Thursday, February 23, 2012

Contest: What did you drive your family crazy with?

Who wants a free audiobook?

If you answered, "Me!," then post a comment on this blog or on my Facebook page telling me about a time when you had a favorite song or movie that your family hated, and you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free audio copy of Body of Water or Livvie Owen Lived Here!

For me (oh, there are so many to choose from), I think the movie I tortured them with the most had to be Danny. This was 1993-ish, and we would occasionally check out a VCR and a few movies from the video store. My favorite movie was Danny, which is a late-seventies film about a girl named Jamie who loves a gray pony named Danny (played by a pony named William Tell -- but I forget who plays Janie). I watched that thing over and over from the time we rented the VCR until the time it went back, with reluctant breaks to let other people watch stuff. I rewound the horse show scenes over and over. Worse yet, when the movie went back to the video store, I trotted and cantered in circles -- in my sister's bedroom, no less -- reciting the ENTIRE movie start to finish. Including the music. And the neighing. (Autism spectrum? Me? Whatever do you mean?)

In the novel I'm currently writing, there's a kid who loves horses, and she tortures her family in much the same way using a fictional horse movie. I'm having a blast writing the dialogue!

Of course this all made me wonder whether I was just the most annoying kid ever, or whether y'all had similar obsessions. Tell me your story in the comments (or on Facebook) and on March 1, I'll draw names to receive one of my audiobooks (Body of water or Livvie Owen Lived Here) -- so you can, you know, listen to them over and over and annoy somebody.

I can't wait to hear your stories!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yoga. (Ish.)

I've recently started taking yoga classes, and I have to say I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I've started practicing at home. I find that it really helps to center me and clear my head prior to writing.

In case you're not familiar with yoga, my lovely assistants and I have prepared a quick primer:

Standing Forward Bend (with optional puppy-swatting):

Downward, facing dog:

Locust Pose (with doggie spotter):

Give up and let the dogs win:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FOUND: Stray Hippo. Call to claim.

Found: Hippo. Gray, approximately 0.5 inches in length. Clean and well-mannered. She is clearly a treasured pet and I'm sure your kids miss her.

She was found in the dark recesses of my purse on 2/21/2012 at approximately 6:45 a.m., just as the Barboursville bus pulled out of the station. I was looking for my headphones and discovered Rover (as I've taken to calling her) hiding in one of the front pockets, along with sixty-five cents in nickels and a squished Mike & Ike.

Rover has had a big day.

She started with some art:

spent some time reading:

met some (scary) new friends:

did some riding:

visited the amusement park:

blogged about her experiences:

and has been treated like royalty by her foster family:

But I know she misses her real family. If you have lost your beloved pet hippo, please call.

(This is all by way of saying that I love my job as a teacher -- one of the few professions in which you will periodically discover random zoology concealed in your belongings.)

(Also, yes -- I do have a miniature ferris wheel, a tiny horse, a paint set, a tiara, and a cat on my desk. Doesn't everybody?)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chickens and Libraries

Yesterday, I posted over at Smack Dab in the Middle about how much I love libraries.

I didn't tell you about it until today, because ...

Okay. I cheat. I'm a cheater. I'll admit it. When I write NaNoWriMo novels, I stop using contractions because I want to get credit for two words instead of one. In college, I was known to occasionally edge the margins in by a milimeter or two, and it's possible I spent some time comparing Times New Roman to Courier to figure out which font edged the research paper text onto the required tenth page.

I'm in this writing group called The Patchwork Writers, and they're crazy people, every last one of them. I mean, yeah, it's a writing group. Big surprise there. But what I'm saying is, they've got this ... incentive? That they use to motivate their writers to meet personal goals. They set a deadline and then each writer participating in the challenge sets and announces their goal -- a certain word or page count, completion of a project, or, in my case in the most recent challenge, a certain number of promotional activities or blog posts per week.

And if you don't meet your goal? You have to wear a chicken suit.

In public.

Oftentimes to a writing event.

And the kicker? These crazy, wonderful people with whom I spend my writing time? They actually have not one but two chicken suits between them.

So, as I mentioned, my current chicken suit challenge involves blog posts and publicity. I'm supposed to write a blog post or otherwise promote my books at least four days per week.

Yesterday I posted at Smack Dab. If I'd posted that link here yesterday as well, it would have been wasted as far as the chicken suit challenge is concerned.

And I don't want feathers.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Card after card,
I read phrases that don't fit.
You are not shelved with the others.
You are in between the lines.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Daily Typo, February 6

An oldie but a goodie:

When I was writing Livvie Owen Lived Here, I accidentally wrote the following gem:

"I'll make sure she eats," Lanie said with what looked like an evil twinkie in her eye.

Can anybody tell me what page that (corrected) line falls on?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Daily Typo, February 5

Note to Self:

The MC's two possible romantic interests should NOT be named Kayla and Kylie. Perhaps the MC can keep them straight, but the author certainly can't.

And when you go to change their names, don't change them to Lucy and Lisa. Geez.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Daily Typo, February 2

Because the Small Stones challenge has ended, I've decided I need something else to keep me posting every day. Well, I might not always have a wealth of wisdom or insight to share, but you know what I always have? Typos. So that's what you're getting this month, and I do hope you'll share your own in the comments.

Today's odd typing moment:

I was writing really fast and I needed the character to look at the gas gauge, but I couldn't remember what the gas gauge was called. So I typed, "She glanced at the gas-dometer-WHAT?"

Small Stones, January 30 and 31

January 30

Passes under
tracks that
could take
me away,
but don't.

January 31

I end the month
in a good place:
on horseback.
Where will we ride?