Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rockin Lawn Ornament Fun

I know what you're thinking:

Why is there a raisin wearing shades and sneakers?

Because it's a California Raisin, of course.

And since I live in a weird-ass town, the housing complex down the street showcases three of these bad boys on their patch of dirt lawn. This, plus the other two, are dancing their way far from an alligator and a slightly abused gnome.

The California Raisin trio wins the award for weirdest lawn ornament hands down and they're handmade. They're similar enough for you to recognize them for what they are* but different enough so it doesn't rip off the franchise.

In case you don't remember them, I've included the video. I loved this at age 8.

* I totally recognize that this is only true for those who remember 1986.
Last.fm hit of the day: House by the Cemetery by Wednesday 13 (Psst, go out and buy Women and Children Last.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Present for The Lurkdom

Work is gently kicking my ass (yes, again) and I got a too full plate of deadlines both at with the 9-5 job and writing. It's hard to believe I ever was on vacation or that my whole department will be terminated by the end of the week*.

I know I'm not the only one suffering this right now. It's back to school for a lot of the Lurkdom and heads are exploding with stuff like lunches to pack, last minute summer reading, blah blah et cetera, blah. You get the point.

So, if you're suffering from a headful of noise and want a minute of peace, stick in some headphones and watch the video below. Because there's really nothing more calming and peaceful than an uninhabited beach.

* For real. Come Labor Day, I scramble to make myself an asset at this office again.
Last.fm hit of the day: Bad Things by Wednesday 13

Friday, August 27, 2010

Four for Friday: Excitement

It's Friday, Lurkdom, and time to celebrate. Coffee is coursing through my blood and nervous system, so I'm in scramble mode to get stuff done.

Four For Friday, Looking Forward To Edition

  1. New Murderdolls. It comes out on Tuesday, but I'm listening to it now and dancing headbanging in my chair. It's fucking awesome. I can't wait for it not to leave my ears for a very long time. Fan girl crush numero uno is totally killing it.
  2. The Plot and Paper Project. Glenna is going to plot and write an entire novel by hand and is looking for people to join in. I'm totally doing it. Well, I'll do the plotting and research by hand because by the time the actual writing happens, it will be November and NaNoWriMo.
  3. Cooler Weather. Last winter I picked up crocheting and can't wait to return. My goal this year is to learn the art of sock making.
  4. Cleaning and Organization. My working surfaces both at home and the 9-5 job are disasters and prime indicators of too much going on in my brain*. I can't wait until there's enough down time to go through everything and put it all in proper places.
What are you looking forward to?

* Not to mention Hubby and I own more stuff than we have room for.
Non-Last.fm hit of the day: Rock N Roll is All I Got by Murderdolls (Did you really expect me to list anything else?)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Necromancy and the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

A few weeks ago (or maybe months?), Alicia made a suggestion in a Zombie Thursday comment to discuss how necromancy will play a part in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse. She probably thinks I ignored her suggestion, but just as she didn’t ignore my, er, her blog’s comments about initially starting Zombie Thursdays, I’m certainly not ignoring her fine idea!

Since several entries, including last week’s, have been about what might possibly cause a zombie uprising, I thought this would be a good time to discuss necromancy and how it could play a role. When you think of Necromancers, what do you envision? Personally, I always pictured a magician, into dark magic, who would raise a corpse to do his bidding. Or a person similar to the character in Haeckel’s Tale (reviewed awhile back during a Zombie Sex-tacular! blog) who brings forth the dead. Seems standard, right? I know everyone seems to be into World of Warcraft these days, but I’m a Diablo II girl, and one of the classes you can play is a Necromancer. As this spell-casting character, you can raise skeletons that fight for you, have zombie creatures/ghouls that eat the creatures you slay to give you strength and energy, and in general just deal with dead creepy things. So, whenever I think of necromancy, that is the image I conjure up.

It’s easy, then, to imagine that a modern day practitioner of necromancy could raise an army of corpses (or for our purposes, zombies) and use then to do their bidding (similar to voodoo zombies). This hypothetical necromancer might lose control of his risen dead (as things of this nature always go terribly wrong) and they would go on a brain eating spree.


Imagine my surprise when I did some research on necromancy and found that it really isn’t what I imagined at all!

The term necromancy originates from the Greek words ‘nekrós’ meaning “dead body” and ‘manteía’ meaning “prophecy” or “divination.” Basically, necromancy is less about raising the physical body of a corpse and more about summoning spirits or ghosts of the deceased to gain knowledge or insight about the future!! That’s not to say that the physical raising of bodies never occurs in necromancy. There are several myths and texts that speak of certain battles being fought with the help of necromancy-- when soldiers died fighting, powerful spell-casters would raise their bodies to keep fighting, making the army virtually invincible! However, from the readings I have done, it seems traditionally it is much more about calling forth spirits, or even demons who appear as the deceased. Based on this, I would say my imaginings of the necromancer are the way of strict fiction, such as in Diablo II. Disappointingly, I think we can rule out a zombie apocalypse brought forth by misguided necromancers!

Also as an interesting side note, a word about the Necronomicon, sometimes called 'The Book of the Dead'-- The Necronomicon is often thought to be a dark magic grimoire for summoning the dead, demons, and evil spirits, among other things. This version of the text is not to be confused with the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead' (as it is known). The mythos of the two texts are completely different and separate. Horror fans will often think of the Necronomicon as the flesh bound book found in the Evil Dead films. I always assumed the book was based on some historical magical text of necromancers, but I was shocked (and you may be as well) to learn the Necronomicon (even the name itself) is completely a fictional imagining of H.P. Lovecraft and first appeared in a 1924 short story! Who knew?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Death and Reality TV

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you your link in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today's Question: How would you impress (or not impress) the Hunger Games judges?

Confession: I haven't read The Hunger Games.

This being said, I do know something about killing people off on reality TV. No, really.

Image courtesy of Pyritz Design.
Back when I thought I had a passion for working in theatre*, I worked on a show called REAL DEAD. It was a premiere by a guy named Marty Barrett. The premise was simple: a group of strangers live in a house - very similar to The Real World or Big Brother. The twist was while these people thought they would just be living life like all reality TV stars, they would actually get offed one by one until Mary was the only person left.

The fictional TV audience loved the show and the producers clamored for a second season where they'd follow Mary around until she died. (The play really focused on the inaugural season but had a flash forward beginning.)

So in the first season, which the play was actually about, we learned about the characters and their quirks. In true reality TV fashion, they acted out, hooked up, add-general-reality-TV-cliche-here - the works. Then they had to start killing each other off for survival.

So death and reality TV have been hand in hand for a while starting with Battle Royale** in 1999. This keeps coming up in some form because from a psychological perspective, it's interesting to see what a person's breaking point is. If you and your friend were trapped in a room for a month and the only way out was to kill the other, what would you be a matyr and let your friend live? Interesting question, isn't it?

Of course, leave it to the French to take the dead and reality TV connection to the limit. Reading this article in The Washington Post wants me to polish off my 11th grade French and watch the documentary.

Why do you think there's a connection between reality TV and death? Comment below. And if you've read The Hunger Games trilogy and want to see how other would impress the judges, head over to YA Highway.

*Circa 2001 - 2004ish. Turns out I was just waiting for Hubby.
** For more information about Battle Royale, you can wiki or you can go to Erinn's blog.
Last.fm hit of the day: A Grave Upon Mankind by Cultus Sanguine

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We've Got a Winner!

Thanks to everyone who played "Guess The Truth" yesterday. If you missed it, I listed seven things about myself and I asked the Lurkdom to guess which one was true for a random prize.

The list
  1. I've never ridden a bicycle. LIE. Even though I've never mastered riding *without* training wheels, I have ridden a bike.
  2. Whenever I find a mushroom on my plate, I hurl it across the room. LIE. While I hate mushrooms, I'll push them off onto someone else or I stick them on the edge of my plate. I don't think I've ever thrown food in my life*.
  3. My 9-5 job should have ended three and a half years ago. TRUE. My current 9-5 job started as a part-time data entry gig to help pay for my wedding. I was only supposed to be there for three weeks six months.
  4. The Stripey One was my first pet. LIE. In 2000, I won a blue-green and red beta fish. His name was Norbert.
  5. I hate giraffes. TOTAL LIE. My imaginary friends growing up was a giraffe and as an adult I think they are some of the prettiest animals.
  6. Chocolate sucks. Peanut butter chocolate sucks more. LIE. I heart chocolate and peanut butter so much I have three jars of Dark Chocolate Dreams at my disposal.
  7. I met Hubby at a strip club. LIE. Hubs and I met at the theatre we both worked at.
Congrats to Lydia for guessing correctly. Lydia, email me with your address.

 And I'm passing the torch of Creative Blogger onto...

* The exception of course was during Eclipse when in a moment of heckling glee, threw popcorn at Cedric Edward.
Last.fm hit of the day: Grace by Ministry

Monday, August 23, 2010

6 Lies, 1 Truth, and Tons of Contest Pimping

While I was away, I got an award from the pretty awesome Holly Dodson. I'm excited because 1) it gives me something to stick in the sidebar and 2) it gives me an automatic blog entry.

Because I have this, I have to tell you 7 things about myself and you're supposed to guess which one is true.
  1. I've never ridden a bicycle.
  2. Whenever I find a mushroom on my plate, I hurl it across the room.
  3. My 9-5 job should have ended three and a half years ago.
  4. The Stripey One was my first pet.
  5. I hate giraffes.
  6. Chocolate sucks. Peanut butter chocolate sucks more.
  7. I met Hubby at a strip club.
Barring those in the Lurkdom that I've known for years, I'm not sure if you'll guess the correct one. Do you think you know what number it is? The first person to guess correctly will win something random.*

And speaking of contests, there's some contests I've entered. If you like free stuff you should too.

Suzie Townsend is giving away Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens. (Enter until 8/28/10.)
Sarah Enni is sharing her contest winning karma by giving away neat reader/writer things. (Enter until 9/6/10.)

* Excluded from this contest are friends and family members who can definitely figure this out by process of elimination. Sorry, friends and family in the Lurkdom.

Last.fm hit of the day: Condemned to be Silent by Revelations of Rain

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stupid Technology Mistakes

First off, Happy Friday! I've never had a week that dragged as bad as this one, so I'm glad the weekend's finally here where I can read, go to the gym, and have some marathon editing sessions. But right now, I'm still locked into my desk with my brain too hopped up on caffeine to concentrate on anything.

What did you think of the Beta Battle yesterday? I hope you checked out what the other ladies had to say on Sarah's piece. What was interesting to me was seeing where we all commented on and where our comments differed. I learned a lot from it and hope everyone else did too.

I see I got some new lurkers this week. Welcome aboard and please comment often.

Have you ever gotten so pissed at your laptop you just wanted it to meet it's fiery end? If you scroll down, you can see what happens when you pretend your laptop is a dozen cookies.

The keys loosened enough to fall off during transport.
Due to the melting, the cover no longer shuts properly.
Here you can see where the heat was the strongest.

Same as above, just closer.

This isn't my laptop*. I'd NEVER stick technology in the oven. Even though the machine is wrecked beyond belief, the hard drive still worked this morning. Seeing this got me thinking about technology fails like when The White One destroyed the video card in Hubby's work laptop**. Or, more recently, SIL Melanie decided Mother Ocean really needed a cell phone.

Lurkdom, I ask you this:  
What is the worst thing you've done to your gadgets?

* Thanks to Louie for bringing this in. (And no, this wasn't his laptop either.)
** He knocked the laptop onto the ground and snapped the video card in half. The White One is to blame for more problems with Hubby's laptop than anything else.
Last.fm hit of the day: Friday I'm in Love by The Cure

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rethink That Flu Shot!

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

Many people talk about 'when' the zombie apocalypse will occur, not 'if' the zombie apocalypse will occur. And many more theorize about how it could happen, what would cause it? I've discussed a few different scenarios that films, books, and other forms of fiction have described or have given as reasons as to how the dead can reanimate. To me, the answer is inconclusive. For now...

But, our friends over at Weekly World News (those people who introduced the world to Bat Boy) want you to know that not only could it happen, but it's happening RIGHT NOW!

Don't believe me? Or them... check out the article that appeared a few weeks ago. For those who are too lazy to click and read, I'll briefly summarize-- the "scientific dictatorship of the United States Government" (yes, I am quoting. Oh, how I wish I weren't... but I am) has been putting brain eating chemicals into the water supply down in New Mexico. This chemical can be either ingested or injected, by way of a vaccine. It is supposed to have a calming effect on individuals, but apparently what it does is eat away at a person's brain rendering them a mindless, subservient zombie. The article hints at both Night of the Living Dead zombie characteristics and voodoo zombie traits.

But the BEST, and I mean absolute greatest thing ever posted in conjunction with a "news" article, is this video from a "legitimate" radio host who speaks about the subject. The video is fairly long, and I was literally laughing out loud as I watched parts of it. If this guy was actually talking about something that is really happening right now, it might be a cause for some concern in a lot of people. Basically, he is basing his entire tirade about a vaccine that sends an engineered herpes virus into your brain that alters the chemicals that cause constant stress. The research IS real. There is a scientist that is studying this and has been doing successful trials in rats. However, they are years and years away from any sort of human trials (if ever). But this host would have you believe people are already being jabbed in the arm with needles and turned into zombie androids! Watch if you dare!

Supposing this sort of drug was actually being administered (and maybe someday it will be, or something similar to it), it would bring up some interesting scenarios and debates. We've all seen movies like 28 Days Later in which seemingly innocent scientific research about a virus led to an outbreak that turned everyone into blood thirsty cannibalistic zombie creatures. Could that world be closer than we think? Maybe. But until then, I'll read my Weekly World News with a grin and file away the "news" as being as truthful as the location of Bat Boys cave.

Battle of the Betas

Monday, Kate Hart asked the Twitterverse one of the biggest questions ever*:

Of course people did and Sarah Enni volunteered the first page of her YA sci fi/fantasy manuscript, Flute, for the Beta Battle.

When I beta, I like to know where the victim author has concerns or questions. This isn't saying I won't crit other things as I find them, but I'd hate to read for plot holes when they're only concerned about the tone of the story.

So, I asked Sarah what she wanted the focus on.

I always try to read the piece first without touching anything. If something confuses me or if I really like something, I'll make note, but otherwise I leave pen or keys alone until my second read-through**. On my second go-round, I'll do line edits, write questions, sometimes tell stories. Depending on the person, project, and my attention span I use both Word or longhand.

Since Sarah's piece was one page, I longhanded it.

(Click for larger version.)

My overall thoughts:
Sarah's writing is strong. I have a solid idea of what the funeral home looks like, which is good since it's vastly different from the million I've vistied. She gives a great description of Hana's family home. There's something going on with Hana in regards to her father since he's referred to by his given name and not her father.

The only place where I'm feeling the sci fi or fantasy-ness so far with "a house with a door that shrunk up in the winter and bloated until it wedged in the door frame in the summer." Even though my apartment has similar doors, her description sounds magical. I'm the type of person where the fantasy doesn't have to hit on the first page, so I'm okay with not seeing it here.

I only have one page to work with so it's hard to answer the characterization question, especially when we're in a place where you're not really yourself. Her mom is a mess and Hana is locked up. I can figure out what Hana might look like because of her father's freckles and hair color, but I could also be wrong. I'm curious about the car accident that took out Hana's dad.

This said, I would like to see something more in the opening page, but in terms of what I can't pinpoint. I feel like something needs to happen whether it's action, dialogue, or a zombie raid***. My guess the something happens on page 2 or 3, which if that's the case - great.

Would I read more of Flute? Yep.

Want to see how the other participants beta? Check out Meredith's, Cory's, Kate's, Kathleen's, and Windy's takes on Flute. Don't forget to stop by Sarah's blog and let her know what you think. Or, comment below.

* This is when I got clued in. Reportedly Sarah started the whole thing. 
** The exceptions to this are Nemesis and Philosopher since reading it the first time takes saintly patience as is.
*** Hey, it IS Zombie Thursday. Don't forget to stop by later to see what Miranda has in store. 
Last.fm hit of the day: Something to Believe In by Poison

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Four Vamps and a Gunslinger

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you your link in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today's question: What book ending would you rewrite and why?

Argh... We've all had the experience of reading something that keeps us up for hours only to have the big letdown, aka the world's shittiest ending. Twice since I've been with Hubby I've hurled a hefty hardcover against a wall/door combo. I've been known to curse out the book endings too.

Here are my top novel beefs. [WARNING: Slight spoilers ahead.]

For a Few Demons More - Kim Harrison. I fully support offing characters, but when you knock off the most interesting one in the series, we've got a problem. There's been a few books since twice-killing Rachel's love interest and I haven't read any of them. My solution: kill off the roommate instead.

The Anita Blake Series - Laurell K Hamilton. Okay, so this one is still be written, but I still have a problem. Somewhere around book nine, LKH kinda forgot she was writing urban fantasy and jumped into porn. She started focusing more on the sex and by the time I finished reading her last book, Bullet, there was a threadbare plot. It's annoying because of how much time (and money) I've sunk into the series. The plot in the Anitaverse is more interesting than where all the bodies and their respective parts go. My solution: less sex, more storyline.

The Vampire Chronicles - Anne Rice. What originally turned me on to vampire fiction died painfully. Lestat developed a Christ complex. Let me repeat in case you didn't hear me: Lestat, the atheistic vampire, developed a Christ complex. This happened after he met the devil and went into a coma-like sleep*. My solution: stop the series at Memnoch the Devil.

The Dark Tower - Stephen King. So many bad things happen to Roland through all seven books, none of it I disagree with. For Roland's quest, the solitude is necessary. But as much as I love it, SK did jump the shark when he introduced himself as a character. Oh, and the epilogue. *raises fist angrily* Damn you SK. My solution: definitely delete the epilogue and leave it to the reader's imagination and write out the whole SK as God thing.

Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer. Besides it's part of the Twilight saga, the whole book was sloppy writing and plot execution. It went on too long and she didn't put ANYONE in danger. Oh no! Bella could die from the vamp-human hybrid. No she couldn't. You all knew that a Cullen wouldn't let that happen. There's more wrong, but I'll leave that for you, Lurkdom, to discuss in the comments.

*Coincidentally, this was around the time when Anne Rice became born again**. 

**Of course she now has denounced Catholicism again.
Last.fm hit of the day: The Curse by Thee Merry Widows

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Deadliest Catch: Psycopathic Child Edition*

While staying at the Real World Cottage, we had the redneck neighbors from hell. Their yard housed tetanus and their porch was loaded up with, erm, crap. They were loud. They climbed onto the roof of their cottage more than once - with one of those times in a gorilla suit.

The grandmother was nice enough to let us search their yard for the badminton birdie, so I overlooked everything except the gorilla suit. (I tried to get a picture but couldn't.)

Correction. I overlooked everything except the suit until I saw the 9 year old with a live crab. He stuck the crab on the side of the road and pelted it with pine cones trying to get it to move. He wanted to see it get run over by a car. The child ran off as a couple of walkers happened by. They wondered how the crab got this far from the beach. Hubby and I used this moment to rescue the crab.

We stuck him in a bowl with water and brought him back to the shore where I'd like to think the gulls left it alone. If they didn't, at least nature did it's thing instead of some mullet-headed child.

A few days later, Hubby found the same child with another crab. The father caught him and according to Hubs, didn't say shit about the child wanted to kill this crab. I'm not sure what was said, but the gist was that it's okay to torture animals.

Parents. Why would you let your kid think this behavior is acceptable? Just because it's not a person or a domesticated critter, doesn't give you or your kid the right to maim or kill it. Would you want a giant to pick you up and bash you around because it could? No. All forms of life deserve respect. You should instill that in your kid from day one.

If you can think of some reason why this father didn't smarten his kid up or if you want to share your outrage with me, comment below.

* Blog title courtesy of Hubby.
Last.fm hit of the day: I Saw Red by Warrant

Monday, August 16, 2010

Contest Alert

While I dig out from a week away, I urge you to go over to Holly Dodson's blog where she's having a Harry Potter themed contest in honor of her birthday.

The contest is super simple: just state which HP house you'd belong to.

Tomorrow's blogging should happen as scheduled.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Greetings from the Real World House

Where the injuries keep stacking up.

So far there's been the badminton incident, a rubber ball to the ribs, and a water balloon to the groin. All injuries have been caused by Hubby and I'm afraid to see what's going to happen now that he, the youngest SIL, and all the boys on the trip are out deep sea fishing as I type.

To say our living quarters are small would be inaccurate. When you have 10 full-sized people in a cottage that only has two actual bedrooms plus a loft and one little full bathroom, the situation turns into fucking small.* When figure in that half the people are girls with that majority being girlie**, the whole thing becomes a comedy act.

Besides the injuries, there's been minor drama. If this was The Real World Cape Cod, it would be the drama that hasn't reached the pinnacle where one person is grumbling about it to the other, but before the season reached it's zenith, everything would be laid out and the fighting would be massive. Name calling and punching would definitely be center stage.

Since I'm not a reality TV star, I'm okay with this not happening. I'm pretty content reading in a corner or walking for coffee. (The beach hasn't even called to me, though I've been there twice - once to actually go and once to rescue a crab from death.) And to be honest, I don't think I'd want to see what would go down if we were in a reality show.

I'm heading back into vacationland where the to be read pile is dwindling just a bit and the internet is spotty as ever. Soon enough I'll be back among the living where there's office politics, cats, and queries and partials to email.

*This is the best I could do with no coffee. Bear with me.
** As opposed to yours truly who considers it a feat if more than a minute is spent on the hair.
Vacation song of the day: Let's Kill the Hero by Gunfire 76

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Nazi Zombies! Because you know you love 'em!

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

Our fearless hostess, Alicia, is on vacation taking it easy. I'm sadly not on vacation, and what's worse... I'm getting sick. To quote Nathan Explosion (or to paraphrase him anyway)-- "There's nothing worse than a summer cold!" I'm on the verge of feeling miserable. I know the worst is yet to come.

As such, just a quick video to post to you all on this Zombie Thursday, compliments of our friends over at College Humor! A few weeks ago we discussed the allure of the Nazi Zombie (if you haven't checked out that entry, I highly encourage you to!) and its ties with humor and comedy. So, to further drive the point home, here is a hilarious video parodying the Call of Duty game and Nazis who are zombies. Or are they just zombies? Zombie Nazis? Nazi Zombies? The world may never know...


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Badminton is Dangerous

Vacation Week, Day Two

If you know me in real life, you'll know that I'm not athletically inclined. You can go as far as saying I'm the epitome of overweight book nerd. (I am.) I was the kid that barely passed gym since elementary school and had to wear a mouth guard because my mother instilled the irrational fear that a ball smash into my mouth causing my braces to tear my lips off.

In short, I don't do sports.

But I do love things that are "easy" like badminton or croquet. It's simple, non-contact, and danger-free. So when my mother-in-law announced she brought a badminton/ volleyball set, I got excited on the inside. I can participate and not look like a jackass. Awesome.

So we played on Tuesday night: Hubby, two of younger SIL's friends, and me. Everything was going great until I nailed it into the other yard. I retrieved and sent it back to the tallest in the group.*

When I got back into our yard, we had a man down. Hubby nailed the badminton birdie in the other friends' eye.

The adage is true: It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.**

* For the record, this wasn't Hubby, but one of SIL's friends. His forehead could be seen over the top of the fence.
** His eye is fine.

Vacation Song of the Day: How Could She? by Type O Negative.

Secret Stashes

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you your link in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today's question: What does your character hide in their underwear drawer - or other secret location?

I got to admit, this is something I've never thought about while working on character development. As far as I know, Cheyenne doesn't physically hide anything. Mentally is a different story. She has secrets as do most people and those she keeps locked pretty tight.

Since this week I'm working on editing my NaNoWriMo project,* this RTW is timely. I have characters who definitely have things to hide. Grimoires. Weapons. Contraband. Cryptozoological animals. Not to mention the affair that shouldn't be happening. Some of these things already have secret locations. The grimoires are in a secret compartment behind government-approved books. The animals are in cells below a house that looks like it wouldn't have a makeshift dungeon below. Everything else needs to be figured out, though.

I did discover Phantasma's hiding place the other week, however. She can't hide much in a Christmas Stocking, especially when The White One likes to dive into things with mouths. Tasma was hiding chocolate bars.

That's right. Chocolate bars. In the summer. In a Christmas stocking.

The White One temporarily changed color.

Comment below about where you hide things or where your characters hide things. Also, don't forget to check out what others are saying over at YA Highway.

AND IF YOU HAVEN'T, COMMENT ON THE CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE STORY. Poor Sidney needs some closure, after all.

*Working title Phoenix Rising.

Vacation Song of the Day: Indians by Gojira

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Cats! Stoned!

Welcome to Day One of vacation week where my internet connection is spottier than a leopard.

Speaking of leopards, ever wonder if they like catnip? I didn't know that I did until Empress shared this video with me. And since I'm already missing The White and Stripey Ones, I had to show you guys.

Stay tuned for the rest of the week's entries which will be as short as me. Miranda will enlighten you with zombie culture as always on Thursday. And, don't forget to contribute to the Choose Your Own Adventure story.

I'll see you guys tomorrow!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Please. Don't.

I'll be on vacation next week, so the blog schedule might be spotty. Feel free to go through the archives and continue Sidney's story. Maybe Phantasma shows up and saves the day? Who knows? Only you can decide.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Last.fm hit of the day: War to End All Wars by Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force*

*Yes, it's as pretentious as it sounds.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Zombies are Coming!!

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

On the quiet streets of a city near you, they come by the thousands. Slowly ambling along, moaning for brains, they fill the streets and grab innocent bystanders forcing them to join in the mob. The zombies have invaded!

As cool as it would be to have an actual zombie apocalypse on our hands, what I’m describing is actually known as a Zombie Walk! Also known as a Zombie March, Zombie Crawl, etc. Zombie Walks are an interesting phenomenon that clearly show the growing trend towards zombie culture and the world’s fascination with the living dead. During these marches, people dress up in tattered clothes, use copious amounts of fake blood, and apply their best zombie makeup. The marches are typically large organized events (although some spring up spontaneously), and rely heavily on word of mouth and internet advertising to spread the when and where of these gatherings. The walks can have several different purposes-- they often help raise awareness and funds for local charities, express opinions about current political issues, tie in to pub or bar crawls with a horror theme, or sometimes they’re just for fun and celebration!

One of the first recorded Zombie Walks was in Sacramento, CA and took place on August 19, 2001. Billed as the “Zombie Parade,” it was used to help promote an annual film festival; the parade is still an annual event. Over the years many groups have tried to use their Zombie Marches as record breaking events. There seems to be some debate and confusion over which walks have been verified record breakers, but as far as I can tell, the current verified record walk took place just last month on July 3 for Seattle’s annual “Red, White, and Dead” Zombie Walk. The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed 4,200 zombie were an attendance! The event was organized by Fremont Outdoor Movies.

I’m sad to say that I have never been a part of any Zombie Walks. I’ve had the opportunity to go to a couple, but for whatever reason, it never worked out or I didn’t have anyone to go with (because, let’s face it, it would be so much more fun with a group of friends!). Another type of event I’ve been hearing a lot about lately has been Zombie Proms, which, you guessed it, are events held at local clubs or bars where people wear their best zombified dresses and tuxedos and dance the night away. Recently in Chicago, there was even a Zombie Disco!

I’m making it my goal this year to go to at least one Zombie Walk or event and report back to you all! I have a zombie-themed costume planned for my upcoming visit to DragonCon, and I’m sure to run into some other zombies while I’m there... but I’d really like to attend one of these walks.

And, I just read something on Facebook today that pertains to my Chicago area readers-- the independent organization, The Horror Society, just made a post today about some major zombie event coming up in Chicago and they’re “calling all zombies!” The post didn’t say whether it was a zombie walk, pub crawl, general gathering, or even for some kind of zombie film. When I know more, I will definitely let you all know! In the meantime, for those interested, they would like you to email admin@horrorsociety.com. Anyone with me in joining up to be a zombie?

Have any of you participated in a Zombie Walk before? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Until next time, remember... the dead should stay dead!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Obligatory Click Here Post

Due to the YA Highway girls recovering from SCBWI, there's no Road Trip Wednesday this week. If you want to read previous topics covered, click here.

In other news, it turns out that you guys don't like open threads here. Lurkdom, I hoped you would participate. There's still time. You can do that by clicking here. I strongly encourage it. The White One does too. In fact, he's watching to make sure you do. Now.

So because of the lack of road tripping today, I'm at a loss of what to blog about. Fortunately, there's contests to be had.

*drum roll*

That's right, there's contests, and you can find them here.

Roni & Julie's Totally Epic Summer Contest. Prizes include ARCs of books, page critiques, and query critiques.
Blue Lipstick Samurai's Contest. Prizes include autographed books, books, stationary, and every sugar fiends favorite thing - CANDY!
YA Highway's SCBWI Books Giveaway. Prizes include books, books, and - you guessed it! BOOKS.
Guide to Literary Agents. Prize is free copy of the 2011 Writer's Market.

I'm sure there are others out there, but I've been distracted by both lackluster and shiny things. Comment below on other ones out there.

Last.fm hit of the day: Dressed to Depress by Murderdolls*

*Whose new album comes out this month. EEK!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Open Thread!

Some of you may have noticed the lack of writing related entries on the blog. I bet you're wondering why.

Let me explain.

I write. I write a lot, but just because I do doesn't mean I have a profound knowledge of the subject. In fact, I'm still learning the ins and outs of craft. Since there are tons of great blogs out there that discuss writing, it frees me up to talk shop whenever the mood strikes.

As you could guess, today isn't one of those days.

So if you come by here looking for pearls of writerly wisdom, I'm sorry. Slice of the Blog Pie tries to cover different aspects of life without getting too personal, but I'm open to suggestions for content or features. In fact, I encourage you to tell me what you want.

So, my lurkdom, what would you like covered here? Anything is possible.

Last.fm hit of the day: Killer Wolf by Danzig

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear Blog, Part VI

Dear Blog,

It's been a while since my last letter. I hope you've been well. The last two weeks have been rough and I've tried to not let it intefere with my blogging schedule, but I've lost. While I recuperate from life, I'd like to show you what I get to look forward to on August 31. *squees in excitement*


PS: You should comment on the choose your own adventure. Tell me what happens to Sidney.

Last.fm hit of the day: Cuts 'n' Bruises by Son of Sam
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