Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I started a die-T today.

I'm crabby.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday. Awake. Crack of Dawn.

Another Saturday morning when I don't have to work and yet I've been awake for no apparent reason since 0455. Drinking coffee. Reading blogs and news stories and message boards. Anticipating another day of revisions.


1. Mini-birthday party for Grandma, outside in the sunshine. She's doing great--thank you to to all of who asked about her!--although her memory's shot. She gets to the second gift and can't remember the first. She gets to the last gift and thinks it's the first. And then can't remember any of them, lol. Sigh. But even she jokes about, and yes, she does know she's "I dunno...eighty-something?"

2. I mentioned Wal-Mart yesterday, and yes, I went, but not to buy any fat lady pants. BTW, here's a message to the frumpy blond lady in the aisle who thought I should walk all the way back down the aisle and come up the other side because she was Too Damn Lazy and Inconsiderate to Move Her Own Monstrous Lime-Green-Doubleknit-Polyester-Clad Ass: "(insert obscene insult of your choice)" Man, I SO need to carry around a list of things to say to people who tick me off. Thing is, they never tick me off when I'm expecting it so I'm not always ready with a snappy comeback. Which means I probably won't have the list handy, either.

3. Anyhoo. What I bought there (besides stuff for Grandma) was a pair of Danskin shoes, sort of a Mary Jane--sneaker hybrid. These are PERFECT for work. I wear street clothes and I'm on my feet a lot, so dress shoes don't work, neither do my clogs, I don't dare wear sandals, and tennis shoes look, well, reeeeally tacky with slacks. These Danskins feel like slippers! I'm addicted. I want more!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday 5

1. Happy birthday, Grandma! We plan to descend on her at dinnertime with bag of her favorite: Arby's. Which is not my fave except for their jalapeño poppers.

2. Beth doesn't think LMB is boring. I'm not sure why I do. I never felt Martha or Shawna were boring. Maybe Linnie and I have a personality conflict. Maybe I'm too psyched up about Shawna to care about her right now. Or maybe she's boring and Beth's doesn't know how to break the news. Nah, she's smarter than that. Just b/c I almost died giving birth to her and I've let her live here for free for twenty-four years is no reason for her to not want to hurt my feelings, right?

3. I need to diet. DESPERATELY! This is no joke. Orthodox Easter is Sunday--I'll pig out at Karen's and then go back on my old regimen of 10 calories a day. Otherwise it's off to Wal-Mart to buy doubleknit polyester drawstring pants, flowered pullovers, and granny panties.

4. OTOH, we're taking Grandma to the Olive Garden on Monday for dinner. Maybe Tuesday's a better day to start. Or maybe...stop. STOP!

5. BTW, the cake was delicious!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I'm halfway through the first revision. Suckage has decreased. More lurks.

At one point I thought: Wow, this is bor-ing.

Hmm, not a good sign.

Maybe I'll go eat some cake now.

Thankful Thursday and Serious DooDoo

I'm thankful for this positively stunning and beautiful and perfectly clear and sunny day!

I am not so thankful that I'm mired in doodoo as far as my revisions are concerned. I hit a soft, brown and highly malordorous spot yesterday, gave up, signed off, and watched American Idol and could not BELIEVE Syesha was in the bottom two while Dreadboy was safe. Poor Brooke looked stunned when she wasn't voted off. And then I watched my usual lineup of Glenn Beck (cuz he's smart and sarcastic, and, yeah, kinda hot) and Nancy Grace (though she is sooo on my nerves lately, and needs to touch up that gray hair, and keeps replaying the same annoying clips over and over, and sometimes I swear she can't tell the victims from the perpetrators esp. when it comes to this FLDS fiasco) and Showbiz Tonight (because, ya know, you just can't get enough of that Hollywood smut) and then passed out and slept till 0830.

As for the doodoo, I reeeeally need to pick up a shovel today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Revisions...

I've been revising all day and this is pretty much how I feel:


Soon I'll be able to hit up my crit group and maybe send a couple chapters off to my agent. I mean, if it sucks, it's good to know early, right? Before I spend the next 4 months in Revision Hell?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday 5

1. The worst thing about being on this vacation (aside from having to go back to 7 a.m.) is that I found how how much writing I could get done if I didn't have a job. It's depressing, b/c I don't see this changing any time soon. Now, once again, my writing will be squished into my measly days off. To those of you writers who don't have to hold down jobs outside the home--please, please, enjoy! And take advantage of it! Time is so precious.

2. As noted in my previous post, the copyedits are completed and in the mail as we speak. Can anyone explain HOW several sentences in my copy did not show up on the editor's copy? Who is this nasty troll living in my hard drive?

3. After several tries, I finally got my car windows fixed which means I'm not driving around in a Hickmobile anymore. No tape on the windows to hold them up? How perfectly posh. Now if they can only figure out what's wrong with my a/c before it's 90 degrees out.

4. Speaking of cars, I'm back in my major car envy mode. This is my latest crush:
I probably won't see it in my driveway for another year...but I can dream, right?

5. I planned to do some more revising tonight, but to tell you the truth: I am totally burned out. I can't believe I have enough energy even to write this post. Tonight's plan: to vegetate in front of the TV (like there's anything on) or maybe do some reading. Then early to bed. If anyone's awake tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. EST please give me a call and make sure I'm up. Or at least conscious. :)

PS: Spring's officially here--Jen just hauled out her Birkie sandals and painted her toenails blue!


Pope Benedict showed up and a miracle occurred: I finished my copyedits.

Just in time to go back to work tomorrow. :(

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unhappy WIP

I spent 6 hrs yesterday revising, managed to get through 14 chapters, came up with a totally awesome twist--and then, when I got home, my copyedits had arrived.

Linnie's not happy.

Linnie: What? You're abandoning me? We are on a roll!

Me: I know. But these are my copyedits. I need to get them back by Monday.

Linnie: Monday, Schmonday.

Me: Now, now...

Linnie: Don't you "now, now" me! If you loved me, you wouldn't do this to me.

Me: How can you say I don't love you?

Linnie: You love Shawna more. You've always loved her more.

Me: That is so not true. Don't you know a heart is a home with a room for every person it loves?

Linnie (pause): Where the hell did you get that old fossil?

Me: ...I don't remember. I think I stole it from an old Hayley Mills movie.

Linnie: Be that way. Have fun with Sha-a-a-awna! Who needs you anyway?

Me: You do, dummy.

Linnie: Pffft! Fine. Let me know when you can work me into your busy-ass schedule.

Me: Wait! You brat. You just stole that line from Martha! Page 218!

Linnie: (smirk) At least I had permission.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I figured it'd be a toss-up between Kristy and Brooke. Actually, I like Brooke. I just wish I had her cell phone number so I could call her up and scream, "Ditch the piano! Ditch the guitar! This is a singing competition!" I think she'd do a lot better if she didn't hide behind an instrument every week.

But I found Kristy vaguely annoying all along. Tonight when she called Simon a "butt" she really showed her lack of maturity and grace. And what's this thing with her horse? Maybe I didn't hear the whole story. She sold her horse so she could enter the competition, and now that it's almost over she wants to buy it back? And the new owner refuses?

Huh, sooooo...ya sell your horse when he's an inconvenience and then buy him back when he's not. O-kay, no sympathy here, lol. Maybe she should get one of these instead:

I revised the first 2 chapters and have been giving this story a lot of thought. Yes, I have to go back to the fricking dungeon work on Saturday--but really, if I work my butt off, there's no reason I can't get this done in a relatively short time. I mean, it's not 125k like Shawna's first draft, and the revisions on that one took me 6 months. We are talking a crummy 62k, right?

Note: Of course I haven't yet decided if this means I'm getting better at this writing business, or B. I just wrapped up what amounts to a Very Short Piece of Crap.

Therefore: my self-imposed deadline (oh, wait, I promised never to use the word dead in reference to my personal creative process--my goal is to finish these revisions by August 15. I wrote it in 2 months. Surely I can edit it in twice that time. :)

BTW, Grandma came home yesterday. You'll never guess what was wrong: salmonella!

Me: (on a regular basis as I stare dubiously at the milk on her bedside table) How old is this milk?

Grandma: Not old.

Me: How old?

Grandma: From lunch. Or maybe from breakast...

Yeah. Or maybe from YESTERDAY'S breakfast???

Me: Ma, you cannot leave milk sitting out all day long--

Grandma: There's nothing wrong with that milk!

Me: --so if you don't drink it when you get it, you have to throw it out.

Grandma: Why???

Me: (for the bazillionth time) Because. You. Will. Get. SICK!

Grandma: (swiping at me as I throw out the 3 cartons of warm milk) Hey, gimme those!

Now the doc has written a specific order: Please Remove All Milk From Resident's Room After Each Meal.

The kind of order that'd drive me nuts as a nurse--who am I, the effen Dairy Police?--but, in this case, probably A Very Good Idea.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


A fun, lazy day. Slept late (well, till 9) and watched the news (depressing, depressing and finished a crit for my group, answered emails, blabbed with hubby, dropped car off for repairs, and read LJ posts and those on my other fave forum. In other words, aside from the car, did nothing today but play, play, play.

I'm thinking about tackling my BTBR pile.

Or paint my bedroom. I actually bought paint. But that involves, um, cleaning...moving furniture...physical labor, etc.

This feels so weird. All this time to myself...

Maybe it's time to begin the revisions.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I did not hit my 65k mark today.

But that's okay.

Because the first draft is FINISHED!

Zokutou word meter
62,812 / 62,812

Title: Love Me Back

Genre: YA

First draft started: Feb, 13, 2008

First draft completed: April 14, 2008

Cups of coffee consumed: 62,812--same as the word count. :)

New Review from YA BOOKS CENTRAL

Thank you to Julie,M. Prince for her wonderful review of Before, After, and Somebody in Between at YA BOOKS CENTRAL:

"Sometimes, a book will come along that very quietly, very subtly changes your life. It shifts the world on its axis just enough to send you reeling—just enough to skew your perspective and have an impact on the way you think.

"This is one of those books.

"There are books that make us laugh, that make us cry, that make us strain our brains. Then, there are the ones like this that remind us that we’re not alone. Other people with similar problems, circumstances, and outlooks actually do share this earth.

"This book is hard to read because it’s emotionally raw, and that can only be attributed to the powerful writing of its author, Jeannine Garsee. She allows the main character, Martha, to crawl into your heart and tug on strings of sympathy and give flickers of recognition that make you love her and want the best for her—then hits Martha with the hardest of life’s curveballs, one after the other. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and the worst part is that poor Martha sees it too, and the reader gets to experience her full reaction up close.

"But there’s no way around the fact that this book is phenomenal. I finished it in record time because I couldn’t NOT finish it. Martha demanded that I read her story, and I wanted to know what happened to her.

"Martha’s story includes violence, drugs, sex, and language…because it has to include those things. They’re all a very real part of Martha’s life, just as they’re a part of the lives of most teenagers. So, read it with caution—because it’s real—but read the book! Then, come back and let me know what you think. I want to know!"

Julie: You totally made my day! xox

Sunday, April 13, 2008, not theirs, mine!

Inspired by Melissa Marr, here is a list of my previously written/trashed/published/soon-to-be-published/hopefully-will-be-published/will never see the light of day novels:

First, back in high school, a contemporary YA trilogy about a girl named Kelly who, after getting thrown out of multiple boarding schools, is sent to live with her father on a remote Scottish island. Yeah, like I've ever been to Scotland.

Book #1: I barely remember, other than Kelly's a brat and she has a governess (do people still have those?) and she wants to fix her dad up with the governess, but Dad marries someone else and totally pisses her off and gives her another excuse to be an even bigger brat than she was at the start of the book. Riveting? N-o-t!

Status: Trashed.

Book #2: Kelly's father's ex-girlfriend Françoise (yeah) sends her wimpy daughter Cecily to spend the summer with Kelly. Midnight antics, horse shows, and surprise twin siblings for Kelly. Oh! And Françoise was a wonderfully WICKED, insane, filthy rich and Positively Obnoxious Character! Kelly's old governess ends up marrying Françoise 's current boyfriend--the only interesting storyline in the book. I guess this is what happens when you watch too many French films + suck up all those nasty romances your mother warned you about.

Status: Trashed.

Book #3: Kelly moves back to New York with her family, attends a public high school for the first time, gets involved in the drama club, and falls in love. Zzzzzzzzzzzz! Sounds like a lot of the twit-lit currently floating around out there now, doesn't it?

Status: Trashed.

OK. Then, a few years later I wrote Book # 4: A Hint of Madness which was ripped off from just about every gothic book/movie/whatever I'd ever seen or read. Alethea runs away from her (second) abusive husband and returns to her spooky old home town that she hasn't seen in 20 years when, as a child, her mother inexplicably dragged her away from there and refused to discuss it since. Alethea moves in with her old best friend, Barbara, and strikes up a romantic relationship with the guy next door. But, wooooOOOoooo!!! Things are weird. Barbara has two sisters--Bonnie, who was mysteriously crippled, or blinded (hell if I can even remember) years ago, and Brynn, who--more woooOOOooOOOooo's!--was recently released from a mental institution! Gee, that's never been done before, right? Anyway, it turns out that Barb's in love with Alethea.

Status: Trashed. Go ahead. Steal it. Make my day.

Book # 5: Before/After (contemporary YA) published in 2007.

Book # 6: Say the Word (contemporary YA) to be published next winter.

Book # 7: My current WIP, tentatively titled Love Me Back (contemporary YA...gee, ya notice a pattern emerging???) which I need to finish, revise, and then it's up for grabs, assuming anyone wants to grab it.

Status: Not Trashed.

Book # 8: Working (joke) title: The Dogfather--not your typical A Boy and his Dog story. I have a couple thousand words. I was going to make this an MG but decided the gory end might be too traumatizing. Also, I may do this one in free verse. If I do it at all.

Status: Not Trashed YET.

Book # 9: A "sequel" to Before with about 40K done. Actually, not a sequel, but another character's story. If Before ever goes anywhere--which so far it has not--I may finish this one. Otherwise, I'll chalk it up as a lot of fun.

Status: Probably Trashed.

Book # 10: A Shawna sequel, taken place a year after STW ends--which I trashed because she'll be 19 and too old for YA. But I was pretty far along before I decided to can it.

Status: Trashed.

My fingers are out of breath.

ETA: I forgot MY GHOST STORY! Halfway through the first draft and currently collecting dust. And this one is not YA.

Status: Not Ready To Be Trashed Because Certain People Will Kill Me.

Secret to Fast First Drafts


So here I am sitting here with roughly 8,000 more words to write. Pondering. Thinking. Doing everythng except writing.

Nate: So how's it gonna end?

Me: I dunno. I'll find out when I write the end.









Saturday, April 12, 2008

Writing, Writing, Writing

OK, I re-guesstimated my final word count, and realized this story will NOT be 80k. At least not the first draft. I think it'll wrap up at around 65. My shortest one so far! (is that good or bad?)

Therefore--since I wrote 7k today!!!--this is where Linnea stands now:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
57,138 / 65,000

Reading List

This is a working vacation. Or I should say a "writing" vacation.

But I also have a pile of books staring me in the face. I've read 5 already (I read more than one at a time) and these either in progress or next on my list:

Where I Want to Be (1/2 thru)
Mistaken Identity (almost done)
City of Bones (not started--but Beth will probably steal this one anyway)
Falling (not started)
Beauty Shop for Rent (not started)
For One More Day (not started)
The Almost Moon (started last summer and then misplaced it, lol)

Which means if I'm reading, I'm not writing. Or if I'm writing, I'm certainly not reading. Or if I'm doing both, I'm not doing anything else.

Hey, it's my vacation. I can do what-EVER!!!  Or not a damn thing. :) 

Friday, April 11, 2008

Second Wind

OK, I went back to bed and slept till 2 p.m. and then got back up and felt great! Saw Grandma who is doing fine and will probably come home tomorrow, though she doesn't quite "get" that she's even in the hospital. Not that nobody hasn't told her that, like, 99,000 times. I think she thinks we're pulling a fast one on her--moving her from room to room just to psyche her out. :)

Then I came back and helped Linnea tear up a car. Thanks for the suggestions!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50,136 / 80,000


It's all catching up to me. I can't wake up this morning. All I want is to crawl back into bed. Later I'll get up and visit Grandma, but that's about it.

Does somebody want to write my next couple chapters? Linnea has to smash up a car, like, with a bat or something...or maybe she'll just key the hell out of it and puncture the tires...but whatever she does, she has to be quiet about it.

Go from there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Jen Did Today

Visited Grandma, of course, who had no idea where she was and no idea how she got there or why she wasn't at home. And MAD AS HELL that they wouldn't let her eat, lol. She asked me for a hot fudge sundae three times. She's def feeling better if she's thinking about ice cream. And she misses Miss R. who I'm sure misses her. I have the feeling Grandma will be out of there soon.

Bought a new purse. OMG, this is one of my favoritest things to do! Stone Mountain, $115 but half price (I know, I know, but how could I pass up a sale? Plus I feel justified, since I only buy shoes once every 10 years) with real sections so I don't have to throw everything into one hole like a freaking grocery bag. Slate blue, soft leather, with real shoulder straps instead of "handles" (gawd, I hate those). Only problem is, it's really not big enough. Meaning I can't jam a hardcover book into it, although a paperback might work if I don't, yanno, zip it.

Cancelled my appointment to take my car in to fix the busted window and the busted door and the busted air conditioning because--surprise!--Hubby had to take his car in to repair a leak. WTH is it with these broken down cars lately?

Wrote! Wrote! Wrote! If I keep this pace up, it's Highly Possible I can finished the first draft before I go back to work next weekend.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,780 / 80,000

Worked on giving Myspace a facelift. Not quite done. But also not very high on my Priority List.

Now it's after 10 p.m. and I'm going to make....


Grandma Update

Thank you all for your good wishes below! xox

I was in ER with Grandma last night from 8 p.m. till 1:30 a.m. and I couldn't last any longer. They admitted her, so I'll stop up today and see how she is. Other than being very sick, of course.

Highlights of the night:

1. Remembering why I'm so happy I left med-surg nursing: POOP! Lots of it. Everywhere. Hello, anybody ever get a good look at C-diff?

2. The old guy in the next bed who thought I worked there, never mind I was wearing street clothes. Because the nurses were so busy, I'm the one who had to disconnect Grandma from everything when she needed to get up, do what needs to be done, then reconnect her to the monitor, BP, IV, oxygen, pulse ox, etc.

Old Guy (peeking around the curtain): Nurse! Nurse!

Me: _______ (hoping the "real" nurse will hear him)

Old Guy: NURSE!

Me: (crap) I'm sorry, I'm not a nurse... (Wait, what am I saying? I just lied to the poor man) ...I mean, I don't work here...I'm just...

Old Guy: I need a nuuuurrrrse!

Heh. Good luck finding one, dude!

So, yeah, I went over to him and reassured him that, yes, all these wires connected to him are VERY important, and no, he probably shouldn't be pulling on them. Then I pressed his call bell so the "real" nurse would come, which, thankfully, she did.

3. A full bottle of water opening up in my purse. I wondered why that sucker felt so heavy. I dripped water everywhere. The purse is ruined...but you know what this means? I GET TO BUY A NEW ONE!

4. Getting to read for a couple hours, and what did I read? STUCK IN THE 70s by D.L. Garfinkle. Go, Debby! Thanks for a chance to escape my own reality. :)

5. You couldn't pay me enough to work in an emergency room. Of course, I once said that about a psych unit, too.

To Nichole and Cody: As Promised!


I promised to blog about them today and announce to the world that they are the TWO AWESOMEST BARISTAS in the state of Ohio! Possibly in the nation!


Dear Seattle's Best:



Your Best Customer

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

False WHAT???

I wanted to squeeze this in before I get knocked offline completely:

"Rob Lowe is striking first against a former babysitter, claiming in a blog post that the woman is demanding $1.5 million in 'hush money' from the actor and his wife Sheryl 'or she will accuse us both of a vicious laundry list of false terribles.'"

"False terribles?" LOLOLOLOL!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday 5 + 3

1. I just learned BEFORE/AFTER has been named an SLJ Remarkable Read. Yay! And thanks to Jo Knowles for the link. :)

2. Stuffed French toast, eggs, sausage, hash browns, and coffee for breakast with Pam. Yah. I'm doing great on my diet.

3. New haircut. Short.

4. Hubby has an interview coming up, which means he better break down and get a haircut, too. Any extra good vibes you can send will be highly appreciated.

5. Taxes tonight. Barf.

Things that ticked me off this week:

1. Aside from my locked post several days ago, I mean.

2. The guy in front of me at the ATM who kept pushing buttons...beep beep...pushing buttons...beep beep...and taking FRICKING FOREVER!!! Finally I peeked over his shoulder and saw "insufficient funds" on the screen. What, did he think if he kept pushing the buttons, money would miraculously appear in his account?

3. Going out of my way to help someone out...and I mean way, waaaay above and beyond the call of duty...who not only didn't thank me (which I hadn't expected, considering the source) but who also informed me I hadn't done ENOUGH. Unfortunately, I fed into this and made an unprofessional remark. Bad me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


2 more days...

And then my biggest decision of the day will be: Coco Puffs or Cocoa Krispies?