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Showing posts from June, 2011

Zombie Thursday presents-- Something New! and Hellraiser, the Comic Series!

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Last week on the Facebooks, I mused that I may not write about zombies every Thursday. No one seemed to comment on this fact, except my friend Mary, so I decided that was a sign that everyone thinks it is a great idea!* Today I present a new segment in Zombie Thursdays-- 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) So today, I want to further talk about another obsession of mine. I've actually spoken about this a lot already, so it may come as no surprise when I tell you I am a huge fan of Clive Barker and, specifically, his novel The Hellbound Heart . If you are unfamiliar with this book, first I suggest that you should read it** and, secondly, you may be more familiar with it under its cinematic title Hellraiser (and the seven other movies tha

Best of June: The Dark and The Light

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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 : What's the best book you've read this month? For the record, I'm excited that this topic has come back. Like, wicked excited. Knowing this topic happens monthly, ensures I complete at least one book a month*. I gave half of the eight I read this month four stars, but there's only two I'm still thinking about. Crank by Ellen Hopkins What I liked about it: Surprising, I enjoyed the novel-in-verse format. This made for a fast, engaging read. The subject matter is handled well and I was totally rooting for Kristina throughout the novel**. After reading it, I understand why so many places ban this book. I don't agree with it, but I get where they're coming from. (That's an entirely different subj

New Feature: Things that Amuse Me

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We all have those little things on the internet that crack us up; I'm no different. There's a lot out there that gets me into a giggle fit. Things that Amuse Me will be an irregular feature where I'll share these things with you. I love new features. What can we expect? A hodge podge of things. One day it might a link, other times it might be a paragraph explaining why I laughed like a loon during Casablanca*. No matter what, it'll be something short and sweet. It'll also probably be way more insight into my brain than you need**. Are we getting one today? You bet your ass you are! Today it's all about the spoofs on the periodic table. Like this: Image courtesy of Shalotka at deviantart. Or this: Image courtesy of The Big Picture . Or this: Image courtesy of Woman's Day . What fake science-y thing amuses you? Don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance ! * True story. ** But it's my blo

Summer Excitement

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As the dreary, winterish months are my most busy, the sunshiney, summery months are my most productive. The warmth energizes me and the sun stays out way past it's bedtime. There's color and sound and overall awesome*. I'll admit it: I like the Daystar. I also like the color yellow**. Today's post isn't about confessions. It's all about what exciting things are on the summer front for yours truly now that Falling to Normal is going out for one more beta***. New projects. I mapped out two during Weekend of Awesome and I have a few more in my brain. The first order of business though is to work on something that is purely fun. Summer reads. A couple of Fridays back , I listed the books I was planning on reading this summer. Because the all had a light, summery feel, I decided I'd rock that theme as long as I'm able to****. New writing techniques. My new thing is to try a new approach with each new project. I have a copy of 90 Days to Your Nov

Kick Start Your Creative Slump!

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We all have those moments where the ideas/words/brilliance don't come. If you're like me, these times when nothing ends up on the page mean a lot of bitchy behavior until the block passes. If you're also like me, you like to expedite that process. The question is how? I've talked about this before , but that was more geared to when your brain entirely too fried to do anything. This is just about getting those juices going. Music. Sometimes a song's lyrics is all I need to get a shiny new idea. In fact, I have a few kicking around the ole noggin that have yet to be developed. Books on craft. Believe it or not, a lot of scene ideas come to me when I'm reading a how to book. When I was revising Phoenix Rising, I was also reading Writing the Breakout Novel. While the things that popped up didn't tie into what I was reading, the nonfiction allowed that other part of my brain to relax from the super tight hold it's usually in. Exercise. Not that I've

Start Summer with a Good Fauxmance

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During Weekend of Awesome, Erinn arranged a Skype chat with YA author Brendan Halpin. As I said in my WOA recap post, he was totally funny and smart. Our chat with him gave us insight on the industry we're all pushing our way into*. Talking with Brendan cemented the fact I need to read all his books. Now. Turns out I had already planned on reading Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance. I planned on it for two reasons: I loved the premise and the last book I had read of Emily Franklin (Brendan's co-conspirator co-author) I enjoyed. It's a win, right? Right. If you haven't heard of Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance, allow Goodreads to tell you all about it: Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers—known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fa

Fire!*

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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 : The house is on fire and you've only got time to grab five things. What are they? I live in a pretty questionable house that has tons of religious artifacts and questionable wiring**. Example: a lamp works where there are no outlets because it's hard-wired onto another wire. Somewhere. The grace of god is probably the only thing that keeps my house standing. So because of this, I go through periodic bouts of fire paranoia--that thing where you're convinced the house will burn down in the middle of the night***. Thanks to this, I have a plan in place. The cats. Much easier said than done, this will take the most time to do. Have you ever tried stuffing two cats into a carrier? The laptop bag. This always includes t

Boston Area Kid Lit Meet Up

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Bloggy friend Kris Asselin has organized a meet up of local kid lit writers, readers, librarians, or anyone interested in children's books. If this sounds interesting, you should come. Credit: D Sharon Pruitt I'm in. When is it? Today at 7.30 PM. Where? Paparazzi 2 Wall Street Burlington, MA  If you're a writer, this is a great way to meet other writers who write for the same audience. Even though we interact with each other over our blogs and Twitter, we need to build relationships in real life too. So, if you're interested in meeting some people who are as passionate about kidlit as you are, come to Paparazzi. Make sure you reach out to Kris first though by one of the following methods: Twitter (@KristineAsselin ) or email (krisasselin (at) yahoo (dot) com). I look forward to seeing you there! ______ Last.fm hit of the day : Nowhere by Murderdolls

We Got A Winner...

Happy Monday Lurkdom. I hope your weekend was full of awesome. The day job is extremely busy right now and due to life I didn't pre-plan any posts. This works out rather well since today I get to announce this winner of the Circa Starter Kit Giveaway. We had a total of 58 entries for this bad boy. Random.org picked the winner. *drum roll* Heather Kelly! Heather, be on the lookout from an email from me. Congratulations on winning!

The Twitter Hit List

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As I pointed out on Tuesday , I tweet a lot, so it's timely that Paper Hangover wants to know who they should follow. Below you'll find a nice mix of resources plus contributors to my 10K plus tweets. Writer Thesaurus . Angela Ackerman's other Twitter handle for sharing useful links that pertain to things like description and all kinds of sensory detail. 4KidLit . Pretty much a link aggregator, the ladies behind Adventures in Children's Publishing supply you with a constant string of useful links. Agents. There are a shit-ton out there, and if you're serious about publication, you should follow agents to get an idea of their likes, peeves, etc. Fox 25 News . When I bother to watch the news, these are the people I watch. I love their morning program. This would only work if you're from the Boston area or writing about Boston, I suppose. The Weekend of Awesome ladies. Holly Dodson , Erinn , Marquita Hockaday , Pam Harris , and KO . All of them are

Zombie Accessories Make Me Cool

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Not only are zombies just fun, they also come in handy (and not just as mindless slaves). As you all may remember, not only do I love watching zombie movies, reading zombie books, and talking about zombies, I also like to accessorize with the undead! Recently, I came to the conclusion that I what I do for a living is the thing I probably hate doing the most in the world. One of the perks of the job I dislike is some friendly stock options. Anticipating (hoping) that I may not be at this job for much longer, I decided to sell my stock. A good portion of the profits went to making my credit card debt vanish, but I also decided that I should buy myself one completely unnecessary item that I otherwise couldn't afford. Enter the Iron Fist "zombie chomper" purse and wallet! I was able to find the purse cheap online and even had a discount coupon, so that's why I went wi

It's About...

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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 : You're re-reading one of your favs when someone asks the dreaded question: "What's that book about?" Give us your best off-the-cuff blurb of any book, any genre, and have your readers try to guess the title in the comments! Oh, how I hate love a good guessing game, but I do plan on rereading it this summer, so bonus. However, we know I have issues saying what a book is about. The Weekend of Awesome girls saw this firsthand when I struggled with my elevator pitch for Phoenix Rising. Holly witnessed it when after I gave said pitch and she asked a question. My answer was "uhhhh..." In short, I never do the book justice. Oh, boo-hoo. Stop stalling. Okay, okay! In order to protect one, three 14-year

Tweet Much?

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Apparently, I do. Last week I surpassed 10,000 tweets. It's taken me over 3 years to do this, but I did. There should be some kind of award for this or something. Oh, wait. Tracey Neithercott * made me this pretty adorable award for the occasion. I'd like to thank the Academy for supply me with the technology to tweet-walk and to prattle on about The White and Stripey Ones, not to mention share the strange findings at my local grocery store. To Twitter, to being my second highest internet distraction . A major thank you also goes out to those peeps who I talk to over the Twitters. This insanely high tweet count wouldn't have happened without your support. Lurkdom, do you tweet? How often? Don't forget to enter my Circa Starter Kit giveaway . * We've also determined that we *may* have been separated at birth. There are too many similarities to ignore. _____ Last.fm hit of the day : Stuck with You by Voltaire and Amanda Palmer

Dabbling with a Shrunken Manuscript

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I finished my Mad Libs draft of Phoenix Rising in December 2009 and then let it sit for a looong time. The incubation period had nothing to do with me not loving the project, but everything to do with life and that other monster, Falling to Normal*. While I worked on Falling to Normal and then nanowrimodraft10*, Phoenix Rising percolated some more. I edited and still wasn't confident on sharing it with people. Yet. Hubby went and actually read Mad Libs draft 1.1. Much to my surprise, he even had feedback**. So I took his feedback and thought. Then, in support of procrastination, I decided I'd try doing a shrunken manuscript. A what? It's this thing I read about on Darcy Pattison's website and several other blogs. What you do is you take your project and condense it down to thirty pages. The goal is to get a visual look at the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript. I'll admit that it sounds convoluted and pretty confusing. I had to reread the directions

Five Summer Reads, One Contest

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I've never been so glad for Friday to come. This weekend promises to be a busy one filled with seeing friends, housework, and revisions on yet another WIP*. Summer makes me more productive, even if I feel like dying while I do it. Since we had our unofficial kickoff to summer almost two weeks ago, it's time to think about beach reads. You know those light books with no dark themes that you devour while you take in too much sun? The Paper Hangover peeps want to know ALL ABOUT THEM. Confession: I've only consciously picked books with summer in mind once. That was last year for the week I was at the Cape Cod version of The Real World house. This year I'm planning out the entire summer of reads, but here are my top five in cover form.   That first one, by the way? I'll be giving away later this month. However, I'm also giving something away today. During NaNoEdMo, one of my writing friends Megan had this awestome-tastic notebook she was sticking her notes i

Zombie World News

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . To be honest, I feel like a zombie today. I don't know why... change in weather? Not enough sleep? Too much sleep? The "excitement" of having to go to work in fifty minutes? I'm really just not sure. But usually when I'm feeling like this, I like to surf the interwebs for some good zombie material. Today I stumbled upon the Zombie World News website. The website is very interesting-- part news reporting, part collective writing project, part social commentary, with lots of other parts thrown into the mix. The majority of the page seems to be an archive for various news articles from around the world and chronicles the outbreak of a zombie virus known as necro-mortosis. The articles begin around 2006 (although these are back dated, the site isn't that old) with the first signs of the virus emerging in Haiti. The rest of the news stories come from diff

Ground Your Reader, or Why Storyboarding is Important

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The Room is our generation’s Rocky Horror*. It’s at best a D-List movie with horrible stock footage and acting right out of a CCD production of Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The writing is Nemesis-worthy. Basically, if The Room was being graded for actual artistic merit, it would beyond fail. However! The Room is a great learning experience. Tommy Wiseau’s “masterpiece” is a great example on what not to do in writing from character confusion, sloppy dialogue, poor pacing, and more.

Stories in Song

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Steve Almond talks about song and how it's a great way to study concise storytelling. When you think about it, it makes sense; songwriters have to do it in three minutes. Because I can, I want to share my top five* storytelling songs. As always, this isn't in any particular order and subjected to change at my discretion.

In a Word, Awesome

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This past weekend marked the first annual Weekend of Awesome. If you lurk around here or around Kat's, Erinn's, or Pam and Quita's blog you might have heard something about it*. WOA was our version of a writer's retreat. Neat. So it was a conference? No, conference and retreat are entirely different. The purpose of a retreat is to focus on getting your project worked on. We scheduled a few non-writing activities like pitch practice and movie night, but everything did focus on craft in some form or another. Which, of course, is awesome. Ah. What was the best thing about the weekend? By far it was meeting Pam, Quita, and Kat in real life. (I've met Erinn before, but it's always fun to reconnect too.) It's always great to meet my "in the computer" friends. And as I've said before, some of my greatest friendships started through the internets**. The WOA Ladies However, there was more awesomeness to be had. Four For Friday, Special Mo

Excuses to Toss Aside

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I have plenty excuses for things: exercise, legitimate blog posts, laundry. When it comes to writing, I can't think of anything though I'm sure there's something I use. *racks brain* *plays Bejeweled* If I had one excuse it involves cash. Since I'm half of the Gregoire-Poirier super force, all finances are shared. This means that even if I want to take that 10-week course on short story writing, I need to weigh it against things like bills. That's one excuse I'd love to chuck aside, but my other half might get upset. Thoughts like that are depressing, not to mention it's Friday, so let's lighten it up. Only the classics help you become a better writer. I've thrown this out long ago. You can learn just as much about pacing, conflict, and tension from novels that deal with quivering members and heaving bosoms. Bejeweled helps me brainstorm. No it doesn't, freewriting works better. There's too much TV to watch. There is, but sacri

Zombie Video Humor for the Tired Soul

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Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Oh my... sorry I missed last week, friends. I hope you didn't think my absence was due to being taken up during the Rapture, or getting killed by a bunch of crazy people at the Anime Central Convention. Unfortunately, I was just exhausted from a number of things. And also unfortunately, I'm barely struggling to hang on here. Today marks my ninth day in a row of work without any time off. Well, at least you have a job, Miranda. Some people aren't so lucky. You're correct. I am fortunate to have a job, for certain. But working almost 80 hours straight with out any days off is bad enough. Working that many days straight where I work and am constantly treated like I am a plebeian by the people of the world, it's rough on the body, mind, and soul. As such, I haven't come up with anything too clever to write about today. However, a good default is... funny videos! A

I Did It for the Accuracy

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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 : What is the strangest/weirdest thing you've ever researched? It's been established that I'm easily distracted . Even with my love of Wikipedia and the Googles, I never hop on there for hell of it. I start off with a purpose. Sometimes it's to prove Hubby wrong, like how many hits came from Bush's Sixteen Stone*. Most of the time, though, it's for research. While revising Phoenix Rising this month, I've researched the following topics: contents of an aphrodisiac behavior under the influence of ecstasy how to kill with magic** how to become a ninja*** Do you like asking Google random questions? What have you discovered? * The answer is five. ** Apparently you can only do this in Harry Potter. ***