Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Book Challenge Round 2

As previously mentioned, the Banned Book Challenge is going on between NOW and October 15th. My post on the info is HERE with the link to the original blog there as well. This week is actually the official Banned Book Week! So..WOO!

I chose:
Forever. . .~ Judy Blume
The Rose and The Beast~ Francesca Lia Block
The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide~ Jeremy Daldry

I don't dabble in reviews so I'm going to go over WHY these books are on the challenged/banned list and how I felt.

These 3 are actually part of 55 being challenged by some moms-with-summat-up-their-rumps group in my area. So Its Personal...

The first is The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide: Goodreads Synopsis: Girls just have too many advantages. Have you seen the covers of Seventeen Magazine or YM lately? "Does He Like You? 10 Ways to Know" or "What Is He Really Thinking On Your First Date" or "When to Kiss and Tell." It's enough to leave a guy feeling pretty outgunned! But cheer up, fellas. The new book The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide has just leveled the battlefield! Full of advice on everything from asking a girl out to picking clothes, managing all the changes in your body to the rigors of the social scene, The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide is packed not just with information, but with guidance.

A quick read, at 130 fancy-fun pages. This one I recommend to teen gals everywhere who want to understand what the crap is wrong with guys their age(or any age really...) It also opened my eyes to how EMBARRASSING these things must be to teen guys.(and also wish some guys I knew growing up had had a copy, cause I'm pretty sure I was friends with or dated every BAD, what NOT to do, example in this mug.)

TTGSG was a laugh. In a good way. From the beginning I knew I was going to have to get it should I ever have a son. I thought it was great at laying every awkward, puberty-ridden boy moment out there in an easy, cringe-less way. It even addressed the possibility of being gay and that being something to not be ashamed of. Love it!

From going over the right and wrong ways to handle break-ups to handling peer pressure, to building your own confidence, this has it all for those parents who haven't got a clue what to say or how to open the discussion. 

On that point, it has a lot of insight that a kid might not accept from their parents as fact because, lets face it, when you're a teen your parents become, somehow, full of crap. So this is a good way to give them what they need without lecturing them into a comma where they glean no real content.

On that praise note for this book, I do see why some parents would object to its content.(though I don't agree) It isn't bashful about things like porn and sex and hairy butts and what not. Which, I think is great, but more modest folks might not.

I think, however, this book should only be the first step in communicating with kinds about the issues inside it. I don't think it should be all they ever get from their parents. Parent's need to discuss with their children the issues of drugs and sex and relationships as well as giving them useful information to go over on their own.

That being said, this book being banned is ridiculous,and I kinda hope I do have a boy just so I can buy this book for him and point out the chapter on what romance really is all about. (and that bit about wet dreams, just to watch him get all embarrassed.)

Forever- Judy Blume - Goodreads Synopsis: Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...
I took this one to work with me so I could just polish it off in one of our slow days. BAD IDEA. This book was so freaking unafraid to blatantly throw out squirm worthy details about sex. I'm not saying it upset me at all, I just didn't expect it(somehow, I had never heard details on Judy Blume's books).

It has some great stuff in its pages and some stuff I don't agree on personally. It was, all in all, entertaining for me and would have made being a teen girl a little easier. Feelings, experiences, relationships, etc weren't the end of the world as I knew it kind of stuff. If that makes sense.

Touched on being gay as well, included a good bit about the importance of birth control and how girls shouldn't always count on the guy to be souly responsible. AMEN. It also had bits about STD's teen pregnancy, drinking, parent fights, death, cheating, and how the first love doesn't mean it's the last kinda stuff. Good stuff.

A great line, I loved: "But you have to be sure you can handle the situation before you jump into is a commitment...once you're there you can't go back to holding hands." SO TRUE!

The problems I had with it: 1. The POV changes weirdly. I donno if this is on purpose or if I just missed a pattern but it was really jarring to realize and then have to fall back into the story to have it change again.

2. The girl, Katherine, is forgettable. I tried to remember her name 5 min. after I had put the book down and couldn't remember to save my life!

3. There are SO MANY " . . ." in this book! OMG! I was going insane looking at them all! It was. . . ridiculous! Hated that. . . My least fav thing about this whole book. If THAT. . . was why it is challenged/banned places. . .  I'd be all for it. . . (j/k) but really. . .really. . . annoying.

4. The first time this girl has sex it's all "lalala no big deal!" She was relieved it was over. Her parents tell her one thing, how sex is special and a big step and a huge deal then she experiences another. Didn't like how casual she made sex for a teen. NOT BAN WORTHY though. Just irritated me is all. (even though the first time I had sex was like...whatever. bahaha so it wasn't exactly a lie. But afterward the whole relationship DID change.)

All in all, the biggest problems I had with this book was not content but structure. And those, very well, could have a reason I don't know about. That's it! What do you all think about Judy Blume/ Forever?

The Rose and the Beast- Francesca Lia Block Goodreads Synopsis: With language that is both lyrical and distinctly her own, Francesca Lia Block turns nine fairy tales inside out.Escaping the poisoned apple, Snow frees herself from possession to find the truth of love in an unexpected place.
A club girl from L.A., awakening from a long sleep to the memories of her past, finally finds release from its curse.
And Beauty learns that Beasts can understand more than men.
Within these singular, timeless landscapes, the brutal and the magical collide, and the heroine triumphs because of the strength she finds in a pen, a paintbrush, a lover, a friend, a mother, and finally, in herself.

I can't tell you how much I loved this book. It was a quick read(which was good since I just got the e-mail reminder that all three books were due back that day, not the next week like I thought.) And such a wonderful book. 

The reason it is being challenged and or banned is because of drugs, cursing, sex, rape, and a bit of lesbianism (which was actually my favorite story in the book)

Each story starts a bit confusing, in my opinion. By that, I mean, it just took me a minute to understand what was going on. But once you get going it was magical. I loved the poetry way each story was told and how they included the premise for all our favorite fairytale's, now darkened by a lot of peoples reality of life. 

Each one was about pain, loss, death, sex, drugs, rape, and/or fear.  Things real people have to deal with and overcome. The stories are about just that, overcoming the pain and loss. People using drugs to try and find freedom from their tragic pasts but finding real freedom in the love of someone special who lifts them back up. About standing up to the big bad man who darkened a childhood. Appreciating the love you have. And things of that nature. 

It was beautiful, and interesting to find the fairytale in each one. It was truthful and painful to read about some of the characters because you can't help but ache for them. And I HATE this one being looked down on by anyone. I loved every fantastic page. 

Banning a published book from the public at large is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. We trust in the publishing and editing agencies to weed out what is okay and not. If you don't like a certain kind of book I suggest you not read it. But just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have a right the do away with it. You want to oppress people, buy your own island and rule away. But I don't think we should stand for it. No one has the right to tell me what I can and can't read. 

Parents who challenge any of these books because of content are seriously depriving their children from things they need to know. And if a parent is willing to ban all books for issues like being gay, sex, drugs, cursing, etc. then I can't imagine what kind of cave world their child lives in. I do understand restricting a book because a parent might not approve and what is FINE. Parents are more aware of how and what their own children can deal with, but I don't know what your kid is capable of so I have no right to say.

These are things of the world. Smoking and cursing, kids do it. Sex and experimenting, kids do it! And if their parents, the people who are souly responsible for the well-being of their offspring, aren't willing to talk to them about such issues and enlighten them on the dangers and their choices, then how can they be surprised when their kids screw up badly?  

I love and appreciate all books that can make a kid feel better about themselves and less like a freak. Parents need to be there for their children, willing to talk to and support them. As well as to give them books by people who went through and know about the same kind of issues a kid can have that will make them feel like they aren't alone; Not try and shut out all the bad things in the world, putting blinders on them and then sending them out into it unprepared emotionally. 

I would love to hear what you all have to say about any of these books or about any of the issues in general. Get out a read some banned books, see what all the hubub is about. It's wonderful! They choose to ban some of the best books! 

If anyone missed the epic debut of SHARKTOPUS (as I did...ehem) HERE is an equally, if not more, epic rundown of the entire movie over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog. A quick, terribly funny read.

HERE is why you may be getting rejected with your novel.

HERE!!!! is how to raise boys to read!! My husband needs this. Badly.

Don't Forget to get an entry into my Freedom Contest going on right now and win your own copy of SPEAK HERE!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Didn't have a planned post til tomorrow but:

Chatting with my lil bro today, I'm trying to get him into YA. (He laughed at me when I suggested it) He seems to be getting into the idea. So I told him to get The Hunger Games first for 2 reasons. 1. it's killer awesome! and 2. I couldn't think of guy friendly books I love other than that one! SO...

What are some fella friendly YA novels I could recommend for him? (he's not little. 22. But always my lil bro in my eyes.)So not tween.

I get to hang out with him this weekend when I go back to my home state so might have to show him around the YA section and hand him some good books so bring on the recommendations!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not the best? No surprise there.

This is why I don' talk about my novel's with my husband. I love him like nothing in the world but damned if he isn't the worst about literature.

"I wanna go somewhere." -Me
"Like where?"-Hubs
I debate just outing myself right here, but know my husband could set himself up to get suckered into going where I want to go if I just hold out. "I donno." Add a exaggerated bored sigh here. -Me
"Want to go to Lowes?"- Hubs looking genuinely psyched. 
Holding back a gross face as, while I enjoy Lowes when I need something, I don't care to 'window shop' there. "What do you need at Lowes?" Sneer/smile- Me
"Some bolts and screws. I want to remove the computer from the Ruckus and blah blah blah blah my wife just zoned out but is still maintaining eye-contact so I will think she gives a crap as I explain something though she really has no idea what I'm talking about."-Hubs
"Well, I was actually thinking about the bookstore. Maybe I would go to Lowes with you if you will go to the bookstore with me?" -Me
Hubs fails to even attempt to FAKE interest. "Well that doesn't sound like fun. Don't like books and you know what's more? Don't like learnin'. So...No." That last bit he said with the worst, cringe-worthy southern accent ever. Which he doesn't really have.


I have been waiting so long to see these two together in a film. <3 Can't Wait.

Looking forward to this, Tangled, Let Me In, Black Swan, TRON: Legacy, The Green Hornet, Beastly, Sucker Punch, Easy A, Monsters, gosh... Some great movies coming out!

But the best, the one I get choked up watching the trailers for. The one who's books I have been obsessed with for a decade and make me push my own writing to bigger, better, Potter and the Deathly Hallows(1)

What I'm NOT looking forward to coming out, or even being made: Hong Kong Fooey, Yogi Bear, Footloose, Smurfs 3D, (Anyone elses childhood screaming with pitchforks and torches?) Final Destination 5(how many more ways can they manipulate this insane loop of a plot? no more? cause they couldn't even change it up twice? oh yea...I said it..) Breaking Dawn(only because 2 movies is ridiculous. That book barely had enough content for 1 movie. SPOILER: NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS.) not trying to hate on Twilight, enjoyed the books personally but come on.

It's the life of someone who can call themselves "the best" at one thing or another to know, on a daily basis, that someone is going to not only challenge their "greatness" but also overcome them. You can jump the highest? Watch me jump higher. You can run the fastest? Watch me smoke you.

It's easy to be the best at physical things like swimming, jumping, running, swinging, skipping, yawning, throwing etc. Because those aren't objective. It can be proven without someones opinion getting in the way.

But being the best writer? Impossible. It's too objective. You can't even hope to be the best in a genre. Some writers write with so much descriptive poetry its like a song. Some write with so much heart you can't help but disappear in their words. Some are raw and hard and real. Some are soft and kind and uplifting. People like all different kinds just as people write all different ways.

I can't even tell you who my favorite author is right now if you had a gun. I love lots for lots of reasons.

Obviously, I adore J.K.Rowling. She is so spellbinding with her words. We all pictured her HP world clearly and easily and loved every magical moment. I loved every character she gave us, good or bad. Because she could make me love or hate them so completely. She held my attention for years, and still does any time I pick one up again. I envy people when they read them the first time because I remember how that felt. And every book has something new or a twist or a person that ties into everything else. I was amazed at the way she brought everything together in the end and even added a much loved twist that still surprised me.

Suzanne Collins can break your heart without ever spelling out what has happened. She doesn't have to come right out with it. It's like you watch it all happen and don't need to be talked down to by her writing it all out. She has a power to make you swell with emotion and force you to read her right then, right now. No matter what anyones opinion of the last book is, no one can deny how she snagged you in the beginning and how real she made the war.  Nor can any deny the points she was making.

Laura Whitcomb writes in a musical way. I couldn't get enough of the way she describes things, its hard to describe her accurately. But it is just hypnotizing, reading her words. I'm a gal that loves some action and all but when this woman describes a teenagers room you can help but get tingles, she's that good.  

But I can't say they any one of them is better than the other. That is the nature of being a writer.

This brings me much comfort, rather than bringing me down. I would hate to be considered "the best" at writing because I would know every moment of the day that I will inevitably fall short.

As it is, there is enough pressure to top yourself with a second novel after you have had great success with the first. And if you're a great writer you will always be able to match yourself, if not better yourself from the last time. And that's comforting, to know you will always be able to improve or at the very least stay consistently good. But if you're "the best" you know, without a shadow of a doubt, you will eventually fall.

As long as you do the best you can, make your novel great and amazing and magical to someone, I don't think it's that important to make it perfect to everyone, or possible really. Every writer dreams of being great, me included.  I think that's enough for us all.

But that's just my opinion.

HERE are 7 links to encourage your inner writer. A great must read. 

Apparently one of my email addresses is sending spam about vitamins or some junk like that of its own free will. SO, If anyone gets an email from me and it's about anything other than something relevant: Don't Open It.  My advice? We all need to hunker down for the computer revolution. Almost as threatening as the zombie outbreak. You've been warned.

Don't Forget to get an entry into my Freedom Contest going on right now and win your own copy of SPEAK HERE!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Funny Friday

Okay, okay. I'm making Funny Friday an every week thing. So there.

THIS clever woman gives some great advice about query letters with her comedy. 

JOKE!: Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a
bench rings and a man engages the hands free speaker function and
begins  to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"

WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes"

WOMAN: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's
only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure, go ahead if you like it that much."

WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2010
models. I saw one I really liked."

MAN: "How much?"

WOMAN: "$90,000"

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."

WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing. The house I wanted last year is
back on the market. They're asking $950,000"

MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $900,000. They will
probably take it. If not, we can go the extra 50 thousand if it's really
a pretty good price."

WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!"

MAN: "Bye! I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in
astonishment, mouths agape.

He turns and asks: "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?"


Anyone remember Saved by the Bell? No? Whatever. THIS site is GREAT at freeze framing and captioning awkward/inappropriate/eyebrow raising moments from that show.

This video of a proposal is just adorable and funny. Had to share it.

Simon's Cat is awesome!

How about some senior boys in cheer leading skirts? (that sounded more dirty than I actually meant...)

And finally:
Sassy gay friend, anyone?

This weekend I have an outing...planned? Not planned so much as being considered. I want to go and sit in a public(or several) places and listen to conversations. And write what I hear, making notes of the different kinds of people and the way they talk. Any good suggestions on great places to do this? Coffee shops, a given. Mall, a possibility. But any others?

Don't Forget to get an entry into my Freedom Contest going on right now and win your own copy of SPEAK HERE!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Libraries, Laptops, and other scary things.

Hey, guess what rancid banana smacked me in the face today... C.E. Murphy (my recently chosen pen name) is already an Alaskan fantasy author. *facepalmx10* Suckage. So, for heaven-sakes, just call me Colene then.

I'm having a small identity crisis because of this. Do I post my pen last name? Do I just got by Colene for now on my blog? Is it more professional to use both names on a blog? Does it really matter right now?  Ugh. Could be worse I suppose.

Something awesome is a Random House Writing Contest for YA that could win you a publishing deal. Deadline is in late December, so check that stuff out quickly! Almost didn't want to mention it risk spreading the word any farther!

In my town, our library is amazing! It has a coffee shop, an excellent internet lounge-y area, lots of rooms for private study/reading, a HUGE audio section, massive genealogy section(don't ask why I love this section of records and the long gone but I do), tons and tons and tons of books that make the whole building smell like heaven, its own several story parking garage, and a million stairs! It's YA section is a tad small, disappointingly enough, but being in the center of a university, I'll forgive them of that. I likes to buy my YA anyway :)

Something someone told me when I started writing was good, no, GREAT advice from Stephen King: "Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule."

I take it to heart. Even if I do use the thesaurus, its usually to find a word I can't remember. My brain likes to have a lot of brain-farts when I'm writing and I can't recall a simple word everyone knows. Like "parking garage" up there, I had to ask the hubs what those "big car lot thingys that are everywhere down town that you drive up the ramps to park in" were. I got an "is she serious?" look. Oh well. Anyway:

Am I a walking spelling-bee-bot? Heck no. Do I know super smart words? Obviously not, being the gal that makes up words on a daily basis (usually ending in -y). But, whatever, that's who I am, that's my own voice. And if you can talk like an almighty smarty pants, more power to you. And your writing will be more natural and easier than mine will if I try to sound like one.

Embrace you. That's my advice. And the smartest thing I have been told and the smartest advice I could ever pass on. One day I'll be an AUTHOR and maybe people will take my advice seriously. Hopefully by then I'll have more worth passing on than just the one bit. I mean, besides: "close your mouth when you use hairspray" but that's good advice too.

Other great Stephen Kingy advice can be found HERE.

Laptop and I aren't in a great place lately. Maybe cause I haven't chosen a better name than "Laptop"?

Laptop refused to let me log into Windows the other day. I have my eye on him. I almost screamed when he kept telling me I was typing in the wrong password. Which, I swear I wasn't. All I could think was "I haven't backed ANYTHING up on my memory card thingy(see. wth is that thing called!?) in a month!" Two new book ideas. A months worth of edits. ALL GONE! ...*stink eyes Laptop*

OH! No, that is the best advice I can offer anyone. Back Up Yo Sh*t.

Luckily Laptop has been behaving since then.

HERE you'll find what all the most highly paid authors have in common. Interesting stuff there.

HERE are 5 questions every book proposal must answer.

HERE are 11 Questions  for crafting your pitch by Rachelle Gardner(Literary Agent)

Don't Forget to get an entry into my Freedom Contest going on right now and win your own copy of SPEAK HERE!

See ya!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lets have Freedom Contest! **CLOSED**

In honor of SPEAK and the courageous author Laurie Halse Anderson lets have an impromptu contest to show our support for all things FREE in this country! (get it, freedom of speech/free book? oh...the cleverness of me...)

And because I'm feeling extra giving, I'll have it open to anyone anywhere (so if we have an international winner they will have to tell me the best place to have a book purchased for pick up or mailed to know, cause I haven't got a clue.) 

The rules:  Everyone that wants to enter for a chance to win a copy of SPEAK, leave me a comment with one wish for Wesley Scroggins. That's it, all you have to do. Dig deep and one wish for this man in my comments gets you an entry.

This contest will close in 2 weeks, Monday October 4th. So get your entries in and please spread the word.

Lets all #speakloudly for these books and all books being banned. No one has the right to keep me or you from books of any kind. (unless it's your momma. Don't mess with your momma.)

"Pft, Flowers. The painted whores of the plant world."

Ah, Homer. You and the rest of The Simpsons are just classic.

Firstly, So many bloggers have already highlighted this crap going on with a despicable man named Wesley Scroggins in Missouri who is blabbling vomit about books that should be banned, going as far to call a book about dealing with teen rape "porn" (we should be questioning how this man gets his jollies if THAT is porn... I think he's just embarrassed himself TERRIBLY by that statement alone.)

These blogs have said everything I want to and more and feel they should be highlighted instead of writing another about how disgusted I am with this Christianity-tainting ignorant man. And I can only pray for him.

But here they are, if you're interested to read about the books (Speak - mainly) in question. And frankly, I hadn't even heard of Speak (or Slaughter House Five or Twenty Boy Summer until now). I intend to buy Speak and look into the others farther now too. So, thanks for that DUDE.

Down the Rabbit Hole , The Juniper Breeze (this written by a 17-year-old and some amazing things to say.) , Shut Up! I'm Reading , Writing It Out (she just puts it SO Wonderfully!) , Grab A Pen (you can just FEEL her ferocity) , GreenBeanTeenQueen (she is always well spoken and this is no let down), Writing Myself Crazy , Above Water , Write Because You Must , Literary Rambles , The Last Word , My Neurotic Book Affair  (short and sweet and says it all) , Tahleen's Mixed-Up Files

I just wanted to thank everyone once again. I feel more uplifted today than I have about INTO in a long time. I'm still on hiatus(sort of. can't seem to stop editing 100% for some reason) and accomplishing SO MUCH. I think it will last just this week and then I'll get back into it fully. But I need to finish up reading and writing for the Banned Book Challenge. As well as finishing up the hats for my best's bachelorette party in 2 weeks, and aimlessly scouring the internet for hours get my house back in order.

I feel so much better thanks to you guys and to a great editor/author friend. Thank you. Thank you guys a million.

Got some positive feedback from her since she has brought me the END OF MY NOVEL EDITED!   I could shout right now I'm so thrilled to have the ending in my hands, with all its pencil marks, questions, and comments. Love it.

We had a moment to discuss the ending and how she felt and how it all worked and she said exactly what I meant for the reader to feel. And, while I know I have some work to do to get it perfect and ready, I just can't help but happy-dance that someone else (who isn't best friend or otherwise bias) liked my story and she got what I meant for her to get and that it just. worked. AHH. The relief, I can't explain it.

Oh, the importance of great people behind you.

I thought, starting out, that writing would be a solitary career. That I would be like Emily Dickinson and just be alone. But. It's not like that, and I'm so glad. I would have quit long ago if someone hadn't said I shouldn't. Writers need one another and it makes me happy to know I'm not alone.

THIS wonderful author, Laini Taylor, said it better than I can in her blog entry about having cheerleaders. But we really DO need cheerleaders to be successful writers.

Cheerleaders. Woot!

HERE are 9 book design tips that authors need to know.

I hope everyone has heard of Craig, the owner and operator of Caboodle Ranch Inc. by now. He is my hero. I love to see his pictures and follow his progress on his Facebook page. Puts a lump of love in my throat.

The dream of rescuing strays and having a permanent home for them to roam and be happy and healthy and fed and loved is even bigger than my dream of being and author.
1.Own a cat sanctuary.
2.Become author.
3.Thats it. But not having "3" seemed a little anticlimactic.

I find it funny that dream 1 is completely dependent on dream 2. Weird, right?

Anyone watch Psych? If you like funny stuff, that's the show for you. There is always crimes to be solves but mostly, it's about the funny. HERE is a site full of the shows best quotes.

This weekend I had a new adventure and a body-image-uplifting one at that. Had to gain access to a locked room by crawling up the laundry shoot. My car keys happened to be lock in and I was very alone(if you don't count 2 dogs and 2 cats giving you that 'wtf is she doing' look)So there wasn't really another option.

My husband found this terribly funny. Then he cut off his thumb knuckle(just above that big vein -- narrowly missed it. You can see it, all blue and gross now. It's concave!) while cutting up pork at work. So. Karma?

Found out that day that my lock-picking skills aren't what they used to be when I was 13 and picked the lock on the bathroom door to get my sister out. Apparently they're making locks better or something cause trusty pocket knife didn't even twitch it. Oh well.

(Hubs is okay. He was all "mannish" about it and refused to seek help. Slapped a band-aid on his knuckle, threw on another glove and finished his day. What a moron trooper! Not me, man, I totally would have gone home.)

Lastly: Have you seen these crazy cats?! A-freakin-mazing!

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Okay, so I read all the jokes to my husband and he gave me blank look. He couldn't decide which was better any better than I could. So in the end, we put the names in a hat and he pulled out...


Congrats to Jennie and thanks to everyone who participated.

Jennie, email me your info and your book choice and I will send it out promptly!

CE.Murphy @

Thanks again!

And, since I can't possibly leave you with nothin:
How INSENSITIVE is that blonde chick!? That looked crazy painful!

Spontanious Funny Friday gettin not so spontanious

I know there are millions of Fun/Funny Friday posts out there but I really dig it. Just a fun break from writing sites, blogs, entries, etc.

No contest this week but am posting some of my FAV funny websites and videos I could read/watch over and over again.(and do)None are very new but all worth the click. (don't judge me if they are terribly stupid to you. I just can't laugh any easier. Everything cracks me up.)

Jane Austen Fight Club!

THIS is a quick read for anyone who likes or hates Eclipse(3rd Twilight book). I was in tears laughing the first time I read it.

This has a special place in my heart because I am an Alabama girl, born and raised. And while I don't live there anymore I still represent. Back story, for anyone who hasn't seen this: This guy's sister woke up in the middle of the night with a guy in her bed. She screamed, her brother came in and chased the guy out of the house. So he was interviewed on the news and then some clever dude's made his interview into a catchy lil diddy. Genius! Mr. Antoine has done some wonderful things with his internet fame, actually. So, Go Antoine!  "and hide your husbands cause they're rapin' everybody out here." Priceless.

My favorite comedian, RIP Mitch Hedberg (I stole the idea for stand-up from Jennie Bailey @ Garden Full of Lily)

I just have immense love for this much love...the "fork in the garbage disposal" gets me every time.

THIS  news article just cracked me up reading the title. "One-legged man escapes on foot." AH! Love it.

And lastly for and end to this week is a dog jumping on a trampoline.

Trampoline Dog - watch more funny videos


The Contest Winner from last Friday's joke contest will be announced after I get back from the farm.  Probably after Noon. So you have till then to enter! If you entered, stay tuned for that.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sexy, Annoying, and Separate

So 10 pages of edits on INTO and 2,000+ words on a novel I shouldn't even be thinking about right now later...and I'm taking fellow bloggers advice and going on a novel writing hiatus. Woot!

I have lots of other arty/booky projects I would love to finish up and get out of the way. Then I will come back refreshed and ready to bust some literary heads. (did that make sense?)  But blogging? Can't stop. Won't stop. Loving it.

Thanks everyone for the advice and sympathy and understanding. Can't explain how much I appreciate just those kind words and how much better that alone made me feel. 

Jason Lee named his son Pilot Inspektor? huh...okey dokey. I love Jason Lee but I must question that decision.

Did I forget to mention we finally got a bed? Upgraded to king and couldn't be more pleased. I get the same amount of sleep I used to but I don't feel nearly as tired anymore. I don't wake up constantly and my husband and I don't battle for covers and space in our sleep. It was like a lazy, really pale, Kung Fu movie at night with the old one. I love it. I find myself wanting to just go to my room and lay.

But, wouldn't you know it, my cats still feel the need to sleep on my legs. Not on the 2 foot of free space. Nope. My legs.

Ever met one of those guys that just always has that sexy smirk on his face and deeply intriguing eyes? It's just the way they walk through life, with that look. And you have to wonder "Is he flirting or is that just his face?"

Don't you wanna just smack em? Or is that just me?

Don't ask me why it irks me. Maybe because I'm married and get defensive(doubt it. What gal doesn't like a cute guy eying them appreciatively?)

Maybe it's because in my single years THOSE guys, with their naturally flirty faces, were so damn misleading! They walk around all cute faced and sweet and then you hit a brick wall that is their stuck up girlfriend Babs or that CRINGE worthy pity flirt that they just tossed your way but meant nothing.

But still, even though I wanna smack em, even though they irk me like nothing else, I still modeled a character after one. And he is my favorite in my novel. I love him in all his snarky smirky vain glory. Why? Who the hell knows. I'm no shrink.

I had a comment from one of my Beta Readers, who is also a fabulously talented author and friend, on one of my pages she had done that just said "does a lot of huffing. consider revising."

That made me stop, go back, and reread from where he came in to where she noted and counted the huffs. Mind boggling. Not just that I used it so much in his case but that it fits him and I made him to be that way. He's huffy. Like a kid not getting his way. It's one of his many flaws that I gave him and love about him.

I did revise but the point of mentioning it was that I never noticed how much I could love someone I made up -- as flawed and annoying as he can be.

Do you have inexplicable love for your characters?

Some good stuff about polishing your fiction writing HERE by the Writers Digest folks.

73 Ways to Become a Better Writer HERE. Great info there.

I have been debating with myself over whether or not to mention my blog on my Facebook account. I'm excited to share it with my friends and family that it's growing so steadily and all that.

But, at the same time, I don't want to mix my communities, if that makes sense. I mean, I know people will follow me just because they're my friends and all and then I would have that many more followers but I kinda want this place to be just for me, the WRITER me, and fellow writers and YA enthusiasts. The same way I don't intend to share my Facebook account on here.

Is it wrong to want to keep my online/personal communities separate? 

Once again HERE is the link to my contest. Time's up on Friday. All you have to do is make me laugh and have a chance to win the book of your choice from my list of favs.

Today's bluntly stated writing insight: Proofread BEFORE you hit *SEND*. You look like a freakin idiot otherwise. Trust me. *facepalm* AND instead of AN. THINK instead of THIN. When you reread after, its too late and you will kick yourself for days.

ALSO following up that message with: "haha, sorry that was supposed to say blahblahblah blah not blah blah blah. derp derp. Har Har Har" makes it worse. Drawing attention to the fact that you totally just effed up might make them take notice where otherwise they had just skimmed over it or just didn't mind. So sit and pray they don't notice. >_>

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Big Old Faux Pas?

Wasn't going to post until scheduled tomorrow, but...ugh...right now I am deep in the dark ocean of writers blues and nothing I have tried to lift myself up has worked at all.

I'm not normally a big ol whiner or anything, so forgive me for this today, but I just donno what to do. I hate wasting time I could be working on feeling so down. But no matter what I do, I just can't focus on my books.  None of them. All I want to do is throw them in a fire and watch them crumble.

This can't be unusual, I apologize if it's a blogger faux pas to bitch and moan publicly but someone has to have a remedy for this nonsense.

I can't even look at INTO without cringing and rolling my eyes at it, like it will feel my contempt.

Is it time to put them all away for a while? Slap myself and tell me to suck it up? Put the words away and do some art? Rewrite it and kill off all my characters in the first chapter?

Regularly scheduled post to continue tomorrow morning. Promise it won't be such a downer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A little about me. Cause you give a crap and all.

+ A bit about writing afterwards.

Random facts. AAAAAAAAAAND GO:

~I'll be twenty-five in January and have mixed feelings about it.

~I rescue cats/kittens when I need to. Last year I had 4 litters in my house throughout the year. As well as feeding and watering strays where I can.

~I pray for roadkill as I drive.

~I Love tattoos and piercings. love em.

~Monkey's are NOT cute. They are creepy, evil, devious little hooligans. I don't like them.

~Other dislikes that creep me the eff out: scorpions(most arthropods actually), ventriloquist dummies, toe-socks, and the screw holes in the back of the steering wheel.

~I mentally punch people in the back of the head on a daily basis. It's a great stress reliever.

~I love the rain, thunderstorms, and lightening.

~I didn't carry a purse until about four years ago. Now only carry one so that I can have a book with me wherever I go.

~I love Toulouse-Latrec

~I have been: a manager at both Sonic and Arby's, was a licensed tattoo artist and piercer until 2005(I let my license expire when I changed states), housekeeper for a hotel(gross!), hostess, hardware-store clerk, jewelry-maker's apprentice, and now receptionist(/writer).

~I aced creative writing in high school and college but SUCKED at grammar. (still kinda suck at it) English is a stupidly-complicated-for-no-reason language.

~I love snail mail.

~I drive an old lady car and love it in all its crotchety, comfy, glory.

~I hate talking on the phone. And voicemails.

Would love to hear some random facts about you guys, or answer any questions. Whatever makes you squirrely.

So, with all the revisions I have done on my novel(I think I counted 5 as of now. Before and after others inputs.) I'm in that limbo world of taking it to critique group or just starting to query. Maybe all new writers do this, I don't know. And the experienced advice I get whenever I ask a writer friend is "take it to critique first."

So part of me is going: "They, who know better than you do, said to take it. So just stop your bitchin' and do it."

Another part of me, the part that is too embarrassed to read aloud and is SURE all the elder(experienced, ehem) writers that make up my critique group will view me and my YA as a joke. Not serious. Not publishable. And a waste of time and space. **None of them have EVER treated me as such or been anything but helpful but this is just that voice's commentary.**

And then there is a third voice(I mentioned a while ago that I'm a freak with 5,000,000 voices) that tells me, after all those revisions and all those eyes, SURELY it's ready after a year and a half-ish to get going with the query already. This dude's impatient for an answer. Whether it's a pass or fail, this voice just wants to know the validity of the novel out in the world.

But -- knowing that the experienced writers are right, and that I should take it in a read it -- I still cannot wrap my mind around how long it will take to read only 5 pages, double spaced, one night a week, to get through 60,000 word novel. I guess I'm just waiting on someone to tell me I don't need to. Will that happen? Doubt it. Is it MAJORLY important? Of course. *SIGH*

Don't forget about my contest going on RIGHT NOW! The post is HERE. Make with the funny in that posts comments and spread the word.

THIS looks like a great contest to get in on too. With all these free book contests NO ONE has any excuse not to be reading!

Today my goal is to check my email less, check FB less, get distracted less, and edit more. Editing...ugh...the gnat in my icecream...

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spontanious Funny Friday Contest! **CLOSED**

AH! Holy Crap, are you guys seeing this? EPIC 20 followers! (don't bring me down. I'm flying on my past-the-teens-follower-high) Pretty darn excited. Thank you guys!

I know I promised a piece of my novel (I'm a liar! T_T) BUT Whisper is terribly busy with her student teacher stuff for school(she graduates in December YEAY) and hasn't had the free time for my favors. So it will just be a surprise when I do post some. I'm so sorry about that but I can't force the girl to neglect her future for mine.(stupid having to be considerate)

If you don't follow the Query Shark yet, do it. I have learned a BUTT-TON from that goody blog.

Did anyone else notice when the KFC mashed potatoes changed? I'm the mashed potato queen and my husband still will not trust me when I say that they aren't the same taters as i knew growin' up! Someone back me up here. For shame, changing the original recipe!

, those Canadians, cracked me up. I tried to just post the video but apparently that's too complicated right now. But, if you don't want to watch, its one of those pavement paintings that looks all 3d but its a little girl in the middle of the road. They are using it to try and stop speeding, hoping the illusion will slow people down. I think they will have a serious problem when papa has a heart attack while driving, thinking he's about to mow down little neighbor Susie.

Enough shenanigans(amazed that spell checker recognized that as a word!) On to the contest!

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of
the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He
also ate very little, which made him rather frail. With his odd diet,
he suffered from bad breath. This made him . . .
Super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis. XD

Wish I could take credit for that, but I stole it from a friends Facebook who got it in an e-mail. But it was just too good not to share.

I love a good corny joke. So this week, going to run until next Friday, I'm having a contest. The winner will get to pick one of my favorite YA books as their prize.
(I know none are very new releases but deal ^_-) Whichever it is you haven't read/been wanting to, or sounds interesting and want to try out:

A Certain Slant of Light- Laura Whitcomb(who's new baby is ADORABLE.And blog is just as great.)
Zel- Donna Jo Napoli
The Maze Runner- James Dashner(Who just announced TMR is a NY Times Bestseller!)
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone- J.K.Rowling
Sabriel- Garth Nix

The contest: Make me snort with a corny joke, pun, haiku, poem, whatever you like. Keep it clean-ish. (Though, who can deny a little dirty joke should it be tossed in -- if its funny)

Being the first contest I ever host, this one's going to be open to U.S. residence only. Will expand as quickly as I can.

Deadline: Friday September 17th. I'll announce the winner that afternoon.

It's that easy. All you have to do is make me laugh and I will pick the best, can make me laugh the most, joke as the winner.

As my blog traffic is a little low, it would be tremendous if fellow bloggers can help get the contest word out there so there can be some real competition, ya know? What fun will it be if I have one joke in my comments? Easy for that guy, I guess.

Now show me what you got!

(Don't forget about The Banned Book Challenge still going hot! Be a rebel, read a banned book!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When are you a writer?

This week I have been reaping the benefits of The Blog Trifecta, that is bloggers Jennifer Daiker, Elana Johnson, and Alex Cavanaugh. They have been offering up amazingly useful advice on getting your blog up and at 'em! Suggest checking into what they have to say and taking it from me that it works! All of it!

What I have been curious about for a very long time(since I fell in love with writing actually) is: When can I start calling myself a writer?

When I joined my critique group they wanted my info to put on the website but I wrote an email back asking that I not be represented at all. I remember, 2 years-ish ago, that my reason was because I didn't want to jinx myself.

I thought if I was put on that website, declared myself a writer for all to see, I would fail. I have a firm belief that when I put my intentions for my life out there before I get an anchor in the wet ocean bottom of my feelings, I will always let people down. I will never finish and people will say "we knew she wouldn't/couldn't do it" and I will be a public failure.

But if I kept it to myself and I failed I wouldn't disappoint(or confirm my lack of talent) to anyone.

My mother tells me I have confidence issues, that I'm better than I think. Maybe. Maybe that's just mom talk though.

Either way I decided I wasn't going to consider myself a writer until I was recognized by someone else as such. And by that I mean someone with a check in their hand with my name on it.

It took me ages just to make a blog for myself. And almost as long to describe myself as a YA writer. It feels like I might as well hop on top of a building and declare myself a superhero and try to fly.

I still don't know if that's right or wrong of me to feel that way. But I do wonder what other people think.

And just because I promised it a long time ago, my portrait of Matthew Gray Gubler:

For anyone who has been keeping up, I LOVE The Hunger Games Trilogy. Found a great poll(if you have read the last one as spoilers abound) HERE on the Adventures In Children's Publishing blog. (spell check is telling me "Children's" is spelled wrong. LIES.)

And last link for the post: I have linked her before but shes worth mentioning again.This Chick debuts her first novel, Across the Universe, in January! On her blog you'll find links to a couple contests to win a copy. Also she has the first chapter posted for all to adore.

So, being a relatively new blogger I have a stupid question: what is ARC? And how are books that haven't come out yet being recommended to me to read? What am I missing here, cause it seems big and really really good.

Stop back Friday for some fun and a chance to win something that rhymes with Schplook.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Long winded story that goes nowhere. Happy Labor Day!

I went to Walgreen's to buy some gloves for work. While there, I couldn't help myself, as I have a condition I call candymouthitus, and wandered down their magnificent candy section. There, on the bottom shelf was the devil in disguise as 3/$3 Sour Punch Straws. Be still my beating heart. If you have never tried them(omg...really?) its sour+gummy+straw.

So, of course, I can't help myself and get 3 packages(who could waste a good sale like that?) then I think, "self, what if later tonight you want some chocolate." This is rare. The only chocolate I really like must be partnered with peanut butter. Which is a freak thing because I don't like peanut butter. But it could happen(it didn't)

Naturally I have to get some Reese's cups, just in case. But, this is how my mind works: If I buy one package it will look like this is all for me and I'll have to do the register walk of shame with my gloves and handfuls of candy. If I buy 3 packages of Reese's this guy will think I'm a teacher buying stuff for my class or something and won't suspect that I am a horrible candy-pig.

LONG STORY just to say - I get to the counter and the first thing the guy says is "This is all for you isn't it?" Swear. Just ring up my stuff and keep the judgie to yourself, Walgreen's man.

These are the hat's I'm painting for my best friends bachelorette party in October. (sorry about the fuzziness. They're sparkly too but..yea.)

Donno about everyone else, but my facebook has been taken over by football statuses(statusi?). I might just stop signing on(who am I kidding?) I don't mind football, I actually like it alright as far as sports go, though it's no hockey. But I don't care to read play by plays of the hundreds of different(5)teams in one night.

THIS lovely blogger was discussing the first, voluntary, book you ever read and how memorable it becomes. I debated posting my perspective in her comments but decided it was long winded(like a lot of my answers/stories) and that she might not really give a crap. So:

Zel was the first I remember reading all on my own, by choice. I was with my grandmother at the library looking at tapes to check out, don't remember how old. But I do remember picking it out, being bored at the time, and reading a little there while I waited on my g-ma.

I remember how it made me feel, reading it. How spellbound I became almost immediately. And the thrill reading gave me. Still have that thrill when I read. And years later I bought that book and still read it occasionally, just to experience it all over again. And I do. The feeling I had way back when, it's still in those pages. Makes me miss my grandma even more than I usually do. Miss those days I got with her, eating apples and cheese and taking her old blazer in to the shop every other week.

I just loved that Creepy Query Girl made a whole post dedicated to that. Made me reminisce about life then, feelings, and who I was.

If you haven't read it, Zel is a very quick read and worth every second.

This weekend my writing went down the toilet. Painting and exploring homemade headboards took over my focus. I'm diggin on that. Well, a cheaper variation using mosaic tiles maybe. Or just painting something.

Trying to gather as much blogging advice as I can and searching for fun things to get involved with and do on this thing. Any great suggestions, I would love.

Also going to post an excerpt from my novel this week just for funzies.

Happy Labor Day!

2010 Banned Book Challenge

As you can tell, I have decided to join in. It's a wonderful idea and I hope everyone considers joining in if not publicly, then just for yourself. Runs September 1, 2010 to October 15, 2010. Catch the blog post for more details HERE

I don't object to one person not wanting something kept from their own child, that's their right as a parent BUT it is not OKAY to ban something from the public at large. American's have the right to write what they want.

Publishers have the right to publish what they want.

Readers SHOULD have the right to read what they want.

ANYWAY, small soapbox stand over. I think what got me ticked the most was seeing the Harry Potter books on banned lists everywhere! WHAT!? My Harry Potter tattoo and I are horrified!

My moto is "If you don't like it don't do it."(to be taken carefully. If i applied that to my whole life I would be sitting on my couch watching ICarly, slipping into a nacho-cheese coma right now.) I apply it to books, movies, music, TV, places, people. I don't like soggy shoes, so I tend to avoid them. But I'm sure someone out there doesn't feel the same, so who am I to ban soggy shoes?

In my search for some banned books I found a list of 55 books being petitioned in my area by an organization. 55!! So, as a personal stickin-it-to-the-man, as I work in the town that is banning beautiful books, I chose a few of them.

My Goal: 3.

Forever - Judy Blume
The Rose and The Beast - Francesca Lia Block
The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide - Jeremy Daldry

I don't dabble in reviews. I'm not good at being tactful or un-opinionated. So I won't be reviewing the books chosen BUT I would like to discuss them and their content for which they are in trouble over once I have done all 3. Check back in for that later on.

Are you reading for the BBC this year?

5 Followers! and a sausage-boy reference deleted

Okay, so this is a milestone for me, albeit a silly one to someone who doesn't have a blog maybe. But its huge to me!

Thank you. My heart did a little jig when I logged in today. I really do appreciate it!

At work, where you'll find me 3.5 days out of the week (short work week, long work days to compensate, so don't get jealous.), it's the last day before a long weekend. Now you may be jealous. 4 day weekend with nothing solid planned= my favorite.

I intend to type in my edits today but this weekend I want to finish what i have. This week I haven't done a thing on it. Instead I got distracted by a new idea and bought a notebook.

Writers, writers blogs, etc have told me for the past 2 years that they always have a notebook with them, always writing in a notebook, always needing to get a new one but this is the first time I have understood the importance.

I always brushed them off. "Oh I'll remember whatever i want to get down when I get to my computer." "oh, please, I'll never read through my scratch of notes." I suppose that is the generation I grew up in. Technology FTW!

And today I want to slap my past self right in the mouth. I love love love my little notebook! I have been plotting out, researching, and theorizing all week in it! My advice for anyone starting out: Get a notebook! (and don't roll your eyes)^_^

This chick
cracks me up.
My special favorites are: "Stare at the internet" and "53. realize you've written another 100 pages OH GOD WATCH OUT ROWLING" XD

Bed situation still sucks. Hopefully will force my husband into going shopping with me but that isn't looking promising. He seems to be under the impression that I am hard to shop with. Donno why...can't possibly be my fault he feels this way. Leaning toward another memory foam (toxicity be damned) or pillow top.

Book shopping must be done this weekend too. Getting so many recommendations for some great YA. So many being released I have had my eye on. Its ridiculous how much I love reading YA. And It's getting hard to keep up with all the books coming out, which is incredibly wonderful that there are so many great YA reads!

Have you read about Steph Su's Banned Book Challenge yet? Looks amazingly fun! Debating joining in. Going to do a little looking into it today and see what I can come up with for my goals. Keep you posted on that.

For someone who said they had no weekend plans, I sure have made quite a few in the past half hour.

I want to mention quickly that my first book, he-who-shall-not-be-published-ever, I took the "if I write like a 100 year old English professor I'll surely be seen as knowledgeable and exceptionally brilliant writer!" My gosh, I wrote that whole novel like a creepy old man.

Don't. Especially when writing YA. What kid wants to read something written that way? NONE. Most kids i knew DIDN'T read unless forced. Why would you make it harder to get kids to love to read? If they don't recognize the voice/language, if they can't relate to vocabulary or understand big unnecessary words, they aren't going to keep reading you. You'll be lucky if they don't use your book for Mr. Pebbles the hamsters shavings.

A lesson I learned the hard way. I didn't understand what it meant by using your own voice. But it makes life for a writer SO much easier to just write like themselves. It was 10x harder to be a fake professional than writing my way.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!