Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Happy Dance!

Okay, okay, I'm supposed to be packing up the last of our things to be moving to our new place, and my internet will be cut off any second, . . .

BUT I peeked in my e-mail and got a little nudge from Amy over at The Green Bathtub (Thank you!) that I won the pitch contest on Renae's blog The Siren's Song. (!!!!!) So excited!

I couldn't help sharing the good news with all of you (my extended support system, no?). While it's not as exciting as, say, landing an agent or getting a book deal, it's always encouraging to get positive feedback. I say celebrate the small steps too, so . . .

. . . I'm home, in a half-empty apartment doing my happy dance. :D

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Thanks to everyone who entered our 101-follower contest! And boy, SO close to hitting 150 yesterday. I'm totally in awe!

So on to the important stuff. I had 58 entries (54 people). I wish everyone could win, but alas . . . has chosen 2 of you.

1st Prize: Melissa at YA Bookshelf has won the $25 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize: Lynn at Place to Create has won a mystery prize. She has selected door #3:

Lynn, you have selected the fabulous prize of a book of your choice (up to a $15 limit)! Let me know what book you want and I'll order (or pre-order) it for you, delivered directly to your door. You really
chose well, this was the good prize. I think I'll leave you all guessing and save the other prizes for another contest. ;)

Congratulations! Please send me your addresses at rjljohnson (dot) janet (at) gmail (dot) com within 48 hours to claim your prizes. If I don't hear from you, I'll choose new winners.

And just to let you know, I am moving this coming week, so I'll be out of commission for a while. Have a great week, and thanks again for following and entering our contests!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Last Day to Enter Our Contests!

Just a quick reminder: TODAY is the last day to enter mine and Jessie's contests. Click here for the details.

And wow, since I'm so close to having 150 followers, if I get there before the contest ends, I will let 2 people choose a mystery prize. Doors 1--4. Woo hoo! Aren't you excited? ;)

Have a good one!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reclused . . . I mean, Reduced to Fear

It was late. The kids were asleep. My husband had gone to bed. I was hard at work finishing my blogs for the week. Then I saw it. A quarter-sized spider not three feet away.

I screamed. I mean SCREAMED! The spider froze, watching me with its beady little eyes. I didn't dare look away for fear it would disappear into my house. I called my husband, trying not to wake the kids. He's a light sleeper, I thought. He'll come.


I called again, cursing the tremor in my voice that made me sound like such a wuss. Again, and again. Still no knight in shining armor to rescue me!

The spider was getting antsy. I started to creep away. I realized I needed to kill the blasted thing or it would escape and haunt my dreams . . . and my waking life.

I grabbed the empty garbage can and stepped closer. The spider knew.

Zoom! It sped away like nothing. Then I really started screaming (I'm ashamed now to admit it, but I didn't care who I woke . . . the kids, the neighbors, the dead). I had completely lost it! And of course the thing ran for the pile of boxes in the corner (we're getting ready to move).

I was still screaming for my husband when he came sauntering out of the room. "What is it honey?"

Boy I laid into him. But I was in hysterics by then. Fortunately he could tell. He didn't make any sudden movements, and he spoke in a nice soothing voice. I shivered in the corner while he painstakingly went through every box till he killed it. Yeah, it was a Brown Recluse. *shivers again*

So now I don't know which I should feel worse about: that my mental state is so fragile I lost it at the sight of a mere spider . . . or that my husband never came running despite my bloody murder screams.

What do you think? And please tell me I'm not the only one to have such irrational fears!

And again, don't forget to enter my CONTEST here! Ends tomorrow at midnight EDT.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tag, You're It!

Sandy Shin tagged me for the Penmanship Meme. And I'm so glad! There's so much you can learn about a person by looking at penmanship. The rule is to do the meme on paper and scan it (or take a picture if you don't have a scanner). Here are the items:

1. Name/Blog Name.
2. Right handed, left handed or both?
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people.
9. Any special note or drawing?

And here is my hand-written version of it. Wow, I can't believe how self-conscious this made me of my writing! But it's so fun to see people's handwriting, so here we go:

Okay, if you can't tell who I tagged: Jessie Oliveros, Raquel Byrnes, Janet Reid (*big grin*), Medeia Sharif, Lynn, Vicki Rocho, and Laurel. Don't feel like you have to, but I'd love to see your handwriting. :) Then I can size you up, and analyze your psyche . . . bwa-ha-ha-ha!

So what does my handwriting tell you about me?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

101-Follower Contest!

The day has finally arrived! I hit 101 followers, and Jessie Oliveros at Louder than Noise has hit 101. Hurray!

Not one to beat around the bush, the rules are simple:
  1. You must follow both my blog and Jessie's blog.
  2. Leave a comment on THIS post.
  3. Enter by midnight EDT on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
And that's it. If you spread the word any old way, just let me know and I'll give an extra entry (I trust ya'll, so you only need to put the link if you want).

And drumroll please . . . .

The Prizes.

1st Prize: A $25 gift card to Amazon. 

A pre-order of Mockingjay, you ask? Done. Matched? Taken care of. Your prize is up to you with this dazzlingly glorious item. (Yes, I used to write prize descriptions for The Price Is Right . . . or should I say Write?) ;)

2nd Prize: Mystery Prize! 

I have pre-designated 4 prizes behind doors number 1, 2, 3, and 4. You, as lucky winner number two, will get to choose which one you want! Are they all AB FAB you ask? Why, of course not! Where's the fun in that? But at least one is exciting. Another not so much. And the last two are satisfactory to varying degrees.

Good luck, everyone!

P.S. Jessie has her own contest running with separate prizes, so to enter her contest, be sure to click on over and follow her contest rules!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fab New Look

So I'm sure you've noticed the new look. I am no artiste, but my best friend from high school is a talented photographer and designer. You can always tell a great friend because they not only tell you your weaknesses, but they help you improve them! I love what she came up with. The passages on the wall are actual excerpts of my book. How cool is that?

I know I had the whole 'thanks' thing going on yesterday, but I want to thank my wonderful friend, too. If you want to check out her blog, you can find her at Shot by Celeste.

In your opinion, what makes a great friend?

Monday, June 14, 2010


So, I'm feeling all kinds of grateful today, and I wanted to thank some people. First, of course, all of ya'll, for coming and commenting and following. I've loved getting to know you all through this whole blogging thing. :)

Then, I have been uber lucky to win some contests. And I wanted to thank them for having such great contests!
  1. I won Lynn's 100-follower contest at Place to Create. I'm already drooling over the books I'll choose at Amazon. 
  2. I won some chocolate from Gail at Write From the Soul &Visualeyes. Yumm! 
  3. I won a prize package from Michelle McLean in her WooHoo I'm Finished Grand Give-away. 
  4. And I won an ARC of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer from Shelli at Market My Words. I know you're all jealous! ;)

In light of all these wins, I'd feel extremely ungrateful if I didn't take this opportunity to thank So thank you,, for showing me some love!

And finally, I have to thank my sweet man for supporting me in my craziness, and putting up with my constant stream of questions about what he thinks of my writing. Without him, I wouldn't be doing this. Thank you Bunches!

Who is the greatest support of your writing?

P.S. And just a quick note, Jessie has hit 101! Hurray for her! So be sure to come back Wednesday, when we'll host our 101 Followers Giveaway.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Good News All Around

In case you haven't noticed, I recently crossed the landmark number of 101 followers. Woo hoo!! Thanks everyone! I appreciate your willingness to hang out with me in the cybersphere.

Of course this calls for a give-away of some sort. My blogging friend Jessie Oliveros at Louder Than Noise is on the brink of 101. And since I think this whole blogging things is about connecting and building relationships, we are going to share the love and do a contest together as soon as she hits that magic number, too. We'll have great prizes, but you'll have to be a follower of BOTH blogs to enter. So if you don't follow Jessie, pop on over and make her acquaintance, and you'll be all set for our soon-to-come giveaway!

So in OTHER good news, I have finished my book! Not just the first draft, but like the 600th (okay, maybe a wee bit of exaggeration there, but it feels like that). Hurray, hurray! Now, if I could just finish that synopsis . . .

Seriously! If I can write this how-many-page book, why can't I write a stinkin' synopsis? Does anyone else struggle with this? Suzie Townsend is my new hero because here's her take on the subject:

"Don't worry about sending a synopsis - they're evil."

How can you help but admire such wisdom?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear Grammar Nazi

Dear Grammar Nazi,

I need your help. Your answer will effect a lot of people as we have a little bet going on at the office. See, Bill in Accounting says that 'affect' is a verb and 'effect' is a noun, but I've been using verbs for years now, and I'm certain 'effect' is a verb.

Rita in HR says we should 'just look in a stinkin' dictionary for crying out loud,' but I trust you over a guy named "Merri" any day. So who's right?

Counting on your help to pay off the bowling jersey and matching shoe set I splurged on. Best dressed bowler on the office team, baby!

Mr. Kirk N. Scottie

Dear Mr. Scottie,

Wow, I hate to think what kind of bets are taking place in your office that what I say would effect actual people. Right up there with the birds and bees. But perhaps you only meant I might affect people. I'll pretend you did.

Ironically, you are both right.

Affect is a verb, as in to influence. For example:
  • Wearing a bowling jersey will AFFECT people's opinion of you.
Effect is a noun that can also be used as a verb. Noun:
  • The special EFFECTS in Star Trek are totally outdated. (I'm just guessing you're a Star Trek fan)
And as a verb, meaning to cause or bring about:
  • HR should effect a change in the office betting policy.
Hope that helps as I've given you all that I got, capt'n.
The Grammar Nazi

Monday, June 7, 2010

More Than a Writer

Lately it feels like writing and its appendages (i.e. blogging, reading, plotting, etc.) have taken up so much of my life. It's so easy to let writing consume me. Doesn't matter what I'm doing, my mind is with my book: trying to fix that wrinkle in Chapter 13 or wondering if I've really caught the essence of the argument between my MC and love interest, or is that first sentence a good enough hook. Well you get the idea.

Every now and then, I have to remind myself that I'm more than a writer. And that believe it or not, I have other talents. So here is my reminder list:

Five Random Talents (not connected to writing)
  1. I am a pro at Diaper Ball. Seriously. Michael Jordanette. Any angle, any shot, *swoosh!* Two points, in the trash . . . er, I mean basket.
  2. I can pour 6 oz. in a bottle without measuring. In my sleep, too. I know! Impressive, right?
  3. I make a mean spaghetti sauce. Mean. You should taste it.
  4. I can remember the price of every single item in my grocery cart. Yep. About every other shopping trip, I find a mistake, so they get a runner to check the price. Not to brag, but I'm always right. Very useful.
  5. I can carry a baby, diaper bag, purse, bag full of library books, and ten bags of groceries up 3 flights of stairs, AND unlock the door without dropping anything. Isn't taking a second trip back down and up an easier option, you ask? That's besides the point. :)
So what are your random talents?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blink, Blink!

So I'm an adult. Right age and everything. Still, I love cartoons. So much that I drag my kids to the movies under the farce that it's really for them. ;)

One thing I wonderifically admire are the 'blink, blink' moments. You know, that look you're giving me right now. When one person says something and the other person has no good response for any number of

Take Winnie-the-Pooh and Rabbit. In one episode, Rabbit asks: "Pooh, don't you know what a referee does?"

And Pooh stares back, and you hear "blink, blink," as he blinks twice. Without saying a word, we KNOW. Pooh has no idea. Zero.

It's brilliant, I tell you, brilliant!

So I've started doing this to my husband (and a select few others who appreciate the nuanced humor). ;) Here's how it works. Let's say your best friend Eddie holds out his finger to you and says, "Wow! Look at
the size of that booger!"

What do you say? You're kind of speechless. Right?

Just hold up both hands, open and shut your fingers, and say: "Blink. Blink." And now, with no words, you have conveyed your disgust and/or speechlessness without ever having to say to Eddie: "What a disgusting
behavior! You don't have the manners of a cow, and I am udderly . . . I mean utterly . . . speechless by what you've just done!"

So go on, go out there and spread the blinks! And in the mean time, have a blink, blink moment you care to share?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Guessed It

Sweet! The car is guessed.

Those of you coming in late, your job was to guess the make, model and color of the car based on the (absolutely real-life) license plate which was:


Amazingly the same picture came into almost everyone's mind. Next time will be harder. I promise. ;)

So Nicole Ducleroir got it right first: Lime Green VW Beetle. Lola, if you had said Gecko Green before Nicole, I SO would have given it to you.

I'm sure you're all wondering what delectable treat Nicole chose . . . a plain Hershey's Bar. Totally classic. Totally in the mail.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guess That Car

You know me and personalized license plates. So, . . .

License Plate Game of the Week:

Guess the make, model and color (must be the specific color, and yes, that's a hint) of the car with the following license plate:


Definitely do-able. First person to get it, I'll mail a chocolate bar of their choice. If no one guesses by midnight EDT of Friday, June 4, we'll try again another week. Okay, and to be fair, one guess per person. Make it a good one!

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Awards and a Call for Opinions

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend (or not for my non-US friends). I didn't get to visit any gravesides (they're on the other side of the country), but we had fun swimming and doing a barbecue with friends.

So I am honored to have received a couple of awards. I'm always tickled pink when someone thinks of me.

Laurel at Laurel's Leaves gave me the Sweet Blogger award. If you haven't seen her blog, I highly recommend it. I learn so much from her.

I wanted to pass it on to Bethany Elizabeth at Ink-Splattered. Her posts are always so upbeat. I always leave her blog feeling lifted.

And the other person I wanted to pass it on to is Kasie West. She shares all her useless advice. Seriously hilarious. And a lot of really good stuff like what she's learned about agents. Go check both these blogs out!

I was also given the Sunshine Blog Award by Lynn at Place to Create. She has so much heart in her posts. You can't help feeling like you just visited your best friend when you stop by.

I wanted to pass this on to Lola Sharp at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword. Her blog is helpful and full of uplifting thoughts like the 5 random things she loves (including cupcakes!).

Also to Sandy Shin who obviously has great taste in books since she just reviewed one of my favorites, and who is not only a talented writer, but an artist, AND in the process of working toward Med School (definitely capitalized)

And also to Reb at Reb's Photos. Okay, okay, she's my sister, but she has some great photos of the southern Utah area, and she is one of the sunniest people I know.

As for these awards, I'm with Laurel. These are low stress awards. Pass them on or don't. But just wanted to share some of the sites I like to visit. And thank you again to Lynn and Laurel for thinking of me. :)

So, I'm slowly crawling towards the 101-follower mark (woo hoo!), and of course who needs any better excuse for a contest? I'm still in the planning stages, and I'd love to hear from all of you what you most like to win in these contests. Obviously I won't be giving away a car, or whatever, but I'd love to hear your ideas. And do you prefer the sign-up and be done? Or do you prefer that some effort be involved . . . i.e. writing? :)