Monday, January 30, 2012

Costco Chilly Cheese Fries

Is it wrong that I think it is wrong to call someone, on a date with a fake emergency to give them an excuse to leave a date, but I don't think its wrong to create an emergency to give someone an excuse to leave a date. I mean, the first option is lying. The second option is just a fire hazard.

Barney, a character on the show "How I Met Your Mother" has this thing (in one episode) called the "Lemon Law". The idea of the lemon law is that you have the first five minutes of the date to decide if the date is actually going somewhere, and if you decide it isn't you can lemon law the person. No hard feelings, just a get out of date free card. Of course it doesn't work out quite the "no hard feelings" way when Barney does it I mean, you have to lay that kinda thing on the table before the date starts, you cant just up and say, five minutes in, "sorry your great, but I'm lemon lawing you." I mean, you can, but its an awesome way to get slapped, or a beer poured on your head at least (beer actually makes pretty decent conditioner though).

I have my own special version of the Lemon law, but it has very little to do with leaving in the first five minutes. It also has very little to do with climbing out of bathroom windows. It does have a good bit to do with my behavior. Like for example, if I order chilly cheese fries on a first date, and eat them with my fingers, its probably a sign that I don't like you very much, even though I do love chilly cheese fries, and think most food should be eaten with fingers, silverware is for civilized folk.

Or, if the first date involves getting pizza at Costco, its probably a good bet there wont be a second. Although the guys I've pulled these stunts with didn't get the hint. After chilly cheese fries, the guy tried to kiss me. I mean, I am pretty sure i had chilly in my hair, and he tried to kiss me...maybe they thought I was just being myself (which I was). Costco wasn't that bad, he emailed me a couple days latter to tell me how great of a time he had, suggesting another pizza place where we could go next time, cause lets face it, a second date to anywhere that isn't a grocery store is probably a step up.

But I did start to wonder if I jumped to conclusions with these guys. I mean, I met them for about twenty minutes before I was acting ridiculous. And I know I don't make a great first impression. Bobby, my blogging nemesis, hated me for a long time after we first met. Apparently, its not polite to tell someone their shirt feels like toilet paper, no matter how much sangria you've had. Although I still contest that you shouldn't wear a rippled white button down shirt, if you don't want people to think of toilet paper when you wear it, no matter how much money you spent on it.

In real life, most of the time, you get multiple chances, even after your first impression. I mean, Bobby hated me, probably for about six months. Now he lives with me and still hates me (especially after this post). I’ve had time to wear down his defenses; I just kept showing up until now, he cant live without me.

Yet, in so much of the writing world you don’t have that option. An agent might look at your query letter for a few minutes, then it’s off to the next one in thousands, and I guess you could keep submitting, but that also seems like a good way to get yourself into a world of trouble. A blog reader might read your first post then go off to the next blog in thousands, never to come back. If you’re published, a reader might give your characters one page, or two, or even a first chapter, before they pass you off.

In a lot of ways the writing world is harder than real life, but in a lot of ways its kinder too. You don’t have to worry about girls climbing out second story bathroom windows to avoid finishing the date with you. You get form letters instead, or never hear back.

But I still contest lying is wrong, and, it’s better to light the kitchen on fire, to get someone out of a date, than call and say the kitchen is on fire.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome to the Planet Hoth

I don't mind cold, but I have a sever dislike of snow. Well, actually, I have a pretty sever dislike of cold too. I blame it on growing up in Georgia, where you can wear flip flops year round (if your dedicated) But cold gets to me, it gets in your bones and your joints and muscles and things freeze. I get that in the summer there is a limit to how much you can take off, but in the winter there is a limit to how much you can put on. Or at least a limit to how much you can put on and still function, I think you reach that after your fourth sock, fifth sweater, six glove and a jacket (that's how I dress when it gets to be about forty degrees outside), and when you cant bend your elbows it becomes very hard to function...have you ever tried to get up when you cant move your elbows and your laying on your face?

Which is why I don't like snow. You see, when its just cold outside, you can get from place to place wearing your eighty billion layers, and go inside to a place that presumably has heat, and take off some of the eighty billion layers and get warm again. But snow? It sticks to you. It makes those eighty billion layers wet. So then your not just cold, but your wet and cold, and the wet is cold too. There is no getting warm after that. Especially if your stubborn. And in case you haven't noticed, I am. I think the stubbornness comes from the same place as the refusal to believe that green potatoes are poisonous (which I still contest they are not, I've been eating them for years).

You see, in addition to being a nemesis, Bobby over at Wildly Urban, is my roommate, and we have a bet going to see who will cave and turn the heat on in the apartment first.

Like any good bet, the winner gets pride. And that's it.

You might think we are crazy, and your probably right, after all I've very rarely been accused of being sane. But the point is, in a good winter, when I am not engaged in a ridiculous bet, I dislike snow. This year I really don't like it. Now perhaps the easy solution would be to turn the heat on, but perhaps if yo think that is the easy solution, you've never engaged in a bet of stubbornness. So I am heaping blankets on my bed (currently I number two comforters with two throws and a sleeping bag in reserve). And hope my nemesis's lack of body fat is enough of a weakness to cause him to cave first.

Cause its going to take spring (or the pipes freezing) to end this thing.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done on a bet?

p.s. Bobby caved and turned the heat on earlier this week. Apparently he is a weakling. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lets do the Blog Hop again...

Its just a blog to the left, then a link to the right. Put your hands on your keyboard (okay that doesn't really fit), bring your fingers in tight. But its the giant lists that really drives you insaine. Lets do the blog hop again!

Okay, so maybe I should lay off the caffeine and watch less Rocky Horror. But lets be honest, that probably wont ever happen. So instead I'm going to announce some up coming blog hops. In case you haven't noticed I have a thing for blog hops.They make me feel special. Well, okay, they don't, but they do give me something to write about, and its fun to see what other people write about when everyone has the same "topic" 

I've been participating in the Insecure Writers Group

Which takes place the first Wednesday of every month. I'm sure you've heard me talk about it before. Its great because nothing is worse than feeling insecure and feeling alone, except for maybe starving children. Its designed to be a safe haven, for writers, and lets face it, who isn't occasionally insecure.  One of my favorite things about this blog hop is that its continuous, its a first Wednesday thing, and you can join at any time. In fact, if your feeling insecure right now, yes I am looking at you, and yes I know, you should go join. Another thing I love about this blog hop is that it was my first ever blog hop, and its introduced me to a great many interesting and fun blogs. 

Including Cassie Mae over at Reading Writing and Loving It 

They are hosting an up coming blog hop called "I'm hearing voices" and who isn't, I know I do.

The premise of this blog hop is to write about your characters. Its four days, the second week in February (6th, 8th, 10th), each day with a different theme/writing exercise to let characters come out and play/help make them stronger. I'm really excited about it. Probably too much so, since I've already been writing one of them, I have a feeling I will have alot of editing to do though. So get over to Cassie Mae's blog and check it out. 

hrough Cassie, I heard of another blog hop, hosted by Hope Robertson of My Protector: the Calling 

This blog hop is called "Is It Getting Hot in Here"  which is a bit more girly than I normally do, but hey, its on Valentines Day, the fake holiday that it is. But since I am habitually single, see not liking people, or online dating, to understand why. I thought it would be fun to use this. 

The premise is you share one of your favorite kissing scenes. Either one you wrote, one from a work of fiction/movie/tv show you like, or your own peronal story. I might do both, or all three. Cause you know, if I am going to fake being girly I might as well go all the way (take that anyway you want to). 

The last blog hop (I promise) is the marathon Blog Hop. And probably a really bad idea. Is hosted by a bunch of people, and its called Blogging from A to Z Challenge

The goal is to blog every day but Sunday in the month of April, each day following a letter of the alphabet. Now, I am super apprehensive about this. Mostly because I think of it as Nanowrimo for blogging, and I also think Nanowrimo leads to some less awesome writing, but my goal is to do this blog hop, AND not have my blogging go down hill, not that I always write fabulous or even very good blogs, but I want to keep on the level of par that I've been playing. Plus, I might make it alcoholic alphabet themed. That could be fun. A is for alcohol. B is for beer, C is for Chardonnay.

Any opinions on blog hops?

And because I cant help but to hope that I have the time warp stuck in your head, here is this

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pitch Perfect but I am really out of tune.

Note: This is NOT a finished manuscript, but a WIP I just thought this was two much fun not to play. 

So, apparently I am a writer. But wait, how can I claim that when you've never seen anything I've written aside from blogging (which I still maintains counts). Anyway, I came across a blog hop today which seems like tons of fun. 

Brenda Drake over at Brenda Drake is hosting a blog hop called "Can you hit a perfect pitch" 

The idea is you post a pitch for your finished manuscript (YA or Middle Grades) with a max of 33 words AND the first 150 words of your manuscript. 

And I've been meaning to write a pitch forever...just like I've been meaning to finish writing forever.

Title: Sacrifice (pending)
Genre: YA Fiction
Word Count: 62,000 (approximate) 


Leni never expected to live long. Very few sacrifices survive to turn eighteen. But with her birthday looming, things beyond her control give her a choice; it changes things she never expected. 

First 150 Words: 

“I know what you are!” he shouted.

She was walking away, but paused. Right hand instinctively grabbing her forearm to make sure it was covered. Turning slightly, lips pressed together, blood spatter coating her clothes, dripping to the floor off her cloak. Her boot smudged the carnage around her, “I am leaving you alive. I don’t have to."

“How young were you? When you first went through? You’re a youngen now. Like the ones they sent you with, but they’re different, they aint sacrifices. They’re meant for the priesthood.”

Leni smiled slightly, taking him in. He was tall, and skinny, graying hair of an inn owner who had broken up enough fights in his day.

“I was six.” It was a split second decision, to tell the truth. She would be beaten if anyone knew, but she would be beaten anyway.

“Impossible,” he muttered, but Leni was already out the door.

Now that I've proved myself, or at least proved that at some point I have written 150 words, go forth and check out other blogs. Please. Here's the link again. Now go. Go I mean it. Okay I'm done. See you back here on Wednesday. I hope

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lessons of the Abi-Somethings

Things your parents (probably) never told you, but mine will.

 In case you haven’t noticed, I have an abnormal family. In fact, we call ourselves abi-something. On my last visit home, I came to the conclusion that my parents really, really need to have a blog, or a book, or something. A way to pass on their useful knowledge to the next generation. And trust me, they have a lot of useful knowledge, and they have no problem sharing it. They just don’t share it in a way that could reach the unwashed masses who are in need of it.

 Both of my parents are smokers, a little less than chain smokers. And they both smoke outside, I am not sure why, everyone that lives in their house smokes, but it has been a rule for as long as I can remember to only smoke outside, so that’s where they go. Into the garage, that’s furnished with a small table, a few camp chairs, a few upside down buckets as make shift chairs and a space heater. On nights this is where my parents spend most of their time. Drinking beer and dispensing wisdom over cigarettes to passing teens and adults. You see, to get into the house you have to either risk the scary wooden steps which are creaky, and smell faintly of mildew or walk through the garage, and since the steps are very rarely lit, and the door more often locked, and the sisters (who visitors are most likely going to see) live in the basement, the garage is the common choice.

 It’s a bit of a rite of passage, to walk through the cloud of cigarette smoke, say hello to the un-adult like adults, and pass into the basement. And since most of the kids smoke anyway they eventually find their way into the garage. And my parents make small talk. Small talk typically resolves into life lessons. Lessons these kids probably wouldn’t learn anywhere else. Lessons on things like, what you should say to the police, when you get pulled over and have illegal substances in the car and don’t want to get arrested, after lamenting a recent arrest. From a young age, I learned the safe conversations to have with a police officer when trying to avoid arrest. First off you always address them properly. “Yes Sir,” or “Yes maim” goes along way. Never offer more information than is requested. Second, focus the conversations on the innocuous, like a “how bout them dawgs”, or “I really wish it would rain” especially in Georgia. Or you could always threaten the officer to arrest you.

 When I was around six years old my mom took me and my sister and a few other kids to hear Bill Clinton speak, after the rally/speech/whatever she had planned to take us across the street, into the park, to have a picnic lunch. When trying to cross the street we were stopped by a police officer who told us that the park was closed. My mom argued with him, pointing out that the president had already left so there was no reason not to let us into the park. Finally frustrated she said, "Listen, we are going into the park. If you want to arrest me I will be right over there" we went into the park, my mom did not get arrested. She is quite fond of telling this story to kids, who are lamenting a recent arrest, especially if they felt like they were unjustly arrested, and let’s be honest. Very few people are arrested, thinking that they will be caught.

 Some other life lessons I learned in my parent’s garage are:

 Always pretend like you know the person who knows you.

 If you say something with enough conviction odds are you can get people to believe you even if you have no idea what your talking about.

 Just because someone keeps everything out in the open doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to hide. 

Always say please and thank you, especially if you decrepitly want to be rude to who you are interacting with.

 Friends come, and friends go, but enemies last forever.

 What did your parents teach you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goals--an Insecure Writers Group Post

I've never been one for new years resolutions. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I've never been one for setting goals, and when I do set goals they are typically small spur of the moment goals. Easy to achieve with minimal planning. My dislike of goals is probably right along the lines/reason for my dislike of planning, or maybe it comes from somewhere else like a fear of failing at the goal, or maybe it comes from a more logical place, like giant goals are hard to meet, so why not make smaller goals that are easier to make, and then you get a sense of satisfaction. Maybe it comes from my live life in the moment mentality, I do what I want when I want to, meaning if I dont really have anything I want to change, I've already done it.

But then again, there's another reason entirely that I don't like the new years resolution people. They make goals to do the things that I am already doing, and then take up space. This might seem silly and petty, but that's because it is, and I am allowed to be silly and petty some times, because I say so, and this is my blog. It sucks to go to my writers group in January, and not be able to find a seat, and end up sitting on the floor (which I don't mind cause the floor is quite comfortable), or to go to my gym and have to wait for a treadmill, not that I go to the gym but that's not the point, The point is my knee jerk reaction to other people disrupting my routine with their hopes and dreams. I mean how dare they.

But are these resolutions their hopes and dreams? I am suspicious. I didn't one day wake up and decide that this is the year I am going to write a novel, I have been writing since I was in 6th grade, I've wanted to be a writer since then (or maybe before), and I work at it, kind of, every day. Maybe these resloutioners have been wanting this their entire lives too, only they can know, but the thing is I see them, year after year, start going to writers group in January, and give up by February, and then the gym, writers group, etc is just as empty as it was before, of course some of them make it, some of them stay and make a change, and I congratulate those strong few.

Yet, why does such a minor inconvenience, and I do mean minor, I've already admitted to liking sitting on the floor which is only socially acceptable in January, and waiting for a treadmill that I procrastinate using in the first place, upset me so much?

Part of it is pride, the I was here first, this is mine, attitude that I don't think I ever grew out of. Part of it is inconvenience. Part of it is the arrogance of the resolutioners (I know I am stereotyping but work with me here) but I think a bigger part is you guessed it (I hope) insecurity. I mean, I've been trying to do something for so long, what happens if they come along and succeed. What if they write their novel in a year, what if it is a best seller, what if they have the secret to success that I've been struggling to find.

I don't know if I am the only one out there who feels threatened by the people that say that "this is the year I will write my novel" or not. But I did try to come up with a few ways to avoid that sense of insecurity that I feel every time someone says something like that to me. The first thing I do is try to remind myself that they don't know what they are talking about, and will give up after a couple of days trying to write. The second thing I say is even if they write their novel, so what, there are millions of novels out there, but the cool thing is that there are almost as many readers, even if they publish their novel, it doesnt mean I wont someday be able to publish mine. And I remind myself of these things over and over again, until the resolutioners fall off the face of the earth (or the writing world) and then I get to feel a smug sense of satisfaction, that I, even if I never get published, at least kept trying (hey I warned you at the begining this was going to be a silly and petty post).

Happy New Year!

Do the resolutioners (yes I know another non-word) make you feel insecure?

p.s. (I promise I'm done now, I think) go check out the Insecure Writers Group, its awesome, and fun, and just do it already.

p.p.s. (I lied) My roommate, and blog nemesis wrote on the same topic, but exact opposite opinion, without either of us knowing about it. Go check out his blog, and mock, um..I mean encourage him.