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Showing posts from November, 2010

Scary Generic Holiday Presents

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Today was going to be about life after NaNoWriMo, but my attention span is short and this just couldn't wait. People are hip-deep into holiday shopping for family, friends, and the random client that spent a butt-load of cash with your company in the past year. Shopping for the acquaintance/client is usually the hardest AND easiest person to shop for. If they're female, you'll no doubt go toward bath products, scented candles, or picture frames. If they're male, it usually involves liquor. Sometimes though, you want to break the mold and still look awesome. This is when the foodstuffs come into play (fruit baskets, cheese, chocolate covered pretzels are prime examples.) Whatever you do, please don't gift this. This frightening ensemble is from The Popcorn Factory's Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit . Fortunately, you're responsible for decorating your own balls so they might not look as horrifying as The Vampire Panda ball*. The item description hints that

Yuletide Away!

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I'm writing this post while waiting in line at the Christmas Tree Shop. It's sort of appropriate since we're officially in the holiday season. You know what that means. Tacky Christmas is here! *Updated!* If you lurked last year, you might remember my love for the tackiness Christmas brings. Horrible light displays, scary Santas, and tinsel. This year is no different as you can see from the reindeer inappropriately cozening up to an unsuspecting snowman. Lurkdom. Tacky. Christmas. Send me pictures of light displays in your area. Please. If I love it, I'll feature you and your picture on the blog. There might even be a prize like chocolate or coffee. ____ Last.fm hit of the day: The Legend of John Henry's Hammer by Johnny Cash

Four For Friday

This is it, kids: the final weekend to play catch up on your NaNoWriMo word count. Even if you're wicked behind, it can be done*. Without any more bullshit, I present to you... Four For Friday: Win NaNoWriMo Edition Word sprints. This may sound lame to some, or as Hubby calls it "extremely nerdy," but sprints are a great way to up your word count. By using a time or an online stopwatch, you can challenge yourself to beating your personal best in 15 and 30 minute writing sprints**. Writing Marathon. The Boston region already did their 24 hour traveling write in, but that doesn't mean you can't do your own. Load up on the caffeine and set up a good playlist and write until dawn breaks again. Alcohol. Not only can you become a raging jackass, you can push out that shitty draft in record time. Since boozing it up lowers your inhibitions, it also silences your internal editor***. Excessive and needless dialogue. There's nothing that fills up space more than di

The Great Zombie Food Debate

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Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Happy Thanksgiving to the Lurkdom! Last year I was very pleased to bring you all a blog about why a zombie would choose brains to eat. If you have just recently joined us, go check out last year's Thanksgiving Edition! Okay, now that you have caught up with me and have learned why brains are potentially the best diet for a zombie, let's chat about something that's been bothering me when it comes to the food of the undead. ***Warning, this post contains a few spoilers for the film Survival of the Dead . You have been warned.*** Zombies are terrifying. Horrifically so. I've challenged you all before to take a moment and try to imagine your life during the zombie apocalypse. Picture having the undead swarming around you or your home. You don't know where they have come from, why they are reanimated, how they're walking around... the one thing that you

Best Book of November

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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 question : What was the best book you read this month? November was an upgrade from October where I read a whopping one--yes, one--book. This month, I finished two. *throws confetti* Out of those, The Digital Plague was the best. It's the second book in the Avery Cates series and when I had finished the first one during last year's NaNoWriMo, I got all fangirly and pretty much forced the book down Hubby's throat*. So reading the sequel during November worked for me. Blurb from Goodreads: Avery Cates is a very rich man. He's probably the richest criminal in New York City. But right now, Avery Cates is pissed. Because everyone around him has just started to die - in a particularly gruesome way. With every moment bringing the human race

Giving Thanks

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Thanksgiving is this week, a time when people get together and eat way too much food with family that they may or may not enjoy hanging out with for prolonged periods of time. It's a day chock full of football and it's the official kick off to the holiday season. Gas stations will jack up the price of gas and a lot of people will be in the air. Credit (minus rainbows and lollies). If you grew up in the U.S., you learned all about the Plymouth and how badly the pilgrims were in over their head. You learned that the local Indians* helped them that first year. Supposedly they had this nice happy feast after harvest, blah blah blah. There were rainbows in the sky and everyone was full of free love and had lollipops. Actually, that last part might be more awesome if historically accurate. Besides these things, what is Thanksgiving really? The nice folks at dictionary.com define thanksgiving as "the act of giving thanks, especially to god." This totally explai

In Which We See in a Squirrel's Brain

Welcome to the shortest week of the month, which also happens to be the busiest for me since Hubby's birthday is right around the corner. You're blowing us off today, aren't you? Sort of. You suck. Wait! I have a video for you. It further proves that there is a squirrel revolution on the rise. Let me present Exhibit C on the case of squirrels as villians--Foamy the Squirrel.   ______ Last.fm hit of the day : Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison

PSA Interlude: On First Drafts

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Happy Friday, Lurkdom! I hope you all have splendiferous plans for the weekend. I'm going to continue to work on my word count and ponder the writing life *. I've been thinking a lot about first drafts. For the last two years, my writing group has been critiquing Nemesis' sophomore effort--a novel of undetermined genre or target audience. This past Wednesday marked the review of his final chapters** for submission. There's not much nice to say about Nemesis' writing***. It's not stellar, it's not mechanically sound, and the plot is thinner than gruel. I spend a good chunk of my critting time yelling at the page (and not in a good way) and tweeting comments about what I'm reading. Wednesday wasn't any different. In fact, it was worse. As I read chapter 35A, I grew more and more enraged. Pages of pointless backstory. No action. No dialogue. More repetition than Groundhog Day. Nothing happened. I read ten pages of straight telling. I had enough.

Happy Anniversary to Zombie Thursdays!!

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Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . That's right!!! Today is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY for my Zombie Thursday editions here at Slice of the Blog Pie! What started off as a silly joke with Alicia and me being a huge dork has blossomed into (almost*) fifty-two awesome entries full of zombie lovin'! I think I'm taking a page out of Alicia's book and my job is kicking my ass a bit this week (I was just transferred, period of unrest and instability blah blah blah...), so I don't have a kick ass entry other than to tell you all how much I appreciate you sticking with us this past year and hopefully I have another fifty-two zombie themed blogs in me. And of course a super huge special thank you to Alicia for allowing me to do this every week and giving me the opportunity to write again. I appreciate it more than she could know! So, at least for the next few weeks, I do have some things planned, incl

The 24 Hour Vacation

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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 question : In Like Mandarin , the first line reads: "The winds of Washokey make people go crazy." Tell us about a time you did something completely crazy. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not the type of girl who goes all out and does something crazy. I like to be in control and know what's going to happen. Something about anxiety issues. With this in mind, it shouldn't come to a shock to The Lurkdom that any wild and crazy shenanigans are semi-thought out. When I was still entrenched in my Aerosmith contract , I spent a lot of time watching Draw The Line, the Aerosmith tribute band that's actually endorsed by Aerosmith. I also spent a lot of money and time on Aerosmith, as you know. What you probably don't know is that I

How Do You Find the Time?

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More than once this year I've said, "There needs to be 4 more hours in the day." I think it's a valid statement. Lately there isn't enough time to get everything done. The 9-5 job has priorities on top of priorities and even those shove out more priorities. When I'm not at work, I have to decide what to focus on: querying, editing, writing, reading, exercising, blah blah , bitch, whine, moan. Basically, life has exploded. Predictably, like this: Credit I know I'm not the only one who has been feeling a push-back and I know there are people out in The Lurkdom who have a hell of a lot more on their plate than I do*. Not to mention, it's November, which usually signals the start of craziness for everyone on this side of the globe. Because of this, I've been thinking a lot about time management, or more specifically, my lack of it. There should be a formula to help prioritize because that's harder to do than it looks. Our brains should

Pulling Out the Funny

If you stalk me on Twitter, you won't be surprised to learn that work has kicked my ass and it's only Monday. Fortunately for me, I have a very nice husband who likes to talk. That's right, Lurkdom. Hubby's at the controls today.... COMEDY INSPIRATION (HOW A NEWS ARTICLE BECOMES A JOKE WHICH BECOMES A BIT) I was asked to guest write today because someone has too much to do to keep in touch with you, her loyal fans. I was given a few ideas on what to write, but I figured that I would use this time with you to give you an insight into some of the strange ways a stand-up comedian (me) finds inspiration, sometimes in the most mundane of places, and hopefully you will all find some way to use this info in your writing. What I am aiming to do is to take you on a brief journey into how I came up with a 72 second bit (yes I timed it) from a news article headline, without using any part of the headline. You will all see a little window into my head, which I want to apolo

Best. Advice. Ever.

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Everyone in The Lurkdom has received some form of advice over the years: boring, needless, obvious, or otherwise just stupid. Yours truly isn't the exception. I've heard advice that I could have gone without knowing*. My favorite piece however, I received from an acquaintance in high school. Think about it. What's the best piece of advice you've gotten? * Like which performance enhancer is best to use. Thank you, but no. ______ Last.fm hit of the day : Friday I'm in Love by The Cure

"The Dead Have Spread!" or The Walking Dead Mania

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Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . By now, hopefully it is no surprise that the premier of AMC's new show, The Walking Dead , was NOT a flop. In fact, the first episode which aired on Halloween 2010 received the highest ratings for any show ever on AMC. Not only that, but the execs at AMC are stating that the series has the highest ratings EVER in the coveted 18-49 year old viewer demographic, meaning that more people in that age category tuned in to watch The Walking Dead than ANY SHOW EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION. Those are some pretty big statistics! It should also be no surprise that the series has already been renewed for a second season... even though a smart viewer would have already guessed that based on the Halloween premier-- AMC was holding a contest to win a walk on zombie role for a series that had already filmed all of its episodes... hmmmm... Now, I don't want to get distracted with m

Bring on the Bad Boys

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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 question : What are your favorite literary cliches? The 9-5 job is (again) kicking my ass, so I only had time to think up one-- The Bad Boy. I've been intrigued with the bad boy since the world got introduced to Dylan Mckay back when pegging your jeans was still in style*. They're mysterious, potentially dangerous, and everyone judges them based off of a few key facts or rumors. What people don't know is that even they externally scream "BAMF!" they have a heart of gold. In order to be a Bad Boy, the character should have one or more of the following characteristics : Rides a motorcycle Has a dysfunctional family where at least one parent has a drinking problem Smokes Smolders. A lot. Has anger issues Detention or suspensio

What NaNoWriMo Is and Isn't

Everyone by now knows about NaNoWriMo, and, while having a working knowledge of what it is, you still might not know what it is. Miranda, for example, doesn't know*. NaNoWriMo Is... ...a great way to get yourself into the habit of writing daily. Even if you only manage 10 minutes each day, the important thing is the habit. ...helpful in completing that shitty first draft . It's a right of passage. Trust me, I'm a non-professional. ...useful in figuring out your backstory. A lot of times you need to know where you came from before you know where you're going. What better way to make that word count than writing backstory? ...a tool that can shut off your internal editor. Only if you choose. I know plenty of people who keep their editor on at all times. If I did, I'd be somewhere around 1,000 words. makes you accountable and also motivates! In order to win, you need to complete at least 50 thousand words. You have to verify them. If you have other friends on

The Eater's Guide to NaNoWriMo

After an extremely shaky start, I'm *just* ahead of my writing schedule at fourteen thousand and something words. This one is more difficult to create as opposed to it's precursor, but I'm not focusing on that today. Today is all about WriMo fuel. In order to push through your first draft*, your brain to needs to be firing on all cylinders. If it's not, bad things happen: you write "SOMETHING IMPORTANT HAPPENS HERE," you decide watching a marathon of Cake Boss is a high priority, or you have narcoleptic naps**. These things shouldn't happen daily. Once and a while, yes, but if you find these more appealing than focusing on the task at hand, maybe you need something to jolt you into progress. Without further to do, I present... The Eater's Guide to NaNoWriMo Caffeine . It IS your best friend for November. It keeps your going much later than you would on just water or herbal tea alone. Energy drinks fall into this category too. Chug one of those

Some of the Best Bathroom Graffiti Around

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Welcome to the weekend, Lurkdom. I'm busy--too busy to even blog properly. Guess what that means? Four For Friday: Bathroom Stall Edition* Wednesday found me staring at some of the most entertaining bathroom graffiti I had seen in a while. This being the case, and because I love you all, I took pictures of my stall. Very dramatic, indeed. In green it reads "Voldemort has returned." The red PS reads "Pretty sure I'm an alcoholic." What was the best bathroom graffiti or art you've seen (or done)? * Not as awful as it sounds. ______ Last.fm hit of the day : Bother by Stone Sour

Zombie Thursday Double-shot: For the Half-Pints

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As I said on Monday, one of the besties is having her second child this month. The baby came into the world last night. That's great. What does this have to do with zombies? I knew you were going to ask that. See, I was window-shopping for baby clothes*... And found these! All can be purchased at My Baby Rocks . Miranda will be back later on if she can resurrect herself from her deathbed. I'll be back tomorrow. What's the awesomest baby outfit you've seen? Give links. * No, Family. This doesn't mean I'm pregnant. It's for the bestie. ____ Last.fm hit of the day : I'm Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys

If I Were King of the Forest...

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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 question: If you were made supreme ruler of the publishing world, what would be your first ruling? I already have plans for when I'm overlord and this would include the publishing world by default. That said, I can totally get on board with rules for each, but there isn't any need. Rule One: You don't talk about Fight Club. Sorry! I was referencing the wrong rule book. *a hem* Rule One: All chocolate is calorie free. Oh, what? That's not a legitimate publishing rule? *points finger* I'm the overlord, not you. My word is law. Oh. It isn't? I'm just figurehead there? Doh. Hmmm... Let's try this again. Rule One: All agencies accepting queries will send some kind of response. Because, let's face it. It's bett

Not a Legitimate Post

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If you're reading this, that means two things: Your internet is working. I've managed to blog. Sadly, it's not a real post. Something called the day job has handed my ass to me on a stack of emails platter. Instead, enjoy a picture of these happy little scarecrows. Current NaNoWriMo word count : 4,017 words*. What is yours? * Yeah, my day off didn't yield shit. ______ Last.fm hit of the day: Rose by A Perfect Circle

Let the Insanity Begin!

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We've changed calendar pages, which only means it's now November and it's NaNoWriMo time! What does this mean for you? Today I'm taking a blog holiday to make sure that I get as much writing in as possible*. November marks the start of the busy season for me (which doesn't end until March) and this year isn't any exception. Hubby and I actually have Thanksgiving plans, a friend from NJ is coming up for a weekend, and one of the besties is having her second child. So yeah, the need to crank the words out is pretty hardcore right now. What does this mean for the blog schedule?  Nothing. I've now hit a year of solid blogging, which surprises the hell out of me. Is there anything specific I should expect from you? A lot of caffeinated rambling and a lot of quick posts since the 9-5 job is consistently kicking my ass these days. I have some ideas for blog entries and hope to actually manage writing them. If I was smart, I would have spent the entire we