Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TTFN

How exciting is this???

I get to meet my editor, and hopefully my agent--the two fabulous people who made everything possible.

I get to meet a few members of the . Is this wild?!? I'm totally excited.

I get to SEE, possibly meet, some very prominent authors. I'm know I'll be startruck. S.E. Hinton? Judy Blume? James Patterson? Jodie Picoult? The list goes on and on. This is the Hollywood of the literary world. I'll need a second cargo plane just to lug home the new books.

I hope to meet some of you LJ-ers. We need a code word, lol. Or should we carry balloons? If any of you are going, PLEASE email me asap. I'll be out of here by seven a.m. tomorrow.

I get to see NEW YORK. Not that I'll be doing much sightseeing, but just to be there and experience it for the first time. Well, the second time. The first time doesn't count since I was, what, in junior high? Definitely too young to appreciate the moment.

The only downside is that isn't going with me. :( Now THAT would've been the icing on the cake. The cherry on the sundae. The sprinkles on the cupcake. The split in the banana. (Huh?) Well, you get the picture.

I'll MISS you, Pam!

Ta-ta for now.

Last Minute Stuff

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for NYC. I'll decided NOT to schlep my lap top, so I'll be incommunicado for a couple of days. Siiigh. I'll be the one in the lesbo walking shoes who looks like she slept in her clothes. My sister is "into" ironing. I am not.

I did break down and buy a camera. Now if I can just figure out how to use it, lol. Fifty thousand symbols and I have no idea what they mean.

Today I'll be mailing out the invitations for the launch party: June 26th at 7:00 p.m. at BORDERS in Strongsville, Ohio (where else?). I have no idea what I'm going to talk about, so this is something I need to work on when I get back.

Today--between packing, racing around, catching up on emails, freaking out, et cetera--I plan to squeeze in a couple hours of editing.

And I wanted to share this darling picture with you. Yes, it's me. Love the bangs, don't you? :)

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday

OK, THIS UNEXPECTED TORNADO is just a bit TOO close for comfort even for me.

Beth and I took Grandma out for ice cream at Dairy Queen (which is Grandma's new nickname since she doused that dude with milk) and got stuck in a thunderstorm of our own. Swear to God, I'd rather drive in snow! The streets were rivers, I couldn't see a thing, my brakes tried to kick out on me, and my door seriously leaked. On Grandma, lol.

BTW, Grandma slurped down a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and chopped nuts; Beth enjoyed vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries with chocolate sauce on a chocolate-covered waffle cone; and me? Try a fat-free sugar-free 7-carb orange creamsicle. Think orange-flavored Windex, mm, mm. Hey, I lost 16 pounds and I'm not about to gain it back.

Yet.

I'm working this weekend and Monday, so for those of you get a few days off: HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AND HOLIDAY!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Interview

Yesterday's interview for the newspaper went very well! Yes, I was nervous--it's one think to answer questions online, but to sit face to face? The reporter was very sweet and personable, put me perfectly at ease (we grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same schools) and no, she didn't record me--she scribbled notes on a legal pad...which, I thought, was pretty much reserved for court room defendants, lol. A tape recorder might have done me in.

She asked about my writing process and was surprised to find out I do the majority of my writing in a coffee shop. She asked about the submission process, where I get my ideas, the (endless) editing process, and how difficult it is to get published. We talked a bit about my book, and another thing that seemed to surprise her is how I, a whitebread chick from the suburbs, was able to write about the life of a poor girl growing up in the inner city. It was shockingly easy, lol, when you consider where I've been working for the past 25 years. She also asked about my new WIP, but I was kind of leery about discussing it since it hasn't been submitted yet, let alone accepted.

I also plugged the CLASSOF2k7 and gave her some printed material, so hopefully we'll get a bit of publicity. :)

The story will run a bit closer to my release day which is June 26, although Jill informed me the books probably won't reach the bookstores till July.

So it was fun!

And now I can get back to editing, and thinking about the BEA--for which I have NOTHING to wear, but that's a whole 'nother rant. Plus I'm already anticipating major withdrawal now that it dawned on me I'll be laptop-less for four whole days. Schlepping it along is pretty much out of the question.

Thanks to ALL of you for your sweet comments about my book pics!

Friday 10

1. I've been severely traumatized by a carpenter ant that crawled up my back while I was watching TV last night. I can still FEEL it! The goosebumps won't go away.

2. My backache is gone!

3. My cat ate a plate of rugala. Cherry paw prints all over my kitchen table.

4. A review from VOYA (Voices of Youth Advocacy) stated in part that "...her work is painfully realistic, and she does not write 'nice' because there are too many youth who struggle through such an existence."

No, I don't "write nice," LOL. And I swear I can hear the ghost of my mother:

MOM: (after a huge, drawn-out, exasperated sigh) "Holy cripe, Jeannine! Why can't you just write nice???"

5. I'm trying to edit at home right now and the frickin' phone has NOT stopped ringing! To say nothing of the fact that I've been playing on message boards. Oh...and blogging. Hm. But in spite of farting around, I got quite a bit done.

6. I bought a new top. A severely UGLY top. I have no idea what possessed me. I should never shop alone.

7. I'm voting today on a new contract at work. I thought it was last week, but that was just an information session. My answer is NO and I don't care who knows it.

8. Beth and I saw GEORGIA RULE. Good movie except for the fact that Lindsay Lohan wore what was ob-vi-ous-ly a pair of false eye lashes in every scene. Her character was 17 yrs old. How many 17-year-olds wear false eyelashes? I mean REGULAR 17-year-olds, not the ones you see in the tabloids.

9. Now that American Idol is over, I have a new favorite: ON THE LOT! OMG, those poor would-be film makers had to verbally pitch a project to the panel of judges--an oral query, in a sense. I remember the pitches and I suffered through at the Columbus Writers Conference a couple years ago and how sorry I felt for the authors who were either too nervous to croak out a coherant sentence, or else their pitches, well, quite frankly, sucked.

10. Speaking of incoherant sentences--I'm still unable to state, briefly, in one or two sentences, what my book is about. Yes, I can write a blurb, but writing it and saying it are two different things. I sooo need to work on that!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Drive By Milking

At the nursing home, this little nasty old guy in a wheelchair is reaming out a nurse, and I mean reeeeaming her out, calling her every name under the book , VERY aggressive, obnoxious, and...well, kind like what I occasionally have to put up with.

Grandma feels sorry for the nurse. Grandma's sick of listening to this dude's mouth. Grandma LIKES this nurse. And "finesse" is not one of Grandma's better qualities.

So she gets up and marches over to Mr. Personality and says "Shut your damn mouth!" and throws a cup of milk in his face. Not the actual cup, mind you--she just sloshed him with the milk.

So far we haven't gotten a call to come pack her bags.

LOLOLOLOLOL. Oh, I am soo not laughing, but...LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

The Amazing Rachel Vater...

...strikes again with a fabulous PEP TALK !

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Should Be Cleaning, But...

Ever wonder what makes your LITTLE ARROW CURSOR move? :)

OK, wa-a-ay too much time on my hands. I've been eating Motrin all day for some serious back pain (so much for cleaning) PLUS I'm recovering from a nervous breakdown d/t not being able to find my e-ticket for NYC. Two hours I spent poring through files, saved emails, flash drives, etc. and cursing myself the whole time for not sticking to one email addy.

Sooo, if it says "electronic ticket receipt" at the top of the paper, they'll let me board the plane?

Better question: should anyone this per-fect-ly cluuuuue-less be permitted to travel unattended?

Thank You, Miss Snark!

REMEMBERING MISS SNARK

Thanks for the link, Nadine!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ugh, just...UGH!

So far I found:

1. Roughly four bucks in change under the couch cushions, plus 3 pens, a pound of peanuts, and a Reese's piece left over from Chistmas.

2. 2 Christmas ornaments and an assortment of holiday cards. Plus a sympathy card I meant to send to someone last year.

3. One dead plant.

Note: When Grandma moved to the nursing home, hubby took her plants. I do *NOT* do plants. I warned him I will not be the one to keep it alive. Apparently he failed at this, too. It disintegrated in my hands.

4. 3 previously undiscovered piles of cat puke. Max is certainly getting better at hiding them.

5. Two Starbucks gift certs-YAY!

What I did NOT find:

1. My cell phone charger.

2. A winning lottery ticket.

3. Fairy dust to make this all go away.

I have sooo much to do that needs to be done NOW. My launch party is planned (sort of) and I don't even have the invitations printed up, let alone addressed. I have BEA stuff to look over. I have editing to do. I have emails that I "saved as new" a week ago and never glanced at again. I still can't walk across any room in my house without tripping over something. My yard is a jungle (though Chuck made a pretty good dent over the w/e, *kiss kiss*).

Once this ms is finished, I'm turning over a new leaf. Yeah, yeah, I've said that before--but this cannot go on! I can't live like this, petrified at the thought that someone will drop by and pass out in sheer horror. Last night I went to bed at 6 p.m. and didn't open my eyes till 7 this morning. Autopilot sucks. Maybe it's time for a temporary nosedive.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Good-Bye, Miss Snark

Can THIS be true???

I'm officially in mourning.

Zzzzz

Cable's out, I'm on dialup, and this is taaaaaaaaaaking forrrrrrrreevvvveeeeeerrrrrrrr. How do you dialup folks stand it?? My desperately-need-to-be-touched-up roots grew out a whole inch just waiting for LJ to load.

Regardless, my day's already shot--I have to be at work by 1 p.m. to vote on a union contract. Heh. Any K-Y lying around?

Bye!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Timeline Hell

Ohhh my God, I'm having the most unbelievably ridiculous time-frame screw up nightmare in the history of the written word. Copy-paste-copy-paste-edit-edit-scream-coffee-cigarette-copypastepcopypastecopypaste- infinity!

Never.

Again.

Will I write.

Without.

An.

Outline.

I've been editing like a madwoman for three days straight and slashed probably 20 pages. I lost track of the word count, so don't even ask. In spite of the difficulties--all of which I brought on myself--I'm totally psyched. It is going well, believe it or not.

I may have to put it aside for a few days, for a crazy reason. Well, crazy for me, anyway. I'm being interviewed by our suburban newspaper and the reporter *gulp* is coming to my house next Thursday. It's either CLEAN this hellhole or die of sheer humiliation.

I have one week.

Good-Bye, Melinda--for the moment!

Why I didn't freak out when Melinda Doolittle got kicked off last night:

1. I figured it would be Melinda and Jordin next week, so yes, of course one of them would have to go then.

2. Melinda, for sure, has already MADE it. Winning AI would be nice, but irrevelant at this point. This fabulous singer is already a S-T-A-R.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Big Bird Blows

I hate grocery shopping. I'd rather insert bamboo skewers through my orbits.

One in particular--I'll call it Big Bird, and those in my area know which one I'm talking about--sucks beyond belief. The lines are hideously long. The cashiers are a combo of clueless and rude. The baggers can't pack for shit: detergent in with the grapes, bread under the tuna cans, etc. When I ask them to put my milk in a bag, they roll their eyes, then wait till I'm not looking and throw it naked into the cart. They stock the shelves in the middle of the day--constantly!--forcing me to leave my cart at one end of the aisle so I can climb over boxes to grab what I need. What, they can't do this on night shift?

Recently a bagger sniped at me because I placed a big container of cat litter on the conveyor belt. She informed me to leave it in the cart in future because it's "too heavy" for her to lift. Oh, and my 24-pack of Pepsi, too. Attention please! Do NOT place these items on the conveyor belt, ever again! Snipe, snipe.

It wasn't "what" she said. It was her s-n-a-r-k-y tone. Hello? I've been buying groceries on a weekly basis for, mmm...thirty years? I've never been told not to place anything heavy on the conveyor belt. And not only did the baggerwitch say this, the constiptated cashier repeated it in case I didn't hear it the first time. Which I did, but chose not to respond.

Then I got a load of the bagger--80 FRICKING YEARS OLD and roughly 65 pounds. So my thought was: If you can't DO the damn job, what are you doing here, lady? Seriously. Why would Big Bird hire an 80 yr. old twig to bag groceries? This is fast, physical work.

Oh, right: the "no age discrimination" laws.

I respect the woman for holding down a job at that age...even though she, um, can't really "do" it. Plus I realize there's a very good chance that when I'm 65, or 70 (I pray it's not 80) I'll still be doing my job. Obviously not by choice.

Can you see me trying to get away with this?

"Sorry, ma'am, you'll have to get your own big fat legs back into bed. They're toooo heavy-y-y!"

"Sorry. I don't lift bedpans over twenty pounds. Empty it yourself. Oops, careful now."

"Yes, sir, I realize you're lying there on the floor in a pool of blood. But hey, I'm eighty years old. I am NOT picking you up."

Yeah. That'd fly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Update

1. 125 pages completed.

2. 5,281 words slashed.

3. 1 subplot eliminated.

4. 3 characters aborted.

5. 800,000,000 mg. of caffeine consumed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Lines

Sometimes you only have one chance to capture a reader’s attention. Sometimes that chance lies in your very first sentence.

The is holding a FIRST LINES contest. 36 books, 36 first lines, and whoever matches the greatest number wins a collection of 2k7 arcs. Even if you don’t play, these first lines are fabulous! Deadline is May 18.

Not only was my first line changed in the editing process, so was the first paragraph...so was the first chapter. In fact the first chapter ended up becoming Chapter 3. Figuring out exactly WHAT my first chapter took up a huge chunk of the official editing process. Jill and I went back and forth literally for weeks, and when she suggested I simply write a new Chapter 1...bang! Perfect. It was one of those "tense" periods of revising you swear you'll never survive--whataretheydoingtomybook/ican'tdothis/leavemealone/helphelp/ichangedmymind!

Then when it's **OVER** you're utterly transformed. You looove your editor. You love your book. You love the world. You even start to feel a bit sorry for Paris Hilton. Well, maybe not. But everything is COOL.

TALL TALES by Karen Day

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Our latest 2k7 RELEASE: TALL TALES by Karen Day: "Meg's family has moved a lot because of her father's drinking. Meg arrives in her town longing to find a real friend, someone she can talk to and write stories with. When she and Grace join forces to write a book, she's thrilled that she has finally found someone who likes her for who she is, who trusts her and confides in her. But she can't tell Grace about her father. Even though she hates to lie, Meg can't resist telling tall tales about her family and her life to Grace and other kids.For Meg, friendship turns out to be the key to telling the truth, and also to a better life for her family."

CONGRATS, KAREN!!! :)

KAREN DAY'S WEBSITE

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day cont...

Horoscope: "Although something or someone may have looked good in the past, there are things coming to light that you hadn't noticed before. Conflicts arise, perhaps because you are so driven at this time in your life. Your ambition is tied to basic survival issues and may be running rampant. Consider moderating your goals. Flexibility could make your life much easier."

Who ARE these beings who spy on me from outer space?

Moderate my goals???? Two words: As. If.

I received the coolest Mother's Day gift from Beth, a new Biography of BETTE DAVIS:

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And yes, it's Bette who said, "Success only breeds another goal." Heh. Imagine anyone telling Bette Davis to modify her goals. :D

Mother's Day

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

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This site is unbearably darling! BabyAnimalz.com

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tornados

My secret desire: to see a real tornado (from a safe distance, of course). Yes, I know, I know, that's totally insane and I'd never say such a thing if I'd ever experienced it first-hand. But I've been weirdly attracted to tornados since I was four and watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time. Seriously, I even dream about tornados.

Today I found this Storm Video and it took my breath away!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday 10

1. I edited the first 80 pages and slashed 4,000 words. Yay me.

2. Beth found a dead mouse in the living room last night. This proves my cat can still do his job. Unfortunately he's deaf, and can't hear these little suckers when they're scritching in the wall. He has to wait till one actually runs over his paw.

3. Bloomsbury sent me the JACKET of my book. It's gorgeous!

4. Speaking of covers, my cool writer buudy and crit partner Char posted the COVER of her soon-to-be-published paranormal, FUGUE MACABRE. Woo-hoo! Go, Char. :)

5. I am humbled by the pair of jeans I'm wearing right now. I can't breathe, my toes are blue, and I have a whole fricking pork roast dangling over the waist. No more bragging about "loose" clothes in this blog.

6. We have a wedding coming up--Matthew and Molly--which gives me more incentive to keep off the blubber. Matthew already did TWO tours in Iraq. Now he's been called back up for active duty. :( So, yeah, they're gonna do it.

7. I'm working Sunday, so Happy Mother's Day to all you lucky chicks who get to hang around home and be waited on hand and foot. You do exist, right?

8. I've discovered ICED coffee with a sprinkle of vanilla, a splotch of half-and-half, and two packets of Splenda. No carbs, next to zero calories, and caffiene, caffiene, caffiene!

9. I have a death/funeral scene in my WIP that lasts longer than the real thing. Does anyone remember Imitation of Life where Lana Turner's housekeeper falls sick and takes forever to die because she's too busy babbling out her funeral instructions? Mine rivals that. It's the longest death scene in literary history.

10. I'm thinking about finishing the paint job I started a year ago. I haven't bought any paint, mind you. But the thought is there.

Celebrity Burn Out

One thing about going to the hairdresser: there are plenty of smutty Hollywood rags lying around.

To tell you the truth, I'm sick of celebrities. Yes, I really said that. Me, who's been mortally addicted to People magazine since the very first issue which, I think, I paid 35 cents for.

First it was Anna Nicole, ya-a-a-awn (didn't that just go on for-EVER?). Then it was Britney with her freshly mowed head. Then Alec Baldwin's "thoughtless little pig" tirade to his eleven-year-old daughter--or maybe she's twelve because even Alec doesn't know. Now it's Paris, Paris, Paris and her pending reservation at Barbie's Dream House of Detention. Plus OJ got tkicked out of a KY restaurant because the owner, frankly, didn't want to deal with him so now OJ's screaming racism (huh?) and threatening the guy's liquor license.

So while Beth got her hair cut, I flipped through the rags and discovered that:

1. Portia weighed 86 pounds at one time and consumed 300 calories a day. 300 calories a day? Wimp! I can eat 300 a minute.

2. Whoopi dropped a ton of blubber on the NutriSystem diet and now she can squeeze her butt into a size 8. Yeah. Sure she can. A Hollywood 8 or a Wal-Mart 8?

3. Without makeup, Whitney looks like a sixty-year-old junkie, Barbra resembles a demented bag lady, Wynonna could pass for a waitress at a West Virginia truck stop, and everyone else pretty much looks dead.

Then I thought: why am I reading this stuff?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

STUCK IN THE 70'S by D.L. Garfinkle

And a BIG DAY for , too! Introducing: STUCK IN THE 70's:

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"One night in 1978, Tyler Gray wakes up to find a beautiful girl named Shay lying in his bathtub. For inexperienced, nerdy Tyler, this is not a common occurrence, but it’s even stranger because Shay insists that she’s from 2006. Of course Tyler doesn’t believe her, but once she proves it, they strike a deal: Tyler will try to help get Shay back to 2006 if Shay helps him become more popular. But the more time Shay spends in 1978, the more she likes it. And while she helps Tyler with the popular crowd, she also wreaks havoc by going out with his worst enemy, making over his sister and helping his mother get a job as a cafeteria worker—at his school! Can Tyler get Shay home before his life is completely turned upside down? --Garfinkle creates another funny look at teen life with just a touch of magic. It’s far-out, man!"

YAY, Deb! Girl, you are sooo on a roll. :)

Debra Garfinkle's Website

GIRL OVERBOARD by Aimee Ferris

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GIRL OVERBOARD by Aimee Ferris: Swimsuit: check. Flip-flops: check. scuba gear: check. leaving behind a longtime boyfriend: not so easy. Marina has been waiting her whole life to get out on the open sea. And now that she’s studying abroad on a luxury yacht in the Caribbean, her dreams are finally coming true. she loves the feel of the sun on her face, the sand between her toes, and the island music swaying over her. And even better, she’s getting hands-on marine biology experience swimming alongside dolphins in the bahamas, sharks in the bay islands, and sea turtles in the Dominican republic! but while her experiences tell her she’s in exactly the right place, her boyfriend wants her home in Vermont. And her distractingly cute Aussie boatmate couldn’t disagree more. As the island heat rises, Marina must decide once and for all where her heart is—on land or at sea.

CONGRATS to fellow 2K7er AIMEE FERRIS!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

OUCH

OK. Which one of you guys talked me into plucking a renegade lash out of the corner of my eye?

I'm betting it was OPHELIA LAUGHS but I can't swear to this.

At any rate, I think I need an eye patch.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

In the Mood

I know you're supposed to let a manuscript "simmer" for a while...but does it count as simmering if you haven't even looked at your first chapters in the past month or so? Even though you've been revising steadily?

I can't simmer. I have this compulsion to work. I consider the day wasted if I don't write (even though blogging "counts") and my immediate instinct is to start some serious editing. My writing isn't determined by my "mood" anymore; if I don't view this as a J-O-B, something to be approached on a daily basis, then I know I can kiss any serious career goodbye. The truth is, I started much too late. I fired my muse months ago. Now when I find myself in a real mood to write, it's icing on the cake.

I'm in the mood now.

Questions:

How often does a book make you laugh? Make you cry? I laugh over books all the time, but very few bring me to tears. My guess is that it's a lot easier to make a reader laugh than cry (unlike movies where I can bawl the whole way through). I reread the Harriet sequel The Long Secret a few months back and LMAO through the entire thing. I'm not eleven years old anymore and it's still funny as hell!

So, if your own books are funny, do you laugh when you're writing them? And then laugh again later when you read them over?

If your books are more serious, or have scenes specifically written to break the reader's heart, do you cry over those scenes as easily as you laugh over the funny ones?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you're doing something right.

One of the last scenes I finished yesterday was one of those "heartbreakers" and I had to stop writing every 10-15 minutes to walk outside for a breath of air. It sucked everything out of me, and all I could think is: will my readers feel the same way? God, I hope so.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wrapping it up

I'm on the last couple of pages of my first revision--YAY. I'm only one month + 5 days behind schedule. I'll wrap it up tomorrow. Then the real fun begins.

Weird thing I saw today: coffee-flavored chewing gum.

Coffee-flavored GUM? Wait. Isn't "gum" that stuff you chew to get rid of your funky coffee-flavored breath?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday 10...no, 9...no, 8...

1. Got my hair chopped today. Don't look too closely at the roots. I figured there was no point in blowing $70 now for the works so I can wander into NYC at the end of the month looking like some hillbilly hag.

2. I kinda blew my diet yesterday. After waking up with a migraine TWO days in a row, a thought occured to me: dogdammit, maybe I just need some FOOD! So I ate. I forgot how wonderful sourdough pretzels could taste. And soup! True, it was crummy "hospital" soup--I had to add, like, a pound of salt to the broth--but mmm, mmm! Oh, and then there was the delicious Panera bagel...

3. I compiled a list of bookstores I'd like to sign at and I'm hoping to hit a spot on a local radio show. The radio show is a long shot but you never know. I also made arrangements for a launch party: June 26th at 7 p.m. at, yes, my Borders--where else???

4. I'm not restricting my writing to my days off anymore--I plan to revise 2 hours a day even on the days I work. Really, the only thing else I do before I go to work at 2 is surf the net, answer emails, blog, and...well, blog. Why not write?

5. The Queen is visiting the U.S. this week. But since she's not coming to Cleveland, and I ob-vi-ous-ly won't make it to Virginia today, something tells me I won't get to meet the old gal. Right now she's kicking up her heels in Colonial Williamsburg--a cool place to visit, btw.

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6. I think my sister has a hat similar to that one. If she doesn't, she should. If you knew my sister, you'd understand.

Actually, Karen, I'm just checking to see if you ever read this thing.

7. I understand why Nancy Grace annoys people. Yes, I do watch her every night, BUT!--the other night she had a segment about pit bulls, how they attack and maul people (yeah, that's "big" news, duh) and the whole time she was blathering, she ran a tape of an actual dogfight. I sent her a polite email informing her that I don't particuarly care to watch animals murdered onscreen any more than I care to see a human being murdered. A waste of time, I'm sure, because I doubt she either reads these emails or cares about my opinion. But I was ticked because the footage had nothing to do with her story, it was purely sensational, and these were not images I cared to take to sleep with me.

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8. Although I have to admit I was momentarily riveted only because pit bulls do play a part in my next planned novel. But not riveted enough to WATCH longer than 3 or 4 seconds. This is why I write: I have a pretty good imagination and I can imagine what a dog fight is like. I don't have to see it for myself any more than I have to smoke dope in the back of a van and kinda-sorta have sex with a stranger.

9. I'm running out of steam.

10. I think I just flunked the Friday 10.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

TRYING to Revise

Whoa, I'm a HOT NEW RELEASE on Amazon. Yay!

I haven't been sleeping very well, which I blame on a variety of things: pure exhaustion from essentially working TWO jobs, shattered nerves, serious hot flashes, and a piece-of-crap mattress that's bent on destroying every muscle fiber in my body. Yesterday I headed to Borders as usual, but only made it through 3 hours of revisions; I was simply too tired to concentrate. Then today I woke up with an excruciating migraine, the kind where you swallow pain pills, hope they stay down, and then writhe in agony, praying for a blessedly swift death. Partially functional by 1 p.m. I dragged myself back to Borders and actually accomplished something: 40 pages to go and I'll be finished with the first revision.

Next I need to:

1. Take a long hard look at Shawna's dubious time line.

2. Change some details, plus add a few more here and there (I'm not much for description, but hello, do these people have faces?) and complete a couple of scenes I, um, kind of left hanging.

3. Oh, and the "best" part? SLASH 100 PAGES!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Welcome, Ellie McDoodle

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Ruth Barshaw's ELLIE MCDOODLE: HAVE PEN, WILL TRAVEL! "Ellie McDougal (better known to her friends as Ellie McDoodle because she loves to draw) is a nearly-twelve-year-old prisoner . . . of her aunt, uncle, three annoying cousins, and her baby brother, Ben-Ben. Sentenced to a week-long camping trip with them while her parents are out of town, Ellie is absolutely, positively determined to hate every single minute of the experience. Thank goodness she at least has her sketch journal, in which she records all the excruciating (and okay, very funny) details...but how will she keep her journal from falling into Er-ick the Enemy’s hands? And what will happen when—gasp—she actually starts having fun?"

Visit Ruth McNally Barshaw--talented writer and amazing artist!

Go, Ruth and Ellie!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Yay, DEB!

And more congrats are in order for whose latest book--the first in "an edgy new teen series"--was also released today!

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THE BAND: TRADING GUYS by Debra Garfinkle: "The friends in the band Sweet Marguerite always back each other up-onstage and off-until an impulsive game threatens to tear them apart. One Night Only Tracie can't think straight. The sexiest guy she knows is flirting with her-and he's hot enough to make her forget everything that matters...including her boyfriend. Mark can't believe his luck. He has a great band and a beautiful girlfriend. So why can't he keep his mind off of the exotic new lead singer, Lily? Sienna is psyched. She's worked hard for the band's success and she loves her boyfriend Mark. Life would be perfect-if Lily would just go away. Tracie, Mark, and Sienna are partying at the beach, celebrating their big break and dreaming of stardom, until the moment one simple question changes everything: Just for fun, why don't we trade boyfriends and girlfriends?"

Deb's STORKY: How I Lost the Nickname and Won the Girl is also now out in paperback.

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How can you not fall in love with this boy???

Congrats, Deb! =)

More 2K7 Debuts

INTRODUCING:

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TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND by Carrie Jones: "It isn't every day that my high school boyfriend, Eastbrook High School's Harvest King, tells me he's gay. It's not every day that the Harvest Queen is dumped in the middle of a road with the stars watching the humiliation and the dogs barking because they want to come help tear my heart out and leave it on the cold gray ground. It isn't every day that my entire world falls apart. Belle believes that Dylan is her true love-maybe even her soulmate. Until one cold night when Dylan drops the ultimate bomb: he's gay. Where, Belle wonders, does that leave her? Should she have someƂ­how been able to tell? Is every guy that she loves going to turn out to be gay? This beautifully-written debut explores what happens when you are suddenly forced to see someone in a different light, and what that can teach you about yourself."

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BEAUTY SHOP FOR RENT by Laura Bowers: "Abbey Garner has a plan: to earn a million dollars by the time she's thirty-five. Financial independence will allow her to break the cycle of unhappiness endured by the women in her family. Determined to fulfill her dream, Abbey works at Granny Po's struggling beauty shop, where the feisty Gray Widows go to primp, polish, perm . . . and, of course, gossip. There, among the hair dryers and perm rods--and with the help of a new friend--Abbey finds the courage to open her heart and take risks required for her to live life to its fullest."

CONGRATS TO BOTH OF YOU! xox

Carrie's Website
Laura's Website