Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

With T-minus 3 days and counting, I'll be signing off until after the holidays, but here's a peek at our eclectic little Christmas tree . . . laden with all the ornaments we've collected from every place we've visited.

I had to show this one: it's an outhouse ornament we found in Steamboat springs. Classic!

And an ornament I made for my mom in first grade. (Awww, wasn't I cute?)

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you all after the holidays. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Tradition

Growing up, one of our Christmas traditions was to take cinnamon twists to all our friends and neighbors. My mom's were the best, and we all loved helping dip them in butter and cinnamon sugar . . . and of course EATING them. :)

I have continued that tradition, and my kids love it! (In fact, I have dough rising in the kitchen as I type.)

So, I have never written a book that takes place at Christmas time, but for those of you who have, did you give your MC any fun traditions to look forward to? And for those of you who haven't (like me), what is your favorite holiday tradition?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let It Snow!

Yesterday we finally got some snow. Kids got out early from school, and my kids didn't want to come in.

I couldn't help smiling at the memories of my own childhood. . . . Making snow angels, throwing snow balls, building snowmen, pink frozen noses and cheeks. Then coming in to hot chocolate and toast.

We read "The Snowy Day," by Ezra Jack Keats, and the afternoon was a perfect little picture of a childhood winter.

So what is your favorite winter book? What are your favorite memories of a childhood winter?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happenstance and Other Things That Make You Laugh

I gravitate towards humor. Those side-splitting, gut-wrenchingly funny books are my favorite. Janette Rallison's books always make me laugh.

And I've found that I love to write that way . . . but MAN! Not so easy (I'm still aspiring to it).

So for any others out there who may be interested in writing humor, here are some ways to inject humor into your book.
  1. Slapstick: Have your MC run into a pole, or trip over their own two feet. Putting several such instances in a series of events is even better. Good old three stooges comedy.
  2. Wordplay: Humor with words can come in many forms---self-deprecation; witty, sarcastic comments; and you know how you come up with the most clever comebacks about five minutes too late? Let your MC use them, and bonus, your brilliance is no longer wasted.
  3. Embarrassing situations: Remember that dream with you at your High School  pep rally wearing only your underwear? Make it real for your MC. OR just take your own most embarrassing moment ever and make your MC suffer it, too. (Note: A cheerleader sliding down a mud hill and landing in a muddy puddle at the bottom while the whole boys basketball team watches---not that that ever happened to me---may not work if your book is set in medieval times. Maybe a dairy maid could fall into a mud puddle while the blacksmith's son [who she's secretly crushing on] watches. You get the idea).
  4. Happenstance: Who hasn't seen the bus drive through a mud puddle soaking the poor man at the bus stop who was just having the worst day ever? Total happenstance situation. 
  5. Puns:  You know, when your MC is deciding if they should really knock on the door of Apt. 2B where their crush lives, and they say to themselves: "2B or not 2B . . ." Punny, punny, punny.
  6. Some things are just inherently funny: A fat lip. The word Aardvark. Dodos. Monkey brains. A talking cucumber. Road signs that say "Men Working." Etc., etc.
So do you write humor? What sort of humor makes you laugh hardest?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do-It-Yourself: Building a Luck Pool

After multiple requests that I share my luck, I feel that Christopher at Notes From the Underground has the right idea about sharing the secret of building your own 'Luck Pool.'

It's the whole teach-a-man-to-fish idea. And since I won't always be there to send my extra lucky vibes to everyone, you better build your own.

So here are the instructions.*
  1. Identify a body part that you think is unique or the bees knees (and please don't tell me where it is . . . I'm not sure I want to know). Ex: Double-jointed thumbs; A second toe that's longer than the first; Those pointy-tipped ears; Whatever.
  2. Dip that spot in green ink. Don't wash it off. Just let it wear off on its own. (I still recommend that you shower and stuff like that, because otherwise, that's just gross. Just don't TRY to scrub it off)
  3. Build up good karma. Ex: Hug a tree; Put coins into expired meters (just make sure there's a car there . . . and I think you get bonus karma if you see a meter maid nearby); Refrain from yelling cuss words at the jerk who cuts you off; . . . you get the idea.
  4. Find a four-leaf clover. I know, you're scoffing at this, thinking 'that's just an old wives tale,' but I found one when I was a kid. And look at my luck. Just sayin'.
  5. Wait for the bounties to shower down upon you. They typically come in threes, so don't greedily be expecting more once you get them. You have to let the luck build back up.
And voila, you are the proud owner of your very own 'Luck Pool.' Go and use it wisely.

*The writer of this blog makes no promises for the effectiveness of each individual 'Luck Pool' that is created and cannot be held accountable in the case that the 'Luck Pool' is defective or in rare, unfortunate cases actually decreases a person's luck. Should you choose to follow the instructions, you do so at your own risk, and shall be solely responsible for any undesirable effects that may be produced.

Friday, December 10, 2010

License Plate Fun

Last Sunday I saw this license plate:


Now if I adjust it just a touch . . .


. . . isn't that perfect?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Luck and Personal Postulates

So I have this theory on luck. At least how my luck works.

I believe I have this pool of luck inside me somewhere. Your guess is as good as mine as to where it actually resides. Maybe it's in my lucky double-jointed thumbs, who knows?

But see, this pool can only hold so much. So when it hits a breaking point, I'm showered down upon with all kinds of winnings. Of course, once it's gone, it's gone so I have no more luck until the pool fills back up. Maybe that's a karma thing, but I'll have to think further before I postulate on that one.

Usually it'll be a string of winnings. Sometimes it's blown in one big-shot offering, but I never know when it will strike. It's like waiting for Christmas, but not knowing what day it's on.

Going back ten years, here are some of the prizes I've won in random order:

-A trip to New York (flight, hotel, Michael Jackson concert tickets)
-Lunch for two at my favorite restaurant
-A year membership to SCBWI
-Free airport parking
-Books (several, and diverse)
-Gourmet chocolate-caramel apples (came in a freezer-package in the mail, very cool)
-Handmade bracelet
-Gift cards
-Full fixings for French dip sandwiches

Many of these came in quick succession, very few came as a single shot (just the $5000 in fact---that wiped my luck out for a good 2 years).

I know luck can often be looked down on in plot-lines. We're generally told that events in our novels have to be established, planned for, and have a good reason. But still, luck has its place. So where does it fit in in your work? Does it?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Results! White Meat vs. Dark Meat

Now that Thanksgiving is well past, I suppose it's time to tally up the votes for the White meat vs. Dark meat competition. So here we go:

Total votes: 19

White meat: 11 votes; 58%
Dark meat: 6 votes; 32%
Both + veggies: 1 vote; 5%

Tofu: 1 vote; 5%

Now that's better---a few exceptions to add a little spice. And I admit, I wasn't sure how to figure in the votes that were contingent upon specific conditions, so I used the "eeny-meeny method." I'm sure that didn't affect the numbers at all. ;)

I have to say, I'm rather surprised that white meat won. I totally went for dark. None of this flip-flopping just because I grew up . . . wait, or did I? I can't remember. Definitely doesn't seem like it.

So now that this is becoming a semi-regular feature on my blog, maybe I should name it or something. We shall see. But I am especially excited for this next little competition. Are you ready?




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hating Game WebSplash!

Hey all! I love the giving spirit in the writing blogosphere, and wanted to jump in by being part of Talli Roland's Web Splash. 

Our goal is to help her debut novel, THE HATING GAME, hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.

Coming soon in paperback.  Keep up with the latest at


When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. 

After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. 

Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?