Friday, July 29, 2011

First Lines: A Sampler


Due to last week's blogging hiatus (not to mention a general case of head-up-the-ass), I didn't prepare for today's Friday Fives. Thank god for online book previews. Below you'll find some of my favorite beginnings*.

"Are you still mad?"
Alec, leaning against the wall of the elevator, glared across the small space at Jace. "I'm not mad."
- City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare

Why I Like It: I just reread the first three books in The Mortal Instruments so this scene is fresh in my mind. After spending one book already with Jace, Alec, and crew, you have a good idea of their personalities which makes the scene more fun.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
- The Gunslinger, Stephen King

Why I Like It: I've blogged about this once before, but this sentence restored my faith in Stephen King. That withstanding, it's pretty intriguing. Why is this guy being followed across the desert?


"Wait--did you--you just yawned!" The vampire's arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides.
- Paranormalcy, Kiersten White

What I Liked About It: Paranormalcy was one of my favorites of 2010. Starting off with being bored by a vampire clues us in to this being not your average UF.

Here is everything I know about France: Madeleine and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.
- Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins

What I Liked About It: It's the beginning of a very solid paragraph that conveys voice and humor, and the rest of the sentences go on in the same vein, letting us know what the narrator knows. This might be my most favorite paragraph ever written.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
- A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

What I Liked About It: The length. It's stupidly long and if any of us did this today, we'd probably get spanked. However, Dickens does a good job of showing us that nothing really changes.

Have some great first lines you'd like to share? Go over to Paper Hangover and play along.


* Disclaimer: The opinions of yours truly are subject to change with no notice.
_______
Last.fm hit of the day: Asoulum by Lunatic Soul

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Flying Trapeze!

Hello, friends! Miranda here. I'm hijacking the zombies to share more trapeze with you! But don't worry, the zombies will be back next week. What I want to talk about involves zombies, 2012, fear of death, and survivalism... a little too hefty to get my thoughts together for today.

This week has been a pretty big one for me. I quit my job at the unnamed coffee company (my last day is Sunday), and will soon be working for Apple! This prospect is very exciting for me, as I type this blog on my Apple laptop. Woohoo! Not only did a I secure a new job, quit my old one, but I also went back for another round of Trapeze School.

Like my first class, the second was also amazing. Possibly even better because this time I did not break any more toes (the other one is still healing). I even managed to learn a new trick called "heels off." This trick is where you hang on to the bar with your hands and have your heels hooked over the bar as well. When you do a catch, you release your hands and then heels fly through the air for a bit and then are caught! This move was different from my catches last class because in the knee hang, you stay on the bar the whole time and only release your legs when the catcher grabs you. With my new trick, there is a moment where you are completely airborne!

I don't have video of myself (my flip camera died last Fall), but here is a video from someone doing the same trick. They've even slowed it down to see a bit more clearly what happens. I'm happy to say I was caught both times!


Hopefully I can find away to get video of myself soon! Also, I think I'm going to take another leap and sign up for the "Intensive Flying Workshop," a ten week course where I can really develop my skills and work with the same team of instructors each time. At the end, you also get to put on a show!

Although this next video is a bit cheesy, it shows a bit more of how the school and classes work, in case any of you are interested in trying out this awesome sport!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Best of July, aka Why the Hell Did I Wait So Long!?

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

Today's topic: What's the best book you read in July?

Oh, this one is sooo easy.

Goodreads blurb: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?


What I Liked About It: What didn't I like about it? It lived about to all the hype. The writing was seamless. I felt like I was in Paris. Listening to St. Clair talk made me miss my friends across the pond. I may want to live in Cassandra Clare's head, but I wanted to live in this book.

What You Should Know: Don't make any plans if you're going to read this book because you'll have to cancel them.

Don't forget to stop by YA Highway to learn about more great reads!

_______
Last.fm hit of the day: The Copper War by The Cog is Dead

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Writing Camp!

Remember how I said I was going to do some writing for fun? Um, apparently that means participating in Camp NaNoWriMo.

What the hell are you talking about?
Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer version of NaNoWriMo. In fact, it's organized by the same people. There are two sessions you can choose to participate in, just like real camp. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

But I'm not stressing about this as much as I do in November. This is summer. I'm still hardwired to think of July and August as vacation time. So I will not stress. I have an outline that has no tension and a totally sagging middle, but that's okay because I'm doing this for fun. If I win it, cool. If I don't, also cool.

You're insane. You know that, right?
Of course.

...
Besides, look at the pretty web badge with its trees and its greeny goodness. How I can I resist?

The timing of this is awesome as I plan to do a lot of this during my stay in The Real World house. So the month of August is devoted to writing for fun before I relaunch the great query project*.

What fun things are you doing this summer?


* By that I mean querying.
_______
Last.fm hit of the day: Slither by Velvet Revolver

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back in the Swing

First off, a huge, huge thanks to Miranda for taking over last week. I hope you guys enjoyed her entries as much I did.

It's been a little hard going for yours truly as of late. Without going into too much detail, there was a death in Hubby's family.

I had declared 2011 as a wake/funeral-free year, but obviously there were greater, more annoying forces at work. I spent the majority of last week trapped in my own head, trying to get past the lump of sadness lodged in my brain like a freaking blood clot. I only realized in the last few days that the death hit me harder than I thought*.

But it's a new week and I'm this much closer to vacation where I'll experience The Real World: Cape Cod for a second time. I'm excited for it, moreso than last year and I have some great things planned for myself while there.

In the meantime, I'm going to get resettled with my blogging and writing schedule. I'll also have to work on the feng shui situation of my new-to-me day job desk as they're moving my entire team to a new building. In fact, it's this building**.



* I'm totally blaming this on my one wake/funeral per year ratio for the last five years.
** If you're having a bit of deja vu, it's because you saw this a few weeks ago when I talked about the assassin project.
_______
Last.fm hit of the day: Sol29 by Nosound

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zombie Survival Video Style



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


Hey zombie fans! Thanks for sticking me this week as I've blogged about non-zombie things! It feels like it's been a long week for me in my personal life, so today I just need to write/post about something funny and mindless.

I love searching for interweb videos, and I came across this one. The quality isn't outrageously good, but clearly these are amateur/independent filmmakers who were able to make an entertaining short video with an obviously low budget. Probably akin to the type of film I would (or rather have) make. So, enjoy this take on how to survive a zombie outbreak! (And note the use of my weapon of choice-- the crowbar!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everyone Loves a Villain!

Or in Alicia's case, everyone loves a bad boy (as we learned from her favorite cliches)!



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

Today's Topic--Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

While Alicia is still taking a small blogging break, I (Miranda) am back to help out with today's YA Highway topic! Alicia may be back, so she can add on to my picks or push me aside. But I'm pretty excited because I LOVE villains. I've always sympathized with the bad guy in books in movies. Now would be a good time to once again bring up my thesis topic... but that may bore you all. So here goes! My favorite literary villains/antagonists!

1. Professor Severus Snape- Perhaps I have Harry Potter on the brain from recently seeing part 2, but he is a great antagonist. While I do love the movies (and he was expertly and accurately portrayed by Alan Rickman), this is about books. And the Harry Potter novels will always trump the films. Snape is just an awesome and ambiguous character. Harry is so certain that Snape hates him, and we've all had that one teacher that we knew was out to get us!

2. Count Olaf- I love the Lemony Snicket stories! Count Olaf is an amazing villain because he has absolutely no redeeming qualities. He's a villain to the end! He never has a change of heart, no regrets, no remorse. Plus, he's a bit goofy and sometimes clueless which makes for a good read.

3. Boo Radley- (from To Kill a Mockingbird) Although not really a villain, he is the neighborhood monster. A mythical scary person to the children who live nearby. As kid's, we've all had that one house on the block or town that is "haunted," or where a misunderstood person lives that the neighborhood kids have demonized. Boo is definitely that character to Scout, but in the end, he saves the day!

4. Erik- (of Phantom of the Opera fame) One of my all time favorite literary characters in all forms-- films, books, plays, music, etc. Just look at all the different version out there that exist (and believe me, there are way more than you probably realize)! There's obviously something intriguing about the character that keeps drawing people to a murderous, kidnapping "bad guy." Misunderstood (as most villains are), but still no less dangerous... a perfect mix of angel and demon!

So there are Miranda's picks! What are some of yours?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Daring Young Girl on the Flying Trapeze

Miranda here again at the wheel, ready to share with you another "normal" hobby of mine. I say "normal" with quotation marks because most people might not think this interest is for the average person.

I've had a life long obsession with the circus. I'm not sure how or why it started. It could be because my grandfather is a Shriner, and every year they would put on the "Shrine Circus" for charity and I would attend with my family. Or it may be because in 1st grade, my school put on a "circus." I auditioned to be the Ringmaster (my brother had been the one in his year); I was the best reader in my grade, but they gave it someone else-- a boy, because girls aren't Ringmasters... Or it may be from repeatedly watching Dumbo as a child (I now collect Dumbo things). I'm not really sure of the reason, but it stuck.

As a result, I wrote my thesis about side shows and freak shows, I go out of my way to buy anything that has to do with circuses, and now I've made the leap (literally) into learning a circus art-- Flying Trapeze!


A friend of mine is involved with several classes here in Chicago, mainly learning silks. I've been looking at her photos and videos since I've met her, and I've thought it is one of the coolest things a person could do, and I admire her talent so much . As much as I love the circus, I guess I always assumed that the performers and athletes were people who were born into the lifestyle. I never considered that there would be places that taught these skills and arts. But there are!

Recently on the Facebooks, my same friend posted a link to a Groupon for a class at the Trapeze School New York (Chicago location). I didn't even have to think, I jumped on and purchased a pass for my first class. After a few weeks of schedule matching up (I wanted to attend with her; let's face it-- something like this is more fun with the company and support of a friend), I was finally able to pick a time and register for my first class!

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect for the first time there. I figured it would be a very basic introduction to the trapeze, mostly working on a bar that was on the ground and maybe getting to do one flight on the bar, just hanging there and swinging. Nope! Right from the start, after I signed my waiver, they were attaching a safety belt to my waist and began explaining how to do a knee hang and back flip off the bar and all the calls and signals and when to do what. It was a lot of information, but the newbies watched a few seasoned students do what was being explained to us. Soon, it was my turn to climb the ladder and go.


Again, I just assumed I'd do my first jump from the platform and maybe get to hang for a bit and then drop into the net... when I started to get hooked in I was informed I would be doing the knee hang (right away!) and did I want to try to the back flip. Right now? This turn? Yep! ...Sure! Why not!

And I did. And it was amazing.

By the end of the first two hour class, I was knee hanging and back flipping and eventually, we even got to attempt two catches-- as in, another professional instructor caught us from our knee hangs and we left the bar we were on and swung in the arms of our catcher. Amazing!!! It was such a high I can't even describe.


There are only a few downsides... the first of which is, I broke my toe (or severely sprained it; I'm not paying for an x-ray to confirm when the "treatments" for both are identical). On one of my back flips off the bar, I didn't let go exactly when they told me to, so unfortunately I kicked the bar on my way down. Ouch! But you know what? I don't even care!

The second downside to the classes is... I'm addicted! Plain and simple. While this isn't really a downside, my bank account won't be very happy. Upon leaving, they offered all first time students a two for one deal. I'm going back next Tuesday night!

If you think this sounds too intense or too scary for you, think again! Their slogan is, "Forget fear. Worry about the addiction." Wow, they nailed it! Flying trapeze builds your confidence, is an amazing workout, and gives you a sense of freedom that would be hard to find anywhere else. It's a skill, it's a talent, it's an art. I can't wait to go back and learn more all summer long!

Not in Chicago? There are Trapeze School locations in New York (obviously), Boston, Los Angeles, and D.C. What are you waiting for? Sign up NOW. You will in no way regret it, even if you only take one two hour course, you'll be doing things you never imagined you could do!

And very special thanks to my friend Natalie for turning me on to it and taking the photos of me during my flights!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kittehs everywhere!!

Happy Monday, Lurkdom!! Surprise! This is Miranda and I'm taking over some 'Pie' duties while Alicia has life happen. Last week, I had life happen. So, I apologize for missing "Zombie Thursday." My week was so all over the place, I honestly didn't even have my days straight. But don't worry... you don't have to put up with a week full of horror writing. As I've mentioned in the past, I actually do have "normal" hobbies and interests and I'd like to take at least today and tomorrow to talk about some of them.

Animals! I've been a vegetarian for about thirteen years now. While I do love the taste of meat (I just haven't had any in many years), I love fluffy (and non-fluffy) animals more. Four years ago, I had a psycho little dog come into my life-- Mia. She isn't technically a "rescue" puppy, but I think of her that way. I don't think the family we got her from treated her very well. She had an intense fear and distrust of all men for a long time, destructive behavior when left alone, and extremely bad separation anxiety. But she's a wonderful, loving dog and my very best friend. Mia recently turned five on July 2! To celebrate, I took her to Chicago Comics, an awesome shop here in the city that loves dogs and invites them into the store for shopping and treats.


I have "liked" many pages on the Facebooks, and one of them is Chicago Comics. I was at a friend's wedding last weekend and decided to take some photos and upload them immediately to her wall. In the process, I checked some of my newsfeed. And there on my phone was a photo of the cutest kitten posted by Chicago Comics. They had found a litter of stray feral cats behind the shop and were looking for homes to adopt them to!

I recently had a pet pass away in April, my guinea pig Hoggle. The loss was very difficult for me, but I had gotten to the point where I was ready to find a new friend. While I was looking into rats, rabbits, and even budgies, my mom suggested I get a cat. While I've had many interactions with cats and love them, my dad never wanted to get a cat while I was growing up, so I had this lingering idea that cats weren't for me. But seeing that little kitty on my phone, I just knew it was right and that I could give one of them an amazing, loving home.


The very next day, Mia and I went over to the shop and met the two little kitties that were left. There was a shy, quiet little girl. Mia took to her right away and so a decision was made. We took home little Zatanna (named for a comic book character... it seemed appropriate!) who turned out to be not so shy or quiet. Within twenty-four hours, she was running around, climbing curtains, and pouncing on Mia. They're great friends, and I'm pretty sure Zatanna thinks Mia is her new mommy, and Mia seems to be treating Zatanna as if she were a little puppy. In fact, as I type this, Zatanna just crawled over to "nurse" on Mia... join me in saying, "awwww!"


So, those are my fuzzy babies! Join me tomorrow where I will talk about another "normal" hobby I have taken up-- Flying Trapeze!! The kitty demands that you return to read...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Impromptu Hiatus

Dear Lurkdom,

Don't be alarmed if there is lack of new blog posts over the course of this week. Life happened and yours truly is taking a couple of days off from the blogosphere. In the meantime, feel free to read past posts. I suggest:

Have a wonderful beginning of the week.

Loff,
Alicia


Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Like a Yellow Submarine, But Not



I should probably let you all in on a not-so-secret secret: I'm anti-social. This totally contradicts the amount of time I spend on the Twitters and here, but sometimes that's how I roll.

Anyway.

Listing 5 writing communities shouldn't be too hard.
  1. Twitter. This is where I've made a lot of my writing connections. The #amediting and #amwriting hashtags are a great way to remind you you're not like Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. And since I'm chained at a desk all day*, this is a good thing.
  2. NaNoWriMo. The Boston WriMos have been awesome. It's well past November and I still meet up with them weekly for write ins. We'll overlook the fact that most of the time I'm so busy busting a gut that writing might not get done.
  3. Weekend of Awesome. I really can't stress enough how fantastic this weekend was and how awesome the ladies in it are. They've become my personalized writing community. I realize how lucky I am.
  4. SCBWI. Without SCBWI I'd be a little more clueless. This year I went to the New England regional conference, which was fantastic, and I networked with local writers. Oddly, anti-social me loved this.
  5. Grub Street. This is a Boston-based writing NPO, but I've been a member on and off for 10 years. Every seminar I've taken has strengthened my writing. This alone makes it invaluable. They also host different events throughout the year as well, which makes it social-y.
Is there a writing community I should know about? Join Paper Hangover and blog about it!


* And most nights.
__________
Last.fm hit of the day: See You at the Party Richter by Austrian Death Machine

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

D'OH!

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

Today's topic: What's the biggest writing / querying / publishing mistake you've made?

Oi. I've been writing for a loooong time which means there's a long bucket list of things never to do again.

  • Like writing a 100K YA contemporary,
  • Or being too cocky in a query letter,
  • Or not doing proper agent research.

These are just a few of my many mistakes.

But the biggest one of all has to be when I took every single piece of feedback my crit group gave me. This is the same crit group that birthed Nemesis, so that I listened to everything they said is crazy. Doing this added another 3 years on getting my WIP back on track*. I was so intent on everyone liking my writing that I forgot to listen to my instinct. I won't be making that mistake ever again.

Have you had a similar experience? What's the biggest mistake you made in your journey?


* I'm happy to announce that it IS back on track. Finally. *confetti shower*
_______

Last.fm hit of the day: Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Writing & Selling the YA Novel

During Weekend of Awesome, we shared our favorite writing resource. Erinn brought in Writing and Selling the YA Novel by KL Going. So I borrowed it and read it on the botched plane ride home*.

What I  liked about it: It was easy to read. Most books on craft lean toward the dense side, but KL Going's writing is easy on the brain. It paired well with the book's chapters, which were broken up by school subject. For example, the one titled "math**" is all about the business end of writing.

What you should know: The book covers all writing basics but gives them a "how to write YA" spin. If you write YA (which I'm pretty sure most of the writers in the Lurkdom do), think of this as a refresher course. If you're curious about writing a novel for the YA market, this should be the first thing you should read. Because contrary to what people think, writing for teens is just as much work as writing literary fiction. (I'm looking at you, Katie Crouch.)

One more thing: With a 2008 publication date, the information about the publishing industry itself is a little dated, but everything else still holds true.


What about you Lurkdom, ready any good books on craft recently?

 

* And by botched I mean ten minutes to sprint across all over the Charlotte NC airport to catch the connection to Boston.
** Of course I'd remember that one.

_____
Last.fm hit of the day: Bother by Stone Sour

Monday, July 11, 2011

Things That Amuse Me: Daschunds

Daschunds. Hot dog dogs. Weiner dogs. Whatever you call them, I find them hysterical. They're the perfect combination of long torso and short legs so they always look like they're in a hurry. And the ears are usually floppy which adds to the amusement factor when they run.

Image courtesy of Bay Area Dogs

In fact, I'm smiling right now looking at this handsome little feller. They crack me up so much that Hubby is aware of my conditions if I was to become a dog owner.

  1. Must be a daschund.
  2. His name will be Sparky.
  3. He will have his own doggie treadmill and wind machine.
  4. We will buy him a cape.
This is all so I can have a superhero dog named Super Sparky so I can watch him run and his ears flail.

Now that I've probably condemned myself to the looney bin, watch this cute dachshund puppy play with the mirror version of himself.



________
Last.fm hit of the day: Dreaming Light by Anathema

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Top 5 Tools Every Writer Should Use

First, I'd like to announce the winner of the Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance Giveaway...

KO!

Now back to our originally scheduled Friday Fives.



In every writer's life, a bit of research must fall. Yours truly isn't an exception. Where do I go for all my researcherly needs?

  1. Google by far. I just type in a question and bam! instant answers. Yeah, sometimes I get some hits that are wicked off the mark, but 99% of the time Google gives me answers.
  2. Wikipedia. Great for fact-checking, Wikipedia picks up where The World Book left off*.
  3. Naming the World. The resource used for monthly writing workshops at Newtonville Books, I've gotten a lot of prewriting and scene work done with the exercises from this book.
  4. Guide to Literary Agents, Writer's Market, and QueryTracker. I'll be swimming in all three of these as the summer pushes it's way into fall. These are great for all things literary agent-y.
  5. Google Earth. One of my in-development projects takes place far away from Boston, in a place I've never visited. This application is great in learning about my character's neighborhood and what his school grounds look like.

Now it's your turn: am I missing some awesome-tastic research tool? Tell below or join us at Paper Hangover!
________
Last.fm hit of the day: Horror Movie Baby by Texas Drag Queen Massacre



* For the record, I miss my parents' set of World Book Encyclopedias. Yes, they're from 1978 but they had color plates of all the birds of the world. Young Alicia at some point thought she was an orinthologist.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rob Zombie!


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

Hello, everyone! Today's post not only encompasses a zombie, but also fits in with my new segment--

Zombie Thursdays presents-- Miranda Talks About Other Scary Horror Stuff that isn't Necessarily Related to Zombies, but that She Thinks You'll Enjoy Too! (Working Title)

If you were to do a word association game with an Average Joe and said "zombie," chances are they may counter with "Rob." After all, Rob Zombie is fairly synonymous with horror, witches, zombies, Halloween, and all things creepy. Not to mention amazing music! Even if you're not a fan of his music, the man is talented. He's sold millions of albums worldwide and has been nominated for several Grammy awards. Clearly, I am a fan and must admit that his concert was probably one of the best and most fun shows I have ever been to!


Some cool facts about Rob that you may not know:

1. His birth name was Robert Cummings. He legally changed his name to Rob Zombie in 1996.

2. He dated his girl friend, Sheri Moon, for thirteen years before they were married on Halloween in 2002.

3. He's been quoted as saying the reason he got into horror, etc. is from seeing a dead body in an alley when he was very young.

4. He has been a vegetarian since 1982 after seeing a video in high school about slaughter houses. (*my favorite fact about him!)

5. His younger brother, Spider One, is the frontman to the band Powerman 5000.

Awesome, right? Rob Zombie is pretty famous, so you may be familiar with some of his film work as well-- House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects, Halloween and Halloween 2. Right now, he's also in the process of filming The Lords of Salem. But one film you probably don't know and haven't seen is the amazing (adult) cartoon The Haunted World of El Superbeasto!

The cartoon didn't have a lot of marketing, and I'm fairly certain it was released straight to DVD. But I highly recommend you check it out! The story is about a former masked wrestler-turned filmmaker/ultra celebrity, El Superbeasto, or just Beasto. Along with his sister, Suzi-X, he works to defeat the evil Dr. Satan and save the voluptuous stripper, Velvet von Black. Along the way they encounter robots, iconic horror movie characters, and NAZI ZOMBIES! There are several musical numbers that are actually by the duo Hard 'n Phirm.

Even though it is a cartoon, again, this is for adults... not children! Unless you are a cool parent and have mature kids who appreciate the finer examples of horror comedy. And really, your kids are probably watching these things anyway, so you may as well watch it with them and answer any questions they may have.

I was going to post a clip of the scene/song "Zombie Nazis," but it had way too many "F" words, so I figured it was best if I didn't. Instead, here is the official trailer, but it is still Rated-R, so be careful to those who are underage or are easily offended by cartoon boobs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When The Blog and The Day Job Collide: Setting and the WIP

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

Today's topic: Share some images that inspire your WIP.

Even though I have a bunch of them stored on my computer, I never used a picture for inspiration. Until this weekend, of course. Sunday I went on a photo walk around the day job's grounds to take pictures for one of my in development WIPs*.






Where do you find your visual inspiration?

* Which, despite having only a sketchy outline, will be YA.
________
Last.fm hit of the day: Get Off Get Out by Anathema

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Haiku

It's my Monday, which means this week will plod to Friday*. The only saving grace is the stack of projects that I want to complete. (Hint: they're all writing related.)

Anyway, my brain wouldn't function today at all, so I thought a bad haiku was in order.


7
The rook called. I listened.
O’er the crest, Reaper smiled
In his arms I lie

Despite the moribity of the haiku content, I'm in a cheerful mood. I get to read Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School for the day job and I sat in a giant's chair yesterday.


* Why this is always the case with shortened weeks is beyond me.
_______
Last.fm hit of the day: Star War by Backyard Babies

Monday, July 4, 2011

In the Memetime...

A couple of weeks ago, Alison Miller tagged me in this meme-type thing. Since it's Monday and the majority of us are enjoying hot dogs, parades, and fireworks it's perfect timing. Right? Right?

Right. For once I'm blogging ahead of schedule and catching up on TV to boot, so I might as well warn you: sarcasm will be aplenty.

1) Do you think you're hot?
Such an odd question, but it has such an easy answer. Nope.

2) Upload a pic or wallpaper you're using.
Since I'm on the home machine I get to share the cuteness the graphic designer at work made for me. It's of The Stripey One.
Isn't this awesome?

3) When was the last time you ate chicken?
Thursday night at b Good in Boston. It was a grilled chicken breast because I've grown tired of burgers.

4) What were you thinking while doing this?
Three things:
  1. Since I'm watching the season finale of The Vampire Diaries, I'm wondering if this is the kiss of death for Damon. 
  2. Also since I'm about 1/3 of the way through Anna and the French Kiss, I'm wondering about what's next in the plot. 
  3. I'm also humming a Slipknot song, which you'll learn about in number 5.


5) What song/songs have you listened to recently..
What haven't I listened to recently?*
  • The Virus of Life by Slipknot
  • Lay Your Body Down by Poison
  • Lovely Bones by Josh Todd

6) Do you have any nicknames? What are they?
*sigh* Yes. There's only that's stuck: Leesh. I'd rather you don't call me that though. Alicia works just as well.

7) Tag five blogger buddies.
I'll go with the Weekend of Awesome ladies: Erinn, Pam and Quita, Holly**, and KO.

That's it. Enjoy your fourth!



* I do listen to music all day.
** She's honorary, after all.
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Last.fm hit of the day: Slit My Wrist by Murderdolls

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cliches Are Awesome

It's Friday and in under six hours I'll be having a fantastic long weekend. Until then, you're stuck with me and my five favorite cliches.
When the general public thinks cliche, chances are they'll think a catch phrase. When I think cliche, I think things in writing. Let's count them down:

  • The dumb blonde and dumb jock. Even though they're fun to write, it's a challenge to see how far you can go with the stereotype before busting up in laughter.
  • There can be only one. Chosen one, that is. It's a convenient plot device and shows up in almost every book that has a fantastical element to it. Roland's the gunslinger. Anita has all the power. Buffy is the chosen one.
  • The love triangle. As long as it doesn't involve a questionably sparkling bloodsucker, a werewolf, and a dipshit, the love triangle is awesome. If done properly we can see multiple sides of the person stuck in the middle to help solidify which "team" you're on. However, please don't include a triangle just for the sake of triangles. There should be a reason.
But my all-time favorite cliche?
  • The bad boy. By far, the best one ever. I've blogged about it once already, but it bears repeating: I love me a bad boy. That this cliche ties into my love of sleaze rock is not a shock either, because most guys who play sleaze rock look like the bad boy. Prime example: Motley Crue. 

Head over to Paper Hangover to see what the others are saying! And don't forget to enter my Fauxmance contenst!

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Last.fm hit of the day: Winds of Change by Cinderella (another sleaze rock band)
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