Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Since I've been gone...

Dude, where did I go? Where did my time go? I still want to do these. Promise. I just got a new camera even so I can! But I also got really busy. To help explain why and where I've been, I asked my friend A.M. Supringer at Inner Owlet to write up my excuse. She's great with words (and she writes stories for free).

So without further ado, JUMPING DAY (or as I'm going to call it: my excuse note).

It isn’t the sky that bothers me, or the endless freedom it provides – it’s the possibility of falling. My son should never have to face that.

When I first realized that his wings were sprouting, like buds on a rose bush, I could have sheared them and crippled him then. That would have been kinder than allowing him to jump from a cloud, arms spread, intuition and hope the only things keeping him aloft. But I couldn’t. I let them grow, feathers forming perfectly.

My son is perfect.

His ten-year-old body gleams with health as he darts around the clouds, jumping from one dense blob to the next. Muscles pump in his arms and bunch in his legs, but it’s his laugh that proves how vital he is. His joy can’t be contained – even I cannot suppress a smile as his grin lights up the sky.

But today is his Jumping Day, his leap of faith. And it is now, as I stand on the precipice of his chosen cloud, waves dancing beneath me, that I regret.

I ache with remorse.

It would have been easy to clip the wispy down feathers from him, but now it’s too late. He is not the sweet cherub I had once thought to prune. My wings flex, revealing my nerves to the many eyes that flicker to catch the movement. Only my son and I have such bright wings, such vibrant colors. I don’t doubt that others expect me to cry, to mourn if the worst happens. Many children die on their Jumping Day, others never recover from the fall. My own wings are distinct, but useless. The clouds are my prison now, and I look at my child and fear only the worst: that my weakness passed to him.

But my fear does not fill him. It is with a bright, full, toothy grin that he looks at me, his excitement energizing the air, and leaps. His small body spirals downward and I am helpless. I cannot catch him…

But I don’t need to.

Faster than any child I’ve ever seen, he adapts. His glorious wings fling outward with a majestic power I will never personally know. His bright plumage glints in the sunlight. Cheers fill the air. He is flying, a child no longer. My baby no longer.

Even though remorse and sorrow had weighted me moments earlier, a stronger feeling rushes through me now. A feeling I’d had countless times since his birth. A feeling I will never grow tired of.


Lovely, right? She made me an angel! Or something like one. And for that I'll always think she's a little nuts. Heh. But I appreciate people not unfollowing me in the meantime. You guys are the awesomest! I will strongly imply that new episodes are coming soon. And if you want my real excuses, I do have them. And they're good. If you want more fake artistic ones, let me know! Or if you want to write some for me, I will accept those as well.

Anyways, thanks for the patience. <3

Keep your pants on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Freebies 9

I'm really bummed. It was my birthday yesterday, and a bunch of stuff was stolen from my car. Important things too. So I found a bunch of giveaways, but I did not have as many as I like to have. There are even some probably that I read about this week that I missed. Can you guys forgive me? It's my birthday, and I'm inviting you to my pity party. Who doesn't like someone begging for pity? Oh...wait...heh. Okay, who can forgive a girl begging for pity? Some of you! Maybe all? We hope so. Anyways, the contests.

Win Books or Agent Prizes : This new blog is celebrating by offering prizes from agents and some cool books. All my favorite things.

Free Books : My lovely friend Cherie is giving away a couple books. I do like free books.

Author Spotlight : My last post (thus the lack of link) has a chance to get spotlighted on my blog. Not a big thing, but with so few comments on my blog entries your chances are high.

Okay, well I'd keep my pants on but someone stole guys do it for me. Good luck in all you're working on, because your good news would cheer me up. Do you have any for me?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Automatically Awesome Author (with prizes :O )

Why is this author automatically awesome? Because he's on my blog of course. I've offered as a consolation prize in my blog contest: an author spotlight. Yay!

So first we have a bit about our special guest: TIM CODY

Tim Cody:

Hopelessly optimistic; bright and sunny coating with a dark and twisted interior.

A lot of writers claim that they aren't “typical writer-types,” but Tim Cody has yet to meet a fellow writer as into the nerd trifecta as himself. Video games, anime, and comic books are as much his passions as writing, and as such he uprooted his life in 2009, moving from Delaware to Seattle, Washington to pursue a day job in the video game industry.

After working at the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft Games Studios, and Sucker Punch Productions, he considers himself to be one of the very few, if not the only, optimists in the video game industry. He firmly believes that if you work hard a

nd truly attack your dreams head-on, you may eventually achieve some of them—hopefully some of the better ones, too.

Many don't suspect that such a sunny disposition would be capable of weaving tales so wicked they infect and warp kind souls' dreams for weeks on end. The tragic, heartbreaking protagonists and the terrifying, twisted demons that roam the pages of his books betray his outward appearance, often catching readers off guard. But soon they all learn the truth: Lurking just beneath the friendly smile and lighthearted humor is a truly surreal and twisted carnival of visceral and fear-inducing images sure to rob your nights of many winks.

The first installment of his young adult supernatural horror series, Crimson Soul, was published in April 2011. He is currently working feverishly on its sequel and would very much like for you to read it. :)

Next up, we have a bit about what Tim's writing and other projects.

Every writer needs their muse. Mine happens to be a PlayStation 3 named Sebastian Mk.II.

I haven't encountered many writers as willing as myself to admit that a primary source of inspiration for their writing comes from video games. Perhaps it's a belief that video games aren't for serious storytelling, or perhaps there just aren't too

many serious writers who are also serious about video games.

However, a bulk of my inspiration for writing horror does indeed come from horror video games—as opposed to other horror books, or films. Games such as Silent Hill, Siren: Blood Curse, Fatal Frame, they're terrifying video games that tell amazing stories. They get horror right, they know their themes: The fear of isolation, abandonment, the sense of absolute panic you experience when something normal is suddenly weird—there's so much in them to inspire a writer, especially of horror. Incorporating these classic and ever-important themes into my own writing in a way that is fresh and exciting is always a good time.

Video games may be easy for a lot of writers to overlook since they're not exactly a “traditional” medium, but the stories they weave rival that of any novel. The deep lore of the sleepy town of Silent Hill, the often heartbreaking yet awe-inspiring war story of Valkyria Chronicles—interactive storytelling at its absolute best; a great, largely untapped source of inspiration.

There's something peculiar about responding to fear by moving toward it instead of away, and something special to be said about those who can elicit such a reaction. I'll never forget the sense of fear inspired by those key scare moments in my favorite games. Standing in a bathroom in Silent Hill and watching the walls bleed and decay all around me; the eerie feeling of absolute discomfort that was a result of watching a woman staked to a sacrificial altar as children sung a creepy nursery rhyme. It's that moment for which horror writers strive. For that moment

when someone says “This is terrifying and going to give me nightmares, but I have to know what happens next.”

These moments, when the audience is captivated and uncomfortable, disgusted yet they can't look away despite the fact they have complete control, this is what I strive for in my writing—to lure the reader willingly ever deeper down a dark and twisted road, inhabited by that which we fear most.

If you're down with the nerd trifecta, writer or non, or if you just want to check out a writer who tweets at least one random thought a day, feel free to drop me a line at @Tim_Cody. You can also help to expand by burgeoning ego by visiting my

blog, Thanks for tuning in, everyone, and remember: Stay scared!

Crimson Soul, by Tim Cody (also available via Barnes and Noble and Smashwords):


Just to wrap it up, I asked my new pal Tim (he doesn't know we're pals yet, but we are.) what kind of suspenders he would have and what he thinks that says about himself. So here's where the prizes come in. I'll tell you what kind of suspenders he picked, and you tell me what that says about him. Whoever gets either a) the closest to his answer or b) the most creative, gets their own author spotlight. Hopefully, that's awesome enough for you guys to come up with something really great. So what did Tim answer?

"My suspenders would be made out of taffy."

Okay guys, have at it. What does taffy suspenders say about Mr. Cody?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Freebies 8

Books, books, books. Gotta love free books. And I've found some for you. Lots of em. Good luck my pantslings. Ugh, no, that's a bad name for you all. How about my B.S-err no. Just no. I'll think of something. In the mean time, I hope you win (but not enough to give you my books if I do! MINE!)

GIFT CARDS, BOOKS, ETC. : She's got a lot of prizes. And a rafflecopter widget! So she must be cool.

TWO BOOK GIVEAWAYS : I want The GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS sooooo bad. So you can enter the other one. Or give me your copy if you win! :D

MORE BOOKS : I dunno which books you get, but free books are always awesome. Plus, I'm biased towards this contest (this is the blog that got me a full request. <3 )

NOOK COLOR : Okay...I want this for my birthday. Also books to put on it. All good.

1000 FOLLOWERS : Am I jealous? Yes, yes I am.

600 FOLLOWERS : Still jealous. Though, I do love you guys who do follow me. Can you increase by a factor of ten somehow?

SHATTER ME : I dunno why, but I'm susceptible to advertising. I think this book will be good. So winning it would also be good, and I like good. So...umm...good!

As always, your pants should stay on people. I'm looking at you pants-less guy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Episode 4: Breathing Underwater


Someone's pounding on the door. They probably heard the fire alarm. I grab my burned cards and dive out the window.

I seem to have forgotten this bar is on a boat. SPLASH! Oh well, I can hide in the water. I grab a reed and dive down. If the movies have told me anything, this should be super easy.


I figured the hardest part would be being deep enough to be hidden and not be seen. I never imagined breathing would be the biggest pain in the butt. (The straws aren't long enough to cause suffocation at least.)


Yeah, as I said. Breathing was a huge pain in the butt. Figuring out how deep I was and how deep I could go was a pain in the butt. Staying under was a pain in the butt. Basically, my butt was sore!


I dive under and try to breath through my reed, but water keeps going up my nose. I start to panic and breathing becomes harder and harder. Great, now I'm panicked and I have a crappy hair cut. Could this day get any worse?


Whenever I went under, I got water up my nose. So the best way to breath was to bend the straw and start breathing through it BEFORE I went under. The other issue was how visible I was. Seriously, I needed some real reeds to hide.

To be honest, I got a little panicky with so little air, focusing on so much, and trying to stay underwater. Normally I have no problem sitting underwater, even when holding my breath. This time I did. I'm ashamed. But at least my little bro was there, so he showed me up.

Keep your pants on guys!

P.S. My bro is AVAILABLE ladies.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Freebies 7

Well, I think my first contest was a big success! Thanks to everyone who participated. We're going to have TWO author spotlights coming up. So look forward to those (squeal in girlish delight if you're into that sort of thing; I know I am.)

Unfortunately, I've been away and mostly without Internet, so I haven't found as many freebies for you this week. And I'm late. Can you forgive me? Please?

I did find the following:

HUGE PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY : They're giving away a ton of books, crits, and other goodies. With owls on them! Awesome.

A NEW YA BLOG : And they're giving away stuff. This is YA Contemporary only (though they still love us other YA writers. They just aim the blog at contemp. stuff.)

On the plus side, both of those giveaways should be big enough to make up for my slacking. Right? RIGHT?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Shorts: Camping Statistics

I'm not even home yet, but I've got Internet back. So what do I do? Come post on my blog. Do you guys feel the love? You should.

Today's Sunday Short is some statistics from my week-long trip. We were up in the wilds of PNW. So for all you alls with outdoor trips or camping in your novels, here are some interesting tidbits. Unless otherwise specified, these are all my specific stats not the whole groups.


By me: 4 deer, 1 moose, 50 bajillion chipmunks, 3 stray dogs (from nearby camp sites)

By our group (including my sightings): 5 dear, 1 moose, 1 cougar, 1 black bear, 500 bajillion chipmunks, 3 stray dogs, 1 packrat


By me:
12 fish (all eatable size, only 5 of the tasty species though, and only 3 were actually set aside for the eating).

By my husband:
5 (1 eatable size and type, which we kept.)

By the kids:
47 fish (none eatable size or type.)

By the way, this is my second year fishing. My husband has been doing it forever and loves it. He wasn't too happy with these statistics.


Serious Injuries:

I counted 27 bruises on my legs alone. Ouch!

Mosquito Bites:

That should be enough for now. But I basically had an awesome time, yet I'm so glad to be back! Hope you guys had a great week without me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Post: The Bloomin' List

The lovely Michelle over at Green Woman has offered to fill in while I'm on vacation. You can see a post from me over on her blog. I talk about something other than helpful writing details (LOVE!) I asked Michelle, who is a great gardening expert to help us with what flowers bloom when, so we can get those details right in our books. (P.S. Tansy is my favorite.) Without further ado...

Tracy has asked me to give you all a list of the bloom times of plants. Well, this is a complicated subject! Because plants have very specific needs, and those needs are met by nature at different times depending upon the climate, soil, etc. But I have done my best! All bloom times are APPROXIMATE. Every region has variations in climate that affect the bloom times. So, if you're looking at a specific bioregion, check with the state's extension agency, employ a search engine, or contact a local gardening group. It's not hard to find this information and get your details right, writers.

Obviously this list is not comprehensive. Flowers come in endless varieties. I decided to stick with fairly common plants suited to fairly temperate climates, since that's what I know best.

Also, I've included for each plant whether it grows in the sun or shade. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If you have your heroine harvest Lavender in the forest, I will be angry with you. Just so you know.


Hellebores (usually February) (sun to part shade)

Purple Deadnettle (January-February) (sun)

Snow drops (January-February) (part shade to shade)


Apple Tree (April-May)

Bleeding Heart (Late Spring) (part shade to shade)

Camellia (February-March) (sun)

Chives (March-May) (sun to part shade)

Clover (Begins in Spring, goes throughout the summer.) (sun)

Columbine (late Spring) (shade to part shade)

Comfrey (mid to late Spring) (sun)

Crocus (early Spring) (sun to part shade)

Daffodil (early Spring) (sun)

Hawthorn Tree (May) (sun to part shade)

Plum (tree) (March-April)

Rosemary (sometimes as early as February in mild climates, but usually April or May) (sun)

Tulips (early to mid spring) (sun)

Wild Violets (early spring: Sometimes as early as late February) (shade)


Black Eyed Susan's (late summer--August-September) (sun)

Borage (begins in late spring and continues putting on blooms throughout the summer) (sun)

Calendula (June-September) (sun)

Chicory (July-September) (sun)

Cornflowers/Bachelor Buttons (June-July) (sun)

Daisies (june-july) (sun)

Echinacea (late summer--July-August) (sun)

Iris (May-June) (sun)

Lavender (late June-late July) (sun)

Peonies (May-June) (sun)

Poppies, California (start in late Spring, bloom throughout the summer. In warmer climates they bloom as early as February.) (sun)

Poppies, Oriental (May-June) (sun)

Queen Anne's Lace (late summer--July-August, into September sometimes. (sun)

Roses (late May-September) (sun)

Sunflowers (July-August) (sun)

Yarrow (sometimes even starts in late May, blooms throughout summer) (sun)


Asters (late August-September) (sun)

Chrysanthemums/Mums (Late August-throughout the fall) (sun)

Crocus (there is a fall-blooming variety) (sun-part shade)

Dahlia's (August-September) (sun)

Goldenrod (August-September) (sun)

Tansy (late summer-fall) (sun-part sun)

Did I leave off a plant that you're dying to know about? Feel free to ask! I'll try to answer questions to the best of my ability. And never forget, search engines are your friend. A tiny bit of research can save you from making your readers swear at you for getting your plant stuff wrong.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gone Filmin'

Instead of fishing (though I will be doing that too) I'm going filming! It's time for my yearly family vacation up at a lake. Should be awesome (dirt biking, jet skiing, boating, wakeboarding, <3). But I'm also going to be doing a lot of filming while I have the chance in some real "wilderness."

Should be fun. If you have any last minute suggestions, comment and I can try them out too. I will still be able to check my e-mail until Sunday. I will not be deserting you completely though! I have an awesome guest post (that will be super helpful too!) that I'm going to have automatically post on Wednesday. So check back then!

Finally, it's the last day of the contest. Rafflecopter will select a winner for me. So even though I won't be posting about the winner, it will show up who won on the widget after the contest ends. It will also give me your e-mail (or so they say) so I can contact you about your prizes. Don't worry about that. Just celebrate and start thinking about what you want!

I'll miss you guys, but the filming festival I'll be on will make it WAY easier to not have problems like last time. Keep your pants on while I'm gone!

EDIT: Thanks for making me a liar Rafflecopter. It won't announce the winner. I decided to do a consolation prize for every 50 entries (so we had about 150 so three consolation prizes). So here it is:

LAURA (lmlong)


Laura, please start thinking about what scenes (PG rated) you would like us to film. I have 65 followers now, so your film will be 6.5 minutes. (Fair right?)

Beth, Tim, and Faith, as in the rules, consolation prizes are as follows: a chapter critique, a nifty drawing, OR an Author Spotlight. Please pick one or maybe think of something else you'd like. I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Friday Freebies 6

Hey guys, be sure to enter MY contest. Who wouldn't want a film version of their novel? (even if it is just a scene done by a bunch of community theater actors).

Elsewhere on the great big Internets, you can find:

Epic Fail (again): I mention this a second time, because I really want this book. I don't know why. I'm such a girl.

Another Book Giveaway : These are the easiest things to find, btw. So if you go look, you'll have lots of opportunities for free books.

Help Libraries : Oh and get a free trip to Atlantis (in the Bahamas). Not bad. Not bad at all. But libraries are more important.

Secret Agent Contest : Miss Snark has announced her contest will be on Monday. Pay attention because the contest is only open at certain times to the first 25 people! So be fast and be ready!

See you guys on the flip side!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Minor Setback

Sorry for the lack of new episode today. It will be late because I had to switch around the order of some episodes. The one that was supposed to be this week will need more time. So I'll try to quickly throw something together if I can. I might not be able to with family things going on today.

But, please check out the contest, and remember you can enter it daily. You get entries for each thing you do.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Freebies 5: In which, I have my own contest

Firstly, I'm going to be having my OWN contest. Yup! I'm having a contest.

What can you win? We'll film a scene from your novel and post in on the blog.

Now wait, you ask, why would I want that? I'll tell you my observant friend. First of all, if your book is published you'll have free and fun promotions (or a book trailer). Or it can help you see how your dialog reads on screen. Or it could just be a lot of fun to make me act like a doofus.

Okay, so you're thinking to yourself, why would I spread the word on this? Shouldn't I just keep this secret so I have a better chance of winning? Well sure, you could. But the more people who find out about this the better the prize will be! I'll lengthen it! Plus, even if you don't win, everyone gets to see me (and possibly a cast of my friends, family, and thespian buddies) be dorks for you. (Outside of the usual stuff.)

But what if I don't write or have something you can act out? Then pick your favorite book or scene from a book or even just make up a scenario for us to act out. (Like do werewolves and vampires really hate each other.)

Stop talking already and tell me how to enter! (You're saying this not me.)

Okay, okay, it's pretty simple. You just fill out the rafflecopter form below. You can get bonus points for tweeting about it daily. (I provide text but if you want to use the hashtag and link and make up your own words, you can.) I'm also open to new ways to get points (I can edit the widget with those at any point without losing your entries).


And as always, other people have stuff their giving away. Books, contests, if its going on I'll try to find it for you. Well at least five. I can't find everything! Gosh, stop being so demanding.

Epic Fail : Win a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Or not. I can win it too. I'm cool with that.

3 books : More for your time investment. Can't beat that, right?

Pick Your Prize : As always, the lovely Rebecca Hamilton has fabulous prizes for you (and free editing).

500 words contest : Gotta love chance for books or agent feedback!

Mini-Synopsis Contest : Not a pitch, but a short synopsis. Interesting. Very interesting. Will you enter? Can you manage it?

See you guys next week!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Freebies 4

This time seems to be lots of books you can win. But those are great, because you don't have to be a writer to enjoy a free novel.

Two Chances to Win Free Books : It seems Ms. Miller there gets a lot of free books to give away. Am I jealous? Yes, I am.

Free Editing : InkMuse does fabulous critiques, and every week (or sometimes every other week) she gives them away for free. How are you not signed up for this already?

Partial Critique : It's mostly for teen writers, but those of us past that stage in our lives can enter as well. 50 pages critique. Not bad. Not bad at all.

8 Books : Don't forget this chance to win 8 books!

So four contests in all, and that is not even including contests that don't run on a Friday.

Good luck though! I hope one of us wins.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Episode 3: Burning Documents


Great, now my hair is a real mess. I need a hair dresser fast. I think I have a card somewhere in my bag. I push aside the receipts and knick-knacks I've collected. It's no good. I can't find anything in here.

I pour out the contents of my purse onto the counter, papers goes everywhere. A business card floats right onto the scented candle. The lit scented candle. Oh bother. What if it gets burned? I think I have some chemicals in my purse that I can use to read what was written on the card! But I'll need to save it in time...


I didn't really have one this time. I just had the two scenarios I was interested in learning about. I suppose I thought the paper would just burn right up and you couldn't save anything really. But I really did want the Sherlock Holmes stuff (salvaging an already burned paper) to work.


Yeah, I was wrong on both counts.


The burned paper disintegrated in my hand. There was no recovering it. At least it was just a small corner. I can easily read the card. Phew. Now to just get out of here.


The first thing I tried was throwing the paper in the fire to see if I could leap in and save it in time. I could. Only the corner was burned. That could make an interesting scene if that corner had the final location of the treasure or the name of the heir to the fortune! Otherwise, it won't cause much trouble.

I also threw a stack into the pile and left it. The pages burned from the bottom up. The ones that got left for a long time were burned on the top and bottom, but the middle pages were just burned on the edges. They were still quite readable.

As for the super sleuth attempts? Well I burned the edge of the paper and left it to burn. That was the how they did it in the last Super Sleuth movie I saw. It just burned out quickly when I set it down. When I held it up to let it burn, it crinkled in a lovely way. I'm a pyromaniac like that I suppose.

As for saving what was on the paper? It's highly unlikely to happen as the pages are so delicate they fall apart when touched or moved too quickly. A very trained specialist might be able to salvage what was on there, but he would have to be careful. Just be aware of that in your scenes.

Final detail: the ashes would blow away or rise up in the smoke, so don't expect to find much left over if the papers were left in the fire.

Thanks as always for reading. Sorry to be a little late this week. Youtube was being silly about uploading the video.

P.S. The video was edited by my assistant/husband "The Drudge," which is why the style is so different this time. He's so talented.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Shorts: Stalking 101

Okay, let me start off with my legal warning: the tests in this blog are for fictional use only. Please don't stalk people or spy on them. Thank you.

I've been watching movies and whatnot for ideas lately, and some can be episodes but others (like the black eye) work best here in Sunday Shorts. I was viewing a certain former-spy thriller, and he looks through his scope at people in a building. He's got such a great view he can pick out who is in the room, and how tired they look. Wow!

But would that really work?

So I got out my stalker-goggles (aka binoculars) and went peeping. The things I do for you guys.

I used empty houses under construction and my own house to test this. I looked through my window into someone else's window (matching lighting sources so to speak), and I looked from outside into my own windows. I did my tests in the morning, afternoon, and at night.

Here's what I learned:

  • If the sun is up, and the window is closed, you can't see a darn thing unless its right next to the window (like curtains, but not a person standing there).
  • If the sun is down, you can see everything.
  • If the window is open, you can see fairly well but not brilliantly.
Lesson here? Lighting is everything. If the lighting outside (aka the sun) is brighter than the lighting inside, you can't see what's inside. Even when I stood in the shade or looked at a shaded part of the house, the windows still had a glare that made it impossible to see much. But at night, I had no problems at all making out every detail.

Also, I felt super creepy doing this, even knowing the houses were empty.

So if you characters need to spy on someone, unless they have super awesome polarized spy gear, they better do their spying at night, or on a very dark and cloudy day.

Thanks for reading guys! Let me know if you have any ideas for things I can test in a video or just in a write-up here on the blog.

Keep your pants on!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Freebies 3

Fridays are a good day to find free things. So I'll post some for you. You get five this time instead of the usual four.

Win $1000!!! : Yup, you could win $1000 and a chance to send your full MS to an agent. Just submit your first 500 words. Easy right?

2-Sentence Pitch : I seem to find a lot of these. But go ahead and enter because Victoria Marini is an awesome agent. And no I'm not just sucking up because she has my MS. (It would be but she doesn't read my blog.)

Teen Writer? : If you're a teen you could enter this one! Ages 14-18 could win a trip to NYC to hang with an editor. Sweet right?

Free Edits : CA Marshall will edit queries. Contest ends today though, so better hurry.

Books Giveaway : I love free books. Someday I want to actually get some.

Thanks again guys. New Episode on Wednesday. Keep your eyes out for that and your pants on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zombunny and Aydan

New episode in one week. But for today I have a contest entry to win a cute little zombunny doll. To win I have to make something cute and evil. Can be a drawing or a short story or anything. (Remember I told you about this on Friday.)

If I get nominated, would you all vote for me? Vote Here!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Freebies 2

Another Friday, another list of all new freebies. Yup, they just keep coming.

Rafflecopter is still going by the way.

You might also like:

Teen Judges : Get free editing from an agent intern based on the Teen Judges top picks.

FREE EDITS : InkMuse has many contests all with fabulous free edits! I've won once already and it was definitely worth it. She still has that $50 book up for grabs.

Pitch to Vicki Motter : 50 max entries. Only a few slots left. But you could get your ms before an agent. Worth it!

Cute Evil : Win a stuffed zombie bunny with your cute evil story/picture/whatever.

There were also a bunch of contests that opened and closed in between Fridays so I couldn't announce them. So keep your eyes open and your pants on!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Episode 2: Dagger Hair Cut


My face is no longer bleeding, but my dignity has not fared so well. I stare at myself in the mirror, noticing my long scraggly hair. Perhaps I am a bit unkempt, but sloven? His accusations sting like my new knife.
That's right! I do have a new knife. I can show him now. I'll just clean up my appearance a bit. When I go back out, he'll see. They'll all see!
I clutch my dagger, grab ahold of my long hair, and steady myself.

So what's next? Do I have fabulous new do or will this only make things worse like the whole bottle breaking incident?


I was certain it was going to hurt and pull my hair. I had braided it just to be sure there would be no direct pull on my scalp but just the same. My plan was to do it as quickly as possible.


Well, as you can see for yourself it didn't quite work out as planned. I can't see it in the video, but my hair does not look super awesome. It kind of does until you get to the part that is shorter than the rest. That's what I get for braiding it. But the salon artist mentioned she'd seen the same results from cutting a ponytail off. So its not really the braids fault.


I attempt a swift sweeping cut, but nothing happens.
"Great." I roll my eyes at my luck and start sawing away.
It does work. Eventually. But now my hair is even worse than before. I shake it out. THe ends aren't even and there's a section in the back that's shorter than the rest.
I toss down the detached braid. "Fidgets."
I'll just have to think of another bright idea.


Firstly, it did not hurt. At all. I really had no problems with pain even on the first cut when I tried to do it just like the movies. The knife just slid off the hair and I had no pulling on my scalp at all.

Secondly, obviously it does not work like in the movies. I had to cut and saw at my hair to get through it all. It was a brand new knife that we even honed just to be sure it was the best we could get. But as sharp as it was, the hair needed more work. This is partly because hair is about the same as aluminum in strength. You read that correctly. Hair=aluminum. When they match in thickness they are about the same. Think about breaking a hair and tearing a piece of aluminum foil. Its about the same. Hair is tough stuff in the end. Especially when grouped together like that in a ponytail or braid.

Thirdly, I did not get a cute haircut from my braid cut off attempt. It was mostly okay until you got to that one short part. Which was just going to be inevitable no matter how much time I'd spent making sure I braided it evenly and smoothed out all the hairs. Nothing beats a good ole pair of scissors and a bit more time.

That being said, I bet if I had taken the hair in smaller sections and cut it similarly to a normal stylist's method, then it wouldn't be too bad. But that wasn't what we were looking at. This was about the one slice hair style. And it doesn't work. (Don't worry though, it looks pretty good now that I've been to a real salon.)

In case you're curious, my hair was roughly 22-24 inches long. I cut off about 9-10 inches with the knife (depending on the spot). The hair stylist cut off an additional two inches to make it all even. So my hair is about 10-12 inches now. (I layered it). I also still have the hair. It's a little weird.

Anyways, it was a fun one to do. I appreciate my parents for letting me film in their lovely backyard. Please leave comments (like suggestions for other things I can do) and I'll post another episode in two weeks (Hint: It's about super sleuths and treasure hunting).

Keep your pants on!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Freebies

I don't have anything free for you. But I figure on Fridays I can let you know about Freebies and Contests I find around the ole Internets.

There is a slight self-interest here that I won't deny: often these contests require you to promote them for entry.

For now here are four contests I know are currently running.

The Great Rafflecopter : Win Books or Website Design!

Elevator Pitch Contest : Win a chance to send Bree Ogden a full or partial of your YA or MG MS.

July Giveaway : Win Deepening Fiction, a MFA textbook.

Kensington Brava : Get a Novella published!

Sweet prizes available this summer. So if querying is slow or writing is blocked, go take a look.

See you Sunday for Sunday Shorts, and keep your pants on.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Case of the Mondays

Alas, no Sunday Shorts yesterday. I spent the day in bed with a cold. My apologies loyal fans. Well, I'm hoping you're still loyal. I'm building up a buffer of episodes, so even if Sunday Shorts isn't consistent the semi-weekly Wednesday Episodes will not be. So check back next Wednesday for another awesome Belief Suspenders.

For missing yesterday though, I offer you this useful trinket:

Did you know that the body can absorb some types of fishing line? It's true. Some doctors will use it for stitches because they don't have to be removed. So if your characters are out fishing and one of them gets a deep gash well...they could sew it up quite conveniently. Except for the whole infection thing.

For infection there are a few natural cures that could help. Garlic, though not readily available in the wild, does work as an antiseptic. So if your chars brought some to put on their fish their set.

But wait! He's bleeding too heavily. What do they do now? need an astringent. Something to help the muscles swell and close up. The one I'm most familiar with is yarrow. Some people know it because you can chew on the roots to numb your mouth. But its also an astringent and a decent bug repellent (decent not brilliant). Chew on the root for a toothache. Shove a leaf up your nose for a bloody nose. Or just apply to heavy bleeding.

Please note: This is not medical advice from a doctor. I'm a blog writer with no medical degree or naturalist experience. If you have an injury, see a real doctor. This is for use with fictional situations only. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Episode 1: Breaking Bottles


He staggered across the room, his focus fixed on my forehead.
"You're a schloven, no account schoundrel." His finger jammed into my shoulder. I couldn't let this verbose jerkwad talk to me like that. Penance must be paid, and I would show him just who was the real slob here.
I reached for a bottle. "That's the last straw."

Now what? Do I break the bottle and show him how close of a shave this sloven scoundrel can manage or do I just look ridiculous and kill him with laughter?

I originally thought I would just look ridiculous and be breaking my back before I broke a bottle.

Here's where you go watch the video if you haven't already.

I try to smash the bottle on the bar and it bounces off, the cap digging into my flesh. Laughter drifts in the air. My cheeks burn, but I've got a plan. I uncap the bottle, dump the contents on the jerk's head, and watch him splutter.
"Isch that root beer?" He laughs harder.
I can't let him be right about me. I take a second swing and this time the bottle shatters. I feel a sharp pain in my lip. The bottle is now just a stump. The drunk is rolling on the floor in the root beer, guffawing like a fool. Liquid is trickling down my upper lip. I reach up and touch it gingerly, examining my finger. I'm bleeding. Doesn't hurt but I feel like a right fool.
The only course of action now seems to be retreat. I spend a half hour in the bathroom just waiting for the bleeding to stop.


Yeah, I did end up bleeding for about half an hour. It didn't hurt, but we had to stop filming and think of a better way to protect my face. Ironically, I forgot to put my gloves back on after we did get the "extra protection." I scratched my hand on the bottle cap. I'm so smart sometimes.

Our best results were with the corner of the rock, but this was largely because I hit it with the sticker up. That held the glass together. It crumbled pretty readily though. Of the seven bottles though I had 5 stumps. The other two were the sticker-side up times.

The brown-glass bottles broke a LOT easier than the clear coke bottle. So if you need to break something, grab the root beer. The best place was the corner of our "rock," and the worst was the corner of our table.

I spent an hour or more picking up shards of glass. I found shards as distant as ten feet from our testing areas. The water spray also got all over me. (If you look you can see it on my pants).

Strong guys have an easier time but its not guaranteed. My husband is a lot stronger than me. I can bench press 70 lbs. He can bench 170. But even then, he had a few times where it didn't break right away.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please share. I'm here to help. So my fellow liars, enjoy the video, and keep your pants on!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Shorts: Black Eyes

Get it? Shorts? Heh.

So it may switch to Saturday Shorts, we'll see. But I'm just going to leave quick interesting bits of information or answer questions that take less than a full video.

I had a question a couple weeks ago about: how long does a black eye last?

Fortunately for me, my friend got a black eye on Monday! Her son threw a train at her face and hit just below her temple. The bruising spread (she said "it was like it leaked") under her whole eye. Interesting right?

She's still got it, and she's going to keep me updated on how long it lasts. I'll come back and edit this post later with the progress of her shiner.

EDIT: Her black eye lasted exactly two weeks until there was no noticeable bruising around her eye.

So now you know about at least one real black eye example.

Thanks for reading. Keep your pants on!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My First Page: Contest Entry

I use this page for entry in contests and to get feedback. Links for the contests are usually in the Friday Freebies posts. So here's my first page for you all to look at.

Genre: YA Fantasy
Wordcount: 84,000

"You shouldn’t do that.” The Boy narrowed his eyes and glared with all the indignation called for in such a situation.

"Do what?" The target of his fury, a girl no older than he, swung her legs back and forth.

At twelve and not old enough for a title, the Boy kept his focus on himself, but he had stopped his daily walk through the cemetery at a sight even he could not ignore.

The girl had brown eyes, but as for her other features, he had not taken the time to notice them. He found something else far more interesting. "What you’re doing, sitting on that headstone there."

"And why shouldn’t I?" Her question seemed genuine, but the Boy could not fathom how she could not see the issue with her actions.

"Because. Someone died there."

The Brown-Eyed Girl brushed an orange leaf from the headstone. "No they didn’t. Not one of these people died here. They all died at home in their beds, or abroad in the world, or wherever it suited the world best to have them die."

The Boy paused in surprise at her response, but could not deny she was right. "Well, I’m sure that person doesn’t want you sitting on his headstone.”

"Oh, I’m quite certain she doesn’t mind."

The Boy jolted. Who did she think she was? He puffed up his chest. "And how can you be so certain?"

She ran her fingers through her hair and shook it loose. "Because,” she said, “this headstone is mine.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where Did I Go?

No, I did not start this blog just to give up. I still exist. I'm still planning on doing this thing. I even have some videos waiting and raring to go. One problem: I don't know how to edit them. Yet! My hubby is going to teach me. He just doesn't have the time. So I'm waiting.

But I haven't forgotten. In the meantime, I might just start doing a normal blog type entry.


If you guys are interested.

I'm not desperate, I swear.

Looooove meeeeee!

Alright, I'm done. Thanks for sticking with me through this waiting. Videos will be regular once I learn how to get them edited. I promise. With exceptions.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writers are Liars

Get out your trusty suspenders because there's no suspension of disbelief in this crowd. We're going for real. Not Platonic Reality. Actual Reality.

But why? Because writers, artists, authors, etc. are all basically liars. You heard me. You're a liar. Or you could say we tell the truth and everyone else in the world is the liar. Doesn't matter.

If you're going to present a lie (or a truth to people convinced of a lie) then the best tool you can have is EVIDENCE! Sorry for shouting. It's just so fun sometimes.

What makes the best evidence? Details. Details. Details.

If I say: I met the President. You might not believe me. Especially if that's all I say.

But if I say: I went to DC on a class field trip and the President stopped and shook our hands when we were touring the White House. He smelled like almonds, and he had a red tie. I was too scared to talk, and the kid next to me threw up afterwards. I start to sound more believable. It's hard to argue with a spewing kid and almonds. Unless you know the President really smells like Old Spice.

So when writing or drawing up your latest awesome scene, you can make it more convincing with more details. The more accurate your details the better.

But if you want to describe getting punched in the face and you've never been punched in the face are you out of luck? Nope. That's what the Belief Suspenders are for. (In addition to ending sentences with prepositions.)

Each month (or sooner depending on how this goes), I'll post a video of me doing things that most people might not have practical experience with. Things like: cutting my hair off with a knife, breaking bottles for a fight, shooting up car doors, jumping out of a moving vehicle, etc.

I'll also write up more details about the experience here and answer any additional questions you might have about the video of the month. Please leave comments with suggestions or questions. I'm always open to new ideas for videos.

Please Note: I won't do anything that's been done before on a certain show that involves myths and confirming or "busting" said myths. Just because they already did it and they have a bigger budget than I do. So they can do big things like blowing up a car. Also, nothing illegal or deadly.

Thanks for reading and watching though. Keep your pants on.