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Showing posts from April, 2011

Friday Fives: Cover Envy

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I say this with all genuinosity, Lurkdom: THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY. It's been a high-class craptastic week for yours truly and this weekend couldn't come fast enough*. That my weekend starts in about three hours emphasizes the hooray factor. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my process for buying music is to go by the title. With books, 98% of the time my buying process is driven by the cover. If it's pretty, I'll pick it up. Other factors come into play then, but that's not what today is about. For someone who picks books based on cover art, there aren't many that I would sell my soul for. If Michael Whelan's art graces the cover, it's a safe bet that it'll catch my eye, so I've excluded him from my list and only focused on "recent" covers. All images are courtesy of Goodreads**. Cassandra Clare's City of Bones . Every time I saw the book in the store, I'd stop, stare, and pick it up. Why it took me three years t

The End of Days

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . " And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." Revelation 20:13 Recently, I have heard news reports about a group of people (led by an organization called Family Radio) who believe that "Judgement Day" will be on May 21, 2011. It is also their belief that this day will be followed by five months of torture for those on Earth and will culminate with the end of the world on October 21, 2011. During these five months, according to the book of Revelation, men will be plagued by locusts, fire, and the dead rising from their graves. "When there's no more room left in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth..." Okay... so that last quote isn't from the Bible, although many people seem to think that it is. As most horror fans will know, it actu

Songs to Write By

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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 topic : If your WIP or favorite book were music, what song(s) would it be? For my WIPs, I don't have any set songs, but more like set musical styles.When listening to music, I go for the auditory aesthetic* and less on the lyrical content. It usually takes me months (sometimes years) before I pay attention to the lyrics. For FALLING TO NORMAL, I listened to a lot of 90s rock. Even when I updated the setting to present day, the soundtrack didn't change. Candlebox and Alice in Chains will always work in Cheyenne's world, no matter what. Favorite Candlebox Song : You Favorite AIC Song** : Nutshell For PHOENIX RISING, I've been listening to a lot of atmospheric, prog rock. Don't question, because I can't explain. I've balance

Purple People Beware….He’s Hungry

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Confession: I'm a reluctant townie. I lived in the same town my entire life, not even moving away for college*. Even though I have moved four times, it was only to another section of town. That I might be permanently stuck here hasn't escaped my notice, but living here is convenient and familiar**. Not to mention filled with things that make you go "huh?"*** Even the grocery store where I shop has moments that throw me, though most of that is food related craziness. (Orange soda ice cream topping anyone?) Though today's post isn't about food. It's about this.

One of Those Days...

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It's Monday and the day job has thrown me in Excel hell. My brain is brimming with ideas for my WIP and all I want to do is go home and crank everything out. So, there's no real post today. Instead, enjoy a picture of Hubby wearing a cheeseburger on his head. Come back tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming. _____ Last.fm hit of the day : Coward by Black Light Burns

Friday Fives: Show More S

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Yours truly is working on a shortened week with way too many plot bunnies jamming up the brain space*. So hooray for Friday, Paper Hangover , and lists. You should know that I'm pretty rigid in my literary tastes**. I like non-sparkling, non-emo vampires. I prefer my preternatural beings to literally have bite. I'm not a fan of "classic literature" nor do I like books where the message bitch-slaps you across the face. If you're sending me a message, don't make it obvious. That said there are certain things I'd like to see more in fiction, but not all of these are for the greater good. (Example: One of those highlander bodice rippers should really poke fun at Highlander.) Stronger girl protagonists . Maybe it's because I went to an all girl's college, but it grinds my gears whenever there's this totally pointless, helpless whelp of a girl who does nothing but do "girly things" like cook. Oh and  that she needs the boy to save he

Zombie Hats! A Guide for our Zombie Readers

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . You asked for it... I will deliver! Actually, my friend Mary suggested a theme of "zombie hats" in her comments during our 'Race to 150' contest. I think she was just being silly, but I thought, "hey, why not?" Once I committed to humoring her, my next concern was, "will I be able to find enough information on zombie hats?" Turns out, there are lots of zombie hats in existence! Zazzle and Cafepress have tons of people who have created hats with a zombie theme. Even one hat displayed a trio of Zombie Corgi dogs! Very random... But instead of just displaying a hat you can buy online, let's discuss something academic. We all know that zombies are permanently terminated by killing the brain, usually by a shot to the head. Because zombies are so vulnerable in their heads... why is it that we don't see more zombies wearing protective head g

Kiss Comparison Checklist

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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 topic : Compare your first kiss with your favorite character's first kiss. Ugh. No matter how hard I try, I can't eradicate my first kiss entirely from my mind. That I want to should give you a hint of how not-stellar it was*. If you've been lurking for a while, you've probably picked up on the fact I was a late bloomer and that High School Alicia still pictured herself as the tragically dressed, frizzy-permed, brace-face Middle School Alicia**. Why any boy would want to kiss me was baffling. Turns out no boys did. Well, there was one. Unfortunately for me, he was also a male whore. And this is where I compare my first kiss to Georgia Nicolson's kiss with whelk boy*** by way of checklist. Coincidentally, he fell off the fac

Huzzah! The Query Letter Blogfest is Here!

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Do you know what today is, kids? The nineteenth. And while that has tons of crazy importance in a certain fictional world that involves this poem , it's also important on this plane because today's our query letter blogfest. *hands out celebratory mochas* If you've already signed up, hooray. If you haven't, there's still time. The rules: Post your query letter on your blog. Read and critique* on at least 5 other query letters. When critiquing a query, here are a few questions you should ask yourself. (Thanks to Pam & Quita for putting these up.) Tell whether or not the letter hooks you--is there a pitch line apparent somewhere through out the letter? Determine whether or not you GET what the novel is about.How is the sentence flow? Transitions?  If you were an agent--would you request pages? Why or why not? So simple, right? Let's get to it.

The Race Has Ended!

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Over in Boston-land, it's Marathon Monday where people from all over decide that running 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston makes perfect sense*. It's appropriate that the Race to 150 winners get announced today. What 120 entries looks like Through the awesomeness of Hubby, a hat, and over one hundred bitty scraps of paper, winners have been decided. Scarf Winners Erin and Debra Elliott! Handmade Critter Winner Mia! Titling Assistance**  Winner Amie Kaufman! Cupcakes of Awesome Winner Lauren! Cookie Prize Pack Winner Erinn! Divergent ARC Winner Boyu! Grand Prize Winners Shae (Zombie Survival Kit) and Glenna (Writer's Survival Kit)! Miranda or I will contact the winners shortly. Thanks to all who entered! As a reminder, tomorrow is the query letter blogfest. You still have time to sign up . * Yours truly believes marathons should be reserved for the ancient Greeks. ** Originally I wasn't going to include this, but he was so insistent aft

Friday Fives: Freaky Friday

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Freaky Friday was a book and multiple movies where a daughter and mom swap places. Hilarity and Hijinks ensure. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. So when Paper Hangover dropped this week's Friday Fives topic , all I could think was "I'm titling this bitch as 'Freaky Friday'." This is kind of hard for me since I never am like "OMG I want to be them." At least, not from what I can remember. Like, I'd never want to switch places with Roland, even if it was a good day and he was still in training. And since it's so flipping hard, I've only managed to do four. You know what that means? Four For Friday: Friday Fives Edition Georgia Nicolson . It may be the way Louise Renison wrote everything, but things in Georgia's life seem pretty wacky, which I like. And in true Freaky Friday tradition, hilarity and hijinks would go on. The Cheshire Cat . One of my favorite books and one of my favorite characters. I'd love to be a

Zombies Ahead! Be Alert!

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . It's that time of the year again-- the weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, and... road construction has started back up again. I don't know about you all, but I hate construction. Before I moved to Chicago, I was frequently making the three hour drive up to the city. But with all the stupid construction, it would turn that drive into four hours or more. It's beyond frustrating to get stuck in road work that seemingly never produces any real results. We've all experienced it-- broken up roads, shut down lanes, and endless orange cones stuck on the same stretches of road for years and years. Are they seriously working or not? I know all the road work creates jobs and stimulates the economy, and that's all great. But it sucks going at a slow crawl and never really knowing what's going on ahead. Why are we going so slow? Is there a wreck? Is

Scars of Yesterday

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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 is the story of your best scar? While I think about what scars I have and whether there's a story to go with it, I would like to direct you to the awesomeness of the internet where you can watch baby bald eagles *! So, scars.We all got them. And while I'm not ready to talk about my mother working as a lunch lady in my middle school while I was there , I suppose I can talk about something physical. Confession: I don't have many scars. In fact, there are only two I can locate: one on my wrist and one on my inner arm. I have no clue how the inner arm one happened. It was like I woke up one day and BOOM! there it was. I'm going to blame Stripey and the Claws of Death. I remember the origin of the wrist one, and

Task-Setting for Writers, Part IV: The Power of "No."

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Welcome to the final installment of Task-Setting for Writers. If you missed a week, you can read the previous three weeks here . By now it's been established that we're here because we need help getting everything done that we want to get done. Case in point, this week I spread myself too thin: date night with Hubby, the final meeting of my old crit group, my second meeting of my new one, not to mention some girl time with a bestie. Oh and probably some housework. Notice how I didn't mention anything about writing on that list*. Credit Part Four: Just Say "No" In order to achieve our goals, we have to be selfish. Sometimes. This is harder than it sounds because no one wants to be that way. It comes off sounding terrible and that we're being uncooperative. We want people to be able to rely on us, but while we're being selfless, we forget about our own needs. Coincidentally, the chronicness of saying "yes" to everything creates a lot of s

Space is Important

Welcome to a new week, Lurkdom! Unfortunately, I don't have a thought-out blog post in mind for today*. What this means for you is that I might just ramble stream-of-consciousness style**. I've been thinking a lot about the different forms of writing space. Not just where I can park my butt, but the space in my brain and also on the page. Space may be the most important tool in the writing arsenal. On the Page Remember reading that dreadfully boring history text so jammed with paragraphs, you could barely jot a note in the margin? Weren't you always exhausted afterward? It's because there was no white space. Large areas of blank page trick our eyes into thinking we're reading less***. Within a Project Seasoned writers will agree: taking a step back from a recent WIP is a good thing. It gives you perspective on what you've done. Time apart also can help figure out that niggling plot point you couldn't quite nail. Wall Space, Desk Space I'm a f

Friday Fives: Blah Blah Blah Hindsight

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So the peeps at Paper Hangover changed it up. Now we're talking about five things. So think of this as a Four for Friday with a bonus. Take copious notes at every Gregoire function as they are great fodder for character traits . Embrace technology sooner. While long-handing will always be close to my heart, there are so many more things you can do with the computer. Realize that questioning your sanity is all part of the game. You're not the only one experiencing manic upswings or dark days of the pity party. Own stock in the mood stabilizer industry. Given how we can go from "Ohmigod, I have the best idea EVAH!" to a super-emo Eeyore in hours, owning stock this way would remove the need of the day job. My ass would get larger. The deeper I dive into a project, the more committed I am to the cause. This means I leave my desk/table/bed less and exercise falls to the wayside. Don't forget to check out the other lists by heading over to Paper Hangover . A

In Response to Zombie Sex-tacular-- Why Zombies? Why Not!

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Last week's topic was essentially zombie smut (if you're over 18, feel free to go back and read it here ). One of the questions that seemed to emerge in the comments was, "how can you pull off zombie sex?" Our friends the zombies were of course compared to our friends the vampires. One reader mentioned vampires could be believable sexual objects because they can be humanized, but how could a zombie be written that way? I thought this was an interesting point, but I think the answer is quite simple-- really, the same way any non-human character is humanized. Whether it is zombies, vampires, dogs, cats, or animated toasters... we humanize non-human characters all the time. Of course, sex isn't always thrown into the mix with stories, but that brings me to what I feel is an even more pertinent question-- it's not how can you use zombies, but how can you not us

The Post that Ties Squirrels into Publishing

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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 : Assuming we make it through the 2012 apocalypse, what do you imagine the publishing world will look like 100 years from now?  Holy hand grenades! The Lurkdom grew overnight*. So hello to all who are new to The Lurkdom. Today is all about the future and what I predict. Given that when I was 6, I envisioned that by the year 2025 we would be living it up like The Jetsons... yeah . So 2111, by the miracle of science, I'll still be 29** and the world will be run under a dictatorship of squirrels. Because of their lack of reading skills***, the publishing world is in a state of chaos. The only good thing is that all reading material gets beamed directly to the brain. Coincidentally out of this chaos, we will finally stage a coup again

Task-Setting For Writers, Part III: Bargains and Compromises

Welcome to part three of task-setting for writers. You can read weeks one and two here . There are some people out there that totally own the hand-off. My experience shows this happens with managers of some sort who drop the crap tasks on their underlings/interns. But your're not here to discuss my traumatic work history. You're here because you want to know more about task-setting. Part Three: Bargain and Compromise This part should really be called asking for help when you need it. I must admit, I'm having problems writing this post. While I can write a competent task list and do multi-task somewhat efficiently, I'm not good at this bargain and compromise thing. Since Wonder Woman was my idol as a kid, I like to think I can do everything**. The key is to acknowledge you need help. It can be something as miniscule as picking up a book of stamps, but if you know someone nearby who goes to the post office every day***, why can't they pick them up for you?

Need Query Letter Help?

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In case you were wondering about Friday's post , the aliens versus paratroopers never happened*. My high school didn't excel in the "kick ass pranks" department. As it was, my graduating class thought parking someone's Jeep Cherokee on the walkway to the front of the school was clever**. But it's a new week and that means back to business. Since the 99th Page Blogfest was such a hit, Erinn , Holly , Pam, Quita , and I are joining forces again this time to bring you the query letter blogfest. Oh god, WHY? Because we like each other and query letters (like cover letters) are spawns of the devil***. Oh and, it's like the most important marketing tool in your writer arsenal. First impressions mean something for a reason. Fine. What do I have to do? You can sign up at the bottom of this post. Once the day comes, there are only two rules: post your query letter and visit at least 5 other bloggers and critique their queries. This isn't for the fain

Four For Friday

Today's the day where my gullibility gets attacked yearly. Because of that (and the fact I have some conference memos to draw up), I figured it would be good to celebrate by sharing some pranks. Four For Friday: April First Edition 1. Paper Fish. According to my 9th grade French teacher, the French like to stick cutouts of fish on each other today. That this was an actual lesson is horrific*. 2. Aliens V. Paratroopers. When I was a junior, the senior class of my high school decided to stage a battle in the cafeteria that waged on through the final bell of the day. 3. Engagement. A now former friend decided to tell everyone that she was engaged. To a coworker and not her then-boyfriend. She let this go on for about 8 hours. 4. Gift Certificates. Definitely not an April Fool's Day thing, but still a prank. For my 25th birthday, a horde of people gave me a $5 gift certificate to Bickford's each. This is due to the fact that this is what my parents gave me for th