Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year Of Failing Miserably

While I have widely ignored this blog this month (and year), I have decided to crawl out of my cave for today's post.  This is the time when I look back at the goals I set for myself last January and see just how well I did with them.  More often than not, I lament my poor performance and, as you can probably infer from the title of today's post, this year has turned out to be no different.  Not that I was a complete failure.  It's just that when I set a goal for myself, I really expect to accomplish it.  I hate not accomplishing goals so I'm coming away from this year rather irritated with myself.

Must be Monday.

Anyway, here's the 2012 rundown... the five goals will be in bold (bolded?).  Where I ended up with them will not.

1. Publish Effigy

Well, this shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you, considering how many times over the course of this past year I blogged about my inability to make this happen.  I did make strides toward accomplishing this goal (hello, gorgeous cover art!) so I am now than ever (harder to get further away) to success.  Guess what my number #1 goal for next year will be!

2.  Participate in NaNoWriMo 2012.

Technically I did do this, even though I really only participated in the first week and a half before Bad Things happened and I shut down faster than... something that shuts down really fast.  I ended up with 14,059 words.  Not horrible, I guess, but a long cry from 50,000.

3. Read 60 books.


I've read 83 books so far this year.  There's a chance I'll add one more to that total, provided I can stay awake long enough to finish it. And that's not a statement as to how interesting the book in question is— although it hasn't been very interesting— but rather my current inability to stay awake for long periods of time (curse you, mono or mono-like virus!).  So I'm guessing I'm going to finish the year at 83.  Not bad at all.

4. Walk or run or bike at least 500 miles.

Nope.  Didn't make this one either.  According to my mileage tracker, I only walked and/or ran 250 miles.  Next year I should probably write down all my mileage.

5. De-Clutter.


Well, I did manage to take five bags of clothing down to the Goodwill but that really just barely scratches the surface that is the clutter in my house.  So I hardly think it counts.  But it's a start.

TWO OUT OF FIVE gives me a success rate of 40% (if I did the math correctly anyway. There's a reason I'm a writer and not a mathematician).  Not great, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I supposed it could've been a lot worse.  Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I reveal my five goals for 2013. Of course, you probably know one of them already. But you don't want to miss the other four... (Note to self: come up with four other goals)

So, until next time, have a fantastic New Year, everyone.  And remember, the consumption of four bottles of white wine will lead you to make stupid resolutions the following day (Or so I'm told. I would never drink four bottles of white wine. Again...) so please celebrate responsibly!

See y'all next year!

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Distracted Much? (An IWSG Post)

It's the first Wednesday of the month (it is, right?) which means it's time for another installment of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group (click on the graphic to find more information and a complete list of participants).

I'm pretty sure everyone stopping by today will be familiar with the IWSG, but in case you're not, here's its purpose:

To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


And who couldn't use that, right?

So today I'm a little late getting my post up and out into the world.  Last night I couldn't think of a topic that didn't make me sound like a broken record and was half heartedly considering skipping this month's post all together but then this morning, I checked my email and found attached to one message a sneak preview of Effigy's cover art.

That's right.  Effigy has cover art.  My book has cover art.  My book has cover art.  That doesn't involve stick figures.

Please note: this is NOT the cover art...

And holy hell, I can't stop looking at it.

I'm pretty sure this means I shall accomplish nothing the rest of the day that doesn't involve staring at my cover art and talking to it in a high pitched voice that suggests maybe I need to lay off the nitrous oxide. 

Who's a pretty book cover?  You're a pretty book cover!

Unless that's super weird.  Then I won't be doing that.  Again.

Rusty Webb, you genius, we here at My Pet Blog salute you.  Or at least we would if we weren't so busy staring lovingly at our new cover art.

But at some point, I really will need to stop gazing adoringly at this beautiful, beautiful thing because I really do need to get that back-of-the-book blurb done because now there's an actual back of the book waiting for a blurb.

Such a great problem to have.

Happy writing, all!


Monday, December 3, 2012

And You Are...?

It's Blog Hop day on My Pet Blog.  Today's event is hosted by Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault.  For a complete list of participants, click on the David Spade picture.  Or, if that doesn't work, click HERE.

I came across this one just the other day and since the list of questions participants are asked to answer made me laugh, I thought I'd play along.  I'm a little worried about that whole 'naughty or nice' thing because I am definitely more naughty than nice and now I'm a little worried about what kind of Google searches will lead people to this blog.

Anyway, here are the questions and my answers...

1.  How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

None.  Surprisingly.  I have, however, received several warnings.  In addition to a lead foot, I seem to have developed a "who me?" expression that comes in handy.  I mean... I never speed. Because speeding is wrong.


2.  Can you pitch a tent?

No.  Which is going to make camping with my niece next summer so, so interesting.

3.  What was your worst vacation ever?


I probably have to say the family vacation to Mystic Seaport, CT because we never actually made it to our destination.  Our car broke down so our week was spent hanging out in my aunt's basement apartment while the mechanics who said they had never seen a car as dead as ours tried to bring it back to life. Not that it was a horrible experience.  We made Pictionary memories a-plenty.  To my siblings, I say this: laser eyes.

4.  What was the last thing you bought over $100?


I'm pretty sure that was my iPod.  Or maybe my battle-ready dagger but I'm pretty sure it was the iPod.

5.  We're handing you the keys to what?


Uh...my very own castle?

6.  What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?


You have to understand that I don't cook.  I mean, I barely boil water.  But there was one time when I did attempt to make a beef stew in my crock pot.  But when it was supposed to be 'done', I took one look at it and ordered a pizza.  Because it was just... wrong. 

7.  Fill in the blank:  "Oh my gosh!  Becky, look at her butt!  It is so BIG.  She looks like..."like when she sits on a rainbow, skittles pop out?

8.  What was your first car?

My first car was an 80's Pontiac Grand Am.  You didn't need a key to start it.  It turns out you didn't need a key to start it because it was stolen (side note: NOT by me) from some lady in Connecticut and I didn't find out for a few year.  I tried to sell the car and found out I didn't have a title for it.  Really, I'm smart in other ways.  I think.

9.  Your best friend falls and gets hurt.  Do you ask if he/she is okay or laugh first?


I did both. 

10.  What is the worst song ever?


Gangnam Style.  If that's even a song.  Whatever it is, it's the worst.



§§§

That's going to do it for me today.  Thanks to Emily and Tammy for hosting!!  Have a happy Monday, all.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Scenes From The Store

I HAVE A DAY OFF!!!  I HAVE A DAY OFF!!!  It feels like forever since I was able to say that and I'm so gleeful I hardly know what to do first: dishes, laundry, or watch The Avengers.  Again.

But before I do any of that (and let's face it, The Avengers is totally going to win.  Again.) I thought I would share with you some of the soundbites from this latest stretch of work, starting with Black Friday and ending with yesterday.  It mostly features me being a brat but that can't possibly surprise anyone anymore.  Tragically, however, I seem to have lost my Black Friday haiku list.  And they were good too.

One important thing to know is that The Store was running a "everything in the store is 30% off" sale and had big giant signs hanging up all over reiterating this fact.  And yet it still led to this...

Customer: Is this shirt part of the sale?
Me:  Yes.  Everything's on sale.

Customer:  Are those jackets part of the sale?
Me:  Yes.  Everything's part of the sale.

Customer: Is this pair of socks part of the sale?
Me:  No.  You found the one thing that isn't a part of the 'everything's on sale' sale.
Customer:  Really?
Me:  No.

Customer: So is the 40% off the price?
Me:  No, it's off the sleeves.
Customer:  What?
Me:  Yes, it's off the price.

#1 Boss:  MJ, will you help me write an announcement for the PA?
Me:  Go away.
#1 Boss:  Something nicer.
Me:  Please go away.
#1 Boss:  Never mind.

#3 Boss: Are you here?
Me:  No, it's an illusion.
#3 Boss: Huh?

#3 Boss: (looking at some fallen product) What happened here?
Me:  Gravity.
#3 Boss:  Well, thanks, Isaac Newton.
Me:  That's Sir Isaac Newton to you.

New Guy:  What are you doing?
Me:  Looking for something.
NG:  What do you mean?
Me:  Well, I don't know what it means where you come from but where I come from, it means I'm looking for something.
NG:  Oh.  Need any help?
Me:  No.

Me:  Can I be fired?
#2 Boss:  Why? What did you do now?

And, last but not least, these haiku:

Everything's on sale
So you don't have to ask if
that shirt is on sale.


It took five minutes
for New Boss to annoy me
must be a record 

I don't know who is
screwing with my stockroom shelves
but they will be stopped


Don't answer the phone
with a mouthful of candy
it doesn't end well

Watching a man twirl
batons in the parking lot
can he juggle geese?



I'm headed home now
please don't call me tomorrow
I won't take your call

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Now I've Got The Look (And a Song Stuck in My Head)

What??  Two posts in two days?  That's crazy!  Did the earth start rotating backward or something??

Anyway... Earlier this month, C.M. Brown tagged me in the 'You've Got The Look' meme.  This meme has been going around the blogosphere for a while now so you're probably all very familiar with it but, in case you're not, here are the rules:

Participants are asked to do the following:

— Go to your current WIP
— Hunt down the word 'look'
— Post the surrounding paragraphs
— Tag five other people

and today my excerpt comes from Second Nature

§§§

“Where’s Dana?” James said finally.

Faolan was surprised by the question.  He knew the subject of Dana’s whereabouts would be inevitable but he hadn’t thought that, at that particular moment, Dana’s would be the first name off James’s lips.  Faolan looked to his right where, leaning against the wall, was Dana’s sword.

“Dana’s gone,” Faolan said.

“Gone where?”

“Away.”

“What does that mean?” James asked, bringing up his head to look at him.

“It means he’s not here,” Faolan said.

“Where did he go?”

“I don’t know,” Faolan said.  “Neither do I care.  He’s not my concern.”

“He should be,” James said.  “He should be here.  He should be the one doing this.”

Faolan had thought the same at first.  He had even said as much to Dana as he rousted the rebel leader from the homestead.  But meeting Cate, being in that room with her even for that short amount of time, had convinced him otherwise.  Now, somehow, he thought there was no one better suited for this task than James.

“No,” Faolan said.  “He shouldn’t be.”

§§§

And now comes the part where I am supposed to tag five other people but I never do that part.  As always, I invite you to tag yourself.  Just make sure to let me know you do it so I can be sure to check out your stories.

That's going to do it for me today as I have a shift at The Store.  Thanks to C.M. Brown for including me in this meme and thanks to my readers for stopping by... it's always appreciated!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Down and Out and Back Again

I've been trying to figure out how to start this post for a while now.  Like, a long while.  Hours.  Days.  Weeks.  But not months so I guess that's something.  I write a sentence, think about it for a while and then delete it.  And then after about thirty or so attempts at typing a single sentence, thinking about it and then deleting it, I just shut down the computer and go do something else.  Only 'something else' these days either involves a shift at The Store (Retail, thou art the bane of my existence) or staring aimlessly at a wall because I don't seem to have anything left right now.  I am an M.J. shaped pile of nothing.

So, hey, aren't you glad I'm here to blog about all the nothing?

And I don't want to be a drama queen and I don't want to make excuses which is a big part of why I haven't blogged in so long.  Because everything I would say feels like an excuse.  Yes, I received Bad News at the start of the month and it took me down.  I let it take me down and I let it keep me down.  I should have been stronger.  I should have been more resilient but I wasn't.  And as I can't change this, I'm going to try something new where I don't beat myself up over it.

Just... don't ask how that's going.

Instead let's talk about NaNoWriMo.  This is something else over which I am not going to beat myself up.  Probably.  Maybe.

And why is that, you might ask?  Well, I'm going to lose this year.  This is my fourth year participating and it'll be my very first loss.  I'm currently sitting at just over 14,000 words which is just about... 31,000 words behind where I should be at this time.  According to the stats page, at my current rate of production, I'll be crossing that finish line in February.  Of 2013.  Not my best NaNoWriMo performance.  Not by a long shot.

And I'm going to be okay with that.  Someday.  Maybe.  In February.  Of 2023.

But enough about my failure.  I see from my Buddies Page that some of you are already winners and many of the rest of you are agonizingly close.  I applaud those who have already won and I am rooting for the rest of you.

And I'm happy for the people whose books I've recently purchased (Jolene Perry, Michael Offutt, Gwen Gardner, Andrew Leon and more!).  Your accomplishments are awesome in every sense of the word and I look forward to reading your stories.

And I look forward to getting back into the swing of things.  Or, at least, making an effort toward getting back into the swing of things.  And in the name of doing just that, I am going to end this post with a life's philosophy posted on a Facebook page by a woman much wiser than me (I don't know from where it originated but her page is where I found it):

Laugh when you can... Apologize when you should... And let go of what you can't change.  Love deeply and forgive quickly... Take chances and give your everything... Life is too short to be anything but happy... You have to take the good with the bad... Love what you have and always remember what you had.  Forgive but don't forget... And always remember that life goes on.

P.S... I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a good one!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Worry Wart (An IWSG Post)

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of blogger extraordinaire and Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and takes place on the first Wednesday of every month.  It's an opportunity for the insecure writer in all of us to get out and stretch our legs and get a little love and support from our fellow writers.  For a complete list of participants, click on the logo to the left.

Back in high school, I ran track.  Of course, me running track looked a lot like me hanging out on the bleachers eating Cookie Crisp while watching other people run track.  But there was one day, early in my track career, where every member of the team participated in every event that would take place at a meet.  Our coaches did this in order to decide who should focus on which events.  I managed to hold my own until we got to the last event: the 100m hurdles.

I'm sure you're all familiar with this event but, just in case, here's what you're supposed to do:


Here's what I did:



Only I wasn't nearly as graceful.

Needless to say, I did not run any races that involved hurdles because I just couldn't quite clear them which was kind of an important detail when competing in such a race.  In order to win the race, one needed to be able to do that.  In order to finish the race, one needed to be able to do that.

And I couldn't even finish the race.

This is what publishing is proving to be for me.  A straightaway littered with hurdles that I just can't quite clear.  But unlike high school track, I can't just shrug it off and scarf down some sugary cereal while I watch everyone else cross the finish line.  Instead, it's making me sad.  It's making me worry.

Not that worrying is something new for me.  One thing The Man always says to me (besides "would you stop buying books?!?!?") is "you've got to stop worrying."  And it's not bad advice.  It's probably even wise, smart and all that but here's the thing... I don't know how.

I don't know how I don't worry about this.  I mean, publishing a book— publishing Effigy— is one of my life goals.  It's the life goal.  It's Number One on the list (followed closely by 'fly in the invisible jet') so how do I not worry about my inability to make this goal happen?

I set two dates this year as The Date.  And then I watched them sail by.  Well, the first one sailed by.  That one never had a chance; it really was a pipe dream but I was too uneducated (What? Me, uneducated? Surely you jest!) to realize it at the time.  The second one I really thought would happen but again, I didn't pull it off.  Obviously, right?  Because if I had, somehow, managed to not screw this up, I'd probably be writing a much different post.

Probably.

And none of this should be construed as me giving up because I am not giving up.  I will admit to having those thoughts— to thinking that it's just not meant to be—but I am not giving up.  Yes, I am sad.  Yes, I am discouraged.  Life would probably be a lot easier if I wanted to be a professional precision folder but I don't.  I want to be a writer and so, come hell or high water, I will find a way to get over those hurdles.  I will find a way to get across that finish line.  I will build a bridge or a jet pack or a molecular transportation device (just as soon as I earn my degree in advanced starship technology...).  I will figure out how to sprout wings or learn to levitate or something.  I will figure it out and I will get over those hurdles and I will cross the finish line because failure is not an option.  It may be my current reality but it will not be my future.

But until then, I'm going to worry.



Friday, November 2, 2012

In Which I Review Books

Today's picture was supposed to be of books but I accidentally clicked on the brownie picture instead.  Easily fixable, I know, but I decided to leave it because (a) brownies are delicious and (b) it made me laugh, so what the hell.

These particular brownies came from Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street in Boston.  If you ever have the chance to go, you really should (bring cash).  And don't let the long lines fool you (last time I was there, the lines were out the door and down to the end of the block)... they move fast.

Now, with that PSA out of the way, let's talk books.  This isn't going to be a very long list today.  I didn't get a lot read in October except that's not exactly true.  I read both of my novels, Effigy and Second Nature (or what exists of Second Nature anyway) in order to make a new punch list of errors.  But I'm not going to review them for you today because I'll be too hard on myself (way too many errors!) and then spend the rest of the day crying under my desk because that M.J. Fifield's just so mean.

But here's what I will review for you:

The Raven Boys- Maggie Stiefvater- So last year around this time, I wrote a review of Steifvater's novel The Scorpio Races and I gushed over it.  A lot.  And then I gushed over it some more because I freaking loved (and still do) that book.  So this year, I pick up The Raven Boys and I bring it to the Keys with me and I start reading it on a beach and because I get so sucked into the story, I forget to turn over and I end up with a partially sunburned ass which affects my ability to sit properly the rest of the vacation and I don't care (much anyway) because the book is freaking awesome.  Her character creation, her writing style, the damn ending, all of it just blew me away.  The worst thing about this book is that I don't have the next one and I have to wait for the next one and  I don't want to wait because I want to know what happens next because I love these characters.  Blue and her Raven boys (Gansey and Adam and Ronan and Noah)— beautiful, just awesome.  I want to become best friends with Maggie Stiefvater so I can read everything she writes as she writes it.  Down to her grocery lists because I figure they have to be pretty damn awesome too.

Reflected In You- Sylvia Day- I read the first book in this series sometime ago.  This is the second.  It continues the adventures of damaged lovers Eva and Gideon.  And I found it to be kind of repetitive.  Very repetitive.  There was a lot of "I love you but I don't trust you so I can't be with you anymore. Wait, I do trust you, I guess I can be with you. No, wait, I don't trust you so I can't be with you anymore" going on and it got very boring.  There's a Big Event that's revealed toward the end that does make me wonder how that might affect their relationship (which is on again by the end) in the third book.

Dead To You- Lisa McMann- So I've read a few of her books and outright didn't like the last one (Cryer's Cross... something about a haunted desk? Whatever.) but the premise of this book I found very intriguing.  Ethan was abducted from his family when he was seven years old and finds his way back to them nine years later.  Things are all right at first and then things start falling apart.  So let me just say... I love 99% of this book.  I love the way it's written and I love the characters.  So, so good.  I worried during the whole of this book, worried about how things were going to turn out for the characters because I wanted good things for them but I knew something was going to happen that wouldn't be good, and this is always a mark of how good a book is.  But then there was the ending.  Yeah, I'm going to harp on the ending again (and I still need to write my post on good versus bad endings, I know) and without getting into too many details... It stopped where I thought the story was just getting started.  And as far as I know, this is a stand-alone novel and there is no more story to come but I desperately want to know what happens next.  I needed more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

544

It's November 1st.  You know what that means?  Yes, it means that I'm procrastinating on my NaNoWriMo project (more on that in a minute) but it means that another NaBloWriMo has come to an end and that I, once again, managed to blog all thirty one days October had to offer.

I'm a little blogged out and I'm sure y'all are sick of seeing me pop up in your blog feeds.  The good news for all involved is that while I'm intending to scale things back to two or maybe three posts a week, there's an excellent chance that I'm going to fall off the face of the earth all together.  Again.

So I'm a little bit surprised that I'm posting today.  Maybe I shouldn't be.  Surprised, that is.  I am, after all, procrastinating on my brand spankin' new NaNoWriMo project and what better way to do that than to write something else, right?  As of the moment I'm typing this sentence, the project in question is a whopping 544 words long (only 49,456 more to go!).  There's no plot, no set genre, and my main character doesn't have a name but other than that I think it's going very well.  It's going to be interesting (possibly maddening) to see where this thing goes because I honestly don't have any idea.  I have absolutely nothing planned out.

In my previous NaNoWriMo years, I started with a main character (with a name) and a genre.  For example, the first year I wrote a chick lit/romance novel which had certain elements I knew were needed.  Heroine?  Check.  Love interest?  Check.  Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, boy and girl ride off into the sunset together?  Check, check, check and check.  So while I didn't exactly know how I was going to get there, I at least knew where there was.  The second year I wrote a YA urban fantasy about a sixteen year old demon hunter so I knew there would be some demon fightin' scenes and a world in peril plot which would eventually lead to a resolution where the world is saved.  So again, while I couldn't see the entire path to the end, I still knew it was there and approximate where it was going.  It's that whole headlights at night metaphor.

But this year,  I don't even know what I'm doing.  This year, my headlights are out completely.  This year, I'm fumbling through the woods and I don't have a working flashlight.  I mean, it kind of feels like a contemporary fiction piece, free of any supernatural elements and set in an everyday place, but I'm only 544 words into the damn thing and the only thought I had before I started was "I want to write unhappy people" (as if I ever write anything else, I know) which lead to my first line.  There's still plenty of time for this thing to careen into something completely different.

And you know what?  I kind of can't wait for that to happen.

Cheers!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hey Sister Soul

Happy Halloween Everyone!  Today on My Pet Blog, the spotlight is on author Bonnie Rae.  If you haven't been by her blog, you should check it out.  I always enjoy her posts and whenever she features music, I always end up needing to download more MP3s (not that I'm complaining. I love finding new music).  And what's even better than that is that her second novel, Nether Soul, was released yesterday.




Nether World was the last place Ava Walker pictured spending the rest of her life, but after her mother’s murder, she had no choice. In order to save her little sister, Ava made a deal with the Devil, an unbreakable vow to live amongst the darkness and demons in a city of steel and fire. She's lost everything. Her mother is gone, her sister and best friend are on the run, and Kaine, the fallen angel who stole her heart, was incinerated right before her eyes.


Life couldn’t get any worse.


But she underestimates Lucifer. He goes back on his word and asks Ava to do the unthinkable: commit herself to his service and be reborn as one of the very creatures she was destined to fight. If she refuses, those dearest to her heart will be sealed with a deadly fate. If she accepts, mankind doesn’t stand a chance.
 
War is coming, and Ava must make a choice: die or become Death...

Nether Soul is the sequel to Nether Bound, Bonnie Rae's first book...




Both are available now  for download from Amazon (go check them out now!).  Bonnie's starting the third and final book in the series tomorrow as her NaNoWriMo project (her user name is Bonnie Rae. Add her to your buddy list today!).  You can also find Bonnie on Twitter at @BRLouwerens.

Congratulations, Bonnie, and best of luck to you!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So The Drama (A Tuesday Teaser)

Tuesdays during the month of October have been reserved for the sharing of excerpts from my (maybe one day but I wouldn't count on it) soon-to-be published novel, Effigy.  But today I'm doing something a little different.  Don't get too excited— I'm still posting an excerpt.  It's just not going to be from Effigy.

Instead it's from Lineage, the second part of Second Nature.  It's also known as "My Craptastic NaNoWriMo Project from Last Year."  You might think maybe I'm being a little too hard on myself with that whole "craptastic" thing but here's the thing... I'm not.  I read the whole thing yesterday for the first time since I wrote it last year and it's bad.  Very bad.  Very, very bad.  Most of it will be headed for the shredder.

But there were two scenes that I intend to keep and one of these is the one I'm going to share with you today.  In one of the previous Tuesday Teasers, you read about Haleine and Dana, the two main characters in Effigy. You can read about their first kiss HERE.  They're not the main characters of Second Nature but they're still around and in Lineage, they have this scene where their entire tumultuous relationship comes to a head.

As always, I hope you enjoy it.  And thank you, all of you, for sticking with me even though I continue to do things like this.  It's the last one for a while though.  I promise...

§§§

“What business have you here?” Haleine demanded once she found a voice.

Dana stepped into the house.  “They told me you were dead,” he said.  “I came to—”

“You came to what?” she said.  “To mourn me?”

“I mourned you already,” he said, taking a step closer to her.  “I came to see if they had spoken true.  I came to see if you were, in fact, dead.”

“I do not know what I am.”

He took another step toward her.  “But you are not dead.”

“If you say.”

Another step.  “Haleine—”

“Don’t,” she said.

He stopped.  “Don’t?”

“Don’t say my name like that,” she said.  “Like you—”

"Haleine?"

“Like you love me.”

"But I do."

She shook her head.  “You are incapable of that.”

“I’ve given you no reason to think otherwise, I know,” Dana said.

“Then we are in agreement,” she said, “and now you can be on your way.”

“Haleine, you have to give me—”

“There is nothing I have to give you,” she said.  “Nor is there anything I will give you.  You think I don’t know what it is that brings you here?  You think I don’t know what it is you want?”

"Forgiveness," Dana said.

She knew she lacked the strength to stand.  She lacked the strength to do anything more than sit but still she wanted to attack him.  She wanted to throw herself at him.  She wanted to hit him, beat her fists against his chest until he crumbled beneath her fury.  She wanted to make him bleed for having the audacity to even utter such a request in her hearing.  She placed her palms on the table and used it to push herself up.  She slid her hands across the rough surface and gripped the table’s edges.

“You did not come here for forgiveness,” she said, turning her head to look at him.  “Do not try and tell me otherwise.”

“Then why do you suppose I am here, Haleine?” he asked.  “If not for you.”

She turned her body next, her left hand staying flush with the tabletop.

“No, I know you are here for me,” she said.  “But you are not here for my forgiveness.”

She shoved off the table.  She couldn’t manage a single step before she fell.  He came forward and caught her.  His arms went around her and pulled her close.  As she fell into him, she hit him.  She turned her hands to fists and beat against his chest, his face, any part she could reach.  He didn’t stop her.  He didn’t protest.  He just held her until her arms went slack.  Then he moved her back to the chair and helped her to sit down again.  When she was seated, he knelt down in front of her and placed his hand on her cheek.

She put her hand on his chest and tried to shove him away from her.  She found she lacked the strength to move him.  She grabbed a fistful of his tunic but looked away from him.

“You listen to what I have to say,” she said.  “You can’t have me.  Not for your damned war nor for anything else.  To you, to your goddess, I am dead and no amount of begging on your part will change that.”

Dana let his hand drop and she released her hold on him.  She placed her hands once again on the edges of the table, now more than ever holding on for dear life.  From the corner of her eye, she saw his jaw slacken and his mouth drop open slightly.  He covered his mouth with the hand he had used to cover her cheek.

“Laorans did not bring me here today,” he said finally.  “I serve her interests no longer.”

“Of course you do,” she said, looking at him fully.  “You have never done anything else.  You do not know how to be anything else.”

“For you, I will learn.”

“I do not want that.  I do not want you.”

“I am not anyone without you,” he said.  “Not the man I must be.  Not a man at all.  I am a ghost, a shadow.  Without you I am nothing.”

“Mayhap you should have thought of that sooner,” she spat.

Dana bowed his head.  “Haleine, please,” he said.  “I am as you command me.”

“No, I was as you commanded me,” she said.  “I was as you made me.  I made myself a liar, a whore.  For you I did this and still, you dared call me traitor.”

“Tell me what to do,” he begged.  “Tell me what you want.  I’ll do it.  Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

“Go away from here, Dana,” she said, “and do not return.  I have no desire to ever lay eyes upon you again and we have no more to say to each other.”

He kept his head bowed as he stood and backed away from her.  He opened the door and hovered there, one foot outside.  He looked at the floor for a moment and then lifted his head to look at her.

“Your words today have killed me, Haleine.”

She did not blink.  “Then my debt to you is repaid.”

§§§


Monday, October 29, 2012

I Do NaNo, Do You NaNo Too?

Thursday marks the start of that yearly rite of passage, NaNoWriMo.  It's been all over the blogosphere lately as writers try to prepare for this event or try to decide if they should give it a go so I don't think I need to tell you what NaNoWriMo is, but if you're unsure, look at the graphic on the left.  That'll give you the general gist of things.

Thursday also marks my first day off (The Store does not give Frankenstorm Days), begged for by me so that I could have the first day to get off to a great start.  Last year, I didn't get started until Day Five.  There was some... drama going on so my poor sad little project got bumped.  I came raring back though and limped across the 50k line with entire minutes to spare.

It was my third win.  My first year, I wrote a chick lit/romance novel.  It was an experiment because I often times make fun of chick lit/romance and I wanted to see if I could do it any better.  I personally think I did but I'm probably not the most unbiased person on this subject.  My second year I tackled the YA urban fantasy genre.  This project remains technically unfinished but there's some great stuff (again, according to me) in there and so, some day I hope to get back to it.  Someday.

Last year, I decided to write the first draft of the next installment of my fantasy series.  I did this because I thought I'd be so much further along with Effigy than I currently am.  I thought I'd have Effigy out in the world and be working feverishly to get the second book, Second Nature, done so that it too could be out in the world.

Silly M.J. (Publishing is for competent adults!)

But, alas, I didn't get Effigy out into the world and I haven't even looked at what I wrote last year.  I'm printing up a copy of it though so I can look at it because this year, for NaNoWriMo, I'm attempting to write the next installment and I thought it would be good if I knew where I had left off with everything.

Because right now, all I have prepared for NaNoWriMo this year is a stash of sugary sweets, a name for the MC and the genre in which I should write.  And I wouldn't even have the last two if I wasn't working on a continuing story.  Needless to say, I am going to need a miracle every single second I can wrest from my schedule.

It is with this in mind that I offer those who encounter me in my non-online life this helpful chart:


WHEN IT IS OKAY TO INTERRUPT M.J. WHEN SHE'S WRITING:


1.  Hey, M.J., just thought you should know that the building's on fire.

(please note, this also includes other events where if immediate evacuation does not happen, it will lead to injury and/or death)
 
2.  Hey, M.J., just thought you should know that Joss Whedon's here to see you.


So please consult this list when trying to decide whether to bother me during the month of November (or maybe the rest of the year too. I'll let you know) because if it's not one of those two things, I don't want to know about it.  This goes for my co-workers too.  I know technically I work for The Store but if you come across me writing a scene for my NaNoWriMo project, don't interrupt because you have a customer looking for a small snowflake sweater.  You know where the small snowflake sweaters are.  Go get it yourself.  Just... don't make a mess while you're doing it.  Which you're going to do because that's what you do.  I mean, I don't know why it's so damn difficult for you to get one single sweater off the top of a stack of sweaters without leaving the whole thing in a jumbled mess but you do it every damn time so, so yeah.  Go ahead and interrupt me when you need that small snowflake sweater.  We'll all be happier in the long run. 

Sorry.  I got a little sidetracked there. I'd tell you that it won't happen again but I think we all know that it will.

Anyway, I've got to go.  You know how it is... snowflake sweaters to fold, Frankenstorms to prepare for...  But if you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year, look me up.  I'm using the very clever user name M.J. Fifield. 

Be safe, all.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Ride

Last weekend, I told you about how my beautiful niece turned nine years old (thank you for the birthday wishes.  Jupiter loved them all).  Last Sunday I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with her, her mother and my brother and sister-in-law.  We went out to eat and then went shopping at the mall where I bought more of my favorite yoga pants in the whole entire world (I love being a writer).  It may seem like a small unimportant detail but it's about to get important because, before we left, Jupiter and I went on the carousel that sits at the entrance to the food court.

This is the story of that ride.

I suppose the good news is that I got on for free as her chaperone or whatever.  I really think her mother believes that when Jupiter and I are together, we require our own chaperone, but I didn't argue with the ticket girl.  We took our tickets and got in line behind one other little girl and her mother.

Jupiter said she wanted to go on the spinning tea cup.  I tried to push for one of the horses (because we're both horse crazy) or maybe that nice bench that didn't move at all.  No dice.  So I said, "Sure.  Let's go on the spinning tea cup."  Because, after all, it was a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?

Stupid, stupid M.J..

I handed my belongings over to my brother and sister-in-law who joked that it was a good thing I had gotten a plastic bag with my yoga pants because I would need it after the ride.  And I laughed right along with them because I was thinking, "Hey, it's a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?"

Stupid, stupid M.J..

When it was our turn, the little girl ahead of us ran straight to the spinning tea cup.  Jupiter was crushed.  I suggested we could go on one of the other non spinning things but then the ticket girl (thank you, by the way, for this) suggested we just wait for the next go around all together.  To which Jupiter readily agreed.

So we waited and we watched the little girl spin around in the little tea cup thing.  It didn't seem so bad.

Stupid, stupid M.J..

And as we watched, Jupiter was telling me about how fast she was going to spin the tea cup and I thought, "she's nine and this is a carousel in a mall.  How fast could it be?"

Stupid, stupid M.J..

At last, it was our turn.  Jupiter raced to get to the spinning tea cup.  I followed behind at a more leisurely rate.  I had barely sat down and laid my arms on the back of the cup before the ticket girl (who has become my new mortal enemy right behind the spinning tea cup itself) started the ride moving and Jupiter started spinning us around.

Quickly my arms were pinned in position as centrifugal force or some other physics things (dammit, Jim, I'm a writer not a physicist) took over.  There was absolutely no safe place to look because the food court had become a blurry messy of noise.  One distinct sound I kept hearing over and over again was the gleeful cackling of my niece as she continued to work the torture device known as the spinning wheel.  That, and the short burst of laughter coming from my siblings (and sibling-in-law) every time Jupiter and I passed.

As the ride continued, I became concerned that I was going to die.  And also that maybe the spinning tea cup was just going to fly off the carousel completely, going flying into the food court and land in the middle of Mrs. Fields. I expressed my concerned to Jupiter and suggested that maybe we slow down a bit.  Jupiter told me it'd be fine and kept spinning.

Meanwhile, someone from the peanut gallery (aka my siblings) shouted, "Half way there, M.J.!"

"Half way?!?!?!?!?!?" I sobbed shouted back bravely.  "Someone get me off this thing! Bring it on!"

Stupid, stupid M.J..


I resorted then to looking at the silver bottom of the tea cup.  It was the only spot that didn't look like it was spinning.  Jupiter told me not to close my eyes because that would really freak me out.

"Already there, Sweets," I said.  "Oh god, am I already there.  I mean, I'm fine.  I'm really, really fine."

Jupiter responded by cackling some more and finding yet another gear to empower her spinning euphoria.

And just when I thought I might never get off the spinning tea cup ride (unless it was in a body bag), it came to an end.  Of course then my problem became walking without vomiting.  Jupiter bounced off the carousel like it never had been moving.  I stumbled around following the sound of my name until I found my brother waiting at the gate for me, my yoga pants stuffed into my purse and the magical plastic bag blissfully empty.

I wanted to collapse into a heap just outside of the carousel's gate and have a good cry but we walked out to the car instead where I sat in the backseat with my head out the window and my carousel sickness bag at the ready.  Jupiter sat next to me, my phone in her hands, watching YouTube videos of people spinning in circles.  I declined to watch when she offered to share them with me.

On my ride home that evening, I stopped first for Ginger Ale.  I stopped half way home (it was an hour and a half drive) for another reason.  And the next morning as I prepared for work, I packed saltines for breakfast and lunch because my stomach was still not my friend.

But I'm okay now. So long as I don't close my eyes.  Or turn too quickly in my desk chair.

And that's how spinning tea cup rides became my mortal enemy.  But, for my niece, it was worth it.  Even though she'll never get me to go on another with her again. Ever again.  Are you reading this, Jupiter?  Because I mean that.  NEVER.  EVER.  AGAIN.

Love you, Sweets.
 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Soundbites: The Last One Edition

First of all, thanks once again to Andrew Leon who took excellent care of My Pet Blog while I was away yesterday.  Feel free to come back anytime, Andrew.

And now, the main event: last (probably) installment of my ever popular Saturday Soundbite series where I frighten you with how much television I watch in a single week (feel free to judge me in the comments. You won't be the first.).  Here are my favorite things from this past week:

"They were out of turtles. I bought a tiny cowboy hat for nothing!" ~Nick, New Girl


"They call me Giggle Bangs Rice Bowl." ~Jess, New Girl

 
"That girl's so whack, her first name should be nick-nack patty." ~Sinbrad (Brad), Happy Endings


"Lunesta— Nature's Ambien..." ~Adam, Happy Endings



"This one says 'I'm going comando'.  I don't really get it but I do support the military." ~ Sue, trying to choose a keychain, on The Middle



"Let me tell you why I'm so awesome... You see, even when I have no idea what I'm doing, I pretend I do.  That's why I'm good at everything."  ~Axl, The Middle



"The world needs more dreamers, Luke.  Never stop licking things." ~Phil, Modern Family


"A Gryffindor letting his mom carry his Quidditch broom?  How Hufflepuff is that?" ~Phil, Modern Family


"When you start ranting, I start shopping in the craft store of my mind."  ~Lisa (maybe? I don't know her name), Suburgatory (which I didn't even watch. I just had the TV on and overheard that part)


"If you want to get to him, you have to go through me."  (beat) "Wow.  They are probably gonna go through me."  ~Tommy, trying to protect Oliver from some thugs, on Arrow (which I love with all my heart and not just because I have a reason to post this picture:

Hello, Nurse!


And finally, these two things from Parks and Recreation:

Diane: Am I interrupting something important?
Ron:  Impossible. I work for the government.

And this, a moment so sweet and awesome, it got me all choked up inside:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Feature: Andrew Leon

I have to be out of town today so I am turning My Pet Blog over to the very capable and very talented hands of author and master of allegory, Andrew Leon who deserves a much grander introduction than that.  Hmmm.  Okay...


Imagine the Star Wars theme song blasting through speakers (or an orchestra, your choice) while down an aisle lined with jedi knights doing lightsaber tricks (if there is such a thing) comes today's Special Guest.

And the crowd goes wild.

Take it away, Andrew...

§§§

How Do You Eat Your Serial?


Serials have been out of style for a long time. A really long time. They went from being the way novels were presented in the 19thcentury to fading out almost altogether in the 20th. There have been some experiments with serialization in the last few decades, including one by Stephen King, but they have met with limited success.

However, the rise of the e-book may be changing all of that.

My own interest in doing a serial arose after reading an article from “someone who knows” that you should never ever never do a serialization. For any of you that don't know me, I'm kind of contrary, no, wait, I'm a lot contrary, and my immediate reaction to that was “why not?” Which makes me understand, maybe, why my kids can never just do as their told. I've kind of taught them not to, so, maybe, I shouldn't get so upset when I have to tell them “why” every time I tell them to do something.

Anyway... As I said, serializations used to be the way writing was done, and I couldn't think of any good reason not to try it out. It seemed to me that short bites might be something that today's portable device people would like. Let's just call the whole things an experiment. An interesting experiment. I found out a couple of months into my whole serialization process that Amazon was opening a special serialization arm of their print division, because they see it as a coming thing. Now, I'm not saying a started a bandwagon, but it looks like I was definitely in front of it. Of course, it's too late for me to do Shadow Spinner under the umbrella of Kindle Serials, but I already have an idea for another one that I'll do through their serial branch as soon as I finish this one.

Currently, there are seven chapters of Shadow Spinner available:

Each part is only $0.99 except on the few days each quarter that I'm allowed to make them free.
There is also an accompaniment piece: "The Evil That Men Do

It's not necessary for Shadow Spinner, but it does provide some background.

If you haven't considered serializations before, they may be worth a think. There have certainly been more released this year than in the last couple of decades combined.

§§§

Thanks to Andrew for guest posting today (and raising the IQ level of My Pet Blog to an all time high)!  Be sure to check out his blog and his books.  You won't be disappointed.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Questionable Content

As you may be aware, I've been on a quest this month to blog each and every day.  And, as this month winds down, I've been struggling a little bit more to come up with something resembling a quality post.    After all, if you're going to take the time to come here, I want you to have something interesting to look at.  Or, if 'interesting' is overstating things a little, then something that's at least something.  (That's right, folks.  I'm a writer!  Marvel at my command of the English language!)

So I am incredibly grateful that I found my way to author extraordinaire Jolene Perry's blog, Been Writing?,  yesterday and read her post "Questions... Questions..."  because now I have a post for today.  She thought about questions she likes to ask writers and posted them.  And now I'm going to answer them.


1.  Do you ever close your eyes when you're writing?


Not during the actual writing itself but if I'm trying to work out a scene or something, I might.

2.  Do you listen to music while you write?  Before you write?  Neither?


I like to have background noise when I write, be it music, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the Red Sox game.  But I have story specific playlists that I put on when I need to work out major problems.  Not that I ever have any of those...
 
3.  Do you work on one project at a time?  Or many projects at a time?


I typically work on one project at a time but I always have one in  reserve to play with when/if  I need a break from that main project.
 
4.  Do you know when you've started writing something special?  Or do they all feel special?


Nope.  Once I started a story thinking it would be something special— the best thing I'd ever written— and well... it didn't work out.
 
5.  Are there projects that you couldn't imagine changing anything in the story?  And on the opposite of that, are there projects where you could shrug about change and jump in and do it?


Yes, to both.

6.  Do titles come easily for you?  Or are they more difficult?
 


Titles do not come easily for me.  My stories usually get three or four titles before I settle on one that isn't lame and/or stupid.

7.  Did you know you wanted to be a writer when you started your first book?


Nope.  When I started my first book, I wanted to be an actress on Broadway. 
 
8.  Do you think your first book will be published?
 


Only if self-publishing counts.

9.  Are there favorite places in your house where you like to write?  Or do you get more work done when you go somewhere else?
 

I love writing in my office but sometimes I get more writing done at my day job (just don't tell my boss).  There's just something about the mindless monotony of my job that frees my mind to create some awesome (if I do say so myself) stuff.  But that doesn't mean I like going to my day job.  Because I don't.  But if I write something awesome, I don't mind it as much.

§§§


Thanks again to Jolene for providing today's topic and thanks to all of you for stopping by.

Cheers!
 
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Need A Day Off.

Before I commence with the baby rant (which is not a rant against babies, just a rant that is short), I just wanted to thank everyone who stopped by yesterday.  I know I keep saying this but I really do appreciate you taking the time to come here and then follow it up by leaving me such lovely, thoughtful comments.

That said, let the ranting begin...

I NEED A DAY OFF.

End rant.

No, really.  That's it.  And that's not me saying I'm the only one who could use a day off; I'm sure we all could use a day off.  That's just me saying out loud that I need a day off.  I had a crappy week last week and this week isn't shaping up to be much better and I need a day off.  Preferably before I smack my new co-workers silly.

Like this...



Or this...



Until next time, all.  Unless, of course, I snap and end up in jail.  Which won't happen.  Probably. May we all have a nice stretch of days off in the very near future!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Two Who Are The Two (A Tuesday Teaser)

Yep. Today's the day when I bore thrill you with an excerpt of my upcoming (some day before the world ends, maybe) novel, Effigy.



Last week, I shared a scene with my character, James, making a controversial decision.  Today's scene is between James and Dana, the leader of the rebellion, as they discuss what has happened and what has yet to happen.

As always, I hope you enjoy it...

§§§ 

“Varro wasn’t there,” James said.  “He left his men in Nechtan to go somewhere else— south, I suppose— and he wasn’t there.  So I killed his men instead.  The ones I came across in battle, the ones who surrendered afterward.  I killed them all.”
 “You didn’t do it alone.”

“It was done either at my hand or my command.  There’s no difference.”
“That’s what it is,” Dana said, “to do what we do.”
“To do what we do,” James echoed.  He looked at Dana, grunted with annoyance and stood up.  “Sit down before you fall over.”
Dana sank into the chair.  “Maybe you should take some time and go home.  Go back to Enimode and—”
“And what?”
“And remind yourself why you’re doing this,” Dana said.
“I know why I’m doing this,” James said.  “Don’t ever think I’ve forgotten that.”
“I think you’ve forgotten there’s more than what you buried that day,” Dana said.  “Sarai, Aaron— they survived, James, and you need to remember that.  You need them to anchor you to the living.  You have one foot in a grave and—”
I have a foot in a grave?  What about you?  You and Varro are racing to see which one of you can put you in the ground first and I honestly can’t say which will succeed,” James said.  “So where’s your anchor?  Who’s your anchor?  Is it my family?  Your lady’s maid?  You haven’t been near Enimode nor Eluned for months now so tell me who is it?  What keeps you tied to the living?”
Dana gestured to the tent’s entrance.  “Them?  You?”
“And aren’t we performing admirably,” James said.  “If you want me to believe that, you’ll need to stop trying to kill yourself.”
“I’m not trying to kill myself.”
“The hell you aren’t.”  James moved in a drunken circle.  “You should really get a second bloody chair in here, you know.”
“I’ll do that,” Dana said.  “Just as soon as we finish beating back the forces of darkness.”
James finally sat on the ground, his elbows resting on his knees.  “We’ll never be finished with that.  We could kill Varro, Maddox, Omur— all of them— tomorrow and still it won’t be done.  Their gods would only find someone else to do their bidding.”
“True,” Dana said.  “Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing those three dead.”
“No one would,” James said.  “How do you suppose one kills a god?”
“I don’t know.”
“We’ll have to work it through if we’re to truly end this but I can’t imagine it’s easily done.”
 “I can’t imagine that’s something a person comes back from.”
“Do you really think either of us will come back from this?”
“No.”
James held out the bottle.  “Well, at least you didn’t lie about that.”

§§§

Monday, October 22, 2012

In Which I Screw Up (Must Be Monday)

So, here's the thing... today I was scheduled to participate in Kyra Lennon's Letting Go bloghop but last night when I sat down to pre-write this post, I completely spaced on it. I feel horrible because I don't have time to go back and write a new post so I apologize to Kyra and to any of you who stop by here because my name's on the participant list. Kyra's new novella, If I Let You Go, is now available for download so be sure to check it out. It's getting some great reviews!

And now...Onward!

Last week, I participated in The Nineties Blogfest.  This week, I find myself needing to revisiting this topic because there were things I had forgotten.  This always happens to me when I make these types of lists.  I look at the lists that others have made and end up doing one of those mental head slap things because how could I possibly have forgotten about X, Y and Z?

So today's post is devoted to some of those things I forgot to mention the first time around.

The Hunt For Red October

This Jack Ryan adventure starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery (as the only Russian submarine captain with a Scottish accent) was hugely popular in our household growing up.  I don't know why it clicked with us so damn much but it did.  It was at the point where we could recite the entire movie from beginning to end.  The most popular lines were: 

"Some things in here don't react well to bullets."
"The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch."
"Next time, Jack, write a goddamn memo." 


Animaniacs 

I wrote about this cartoon during the A to Z Challenge this past April but I still feel remiss that I didn't mention it again as it was truly a premiere cartoon of the 90's.  The Warner Brothers and the Warner Sister, Pinky and the Brain, Slappy the Squirrel (my personal idol) and more.  Plus there were nifty quotes like...

"All we know is that we like you. We have no taste, but we like you."
"And the moral of today's story is: If you can't say something nice, you're probably at the Ice Capades."

and

Brain: Pinky, are you pondering that I'm pondering?
Pinky:  I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find a duck and a garden hose at this time of night?

Plus, there are awesome songs like this one...


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik, specifically the tracks "Breaking the Girl" and "Under the Bridge"

The first time I heard "Under the Bridge", I was wasting away in geometry class and someone outside in the parking lot was playing this song.  I liked it so much, I tracked it down and bought the cassette single.  Yep, that's how old I am.  I bought a cassette single.

And "Breaking The Girl" is just a damn cool song:



The Simpsons


I didn't get to watch The Simpsons much when they first came out because my mother wasn't a fan of Bart Simpson.  But I happen to see The Treehouse of Terror episode from their second season.  This was the one that contained their version of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven".  I made a habit of showing this episode in my classroom whenever we read this particular poem.  It made me very popular with my students.  For about twenty minutes. I included a clip of it below. The quality isn't fantastic, but it's still fun...


So that's gonna do it for me today.  I'm off for another action packed shift at The Store.  Catch you all tomorrow...



 
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In Which Jupiter Turns Nine

One of my favorite October posts every year is the one in which my beautiful niece, Jupiter, has her birthday.  I'm struggling with it a little this year as I can't believe I seriously just typed 'nine'.  I suppose it'll just be worse next year when she hits double digits.  I mean, c'mon!  She used to be this little:


And now she's turning nine...





Happy Birthday, Jupiter!  We love you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Soundbites: The Day Job Edition

This past week at The Store is what the stock crew (oh wait. That's just me now.) refers to as "hell week" because our receiving numbers skyrocket, old product is moving back into the stockroom at an alarming rate and new product is trickling out.  You test the stockroom's Mary Poppins magic carpet bag ability as you attempt to fit it all in.  And you spend a lot more time at the day job than you do almost any other week of the year.

A lot more time.

What it means for this post is that you don't get all your shows watched, you don't get any books read, you don't do anything but wonder why the new employees insist on asking if you're having fun yet while resisting the urge to hit them with the new foldable shovels you just unpacked.

So here are my meager soundbites from this past week:

"This place is on lockdown.  It'd be easier getting into Tim Tebow's pants."  ~Virginia on Raising Hope

 "If we stopped having sex every time someone died in this town, we'd explode."  ~Tyler on The Vampire Diaries 

"For future reference, when I say I agree with you, it means I'm not listening."  ~Sherlock on Elementary 

and finally this conversation between Sheldon and Leonard during a "find Waldo" competition on The Big Bang Theory:

S:  How could you not find him?
L:  Because he's hard to find.  If he was easy to find, the books would be called There's Waldo.


 Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Feature: Danni Foley

The spotlight today is on that jill-of-all-trades, Danni Foley from Random Thoughts By Danni.  If you're not already following her blog, you should give it a look because this girl's amazing.  And I'm not just saying that because she's a devout Whedonite who's interested in joining me in stalking Joss the Boss professionally (although that's very awesome).

She's also a writer.  Her first novel, Impact, was released this year.  It's a NaNoWriMo book even and she'll be writing the sequel to it next month.  If you're a NaNoWriMo author and are looking for buddies to add to your list, her NaNoWriMo name is randomdanni.  The more the merrier, as Danni says.

Danni's first book. Now available on Amazon!
In addition to writing and blogging and tweeting (@dannifoley) and worshiping Joss Whedon (I'm sorry but that's very important to me), she finds the time to have her own YouTube channel, CrazyOnPaper.  I am very ignorant when it comes to YouTube (I didn't even realize one could have a YouTube channel) but I have seen some of the videos she's posted and they've all made me laugh.  Especially the one about where elf babies come from.  I laughed so hard I may have fallen out of my chair.  But you can't prove it.  Unless my dogs took a video of it and posted it on their own You Tube channel without my knowledge.  Wait... my dogs wouldn't have a YouTube channel, would they?

Never mind.  I'm getting sidetracked.  Sorry, Danni.

Anyway, this morning Danni posted a new video announcing a giveaway for her book:



So please be sure to check it out and please be sure to enter and give this amazing girl some love. Click HERE to do so.

That's gonna do it for me today.  As always, thanks for stopping by!