Friday, December 24, 2010

A Wish for You

Whatever you believe in, whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate, whatever fortune or demons you face,

I wish you

HOPE…

PEACE…

AND A DREAM TO HOLD ONTO.

 

Thank you for being a part of my life.

 

                     See you next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Withholding the Goods

Sometimes I’ll start to write a blog post I find particularly amusing—an anecdote, a dialogue, my thoughts, etc., and then I don’t publish it. I’ll even do something similar when I go to leave comments on your blogs—I get about fifteen sentences into my comment when I decide to scrap what I’ve just written and leave something a little smaller and less...lively. There’s a number of reasons for this. But more often than not, it’s because my comments/posts were too passionate. I figure if I’m that passionate about a topic, it’s worth blogging instead of commenting, but sometimes, my passionate thoughts don’t even make it to the blog.

There are a number of reasons for this. My opinion may be  too controversial for the kind of blog I’ve set up or require more time than I have to do justice to the way I feel about it. But just as likely, I decide not to publish a blog post (or comment or tweet, etc.) because I’d rather sell the idea.

writingformoney

Okay, let me explain.

If I want to sell my writing, I must think about what it takes to sell my writing.

So.

Sometimes I start to write (an anecdote, emotion, thought, etc.) about something I experienced, and then I think WTF am I doing? That little story is a gem worth saving for a tweet Facebook status blog post book.

All writers who want to publish should be able to recognize the potential marketability of their words, right? Unfortunately, this has made me a bit skittish—not in leaving comments, but in leaving lengthy ones with substance (same goes for tweets and Facebook). There have been times where I thought, man that comment I left on Jane Smith’s blog was way clever—it would’ve been an awesome line for one of my characters. Is that vain? I don’t know. I don’t think so. It’s just…business thinking. As for blog posts, can’t tell you how many I’ve written up and not published. Sometimes it’s for the initial reasons I mentioned (or lame reasons, like it’s boring or too long), but other times…my writerly instincts kick in.

It’s kind of the sucky thing about being a writer. I mean, an actor can have a blog or Facebook without feeling like he’s giving away his acting for free when he could be using it in a movie. While it makes sense to give away some writing for free, if you want to make a career of writing, it’s in your interest to reserve your best ideas to sell, no?

So, yeah, sometimes I know I’m holding back on you guys. I like to think that someday you’ll read my stories and see a greater part of what’s in my head, but until then, what to do? I guess I’ll be as thoughtful and amusing and informative as possible without being, I don’t know, overly clever or marketable.

How do you draw the line between a blog post that will appeal to as many as possible and an idea/thought/anecdote/line you reserve to use in your writing? Do you draw a line?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Bookanista Look Ahead

So it’s no secret…things are insane right now for pretty much everyone. I know it’s been nuts for me as I try to finish up some projects while also trying to shop for the holidays and prepare for a party. On top of all that, I’ve been reading five books. Yeah, at the same time. Hopefully, I’ll have a pile of books to review soon. But this week, I thought I’d highlight a few books coming soon.

Make sure you stop and check out what some of the other Bookanistas are recommending today:

Bookanistas_logo

Kirsten Hubbard celebrates JOHN BELUSHI IS DEAD and THE MOCKINBIRDS

Elana Johnson gives a little love to JOEY FLY 2: PRIVATE EYE

Beth Revis chimes in on CHIME

Lisa and Laura Roecker rave about BOOKS THEY’RE DYING TO READ

Carolina Valdez Miller looks ahead to JANUARY RELEASES

Bethany Wiggins fawns over FIRELIGHT

 

And now, here are some of the January releases that I’m REALLY hoping to get my hands on soon. Click on the titles or book covers to go to their Goodreads pages. (None of the quick summaries were written by me—all were found either on the books’ Goodreads profiles or on the publisher’s website.)

 

XVI

XVI_CVR by Julia Karr

Release date: January 6, 2011

Publisher: Puffin/Speak

Quick summary: Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world -- even the most predatory of men -- that she is ready for sex.

 

A BOY AND HIS BOT

A boy and his bot by Daniel H. Wilson

Release date: January 4, 2011

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

(Middle Grade)

Quick Summary: From the popular author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising comes a novel bursting with robotic twists and turn.

 

UNEARTHLY

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Release date: January 4, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

Quick summary: Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.

 

TAKING OFF

Taking Offjpg by Jenny Moss

Release date: January 4, 2011

Publisher: Walker Books

Quick Summary: A compelling novel woven around the 1986 Challenger tragedy, in time for the 25th anniversary

 

 

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Release date: January 11, 2011

Publisher: Razorbill

Quick summary: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

 

TIMELESS

Timeless by Alexandra Monir

Release date: January 11, 2011

Publisher: Delacorte Books

Quick summary: When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist.

 

WARPED

warped by Maurissa Guibord

Release date: January 11, 2011

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Quick summary: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books.

 

 

THE FALSE PRINCESS

TheFalsePrincess by Ellis O’Neal

Release date: January 25, 2011

Publisher: Egmont USA

Quick summary: Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

 

This next one isn’t out for a while, but I’ve been dying to read it and IT JUST ARRIVED!!!

 

LIKE MANDARIN

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Release date: March 8, 2011

Publisher: Delacorte Press

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited to read this one too—and not just because Kirsten is a Bookanista. But also because it sounds amazing, and I’ve heard such great things about it. It doesn’t come out until March, though. But all the others? January!

Ya got any books you’re absolutely loving right now? Anything you’re really looking forward to?


********************************************

Contest ALERT:

Just to let you know, Sara B. Larson  is giving away two query critiques. She knows her stuff, guys. So if your query needs some polishing, get in there and ENTER HERE.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pieces


Yesterday, I emptied out a handbag for my daughter to use, and I came across things like baby hair bows, lipstick with the indent from my lips, and a spare contact lens—all of these things, relics of a life. But I didn’t tear up until I started looking at the papers…the Sainsbury’s vouchers, ASDA receipts, even a handwritten note from my old neighbor. It hit me like a fist between my ribs: you will never live there again, in that place, in that house, surrounded by those people. England. I could hardly bear it, those reminders of complete and utter loss, the end of something meaningful and real and beautiful.

When I first moved to England, I was so scared. I refused to drive until I finally hated myself too much for being such a chickenshit—two months! I didn’t know where to go to buy wrapping paper or thread or yarn. I didn’t know what anything was—what the hell is a queue? And the endless roundabouts—are you kidding me? Plus I didn’t always understand the accents and all the words they used—my movers had been from Birmingham, and I just sat there bobbing my head pretending like I had a clue what they were saying. But they didn’t understand me either—why I didn’t have a tea kettle, to start with. Then along comes the neighbor (who would become my dear friend) to the rescue, letting me borrow a spare kettle. Meanwhile I’m fuming because I HAD TO HAVE AN EFFING TEA KETTLE! Like it’s some sort of law.

I was miserable. I missed my family. My friends. My neighbors. I missed knowing how to ring call people, how to find what I needed, how to say what I wanted to say and have it understood. I missed Monterey jack cheese and ranch dressing and Mrs. Butterworth and freaking Velveeta. I wanted to go home.

But before I knew it, England was home. I learned to love our new tea kettle, new friends, the travels, the pubs, Bounty bars, Yorkshire tea, digestives, and custard slices. Our first visit back to the U.S., a year after we’d left, was nice but…strange. Though our family and friends missed us (and likewise), we weren’t missed. Because life moves on without you when you’re not there. So when the time came, we were  ready to go home. To England.



But eventually, it was time to move back to the U.S. I’ll tell you, it took me a good six months to come out of depression after that move. Because something happened to me while I was in Britain. I was Changed. And in that change, I began to understand who I was, and in some sense, where I belonged. I was HOME. But our families weren’t there, so we knew we couldn’t stay forever. But, damn it, it was home. Until Britain, I’d been a half-Ecuadorian too-young mom who struggled to find her place in suburban America. I never realized how hard that identity was for me until I’d left it behind.

But in all things, we eventually adjust. Right? Right?

This is what I wrote when we first began preparations to move back to the U.S:

I'm scared now. I'm rather frightened to go home. I feel the kind of melancholy that only permanence can cause. And this, this return, is oh so permanent. So final. And we have friends here. We have created a place for ourselves here. In some ways, I am more American here than I ever was in the US. Here, I have felt free. Our only obligations, for the first time ever, have been to ourselves. Selfish? Ignoble? I prefer to think of it rather as a generosity to our own souls. And it feels good. Inside, I am screaming: Finders Keepers!!! Once again, I see change before me, only this time, a return to status quo. I love and miss my family and friends, my church. But I am afraid.

And yet

"I have accepted fear as a part of life—especially the fear of change...I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back..." --Erica Jong

There is a pounding in my heart.

ba-bump. ba-bump. ba-bump.

I fear for what I will leave behind.



I wouldn’t give up my experiences elsewhere—not in Ecuador or Britain or any of the states I’ve lived in, but sometimes, I wish I’d lived in the same town my whole life, never knowing what I was missing. Sometimes, I feel fractured, like I’ve left parts of me in different places. I love our home now—it’s home. But I don’t belong only here. And some parts of me don’t belong here at all. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never fully belong anywhere.

Maybe the only real home I have is my family and my writing—the only things I can take with me wherever I go, my personal little turtle shells.

You know, now that I think about it, turtles are pretty cute with those little shells.



I wish I could somehow relate this to writing, but it’s not really analogous. Sorry. 

Pieces


Yesterday, I emptied out a handbag for my daughter to use, and I came across things like baby hair bows, lipstick with the indent from my lips, and a spare contact lens—all of these things, relics of a life. But I didn’t tear up until I started looking at the papers…the Sainsbury’s vouchers, ASDA receipts, even a handwritten note from my old neighbor. It hit me like a fist between my ribs: you will never live there again, in that place, in that house, surrounded by those people. England. I could hardly bear it, those reminders of complete and utter loss, the end of something meaningful and real and beautiful.

When I first moved to England, I was so scared. I refused to drive until I finally hated myself too much for being such a chickenshit—two months! I didn’t know where to go to buy wrapping paper or thread or yarn. I didn’t know what anything was—what the hell is a queue? And the endless roundabouts—are you kidding me? Plus I didn’t always understand the accents and all the words they used—my movers had been from Birmingham, and I just sat there bobbing my head pretending like I had a clue what they were saying. But they didn’t understand me either—why I didn’t have a tea kettle, to start with. Then along comes the neighbor (who would become my dear friend) to the rescue, letting me borrow a spare kettle. Meanwhile I’m fuming because I HAD TO HAVE AN EFFING TEA KETTLE! Like it’s some sort of law.

I was miserable. I missed my family. My friends. My neighbors. I missed knowing how to ring call people, how to find what I needed, how to say what I wanted to say and have it understood. I missed Monterey jack cheese and ranch dressing and Mrs. Butterworth and freaking Velveeta. I wanted to go home.

But before I knew it, England was home. I learned to love our new tea kettle, new friends, the travels, the pubs, Bounty bars, Yorkshire tea, digestives, and custard slices. Our first visit back to the U.S., a year after we’d left, was nice but…strange. Though our family and friends missed us (and likewise), we weren’t missed. Because life moves on without you when you’re not there. So when the time came, we were  ready to go home. To England.



But eventually, it was time to move back to the U.S. I’ll tell you, it took me a good six months to come out of depression after that move. Because something happened to me while I was in Britain. I was Changed. And in that change, I began to understand who I was, and in some sense, where I belonged. I was HOME. But our families weren’t there, so we knew we couldn’t stay forever. But, damn it, it was home. Until Britain, I’d been a half-Ecuadorian too-young mom who struggled to find her place in suburban America. I never realized how hard that identity was for me until I’d left it behind.

But in all things, we eventually adjust. Right? Right?

This is what I wrote when we first began preparations to move back to the U.S:

I'm scared now. I'm rather frightened to go home. I feel the kind of melancholy that only permanence can cause. And this, this return, is oh so permanent. So final. And we have friends here. We have created a place for ourselves here. In some ways, I am more American here than I ever was in the US. Here, I have felt free. Our only obligations, for the first time ever, have been to ourselves. Selfish? Ignoble? I prefer to think of it rather as a generosity to our own souls. And it feels good. Inside, I am screaming: Finders Keepers!!! Once again, I see change before me, only this time, a return to status quo. I love and miss my family and friends, my church. But I am afraid.

And yet

"I have accepted fear as a part of life—especially the fear of change...I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back..." --Erica Jong

There is a pounding in my heart.

ba-bump. ba-bump. ba-bump.

I fear for what I will leave behind.



I wouldn’t give up my experiences elsewhere—not in Ecuador or Britain or any of the states I’ve lived in, but sometimes, I wish I’d lived in the same town my whole life, never knowing what I was missing. Sometimes, I feel fractured, like I’ve left parts of me in different places. I love our home now—it’s home. But I don’t belong only here. And some parts of me don’t belong here at all. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never fully belong anywhere.

Maybe the only real home I have is my family and my writing—the only things I can take with me wherever I go, my personal little turtle shells.

You know, now that I think about it, turtles are pretty cute with those little shells.



I wish I could somehow relate this to writing, but it’s not really analogous. Sorry. 

Pieces


Yesterday, I emptied out a handbag for my daughter to use, and I came across things like baby hair bows, lipstick with the indent from my lips, and a spare contact lens—all of these things, relics of a life. But I didn’t tear up until I started looking at the papers…the Sainsbury’s vouchers, ASDA receipts, even a handwritten note from my old neighbor. It hit me like a fist between my ribs: you will never live there again, in that place, in that house, surrounded by those people. England. I could hardly bear it, those reminders of complete and utter loss, the end of something meaningful and real and beautiful.

When I first moved to England, I was so scared. I refused to drive until I finally hated myself too much for being such a chickenshit—two months! I didn’t know where to go to buy wrapping paper or thread or yarn. I didn’t know what anything was—what the hell is a queue? And the endless roundabouts—are you kidding me? Plus I didn’t always understand the accents and all the words they used—my movers had been from Birmingham, and I just sat there bobbing my head pretending like I had a clue what they were saying. But they didn’t understand me either—why I didn’t have a tea kettle, to start with. Then along comes the neighbor (who would become my dear friend) to the rescue, letting me borrow a spare kettle. Meanwhile I’m fuming because I HAD TO HAVE AN EFFING TEA KETTLE! Like it’s some sort of law.

I was miserable. I missed my family. My friends. My neighbors. I missed knowing how to ring call people, how to find what I needed, how to say what I wanted to say and have it understood. I missed Monterey jack cheese and ranch dressing and Mrs. Butterworth and freaking Velveeta. I wanted to go home.

But before I knew it, England was home. I learned to love our new tea kettle, new friends, the travels, the pubs, Bounty bars, Yorkshire tea, digestives, and custard slices. Our first visit back to the U.S., a year after we’d left, was nice but…strange. Though our family and friends missed us (and likewise), we weren’t missed. Because life moves on without you when you’re not there. So when the time came, we were  ready to go home. To England.



But eventually, it was time to move back to the U.S. I’ll tell you, it took me a good six months to come out of depression after that move. Because something happened to me while I was in Britain. I was Changed. And in that change, I began to understand who I was, and in some sense, where I belonged. I was HOME. But our families weren’t there, so we knew we couldn’t stay forever. But, damn it, it was home. Until Britain, I’d been a half-Ecuadorian too-young mom who struggled to find her place in suburban America. I never realized how hard that identity was for me until I’d left it behind.

But in all things, we eventually adjust. Right? Right?

This is what I wrote when we first began preparations to move back to the U.S:

I'm scared now. I'm rather frightened to go home. I feel the kind of melancholy that only permanence can cause. And this, this return, is oh so permanent. So final. And we have friends here. We have created a place for ourselves here. In some ways, I am more American here than I ever was in the US. Here, I have felt free. Our only obligations, for the first time ever, have been to ourselves. Selfish? Ignoble? I prefer to think of it rather as a generosity to our own souls. And it feels good. Inside, I am screaming: Finders Keepers!!! Once again, I see change before me, only this time, a return to status quo. I love and miss my family and friends, my church. But I am afraid.

And yet

"I have accepted fear as a part of life—especially the fear of change...I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back..." --Erica Jong

There is a pounding in my heart.

ba-bump. ba-bump. ba-bump.

I fear for what I will leave behind.



I wouldn’t give up my experiences elsewhere—not in Ecuador or Britain or any of the states I’ve lived in, but sometimes, I wish I’d lived in the same town my whole life, never knowing what I was missing. Sometimes, I feel fractured, like I’ve left parts of me in different places. I love our home now—it’s home. But I don’t belong only here. And some parts of me don’t belong here at all. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never fully belong anywhere. Maybe the only real home I have is my family and my writing—the only things I can take with me wherever I go, my personal little turtle shells.

You know, now that I think about it, turtles are pretty cute with those little shells.



I wish I could somehow relate this to writing, but it’s not really analogous. Sorry. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

J'adore Anna and the French Kiss

I had a blog post half written for you when the battery on my laptop died. But I couldn’t plug in the charger because the charger exploded a few minutes ago. I was sitting on my bed, working, when I heard a little pop and smelled something burning. I didn’t want it to be anything, so I assumed it was just the heater. Stuff like that can be kind of wonky, right? Then I shifted the pillow beneath my leg and discovered the charger lying beneath it now looks like a melty block of black cheese in a heat wave. WHICH. is why my laptop battery ran out. Because it wasn’t being charged, see.

So, if my Bookanista review sucks bananas, I blame it on the almost fire that totally could have burned up my house (I will say nothing about the new BURN spot on my bedding). And the fact that my blog writing program does not work on my husband’s laptop for some shitrocious reason, and I CAN’T WRITE ON BLOGGER TO SAVE MY LIFE ROTTEN BLOGGER WHY CAN’T YOU LET LINKS OPEN IN ANOTHER WINDOW YOU MEATHEAD WEASELLY PIECE OF TOADYWART.

I’m just kidding I love you Blogger don’t close my account muah muah muah here’s a cookie.

Before I forget, be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are recommending today:

 Christine Fonseca and Elana Johnson recommend THE WRITERS GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY
Shannon Messenger raves about DESIRES OF THE DEAD and gives away the ARC
Megan Miranda gushes about REVOLUTION
Lisa and Laura Roecker present a special Guestanista review of PERSONAL DEMONS
Bethany Wiggins also praises ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
by Stephanie Perkins

Goodreads summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. 

The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

My Review

As cute as I think the cover of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is, I don't think it does the book justice.  For one thing, this cover implies that the book is just some sweet, cute little romance about a girl and a boy in Paris. And while it is at times cute--and romantic--and even sweet...it's so much more than that. For one thing, I laughed like a freak reading this. ANNA has a razor sharp sense of humor that appeals to one's intelligence while still maintaining a youthful world-view. Any book that can make me that smiley must be something special. But it's more than just quick-witted humor, you know? Anna's voice is so strong, so incredibly real. All of her actions and dialogue are consistent with who she is. I would have LOVED to have a friend like Anna--no, check that. I would LOVE to be Anna, just like her, down to the bleached stripe and all. Anna is just so genuinely, so beautifully seventeen. 

Everything about her is spot on, down to the way she views her dad. I mean, at first I thought to myself, okay, the dad is kind of a weaselly dork, but, whatever, people like him are nothing to get upset about. But to a seventeen year old girl like Anna, a dad like hers would feel like a nightmare, and through her eyes, I actually found myself detesting him just as much--talk about brilliant characterization.

What's more, Perkins captures the trials and tribulations of an expat's life so remarkably. I've been an expat, and I can't tell you how many times in reading this I thought, "Yes YES YES! That's what it's like!" I have to believe that Perkins must have actually studied abroad. Anna's Paris was the same Paris I've experienced, down to the nutella-filled crepes and the sticky sweetness of mille-feuille. She even goes to Shakespeare and Co, my favorite book store ever! EXCEPT. Anna's experience was colored by her age, her love of films, and (at first) her fear and resentment (also a sign of excellent characterization). I'll just be upfront with you, if you read this, the first thing you will want to do is plan a trip to Paris. And then you will fantasize what it would be to like to go to school there...and fall in love with a hot English boy. It's just so dang bittersweet because I CANT BE SEVENTEEN AGAIN. And now I want to SO BAD. 

Okay, I'll be honest, the way that √Čtienne St. Claire is described doesn't exactly appeal to my tastes. Which is okay. Cuz I'm an old person. And he's, you know, a teenager. But seeing him through Anna's eyes, it's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with him. He's just so...dreamy. And then Perkins fills every scene with so much live-wire tension (which, honestly, might make you want to shout, OMG, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE THEM A HINT AND CHUCK A CONDOM AT THESE TWO ALREADY!) The romance in AATFK is naturally progressed, but the desire feels so alive, so palpable that it may just make you squirm. But like I said, it's more than just a romance. It's a representation of what it is to be on the cusp of adulthood...the fears and dreams and hopes and embarrassment and sweetness of discovery--all of it reflected in Anna's experience living in a foreign country, which is essentially a perfect analogy for adolescence's evolution ( a journey to a place where you haven't yet learned the customs and may not even speak the language). ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is a smooth read--funny, poignant, full of heart and sexy as all get out.

For the record, mille-feuille

It's freaking unbelievable. I could eat these ALL. DAY. LONG.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One last note: Kimberly Franklin is giving away Sarah Ockler's TWENTY BOY SUMMER and FIXING DELILAH! Check it out! Ends January 1!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It’s No Sacrifice Mostly

Around noon yesterday, I was in the middle of reading a book to hopefully be able to review when I got a phone call from my dear friend, B. He tells me he’s in town on business and that he’ll have a few hours in the afternoon and can we get together for a bit. So I tell him of course of course I’d love to see you and I’ve got to pick up the Bigger Bean soon and then take her to piano later this evening how about we meet the few hours in between? So he says, sure sure give me a call when you’re ready. So I hang up the phone and my eyes do something that look sort of like this:

eyes_pop_2 

Because I was still in pajamas, wrapped snuggly in a bathrobe and torn up red slippers. And my house looked post-apocalyptic and four-year-old-terrorized and smelled a bit like boiling cabbages. I tossed a juice box and a bag of mini muffins at the Little Bean and raced into the shower. I was done in five minutes, which, okay, if you know me at ALL, you know that’s impressive. I brushed my teeth and did my hair and makeup, all at the same time, and then ran as fast as I could to do the dishes, and then ran back up the stairs immediately because I’d forgotten to put on a shirt. I threw on the shirt B had given me not long ago, and then got halfway through the dishes, on the verge of just throwing the rest away, when B called to say he was done with his task. Like, way before I expected him to be done.

Cue screeching tires, squealing brakes, and this face:

straitjacket

So, okay, here’s what happens when you surprise me with an unexpected visit: You have to spend an hour and a half at the mall waiting for me to clean my house.

You know, it’s not that I’m lazy. I actually get really anxious in messy, smelly spaces. It’s just that between my family and all of their various activities and needs, as well as volunteering and shopping and sometimes blogging and reading/reviewing and sometimes sleep and other obligations, the hours in a day get the life squeezed out of them. And somehow, the battle always falls between two options: writing or cleaning.

It’s a no-brainer. Cleaning is for unobsessive writer people.

But this means that unexpected visits are…unexpected. It’s not that they’re unwelcome. I loves me some people. It just means please give me at least a few hours notice so that I can bribe my husband to clean the house.*

I don’t know, I guess it could just be me. But as much as I hate clutter, my distaste for plates with caked-on fried egg is not as significant as my desire to keep writing. Call it a sacrifice. I can endure terrible things to keep writing. Sadly, poor B sort of had to sacrifice, too. Maybe that just comes with the territory of being friends with a writer.

Sorry, B. I hope the cookies make up for it.

*Bribery is legal and totally moral in marriage.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hating Game

So, I realized that I probably left you with the impression yesterday that I am involved in some sort of illicit monkey smuggling ring.

Well.

That’s neither here nor there. Though it is exhausting.

The odd thing is that after telling you my posts would be scattered, here I am posting two days in a row. But for a good cause. Many of you know the super fab Talli Rolland, a writer-bloggie-friend who makes people smile on a daily basis. But just in case you don’t, let me tell you about her.

1. She’s a super fab writer-bloggie-friend. You should check out her super-writer-blog by going here.

2. She is preparing to release a book which promises to be a rockin read called THE HATING GAME. Love that title.


THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

The Hatign Game - Cover About: 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 £200,000 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?

Such a fun book. Clever twist, yeah? Comedy. Romance. Talli. What’s not to love?

 

3. Talli has a brilliant plan for promoting her exciting debut novel, which I’m thrilled to be a part of today—and not just because I adore Talli. Now, I haven’t read THE HATING GAME, but most of you might know I only promote books I love or am excited about, and I’m stoked about THE HATING GAME . I’m hoping you’ll be excited about it, too. Here’s how you can get in on the fun:

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 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. Be sure to order a copy for yourself as well!


THE HATING GAME on Amazon.co.uk

THE HATING GAME on Amazon.com

 

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 www.talliroland.com

Reviews & Tags
If you do buy The Hating Game and you like it, a review on Amazon would be greatly appreciated! If you don't have an Amazon account, you can also post reviews on Goodreads.

If you are on Amazon and in a clicking sort of mood, it would be fantastic if you could click on a few tags ('Tags Customers Associate with this Product' - located underneath the Product Description).

While you’re at it, feel free to post on Facebook or Twitter:

With the Amazon.com link (depending on your location):
Help debut author Talli Roland Take On Amazon today! http://amzn.to/hX2ieD #TheHatingGame

With the Amazon.co.uk link:
Help debut author Talli Roland Take On Amazon today! http://amzn.to/hNBkJk #TheHatingGame

Any RTs appreciated!

Finally, a word from Talli: Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to help me out! I couldn't have done it without you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at talliroland@gmail.com. Roll on, December 1. Fingers Crossed!

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Thanks for stopping by, lovelies!

*Ducks back out*

*Slips on a banana peel*