in case you hadn't heard, James Dashner's Maze Runner is being made into a film:

Kudos to Dashner, especially for negotiating the right to adapt the screenplay himself. A wise move, I would say.

This book has been on my "to read" list forever. I think it will be next.

Friday, December 3, 2010

ANWA 2011 Writing Conference

I'll be participating in the 2011 ANWA (American Night Writers Association) Conference coming up in February and wanted to share the details for anyone who's interested. There are some great people presenting this year, including one of my favorites--Janette Rallison. The conference is based in Phoenix, perfect for those who are looking for warmer weather in February.

"Writing at the Speed of Life" 19th Annual ANWA Writers Conference February 25 & 26, 2011.

ANWA - American Night Writers Association was established 1986.

Join us in beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel near the airport in Phoenix, Arizona for two days packed full of workshops, classes and pitch sessions. For sure a writers dream. Rub shoulders with authors, agents, editors and publishers. See website for full schedule.

Program Focus: Autobiography/Memoir, Children's, Middle Grade, YA, Fiction, Non-fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Playwriting, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Humor, Query Letters, Dialog,

Faculty: Kelly Sonnack-agent, Kelly Gottuso Mortimer-agent, Kirk Shaw-editor, Cecily Markland-small publishing company owner, author and newspaper editor, Pinna Joseph-book store manager, Authors: Chris Stewart, Janette Rallison, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, Elana Johnson, Angela Morrison, Conrad J. Storad, Chava Cannon-Music Writer

ANWA Members: Full Two-Day Conference $100, One-Day Friday Workshops $30, One-Day Saturday Workshops-$80

General Public: Full Two-Day Conference $115, One-Day Friday Workshops $40, One-Day Saturday Workshop $90

*See Website for details

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Acting Out of Character

There is an episode in the original animated series of Avatar: The Last Airbender (which those of you who have followed our conversations on the blog know that we ninja Inkers LOVE)in which Katara, the rock and nurturing influence in the group, does something seemingly out of character. She hunts down and attacks an old man unprovoked. If there were no reasons given it would have been the worse episode ever. But...because we were with her on the journey to the attack, it made her seem more real, not less. She attacked him because she believed him to be her mother's murderer. Then she hunts and attacks the actual murderer and discovers something essential about herself. Making all of us feel like we know Katara better.

I think sometimes that I get so scared about my characters acting "out of character" that I forget that we all do it. Have you ever seen a normally quiet and happy mom in the store, after a sleepless night, with screaming sick children when the clerk says that they have sold out of the medicine she needed? Can you believe she would rant so badly that security escorted her out of the building?

Or let's take Scrooge as a great example of someone acting completely out of character. If you knew the first 1/4 of the story and then flipped to the end you might throw the book against the wall saying, "Stupid author set up a terrifically wicked old man and then made him all mushy in the end." Or you could take the terrifying journey with Scrooge through the ghostly night to face his own mortality and see that he has always been motivated by fear and that when his fear changed from being of the world and became about leaving the world behind his behavior changed dramatically.

I recently had an episode of acting completely out of character and against my own better judgement. I pouted. Yep and though I disdain pouting in others and especially my children and have been known to laugh out loud at it, circumstances arose in which I found myself consciously pouting. Luckily a good friend came to my rescue and laughed at my self induced misery until I laughed at it too.

Human flaws and uncharacteristic behavior can make our characters REAL. The trick is defining the situations that would cause them to behave out of character.

When have you acted out of character? What drove you to it?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

7:57 am

It is 7:57 on a Wednesday morning.  What are you doing?  What would your characters be doing?

Me, I'm cruising the Internet.

My characters?  Well, one of them has been up for hours getting breakfast ready for the Alfheimers she works for.  Another is still asleep in her aunt's house, sharing a room with a baby and a snotty tween, dreaming about baseball.  And another is locked up in a guest bedroom with a husband she hates waiting to be set free.

And you?

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm smack in the middle of writing infidelity. I have a total of three projects going right now, a book that is so close to being done I could sneeze on my keyboard and finish, another book in the beginning stages, and a short story that I'm about halfway through.

So why all the projects?

I enjoy the infatuation of a new idea, the first attraction to something I could fall in love with. It's fun and exciting, learning more about my characters, finding out how they'll deal with their conflict, and how they will overcome. But once I've fallen in love, and gotten to know the characters better, writing the end is more determination than fun, more work than play.

At last years LDStorymakers, Aprilynne Pike said, "What separates a writer from an author is the person that keeps writing, even when it stops being fun." I have quoted this before. I'll probably quote it again. It's something I need to remember.

Do I want to be an author? Absolutely. Is it hard? You bet. But I also need to remember the wise words of my very wise husband. "Writing should always be fun, even when it's hard."

What are your writing struggles? How do you get through?

So let's all raise our glasses and overcome. Because no one ever said you'd get a publishing contract handed to you for trying.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breaking Points

Black Friday shopping this year seemed more intense than ever. Perhaps due to the struggling economy, there was a higher level of desperation in the air to get those good bargains. Even though I'm a veteran Black Friday shopper (although not of the variety of camping out overnight), the rabidity I witnessed at the local large-mart was a little disturbing.

It caused me to think about people's breaking points and the aftermath. I've almost reached the place in my novel where my main character hits her breaking point, instigating some major changes in her life. Breaking points usually lead to change, either for better or worse. In my fellow shoppers, the worse were the folks who at the stroke of midnight decided to push and nearly trample people to get to a $12 scooter, the better was the guy who turned and handed me back a scooter as I fought my urge to push back on those around me.

As I approach this section of my novel, I've been wondering if the events that trigger my character's breaking point are strong enough. I think they are, but we'll see when it's on the page. Really though, after the spectacle of Black Friday, it reaffirmed my belief that there is a lot of suppressed angst in human beings, and it doesn't always take something major to bring someone to their breaking point.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Thanksgiving so....

1) What are you thankful for?

2) Did you remember to wish the Tart a happy birthday today?

PS How come it's so hard to find a cornucopia with chocolate and potato chips spilling out?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hype VS Reality

I live in a small valley in Utah along the Wasatch Front.  We've been preparing for the BLIZZARD OF THE CENTURY for about a week. 

It came through last night.  Sadly disappointing.  I had candles and matches on every level of the house, I had located the sub-zero sleeping bags, and my daughter was wearing her head-lamp around her neck in preparation.

The hype was huge.  After-school activities were canceled, the stores were buzzing with people buying generators and indoor heaters.  Businesses let their employees go early.

And then it came.  In my little valley there was a brief dusting of snow, but we still waited.  We canceled plans and waited.  Nothing.

So, what books have you read that the hype was more than the actual product?  (We can leave out one wildly popular series.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've been feeling overall blahsville about many of the entertainment offerings this year. Of course Harry Potter has come to the rescue with the beginning of the end, but I'm also encouraged by a few other upcoming projects. Here is my list of promising picks:

Red Riding Hood: According to EW, a "dark retelling of the famous children's tale"; my concern? "From the Director of Twilight"; still, it has Gary Oldman, who's always fun to watch

The Walking Dead: A new series on AMC starring (are you listening, Sir Kirk-a-Lot?) Zombies. Normally not my cup of tea, but it's getting great reviews and has a good pedigree with director Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) and producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator)

Terra Nova: Again from EW, "a new sci-fi series about a family in the year 2149 that travels back in time to a prehistoric era." A preview of the pilot is scheduled for May on Fox, with full series debut in September.

True Grit: A remake of the John Wayne classic normally wouldn't get my attention, but the Coen brothers are doing it and the young female lead, Hailee Steinfeld, is the niece of a friend of mine.

The King's Speech: Oscar buzz for Colin Firth, who I can't resist since he played Mr. Darcy so perfectly.

How Do You Know: I'm a sucker for a good Rom-Com and have always liked Reece Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Writer-director James L. Brooks is usually spot on.

American Idol: New season coming in January; curious to see how it works (or doesn't) with new celeb judges Steven Tyler and J-Lo.

Pink-Greatest Hits: On my Christmas list - she does angry girl pop-rock better than anybody.

Decision Points: The memoir by George W. Bush - I'm curious to get inside his head because I feel like he didn't let us get to know him well enough when he was president.

The Pee Wee Herman Show: It's on Broadway, unlikely I will get there, but it would be way fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The dim light

Game time:
Describe your writing in three words or less.

I'll go first since I'm asking you all to do it.

straightforward, um?, um?

New game:
Describe in three words or less why writing is important to you.

Keeps me sane.

There that one's doable. Pick your own.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Am I the only one who is easily distracted by my sub-plots? I'm thinking it's because I rarely get big chunks of writing done at one time. Right now I am wrapping up a chapter it feels like I have been in forevvvver, which deals in large part with a sub-plot. I've gotten caught up in my supporting characters to the extent that I've felt like I'm losing sight of moving my main character forward.

I decided to go back to reread earlier sections of the story to refresh my connection to the plot and refocus myself. I thinks it's helped, and I'm happy to be beginning a new section and deal with some different supporting characters, before the ones I've been living with lately take over the story.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spillin' the beans about the Inkers

Many of you know that we bloggers here on Inking Cap are a writing group. We are friends and neighbors...even if one neighbor lives 9 hours away.
What you may not know (and certainly I will be watching my back for telling you this), we are also a lethal ninja force against self-doubt and the angst of writing.
Inspiration from within the group will sneak in at that moment when you think you can't take one more bad sentence and it will pick you up and kick you back in gear.

The ninja force has been collectively at work in the last month to defeat the evil of lethargy. Someone and I honestly can't remember who, although I have a vague inkling that it was the Ninja Master, (You'll have to guess which one of us that is because that secret is above your security clearance.) said, "Why don't we actually write at our meetings. Since we are all so busy let's just take a little time at the very beginning of the meeting and work on something to share."

We did 15 minute writing exercises for our first 6 months or so as a group and since last month was our 2nd anniversary!! That was a while ago. Then we morphed our schedule to discuss life, the universe, each other, our writing, and many things in between, mostly how we were all having trouble finding time to finish our projects. With the 2nd anniversary came a new and brilliant evolution in our group. WE took 1 hour of our group meeting and semi-silently wrote individually then we shared our new projects while they were raw and fresh and exciting.
It was transcendent.

I wanted to share a little about what we are doing because we have found something that is working for us and its new and fresh and exciting. With this new inspiration we have also decided to double our meetings per month. I know groups who meet once a week and some who meet like we did once a month. Whatever works for you is best. We of the ninja Inkers mostly live by the live and let live strategy of writing.

What's working for you? If you have things you love about your writing group, your pta, your ninja squad, whatever, please tell us about it. Who knows where the next great idea for evolution will come from?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feelin' Good

I am amazed.  Blown-out-of-the-water feeling good.

Why,  you ask am I feeling this great?

Let me tell you.  I was ready to cut my writing wrists.  Or maybe that is a bit drastic.  How about I was ready to end my writing relationship.  There was no love, no joy.  I wondered if I was only staying in this relationship for the parties.  I was about to walk out of this commitment like a Hollywood starlet and her husband of the week. Turn my back and never open that door again.  There were no new ideas.  No love for projects half finished.  I expressed some of those feelings here.

And then, I had a dream. (Which I hesitate to mention.  One person said "Like stephenie meyer?")  And with the dream came an idea.  And with the idea a story.  And in the story some great lines that restore my faith in myself and this writing relationship.

So I am working on my short story for LTUE.  Are you?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back it up

I got a reminder of an important habit this week - backing up your work. When I was several chapters in on my current WIP, my husband (a forward-thinking sort), advised me to be sure to keep at least one back-up copy. My response (being a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person), was to say that it was a good idea and assure him I would do it. Several months later, I did begin the habit of routinely sending updated drafts to our desktop computer.

A couple days ago, the IT guys at work had me drop off my laptop for reformatting. Although I had told them none of my files were backed up and they had said everything would be transferred to my new hard drive, when my laptop was returned, all my files were gone. Of course I had a minor nervous breakdown over all the work I was potentially in for in recreating everything, but my biggest comfort was that a backup copy of my WIP was resting comfortably on our desktop. I would have cried big, salty tears if I'd thought all of that effort was down the drain.

There is a happy ending on the work front also. Luckily, they had not wiped my old hard drive and were able to transfer all my files to the new drive.

So, the moral of this story is: save yourself some heartburn and back-up your writing regularly!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Indecision is a plague

So the other day I had a simple task to perform for my son, pick out a bike. He turned 5 this week and Grandma wanted to buy him a bike to greet him on the morning of his birthday. Well, Grandma lives 3,200 miles away, which meant I was at the store at 10:00 pm the night before trying to pick a bicycle that they would both LOVE from a meager selection at the local Large Mart. Bah.
Finally after 30 minutes of trying Debbie's patience by making her ride all of the 16" bicycles and wait for a surly, pimpled store employee, who didn't know the first thing about boy's bicycles to tell me nothing I didn't know about the poor specimens on display, I chose the least awful of the bicycles at a reasonable price and packed it home with a ribbon to match.

My son loved it. He sat right on it the next morning and declared it the supreme birthday present of all time.
Good choice right? Yeah, but I still don't love it. Good thing its not for me.

So how does this apply to writing...Indecision in life is a plague that seeps into writing as well. Writers who waffle end up with inconsistent characters and incomprehensible plots.

After the indecision at the store, Debbie tried, upon request, to help me brainstorm some plot ideas for my work in progress and guess what? Yep, can't decide about that either. The possibilities with my imagined world are endless. The romance could go from etherial to utterly corrupt or from epic to apocalyptic and I still don't know what it will become. All I know is its time to make some decisions and hope that like my son, who never knew the choices I faced to pick his perfect bike, anyone who reads the story will not know that I almost went with a completely different plot. Hopefully I pick the very best one after the eeny, meeny, miney mo.

What do you have trouble deciding about?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Are They Doing?

This picture has tickled my fancy.

What's the story here? Can you please write a short paragraph about what this sign would say?

 I want to use it as an invitation, but I can't think of what kind of party it would be for.

(The image comes from The Graphics Fairy.)  She has amazing turn of the century stuff.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Killed Pumpkins

Halloween is over and I'm bottling all of that beautiful pumpkin today in preparation for the busy holiday season. I have a running list in my head of things that can be made with it, not unlike Forrest Gump's friend, Bubba, with his shrimp. Pumpkin soup, souffle, cheesecake, pie, jelly rolls, muffins, cookies....I'm sure the list goes on, but I'll stop there. Yesterday, when I was chopping through the Jack o'Lantern faces, Grace came into the kitchen and asked, "Are you killing that pumpkin?" Why, yes, I am! How could you tell? I guess the knife through the ghoulish face was the giveaway.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scaredy Pants

Since we're having movie weather in Utah and it is Halloween weekend, I'd like to share my picks for some of my favorite "nail-biter" movies. Notice I didn't say Horror movies. I can't stomach the super-gory stuff very well, although there are a some from the genre I have to give kudos to.

In no particular order:

Rear Window - A classic from the great Mr. Hitchcock with the sublime Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Guaranteed to make you shout at the screen at least once.

Halloween - Flashes of the silent but deadly Michael Myers still invade my consciousness on occasion. I wouldn't watch this if it came out today, but viewing it with my friends as a teen evoked many girlish screams.

When a Stranger Calls - *spoiler alert*
"The calls are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE."

The Sixth Sense - Creepy and one of the best surprise endings ever

Duel - Still hate semi trucks today because of this movie

Misery - I have adopted some Annie-isms such as cockadoodie and Mr. MAN. You authors out there better get the ending right.

Scream (only the first one) - A great job of blending humor with truly scary moments

Jaws - Who hasn't had a moment where you feared a shark would suddenly attack you in the pool?

The Terminator - I'll be back!

Psycho - Mother recommended it to me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkins say a lot about people

I'm just saying that these pumpkins reminded me of these Inkers at first glance. Feel free to agree or disagree as you see fit.

The Tart for sure.

Blush all the way.

Vixen and Sir Kirk A Lot...must be the ghoulish grin.

Last but not least Rose and me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Focus

Hello Dear Friends,

I am suffering from serious LACK OF MOTIVATION.  So I need a new drive to help me feel the love of writing . . .

So, I am going to attempt to write a short story suitable to be entered in LTUE's contest.  You can find all the info here.  It is due January 15th, 2011.  And I am going to send something in.  My 6th grade daughter is too.  Neither of us have "finished" anything, so it will be good for the both of us.

Anyone care to join me?


Monday, October 25, 2010

How Convenient

The other day I went to my nearest LargeMart, you know, one of those industrial sized, one-stop stores. It happened to be when I didn't bring children and I really had the time to look before mindlessly shoving items into my cart, just so I can get out the door before someone throws a tantrum/has to go to the bathroom/starts a chorus of, "I want..."

But that's a rant for another blog.

Anything I could ever need, as long as I'm not picky about brands, stared down at me from the aisles. Everything from groceries, to linens, to toys, to books, to car parts, all packaged and waiting for my shopping cart. In one store, I can literally do all my shopping, get my oil changed, eat lunch, get my nails done, and top it off with a haircut. Convenient, right? But it makes me wonder. Are we becoming too trapped and dependent on convenience? One day, we will have some population destroying apocalypse that will take out all the LargeMarts and we will be forced to live on our own. When that happens, I'm going to DJ's house.

But until then...what is your favorite modern day convenience? Mine is my laptop. Not having to be chained when I write, surf the web, etc, is something I hope to never give up!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Standards & Practices

My most recent writing delimma involved a character needing to say something scandalous during a TV interview which would have repercussions for my protagonist. Sure, it would be easy enough to have him drop the F-bomb or similar, however, my personal standards prevent me from doing that (not trying to act holier-than-thou, just telling it like it is). And, really, it's hard to shock in our society today with language or sexual behavior. The boundaries of what is acceptable in entertainment have been stretched pretty far.

Just this month, I've heard a few things in the news which have proved this point. Example #1: A 17 year old actress named Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl) posed for the cover of Revolver magazine wearing lingerie with thigh-high stockings while holding a couple of guns. The editor excused this during an interview by saying in essence that we all did crazy things when we were teenagers. Um, does that mean it's okay for adults responsible for publishing a national magazine to make money off the "crazy " behavior? Example #2: Miley Cyrus, also age 17, joining the club of female former-Disney stars who think the only way to continue their careers in adulthood is to make a video where they are barely clothed, writhing around on a bed and bumping and grinding male dancers to show they are now "adults". Example #3: The show Glee, which I don't watch, but is about a high school glee club and was billed as a "family show" had an episode featuring a girl-on-girl make-out session.

Turns out, the best way to shock these days is to be politically incorrect, which works well for my character in question. So it was an ongoing debate with me, myself, and I for awhile, until a discussion at our writer's group meeting this week helped lead me to what I hope is a good solution that works for the story, but doesn't cross my standards line.

With all the political correctness in our society today, many approaches could actually work. As it turns out, there is more than one way to skin a cat (easy PETA, it's just an idiom).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mutineers vs Mutant Ears

Spell check can only take you so far. Check out this typo from one website trying to post the lyrics to "Rotten Town" from Ludo's latest album. Today's post is a cautionary tale.

Lyrics posted on the hack site:
"The mutant ears are plotting against the captain as I'm rotting in the goo"

Yep, that is supposed to say (The mutineers are plotting) of course since it is Ludo it took some research to confirm that its a typo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Being in a writers' group means that your work is critiqued on a regular basis.  That means sometimes you hear things you just don't want to hear.

Sometimes, it feels like they are telling you that your baby is ugly, or even that you shouldn't have had that baby in the first place, or even worse, cut that baby's arm off and replace it with a cyborg tentacle capable of pushing your OK WIP into a Best Seller.  It hurts, it sucks, but generally, these people are trying to help.

Other times, their words are amazingly helpful.  The Inkers have great capabilities and we see things all so differently that brainstorming helps end that writer's block.

Plus, even the bad critique's are better heard from someone who cares than someone who cares not.  It is an easier pill to swallow coming from a friend. 

 Many times when I am critiquing someone's WIP, I think before I speak and I am trying to help them, so when they come back with defensive maneuvers it makes me not want to speak at all.  If they know so much, why did they ask for my opinion?

(But there is the occasional time when we are having almost a debate and its fun to whip out ideas without much thought) hee hee

So, what can we do as the person receiving that critique? Here are some of my thoughts, share yours too.
  • Listen, really listen without thinking up your defense.
  • Take notes.  Maybe when you reread them they you will see their point.
  • Take it with a grain of salt.
  • Realize these people are trying to help.
  • And if all else fails, eat a brownie.
Have a great day and Happy Writing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minor Catastrophe

And just like that, my daughter had to have 6 stitches in her ear. It's moments like these that remind me of what makes a great story great. In real life, I was getting my kids ready to go out and choose a pumpkin for Halloween, but then this one little catastrophe hit. Grace fell into an end table and we had to take her to the urgent care instead. The question is, what would've happened had we gone to choose a pumpkin? In what way would my story have changed if the plan remained intact? In writing, plans turn on a dime and characters' paths cross or remain parallel at the author's discretion. Are we so focused on the plot we've laid out that we don't see the diversion, that little bit of real life, that will lead our characters down the more natural and believable path? Tell me, what are some of your favorite scenes in books or movies that illustrate this concept? What sorts of literature and media inspire your writing?

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's Your Sign?

I've been thinking a lot about the signs of the Zodiac lately. I find it very interesting that people born in a certain month can all have similar personality traits. People can be as varied and unique as can be, but still share certain Zodiac qualities.

So I'm curious, what's your sign? And what about your Zodiac applies to you personally? (If you're not sure, check here or here.)

I'm a Scorpio. Even though there are several examples of phrases that fit me, I picked this one:

"Scorpios are very weary about trusting anyone, a person needs to gain their trust and this gets built up over time and once all the 'trust tests' have been passed, Scorpio loves deeply and intensely."

This is very me.

Let's get this discussion started. Tell me, Baby, what's your sign?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Well Helloooo Mr. Thomas Hardy

I'm currently reading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. I probably should have read something by Mr. Hardy prior to this point, but I haven't. Although I'm only just over halfway through it, he'd have to do something really screwy to make me not a fan. It's considered a classic, and so far I would rate it worthy.

What has impressed me most about Hardy's style is his great way of describing a character's feelings or setting the emotional tone of a scene. His choice of words and wry observations make his writing easy to relate to. Set in one of my favorite time periods for writing, the 1800's, this story demonstrates again that human behavior doesn't vary much from era to era.

Here are a few examples. Hope you enjoy!
  • Mr. Fray here drew up his features to the mild degree of melancholy required when the persons involved in the given misfortune do not belong to your own family.
  • Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as the disembodied soul of feeling wandering without its carcase, and it is then more impressive than speech. In the same way, to say a little is often to tell more than to say a great deal.
  • He brimmed with deep feeling as he replied in a steady voice, the steadiness of which was spoilt by the palpableness of his great effort to keep it so.

  • For a moment Boldwood stood so inertly after this that his soul seemed to have been entirely exhaled with the breath of his passionate words.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Can Do Anything For 15 Minutes

Last night I watched mesmerized as the Chilean miners were hauled from the earth.  I watched the wives' anxious expressions as they waited for their husbands to emerge from the deep.  Tears streamed down my cheek as I thought of how I would cope if my husband were in similar circumstances.

Then I think about that trip out.  I would have to work extremely hard to convince myself that I could endure that tube for fifteen minutes.  I don't know if I could.  Of course, I can hardly handle cave tours, so I probably wouldn't be down there in the first place.

But in truth, you can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes.  So, you CAN write for 15 minutes a day.  Anything is bearable in 15 minute increments.  Just ask these men.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Word Choice

The following is a sad tale of when spell check doesn't work...

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a random blog. That's not something I do often, but every once in a while I catch a few stray words from an individual I don't know.

As I was reading, a particular habit of the blogger bothered me. She really liked the word, "definitely" but instead of spelling it correctly, she kept writing, "defiantly."

"That is defiantly the case."
"I defiantly agree."
"You can defiantly say that again."

It really changed the entire feel of the sentence. I wondered if perhaps she actually meant "defiantly." I came to the conclusion that she just had a spelling issue.

The blog problem made me think about word choice, and how imperative it is to choose your words wisely. Do you say "old" when what you really mean is "antique?" Do you say "something smells" when you want to convey that there's a "mouth-watering aroma?"

This is where having a writers group is invaluable. If Blogger Chick had someone say, "Hey, you're spelling definitely wrong..." she could have fixed the problem before it even started. In my current WIP, I can't tell you how many times a member of my group has mentioned that I'm not quite expressing what I want.

So the moral of the story is this. Definitely is spelled D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y.

That mistake is a defiant no no!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I got a new cell phone for work this week, the Droid2. I am concerned it is giving me both OCD and ADD. So many apps, so many ways to communicate. I can't stop thinking about it. The most exciting part is I'm going to organize all my email accounts and social networking accounts so one update can go to all of them at once. It makes me giddy with anticipation.

However, I realize already I need to have boundaries with the Droid. I find myself worried about its status almost as much as I worry about my family. Where is Droid? Is it charged? Are there messages wanting my attention? Is there a new app that would make my life easier?

Once again, with our fabulous technology there must be balance. There must be quiet time. But, when I get a message alert in that cool robotic voice that says "Droiiiid". It makes the Star Wars loving geek in me smile.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Towers of Midnight Book Trailer

So most of us are looking forward to the second to last installment of the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson: Towers of Midnight, which comes out November 2.

A quick aside. I have some some really horrific (and not in the Nightmare on Elm Street sense) book trailers out there. Ones that make me wish YouTube had never lured authors to the idea of book trailers in the first place. At work we've talked often about whether book trailers help authors promote their books, and I would wager that a bad or mediocre trailer would hurt more than help. And I'm just not seeing many great book trailers.

And that's where I get back to Towers of Midnight. Here is a phenomenal book trailer that (1) hooks the targeted audience (me and other Jordan/Sanderson fans), (2) is SIMPLE and elegant, (3) doesn't use phony gimmicks or stunts, and (4) uses the most captivating teaser text they could possibly pull from the book: the note from Morraine to Thom Merrilin. So check it out. Book trailers' benchmark:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


find image here

Do you remember the time when if you wanted to talk on the phone you had to sit by the phone?

My family's first computer cost more than three new computers today and it didn't have a hard drive on it.

I thought for sure that when I grew up to be a mom all the cars would fly and I would have a robot that cleaned my house.

I have no robot, but I have three small ones who mess up my house, and do occasional chores.

My car doesn't fly, but on occasion it has felt like it did--rushing to the doctor with an injured small one, I flew down the street.

Times may not be as advanced as I thought when I was a small one, but it is fun to remember what I imagined life would be like in 2010.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Word of the Day

Bodacity- the measure of one's bodaciousness.

For homework I want you to come up with your best sentence using this word.

(Yes, I've been watching Kung Fu Panda again). :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I was touched by a news story this week about a 64 year old man who survived six days in Joshua Tree National Park in hundred degree temperatures without food or water. Writing notes to his loved ones on his hat is credited with helping him to survive.

It just reaffirmed for me the power of writing and the emotional connection it can have for people. And, from this day on, I vow to always carry a pen with me.

On another subject, R.I.P. to Stephen J. Cannell, a talented writer/producer of some great TV shows, including two I enjoyed growing up - The Rockford Files (my Mom had a thing for James Garner), and 21 Jump Street (helloooo Johnny Depp).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Larry Correia: writing action scenes

Larry Correia: Writing Action Scenes
From Book Academy Conference at UVU
My notes

Larry has written Monster Hunters International and this week has released its sequel: Monster Hunter Vendetta.

Find the highlights of an action scene and focus on those, not on every play.
Cut the stuff that readers get bored by. Have writers group say what parts are boring
Avoid the "checklist" . . . Achieve the feel of chaos and anarchy in action, less linear
Leave readers breathless
Know what you're talking about, don't fudge on important details and do your research
Don't think of action sequences as separate from the plot . . . Action should forward plot
Character growth and change should happen in action scenes
Resolve some plot points in action scenes
Flavor the action scenes differently based on who the POV character
A hardened character will show less emotion and more jaded callousness
Work with real biology in characters receiving damage, not "the hit point system"
Keep injuries and expectations plausible with injuries
Don't use "write what you know" as an excuse not to write about interesting things
Most of us haven't fought battles in armor, staked a vampire, killed dragons
Read and study action sequences in books you like
Use a training montage to have junior characters learning how to use magic, martial arts, guns, strategy, etc. See Jim Butcher or Mistborn with Vin
Don't use magic in action as a crutch or deus ex machina
Use microcosm, personal moments of action while also showing big picture action involving many characters or large scale
Action is about potential or kinetic energy or a combo of both
Sometimes you're ramping up action, sometimes you're breaking the tension.

Pass the popcorn

Last week my family was visiting my mom and since Grandma never gets to spoil the grandkids because she lives 3,000 miles away, the day with grandma included a trip to see a 3-D movie. Yep Grandma is secretly a 3-D fanatic. She even saw "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" (No grandkids were available to go with her so she took her long suffering spouse.)
Last week she had willing volunteers to see "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole" in 3-D.
Here is my breakdown of the experience. We went through 2 large popcorn tubs while we were there. Meaning either it was so exciting we kept reaching for the popcorn without realizing it or it was so boring there wasn't much else we could do. Both are true depending on who you ask.

I was enthralled and loved the colors and the animation. I think it was a beautifully done movie. My 4 year old got bored half way through and started running laps of the theatre when his popcorn ran out. Since no one else was in the our showing I didn't bother chasing him so I still enjoyed the film.

My mom thought it was "confusing." She felt several plot points were never explained. She chalked it up the fact that it's based on a book.
My 9 year old turned to me at the end of the film and said, "I bet the book is ten times better." So we went to the Library and got a copy and by Saturday afternoon he confirmed that the book was better from start to finish. He still enjoyed the movie though.
What's the verdict on the Owls of Ga'Hoole? Its worth seeing, but if you can read the book before you go, then it might make more sense. My warning is that the middle story building might get tedious for younger children although they will probably like the beginning and the end.
Any opinions on this one?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I, DJ, am sick.  I am sucking down cherry cough drops.

I have now fulfilled my obligation to post.

I am going to bed.

Love you all and goodnight!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Books I've Read Recently

Obviously, if you've been following along, you know I read Mocking Jay a while back. I also read Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. In fact, I just finished that one a couple of days ago. And, now I'm bringing it down with a little Elizabeth Gaskell. She wrote a delightful little novel called "North and South" in the mid 1800's. It was made into a BBC movie which came out in 2004. I've seen the movie and now I'm reading the book. I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed. :) What have you all been reading lately?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An opinion

I saw the following quote on Twitter this week:

"It's better to have a terrible first draft, then no draft at all."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hunger Games

Today I was walking through my local K-6 school and I saw one sixth grade teacher reading Hunger Games to his class. I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I love the series (it may be one of my new absolute favorite series).  But is it OK for 11 and 12 year olds?

What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Holding Out For A Hero

I recently had a disagreement with someone (technically two people). As I do with most things that happen in life, I found myself relating the situation back to writing. I tried to find their motivations (they were wrong), understand how they could misunderstand me (again, they were wrong), and figure out how that could play into a story (them = antagonists).

But seriously, I love to take every day situations and put them into a magical story land that lives in my head. In these adventures, I am forced to do some self-evaluation, because we all love a well-rounded character, and I sometimes even have to admit that I am gasp wrong. Not often, but there is a rare occasion.

Anyway, I don't really have a point in this. I just wanted to relate that dealing with people is easier if we can look at it from a story standpoint. Analyze their reasons, and understand your own reasons. Of course, there are going to be times when you run into that crazy and illogical antagonist. When that happens, no amount of storytelling will help. But at least you can walk away with the knowledge that you make a great hero!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reading? Yes! Writing? Yes! Arithmetic? Not so much

After one has work time, kids time, housekeeping time, husband time, and required-sleep-to-avoid-becoming-homicidal time covered, there is only so much left in a day. Thus, I usually end up choosing between reading or writing during my precious solo free time (sure, I do indulge in TV time, but that is part of my downtime with Hubby).

This week, I did much more reading than writing, even though I had done some trash talking on the Inkers' group email early in the week about how I will retain the Inker o' the week title indefinitely. My rationale was, reading a lot is an important part of becoming a good writer, not to mention, the book in question was due back to the library over a week ago.

What I have been reading is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I have not quite finished it, but decided to go ahead and write about it today. Here is a plot summary from

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This is a really good story. I especially love the characters and dialogue. There is enough intrigue to keep the pages turning. I'm excited to finish it tonight because I feel like I know these women personally, and I'm rooting for them. Each of the three main characters alternates telling the story in first person every three chapters or so, which makes you really get a good feel for the characters because you are not only in their heads, but also see them from the point of view of the other two.

My criticisms would be, at times through the middle it dragged a bit and I felt like some of it could have been cut to pick up the pace. Also, the author makes several references to To Kill a Mockingbird, which annoyed me because it is one of my favorite books of all time and I thought she might be trying too hard to make people view this work as a peer of that classic.

Another thing that I found interesting is a large part of the plot revolves around the women collaborating on a book and trying to get it published, which of course is something close to my heart.

Overall, I would highly recommend it for its emotional impact and great characters. As I've been reading it, I could see how it would translate well into film, and in fact there is a film version coming out next spring.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Family Ties

The same ties of affection that bind us to the people who have known us our whole lives can also tie us in knots inside. No one knows better how to push our buttons or get our tempers rising and yet we so often let them do it. Why? Because that's who they are to us. As we talk about post traumatic stress disorder and other great insight into the human character let's not forget the ties that bind us. For better or worse they are part of who we are.

This week I've had a chance to be so grateful for family and to feel equally loved and criticized. Why is that? Because its family. When building families in our writing its important to remember how important and infuriating they can be.


Arlene did an excellent post yesterday regarding Hunger Games.  She mentioned Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I've got a friend who is a military wife and she also has an outreach program for returning soldiers dealing with PTSD.  I talked with her at our school's 9/11 commemoration about some of the struggles these soldiers face.  I was totally blown away.

I had no idea the emotions these men and women have to deal with, and all that their families have to endure.  I was amazed at her forgiving and understanding attitude.  I thought I was forgiving, but she takes the cake.

What does this have to do with writing? I'm not sure.  But its interesting to think about in regards to character studies.  The strength that some people have to endure, or to return.  The craziness that is going on in someone's head--in real life we don't see the nightmares, we only see the actions.  Maybe we can all dig a little deeper and bring a little more depth to our characters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I was in the shower this morning (where I do my best thinking), reliving various moments of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Now, you have to understand that I finished reading Mockingjay about a week ago, so the fact that I'm still thinking about it should be an indicator to you all how fantastic this series is. Specifically, Collins' ability to bring a very unique intensity and reality to the world she created. My dad served in Vietnam...twice. It's not something he has talked about much in the past, but recently, as he's dealt with the post-traumatic stress disorder that has plagued him most of his life, he has opened up about some of the experiences he remembers and still dreams about. It is these experiences that he has shared that my brain jumps to when I read the Hunger Games series. How does a person come through in the end, intact and whole? The answer is: they don't. But it's not all bad either. Decisions are made and lived with and life keeps going. This series encompasses what, I think, most people are willing to fight for. More humanity. More peace. It's just that so much is sacrificed to achieve that end...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Death Becomes Her

Last Friday I was murdered. Stabbed in the heart 12 times with a butter knife. Did it hurt? Not nearly as much as realizing I couldn't even solve my own death!

I was attending a murder mystery dinner, and turned out to be the victim. My name was Purple, a diva rock star with anger management issues.

As the story unraveled and the guests got into the roles, I really thought a lot about the writing of a mystery. In a novel, clues should be slowly revealed, not too obvious, but clear enough that at the end, if you haven't figured it out, you have a Homer Simpson, "DOH!" moment. The murder mystery dinner did not quite end up that way. The clues were confusing, if not entirely vague, the characters mostly unaware of what they were supposed to do. Not even the murderer guessed that she did it. Speaking of which, the picture is of me and my murderess. The white mask I'm wearing is the representation of death...or something like that.

So, did I have a good time? Absolutely! I was obnoxious, I yelled a lot, and everyone hated me. It was awesome. But with better writing, I think those mystery dinners could really take off.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Human Spirit

On September 11, one can't help but think of the horrible events of nine years ago.

My thought process is usually the same. At first it saddens me to remember all of those who were lost at the hands of terrorists. Then, I am inspired by recalling the numerous stories of courage, selflessness, and patriotism which came out of those terrible circumstances. It reminds me there is no greater force in the world than the human spirit, and that when tested, the good far outweighs the bad.

That day, a small number of people tried to bring down more than buildings and airplanes. Because of the basic goodness of human nature, they did not succeed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time and Travel...not time travel.

Time: We all have the exact same amount of it in a day so I'm told. Although if you board a plane in LA and fly to, let's say, Japan then you actually don't get the same amount because in the 12 hours it took you to fly you will go back 16 hours in time and arrive 4 hours before you left. If you stay in Japan you have added 4 hours to your life but if you leave you have to pay the piper and you loose all that time again. I know it doesn't seem fair but time waits for no man.

Because I have family back East we travel back sometimes and find that we have lost two hours. I like to lose them at night because it seems easier that way but still they're gone until we fly home and get them back, which I like to do in the day time cause then I feel more productive...see how that little cheat works? Out at night and lose sleep, back in the day and gain two hours to unpack.

Maybe there is something to this whole time travel thing after all.
What's your take on time and travel?

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I grew up watching The Price is Right and often fantasized about the moment when I would have a chance to win A BRAND NEW CAR. Well, I had that chance today. I was one of 100 people who qualified for the chance to win a new car, courtesy of a local radio station. About 40 of us showed up at the car dealership in Ogden, UT to see who would be the lucky one to drive home the prize.

We waited a couple of hours for the big moment, with hubby and I struggling to keep the kids happy in the heat with the provided free hot dogs, an inflatable attraction, and the requisite booming music.

The longer we were there, I started to feel a bit silly for participating in such an event. Although I held no real expectation of winning, I wanted to come because the odds were decent and I didn't have to embarrass myself by performing a typical radio stunt such as a pie eating contest, karoke, or similar. I was there simply because of filling out a form and having my name drawn.

As luck would have it, the station decided to draw a few more names for the contest from those in attendance and hubby was chosen to compete.

The procedure was, those who qualified were given a CD and would take turns putting their disc into the car's player until one announced the winner. Somehow, in the process of distributing the CDs, hubby was skipped and the station employees went into a mild tizzy trying to figure out where their mistake was.

Unable to rectify it, they took us aside and promised us free tickets to an upcoming concert as an apology/bribe not to make a fuss. Hubby and I, not ones to pitch a fit unless there is more serious injury, accepted the deal.

I proceeded to line up with the other hopefuls, everyone clutching their CDs in anticipation. A woman who was first in line slid into the driver's seat, popped in her disc, and all the bells and whistles indicating the winning entry went off. I guess the deejays have something to learn about building suspense.

Although I left sans new car, we were happy to get something for our efforts, unlike the rest of the disgruntled group. I was also happy to note I had observed the woman who won reading Mockingjay while we waited for the contest to begin. At least I lost to a fellow reader of quality material.

Friday, September 3, 2010


We want Kirk, we want kirk, we want kirk.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stop the invisible cows!

This photo has very little to do with my story but it made me laugh.

So I drove by a stop sign today that I have driven by several times before...and by several I mean almost weekly for 4 years, so about 200 times. And if you caught that I drove by without stopping that's because the sign is not on the road I drive on. It's next to the road at what should be an intersection. The only problem is I just noticed today that there is no intersecting road.

In my digital distraction, child screaming, radio tuning drives by in the past, I've assumed it was a dirt road intersecting with the main road and hence a stop sign on the edge of this field.
NO ROAD, folks.

I was driving with my two youngest children 7 and 4 today when I saw it.
I said, "Hey there's no road there. Just a stop sign."
Daughter: "Maybe it's for the invisible road, with the invisible cars."
Me: "I hope they watch where they're going cause I can't see them."
Son: "No, Mom. It's for the cows. The invisible ones."
Daughter to son: "Stop acting like you know everything."
Me: "If there invisible, why isn't the stop sign invisible too?"
Silence in the back seat for 10 seconds...bliss.

So does anyone out there want to tell me why a stop sign would be out in a field with no road leading to it? Feel free to be creative. As you may have guessed, the rest of the drive home I was distracted with stories of spacial rifts and invisible cattle-flying.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Earl is approaching.

So my question is: If you had to evacuate, what would you grab?

For me: After my family and dog were safe I would take with me: wedding pics, all my picture CD's, my thumb drive, (laptop if possible--it has all my stories on it), my framed sand dollar, the book of letters from Steve, two of my favorite necklaces (I swear those two calm me down and if I am evacuating, I need calm).

My kids would have their own lists.  One would grab his collection of Hot Wheels, one would grap books, and my "baby" (who is almost 6) would try to take all her toys.

I'm not sure what my husband would grab. I may have to ask him later today.  That may be good deep thinking time together. :)

Well, what would you grab?