Friday, October 28, 2011

angst-baking, nano, and youtube {oh my}.

So, I did that whole "sick" thing this past week. Great fun. I did not sleep AT ALL last Friday night, which I'm sure didn't help. I never got tired enough to even try. Bizarre. As you may know, I've had a lot on my mind. You know how stuff is, and how it always comes in threes {or, in my current case, fives}. At four in the morning last Saturday, after I stopped trying to sleep, something happened for the first time since college... or perhaps ever.

I angst-baked.

Flourless peanut butter cookies. Yurm. Want the recipe?

Mine did not look like this.

1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of white sugar
1 egg

Mix it all together, spoon out your dollops, hashtag those puppies with your fork, and bake for 8 minutes. At least, that's what the website said to do. Methinks I should have left mine in for about 10. They ended up tasting like hot dough in cookie shapes. Granted, I have never had a successful solo cooking experience in my life {not counting spaghetti, microwave meals, or frozen pizzas}. So, for me? They were awesome.

Speaking of insanity {weren't we?}, I have decided that I absolutely must participate in NaNoWriMo, regardless of these things:

1. I will be in New York the first weekend of the month, and at camp the third.
2. I have no basis for the story, other than two characters and a vague idea.
3. I will have rehearsals to go to almost every night {oh yeah, I got into a play}.
4. My best friend has a brain tumor.*
5. I have a perfectly good WiP that does not deserve to be abandoned any further.
6. This thing freaking starts in four days.
7. Coffee is expensive.

*Remember the health issue I mentioned a few weeks ago? This is that. I've been not-saying-anything for a while, and it's been eating at me. If you don't want to read about Katie's grade II astrocytoma, I apologize in advance for the inevitability of my posting about it. I know I'll feel A LOT better if I can be open with you all.

On the flipside, here are the reasons *why*:

1. I have confidence that I'll be able to make up for lost words, before and after these trips.
2. I'm sure I have more of a basis than I realize, and I love what I do have.
3. Rehearsals don't start until 7:30.
4. Katie wants me to got for it.
5. My perfectly good WiP has been giving me the evil eye.
6. I'm {mostly) a pantser... why should I worry? I'll wing it, after all.
7. Tea is less expensive, and we have plenty of it.

As stupid as this endeavor sounds, in light of everything else that's going on, I can't help but be excited. Oh, the sweet release of going into another world. I sure could use more of that.

In keeping with the incoherent nature of this post, here's a music video. I've loved this song for years, but never saw the video {the wonderful, delightful video} until this week. I forget about things like YouTube. What a weirdo I am {and thanks, Katie, for finally getting me to watch it}.

Love to all! Tune in next time {or, the next few times} for lists of things I love, an award or two, and a dissertation on why I am OH MY GOSH still awake at this hour.*

*Probably not one to get your hopes up about.

Friday, October 21, 2011

solid advice for a bad day.

Chin up, friends.

We all get down.

We all feel low about ourselves from time to time.

And on such a day, there really is no better medicine
than watching clips of Arrested Development on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

third campaign challenge: delicate tastes.

 *First of all, want to be a part of a fun contest? I'm celebrating 100 followers by hosting a little blogfest (open through Oct. 28) where we all dish about the hilarious things we wrote as children. There will be prizes!

Time to get our third challenge on! The guidelines:
Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

Are you ready for this? I know this wasn't a requirement, but it came out to 300 words exactly.
Here we go.


On June seventh, I woke up to my father slamming his hand print onto the foggy windshield. “Get up, Cameron!” he bellowed through the glass. “She’s here!” He darted from campsite to sand, and the squelch of his boots disappeared.

“Mughh. Fantastic.” That man and his turtle-watching.

“What did he say, Vijay?” I opened my eyes a slit. Phoolati smiled at me, her wooden spoon aloft.

“Oh, ugh!” I yanked a blanket up around my nose and mouth, but the fumes dripped down my throat, burned my eyes. There was no way I could go back to sleep.

“Open a window or get out,” my stepmother chirruped. “Your dad wanted wastopaneer, so that’s what we’re having.”

“In the bus?! It’s not even light.” I untangled myself and stumbled through our synbatec apartment, hand over mouth. The top of my head brushed a path through the painted eggshells Phoolati had hung from the ceiling.

“You used to love wastopaneer, Vijay,” she said. “It’s a tacise blend of our cultures.” She rubbed her finger over a suspended eggshell.

I grabbed my sweatshirt and unlatched the door. “It’s Cameron, and that was before you changed the recipe.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’d started calling it “waste-of-paneer” behind her back. Not that it ever got a laugh.

After kicking against the roots and pebbles of our campsite, my bare feet relished the cool scrape of pre-dawn sand. I found my dad where the tide had washed out, hunched over a nest. May as well help. The light from his headlamp twitched and I noticed something red.

“Dad?” I choked down some wastopaneer-flavored bile. “What are you doing?”

“What’s wrong, Vijay?” he asked, holding up an egg and a flipper. “Don’t you like the new recipe?”


If you likey, and you don't think I've completely gone off the deep end (sea turtles are my favorite animal, promise. I don't know what got into me), please go votey! I'm number 66 this time. Thanks! 

**edited to add**
No actual sea turtles were harmed in the writing of this story. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

real quick, prizes!

... and by "tomorrow," of course, I meant "in the middle of the night on Friday." I know it's easy to confuse the two.

Hokay! Here we go.


In no particular order, the prizes for this fun and delightful contest/blogfest, in which you should all participate are:

1. A copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor {you KNOW you want it.}

2. A $10 grab bag of wonderment from The Book Gallery in Chattanooga. This place is AMAZING. I spent 90 minutes there a week or so ago, and would not have left if my phone hadn't beeped to remind me of the time. They don't have everything, but what they do have is super cheap, especially this month {crazy, 30-day book sale, what?} The winner of this prize will have to email me ASAP with some info on his or her favorite types of books, so I'll know what to look for as I fill up that bag. It is going to be nuts.

3. A first chapter critique. By me! Because I'm interested to see what you guys are writing, and I want to give back! {and I need the practice.}

Alrighty. How about another clarification? The random drawing, and how the first-second-third placings will go:

First place! Will go to my favorite entry. This winner will have first pick of the three prizes.

Second and third place! Will go to the first two names I draw from the hat, so to speak. Second place gets second pick, and third place, well, third place gets whatever awesome prize the other two crazy winners didn't choose, for whatever reason.

The entries!
Post about your early work = one entry.
Spread the news on Twitter = one entry.
Spread the news on Facebook = one entry {make sure you tell me if you're spreading the news!}
Include a picture of a dinosaur or wolf = one entry.
So that's four entries possible. What's not to love? {Oh, and uh, I'm keeping it fair. No one gets to win all the prizes. Haha.}

And there you have it, friends! PLEASE do that whole "spreading the news" thing, especially since I forgot to submit this to the Campaigner Notice Board for this week. Oops.

Happy reminiscing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

to keep us happy.

First things first, let’s talk about this button that Tara Tyler made for the contest:

Is that love or is that love?

Second things second, let’s talk about how I’m going to extend the contest. At this rate, everyone’s a winner! {That’s not a bad thing, but still…}

And for our third thing, let me apologize for falling off the face of the planet in the last two weeks. At first, it was because of the whole “I was a grown up and posted every day for a while. I will reward myself by not posting at all!” Tsk tsk. And then on Wednesday, my life took an unexpected turn. Let’s leave it at a health issue of a dear (nay, best) friend. I spent the whole weekend with her family at the hospital, and now, even though she’s home in Chattanooga (rejoice!), there may be a long haul ahead of us.

I want to keep blogging, I do. Promise. I can’t promise quality, though {be grateful that I didn’t post anything this weekend. It would have been… unattractive}.

But wait, what about the contest? What about the campaign? Good. Questions. The timing, needless to say, is not ideal, but timings are never ideal. The contest will go on {!}, thanks to my special helper and favorite Jeigh in the world, Jeigh Meredith. On days that I can’t blog, she’ll pop in and help with the contest, and hopefully tell a few jokes.

And, no, I haven’t forgotten the prizes. Tomorrow? We’ll solidify the prizes {and some of the rules} tomorrow. YOU WILL WANT TO WIN.


And, on an unrelated note, here’s something that makes me happy.

It pays to have friends who are marrying illustrators, it really does. Here’s a huge thank you and high five to Chris, fiance of Jess at Concrete Pieces of Soul, for making this sketch, out of the kindness of his heart.

Introducing, my main character, Bell. He looks like a person and everything!

Dear Bell,
Sorry for the recent abandonment. I have a good reason. Who am I kidding, you’re probably grateful. I wouldn’t be happy with me, either. Enjoy the respite while you have it.

If you’re so inclined, check out Chris’s website. He’s got loads of talent. Loads, I say.

Thanks, Chris. And thanks, Jess. And a big thanks to Jeigh for her willingness to help me out.
Let’s keep those contest entries coming! You have until the 28th now. Make me proud!
P.s. The things I’ve seen so far are nothing short of awesome. Thanks so much to everyone who’s participated!

{Oh, and, you know, if you are inclined to pray, please remember my friend Katie. Thanks.}