"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, February 28, 2011


Sorry for my absence on the blogosphere this week. This cold attacked my head last Tuesday and it just doesn't seem to get the hint that I want it to go away! Usually I can kick a cold in a couple days, but ... this one is particularly stubborn.

But you didn't come over here to listen to me moan about my nose.

No! You came for some writerly stuff!

The critique last week went really well. I got a lot of super helpful feedback. And it was completely overwhelming.

I came home, stowed away the written responses, and proceeded to hide from my WIP for the rest of the week. Which meant that I basically didn't write anything, breaking my 100WAD pledge, which made me feel bad, but didn't keep me from making excuses.

Then, on Friday, I got a lovely e-mail from my CP. It's kind of creepy how Lindsey knew that I needed a kick in the pants. She totally didn't even mention the fact that I wasn't writing, but it was in the subtext (or maybe that was just me) and she oh-so-subtly reminded me that FEBRUARY ENDS ON MONDAY!

Which means it's time for us to exchange stuff again.


Now here's where it gets creepy cool and where I realized, once again, that Lindsey and I were practically designed to be CPs.

Lindsey told me that, based on comments she'd received from me and her sisters and on thinking and pondering she had done, she realized that the best thing to do would be to rework the beginning before she moves on.

At the SAME TIME I was realizing that, based on the fiction workshop critique and thinking and pondering I had done, I needed to rework the beginning before I move on much further.

Spooky, right?!

The biggest comment I received was that no one knew how old my main character was and that based on the first 2 pages, everyone thought they talked like middle school kids (I totally don't see that, but SO many people agreed. Which is the point of writer's groups, I guess - to see what you don't) but then thought the characters acted like they were in high school or college. So I need to establish their ages and characters first to show why they goof around and sometimes talk like middle schoolers.

I jump straight into the fantasy world, but the suggestion was made to establish the real world first, which would help to frame the characters and their lives, before we get to the castle and the faeries and the vampires.

so I've spent the last few days researching Germany and youth hostels and culinary schools and stuff.

Lesson: don't try to short cut. It doesn't work. I jumped right into fantasy world so I wouldn't have to do all this research. That was effective.

But the good thing is that I'm learning this NOW and now after I've rewritten the whole thing, so I can whack and fix and add and delete before I carry on and the story will be much better for it.

How about you? Ever had to change the beginning when you really wanted to just keep plugging away at the middle?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cold Zone

I had half a Retail Wednesday post all ready to go, but then a cold attacked my face and I couldn't finish it. Maybe I'll post it tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the following as a token of my affection:

Funny Picutres - WTF Owl Gifs

Funny Pictures - Squirrel, Bear Stuffs

funny pictures - A  depressed  jus  hit  me.  Needs  a  cumfy,  cuddel  an  catnip.  Pleeze  tu  gib  me?

*mwah* See all y'all later!

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Then Came the Critique

Rewriting a book is HARD.

Okay, so maybe that's kind of an obvious statement.

I thought I got all the pantsing out of the way during NaNoWriMo. Um, yeah. Apparently not.

The event that was supposed to be the climax of the novel has suddenly become the conflict and turning point, which means that all the stuff that was supposed to happen in the sequel has to be reworked and reconsidered, because it has to happen now.

Don't even ask me how that happened. Because I have no idea.

But it's kind of exciting, because I feel like the story is going to be much better now!

In other crazy exciting news, I got my first official critique back a couple of weeks ago. Having a Crit Partner is pretty much the best thing ever. Especially a CP that you can e-mail with any and everything, be honest with, make Clue jokes with, and keep discovering that you have more and more in common with.

Lindsey and I kind of fell into this together, both thinking that it would be fun/ challenging/ good/ encouraging/ incentive to take the journey of writing a novel together. We set a deadline of the end of the month for exchanging sections and did our first critique at the end of January/beginning of February.

As Lindsey said in her post, critiquing someone is HARD WORK. You're trying to balance suggestions, grammar stuff, and positive comments (which was pretty easy, because I loved her turns of phrase and the concept behind the story). You're trying to be helpful, but not too critical, but not too nice, because she asked me to whack it apart if I needed to. Talk about a brain twister.

But I think (hope) that I was helpful and I found her comments so helpful in doing revisions on my own story. I feel like we get each other and that we understand each other's stories and I'm really excited to think about how much better we'll get at supporting, encouraging, and critiquing each other.

In more terrifying news, tonight my first three chapters get workshopped in my Fiction Writing grad class. Getting comments from one person is one thing. Having your work hashed out in class by some strangers (and some friends) while you have to sit there silently is something completely different.


But I want this story to be the best it can be so I say... bring it on.

Even though tonight I'll probably be hiding under my covers avoiding my WIP.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not a Retail Wednesday. But fun to be had nonetheless

HI Everybody! I had such a randomly good day yesterday, an amazing night's sleep and I am so ready to attack the world!
funny pictures - Today is a good day... ...even the sunshine smells good.

But then I remembered that today was Wednesday and I kind of freaked out over the fact that I have no new stories for Retail Wednesday, since meetings at school required me to not work this past week *shakes fist of fury*

But then I saw this blogfest was going on and I thought it would be a lot of fun! So, go check out Nicole Ducleroir's post if you want to join in! I made it at the last minute, so you could too (I suppose, you'd really have to double check with her, but she's not the type to leave people out)

And since I didn't do a Writerly Monday, I figured why not keep the weekly mix up streak going.

But first, a little random, because I know you expect it on Wednesday
Funny Pictures - Surprise Giraffe

So the point of the blogfest is to fill out the following questionnaire so we can all get to know each other a little better. And what could be more fun than learning more about our bloggy buddies? Here we go!

  1. What is your favorite word? Oh man, this totally changes. I love the word HENCEFORTH. No idea why, I just like to say it. Also sesquipedalian is totally one of my favorite words of all time. Because it means a lover of big words and it's a giant word and it makes me smile.
  2. What is your least favorite word? taxes. (can you tell it's January? I mean February? I mean, the time of year when we have to file taxes?) No, but seriously, I really don't like profanity. It drives me crazy. I don't use it, I have learned to block it out, but I don't like it (Wow, that was maybe a little too blunt. But it's true, so.... um. yeah. Y'all know I love you and your blogs.)
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? A really good story. Whether in a book, short story, tv show, movie, song. I love a proper story (usually with a happy ending) Something that moves me and usually if it makes me cry, whether with happiness or sadness, it makes a much longer lasting impact.
  4. What turns you off? gratuitousness. Whether violence, adverbs, whatever. Use something too much and for no reason and it drives me up the wall.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? See #2. But I do find ways to relieve my excitement or irritation, I just like to get creative with it. My favorite expression right now, which I actually used in class and got a lot of strange looks over is: What the Hay Bale! <--now come on, isn't that more entertaining than a standard curse word?
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Laughter. Laughing makes me laugh, which tends to make other people laugh, which in turn makes me laugh more, which makes other people laugh - it's a vicious and hilarious cycle. A group from our church went to see this comedian, Tim Hawkins. Funniest guy ever. My sister and I do full body laughing where we literally double over and kind of rock back and forth. Well, we were doing it in unison and the people from our group that sat behind us were laughing more at Naomi and me than at the comedian at times. True story.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? Arguing. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to hear other people arguing (note to self: why doesn't this keep you from arguing, you toadstool?). I usually have to leave the area. I mean real out and out arguing, not playful banter arguing or fake arguing.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? My greatest dream, if I wasn't doing what I'm doing, is to be a Muppeteer. Dead. Serious. I grew up doing muppet puppets with my parents and our church. We've performed at local schools, community events, church events. I love it. I think it's so much fun and I would love to work with the Muppet team. Love. It.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Nursing. Totally not my cup of tea. I really don't think I could handle it in anyway. And also, I really don't like science, so that adds to my lack of interest.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Well done, good and faithful servant
So, there you have it. Maybe more about me than you ever wanted to know. I guess I went the honest route and not the goofy route... Can't wait to get around to some of y'all's blogs and find out more about you! Woohoo! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ahem. Palatable.

I know it's supposed to be Writerly Monday, but I have been swamped this week.

Besides, today is S.A.D. aka Singleness Awareness Day aka Valentine's Day.

So I've decided to opt for something different and FUN and totally shallow*. But I will tie it in to writing somehow...

I love a good character, but I especially love a good male tv character. I'm not one to moon over/crush on actors or other famous people. But I totally crush on characters, because for me, the biggest thing that makes a guy ... palatable or not is his attitude and behavior. Totally. And watching them helps me to write them.

So here is my second list of


In no particular order and usually based on tv shows/movies that I have recently been obsessed with.

*Hey, I only do one totally shallow post a year, so come back later for the intellectual stuff.

Nick from "When in Rome" which is one of my favorite movies from last year. I actually went to see it in the theatre, which I RARELY do with romcoms, and I fell in love with it. So. Cute.

 The Tenth Doctor... David Tennant=genius

Chandler Bing. Classic. And surprisingly difficult to find a good picture of. Where is the Chandler love?! And how absolutely thrilled am I to see Matthew Perry return to tv? Mr. Sunshine's debut totally cracked me up.

Xander Harris. Especially after this magnificent speech in S7. Caution, mild spoilers in the video. But I watched it like 3 seasons ago and it made me even more invested in the characters, so...

Damon Salvatore. Perfect proof that it's the character that gets me, not necessarily the actor or the appearance. Hated Boone on Lost. Okay, maybe disliked is a better term. But Damon? Seriously. Best reason to watch Vampire Diaries. And after reading Kiersten White's recap I will forever talk about "Damon Eye Thing."

Topher Brink from Dollhouse. I watched this show streaming on NetFlix (my BFF) both seasons in about 2 weeks. Joss Whedon is my hero. I loved Topher from the beginning even though you really shouldn't. And then... well. Spoilers people. Seriously. Go watch this show. It will blow your mind. And you get to see this adorable face...

Richard Castle. All right. I know I said no particular order, but I had to leave this for last because, as much as I adore Castle, I have to admit that Nathan Filion is kind of the only actor I totally could crush on. I have loved everything I've seen him in. Everything. And I've heard personal stories from people who have attested to the all around goodness of the actual person. Win. Just total win.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Retail Wednesday with a BONUS!

It's that day again. Time for me to get my snark on and share with the world some of the more interesting requests and events of my last week in retail :D

Irony Award:

A woman came to the desk and asked if we had a specific book. I knew we did, so I started to lead her toward the section. She thanked me profusely and said she hadn't been able to find it anywhere else. As I was handing her the paperback copy of the book she had asked for, she gestured toward the information desk where we have our e-readers on display and asked:

"So, is the whole store going digital?"
Found HERE
It's all gone digital - see the book flying back onto the shelf?!
In a very worried tone. I assured her that we were going to keep carrying books and that I didn't think they were going away for a long time.

Okay, so I know that this is a really hot topic and that some people are very anti-e-reader and that digital books are taking off. But my inner snark found it absolutely hilarious that she should ask the question in that particular way AS I was handing her a bound book she hadn't been able to find elsewhere.

Found HERE
Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with the story,
but it was too hilarious NOT to share!
Strangest Request Award:

A man was sitting at the information desk, browsing through the catalog. I asked if there was anything that I could help him with and he said no, the things he wanted needed to be ordered. I explained our shipping policy and told him to let me know if he had more questions and moved on to the next customer. About twenty minutes later, as I was working on a project, he approached me.

Man: I tried looking in the section for other books, but I can't find anything on the topic.

Me: What are you looking for?

Man: Well, I checked in science, but I can't find any books on oxygen.

Me: What kind of book do you need?

Man: Just a book about oxygen.

Me: Like the element? Or like absorbing oxygen (thinking maybe a health book)

Man: No, just about oxygen itself.
Found HERE
Again, not sure what this has to do with anything,
But what does a PIRATE have to do with OXYGEN?
Maybe that's why the guy needed a book
To answer these burning questions!


There is an elderly man that lives just down the street from our church. My dad and brother were helping him to de-ice his driveway and porch.

As my dad is standing on the porch in his bright purple snowmobile suit, chipping away at the ice, a woman driving by stops suddenly and starts yelling out her window.

Woman: Excuse me.

Dad: (not realizing that she is talking to him)

Woman: (irritated) Excuse me!

Dad: I'm sorry?

Woman: There is ice on the road at the corner. (waves back the direction she came)

Dad: I'm sorry?

Woman: There's ice on the road at the corner and I just almost skidded on it.

Dad: ...

Woman: Well, someone needs to take care of it.

Dad: I'm sorry, I'm just helping a neighbor clear some ice. I don't do anything with the roads.

Woman: It's a hazard. Someone needs to clear the ice there.

Dad: I don't even live here. I don't work for the county or anything.

Woman: Well, if you're not going to do anything about it, then you need to call someone who will. (closes her window and squeals away).
Objects With Faces - Angry Noodle Demands Explanation

Aren't people hilarious!?

And I'm out! As one of my colleagues says, Peace out, cub scouts!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Thirteenth Tale; or Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

Since I have such a long commute, I started pulling out my audiobooks again. This way I can read while driving and get to some of the books I want to read, but don't have time to physically pick up the book and get through it.

I haven't had a chance to get to the library, and I don't have the ability to do the whole audible.com thing right now, so I perused my shelves for something to re-listen to. I started with The Secret Garden, which I haven't read in ages. I love these classic children's tales so much.

Finished that one in less than a week, so I grabbed The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield next.

This has become one of my all time favorite books. I've read it once and this is the second time I'll be listening to it. I also had the good fortune of winning a copy from Hannah during her creepy story competition. (Hannah isn't creepy. Much. And the competition wasn't creepy, the story we had to write was supposed to be creepy. Just to clarify)

(by the way this is my lame, I have too much to do, so I'll cop out and use quotes for my Writerly Monday post)

As I've been listening, there are a couple of quotes that I was dying to share with someone, but I couldn't, because I was driving, so I couldn't even TWEET them. This was agony, so I decided to do a post and share some of my favorites with you.

"When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed,
don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid.
What you need are the plump comforts of a story.
The soothing, rocking safety of a lie."

Talk about truth. How many of us write or read for just this reason? One of my all time favorite quotes is from L. M. Montgomery's Emily Climbs (sidenote, if you are a female and a writer, you need to read these books. I adore them more than I can ever say. In fact, just read everything Montgomery ever wrote. You will be INSPIRED. But that's food for another post)

"I shall always end my stories happily.
I don't care whether it's 'true to life' or not.
It's true to life as it should be
and that's a better truth than the other."

Which brings me to another quote from The Thirteenth Tale.

"Of course all stories have beginnings, middles and endings;
it is having them in the right order that matters."

This quote stuck out at me, because I have recently been reading a number of "modern" novels for my grad classes. And I really don't care for them. Why? Because they don't begin at the beginning, follow through the middle, and stop at the end.  Call me a traditionalist or a romantic, but I want a story (99.9% of the time) that has a happy ending. I like some tragedies, I understand the effect, blah, blah, blah. But if I am reading a book, I want to escape from my reality. I have enough annoyance and pain in my own reality (though considerably less than many people, I know - I'm blessed) that I don't need to visit someone else's, suffer through everything with them, and then have a crummy, depressing ending. Maybe everything doesn't work out all happily-ever-after in real life.

All the more for it to happen that way in a story.

There are other quotes I wanted to share as well, but of course I can't find them now that I'm flipping through the book. But I think I've meandered on long enough anyways.

How about you? Do you like a realistic story? Or a happy ending? Or both? Any favorite writing quotes you want to share?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Super Bowl Ode

I had to share this, because I randomly thought of it the other day and I thought y'all might get a kick out of reading it.

I wrote this when I was about 12 years old.

"Super Bowl Blues"
When the Super Bowl comes 'round
I hear a happy sound
As all the football fans
Get out their soda cans.
But I don't give the teams a care
Instead I breathe a little prayer
(I hope it's not a crime)
That this game does not go into overtime!

Thank you, thank you. Please hold your applause and enjoy the game (or not) :D

Friday, February 4, 2011


I really wanted to do a post today, but I don't have time to do the one I planned on doing.

So I thought I would type "random" into google images and see what came up.

umm... random...

Maybe you'll get some inspiration, or laughter, or maybe absolutely nothing :D

Just the title made this one for me
What the hay bale?!
random graphs are ALWAYS useful
and this is a random shirt. I kind of want it.
SO. Cute.
I think I want to live here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finding Myself In Retail Again

Happy Wednesday all!

Well, we survived the ice/snowpocalypse and didn't even lose power (yet) and hopefully won't. It seems to have stopped precipitating and I really hope it doesn't start up again.

I'm the geek that doesn't want classes to be canceled. Again.

Now that I've bored you with random information, on to the awards!

My Bad Award:

A gentleman approached me and asked for help finding a book on musicians.

Me: Is there a particular book that you're looking for?

Man: Yes, I want a book that lists the top rock artists.

Me: Okay, sure. That would be back in media.

Man: But I want one that only lists the dead ones.


Man: You know, like an encyclopedia of dead rock stars. I have one that lists a bunch of different people, but I want one with more information.

Me: I don't think I've ever seen anything like that (I point to a rock encyclopedia) We have a few things like this, but I'm not familiar with anything just with dead ... ones.

Man: Well, I'll just look around and see if I can find anything.

Me: All right (to myself: WEIRDO)

Then I help some other customers and then get called up for register backup. The gentleman gets in line and happens to come to my register. Guess what he found?

Okay, so I don't know everything. But honestly, that is a WEIRD BOOK.

Phone Freak Award:

I answer the phone.

Guy: I was wondering if you had the new Wimpy Kid book.

Me: We have the one that just came out, the purple one.

Guy: No, I have that one, I want the new one.

Me: The purple one is the newest one.

Guy: Well, I want to pre-order the new one.

Me: They haven't released a title or date for the next one.

Guy: Well, can you call me when it comes out?

Me: I can't do a reserve, because it isn't in our system yet. The last one just came out about a month ago, so it will be at least six months or maybe even a year before they put out another one.

Guy: When will you know?

Me: I don't know. That's all based on the publisher. They have to tell us and I don't have any idea when that will be.

Guy: Well can you call me when you find out?

Me: I don't have any way of putting your information in for a book that isn't in our system. You can call back in a few months and see if we've heard anything.
funny pictures of cats with captions

Guy: When should I call back? Next week?

Me: No, it'll probably be a few months before we hear anything and I don't even know if we will.

Guy: So I should call back in February?

Me: It's going to be a while before we'll know anything.

Guy: Well when will you know?

Me: I don't know when we'll know (I'm feeling rather existential)

Guy: So I can call back in February?

Me: You can call back whenever, I just don't know if we'll know anything by then.

Guy: All right, thank you.

And I'm out for the week! Thank you, thank you very much!