Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Read Me

My plan was to blog about what kinds of things I intend to bring to the hospital with me to entertain myself as I give birth (hahahahahah! As though I'll be doing anything but screaming and telling nurses to take their needles and shove them), but it's late in the day and we just moved Romy's bedroom and I'm pooped. So I will leave you with this short post. I found this online, a summer reading list for a military school that includes my novel Have a Nice Day! I thought it was incredibly cool and open-minded of them. I like the letter they sent home to parents about their summer reading program, too. Perhaps it is such a cool military school because it resides in Sarasota, the winter home of P.T. Barnum. I'm just speculating. About circus folk. As I oft do. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


As I was reading an article about Stephen King in the weekend paper, I thought about when people asked me for "favorites" in interviews (his wasn't a list of favorites, but book recommendations, but still). I even have a whole favorites page on my website (which has not been updated in years, and takes a lot of effort because there is only one computer in the house with the random, old software that Matt and I use to update our websites and I know I need to add things but I have too many things I'm already going crazy about since the baby will be here within a month). But the whole idea of favorites, while I love it, doesn't quite work for me anymore. I mean, not that I don't believe favorites exist, but how long should something remain a "favorite?" For instance, on my list of favorite bands, Guided by Voices is always named. However, it's not as though I sit around and listen to them anymore. In fact, I don't know if I have for years. Some things just don't seem to fit into my life the way they used to when I wasn't a parent. Like the millions of horror movies I used to watch. Matt isn't so into them, but occasionally I can throw one on if they're the more intellectual type. But back in the day, horror movies were my thing. (You can feel my love for horror movies in The F-It List, now with a picture on Amazon!) Back to the interview thing. If someone were to ask me, say, my favorite writers, I don't know how I'd answer. All I do is read picture books to Romy and finish an adult non-fiction book every four months. So do I hearken back to my all-time favorites? List the people I used to name as favorites but haven't read for years?

I'm going to go through my Favorites page on my website and see how true it still is.
Cereals - Can't complain. I still enjoy a bowl of Life Cereal and Cookie Crisp.
Candies - You realize I can't eat ANY of this shit right now because of the gestational diabetes. Fug. I would take off the Kinder Bueno. I think those were a passing phase. I would add Jaffas (orange and chocolate from Australia) and Brach's Jube Jel hearts.
Chips - Doritos don't wow me as they used to, unless I'm on a road trip and eating PB&J. I don't think I have a favorite chip anymore. Is that sad?
Foods - What a weird list. Again, with the diabetes and pregnancy in general, my diet is so fudged it's hard to really know what my favorite foods are. A good egg bagel should be on that list, though.
TV Shows - Battlestar Galactica needs to be added, fo sho. And Treme (with an accent that I can't provide).
Games - Hmmm. So many games to choose from! I do love games. Should I have put Dungeons and Dragons on there? But is that really a game or a way of life?
Books - Actually, that's a really good list. It's an "Of All Time" list, which I can dig. Phew!
Movies - Great list, Julie! Thanks, Julie. I'm so glad I included the "Before" movies. Man, I am going to blog soon about how I can't wait to see the third one.

I am actually rather pleased with myself for my Favorites page. I guess I was smart in not including music on the list and not including any passing phases (except for that candy). You will probably see the above-mentioned changes sometime in the year 2017.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I'm Watching: Spring Fever

Does anyone else dislike this twelve episode television season trend that seems to be everywhere? It's not enough if you really like a show, and by the time the shows come back on the air I don't remember anything that has happened. My favorite of the twelve episode shows right now is Bates Motel. Of course I'm a fan of "Psycho," but I think the show has some great expanded characters and surprising plots. And it's got that  lovely dash of weird to it.

Here's a list of what else is on my DVR these days:

Dukes of Melrose - I have a tendency to watch shows about fashion which is semi-ironic considering how I dress (or maybe I just feel that way now, while I rotate the same three pairs of pants throughout my pregnancy). This one is fun due to the history of the vintage clothing, the massive amounts of money people will spend on clothes, and the great owners of the store. The season ended recently, and I hope Bravo renews it.

Game of Thrones - I blogged a little about this before, how I am just so easily confused. Last night cracked me up when three new dudes showed up and introduced themselves, and their names were so ridiculously complicated. I wish everyone on the show had names like "Fred" and "Mike" so I could keep track better. It drives me crazy when I feel like I'm almost getting into the show, and then they show the "Only two episodes left!" preview for the following week. I guess that means True Blood should be on soon.

XOXO Betsy Johnson - Again with the fashion. I have only owned a few Betsy baubles, but I think she's fabulous and interesting. It's so strange to watch her daughter try to start "her own" fashion line (I put that in quotes, since her daughter does not use a) any of her own money or b) even her own drawings). How does someone with such a creative mom seem so uncreative?

Supernatural - I've been watching this throughout my pregnancy whenever I'm on the treadmill. I'm almost finished with seven seasons! And there's one more on tap from this past year. Plus, it's been renewed! I like the show a lot. The brothers are sweet, and I'm a sucker for a paranormal road trip (or any road trip, for that matter).

Fashion Police - More fashion! Joan Rivers is amazing, so I watch more for her than anything.

I'm sure there are other shows on the DVR, but I can't be bothered to go up the stairs to look. I'm 33 and a half weeks pregnant, the same number of weeks that my daughter was born 4 and a half years ago! So this is pretty much as pregnant as I've ever been. Stairs are not my friends. Neither are ankles. TV, however, suits me just fine. Any suggestions for shows I should be watching?

Monday, May 13, 2013

F-It List ARC Winner and a Nap

I know I said the contest would end on Friday, but I wasn't sure if people read blogs on weekends. The winner of The F-It List ARC is... Vivien! Thank you to all who entered. I may have another contest next month. I mean, sheesh, the book won't be out for another six months! Hopefully my blogging will become more regular, and I'll gain some readers back. Although, I am having a baby in a month or two, so who knows how that will affect my blogging. Maybe the baby will be a natural born blogger.

So onto naps. I am now having the problem of falling asleep every time Game of Thrones is on. I don't know if it's that the show is boring, but it must be relaxing enough to put me out. Or maybe it's just so overly saturated with characters that my brain can't handle it and shuts down. No, I haven't read the books, but I imagine my brain exploding from all of the characters and locations. It's starting to remind me of Deadwood in that I feel compelled to watch, but I have no idea what's going on. I'm a simple gal. Well, occasionally, anyway. I was pleased with having my favorite Aussie actor, Noah Taylor, onscreen, even though his character was all gross and hand-cutty. Is he gone forever? Is his character anything but icky? And was anyone else annoyed that the skanky chicks who were all over that guy with the jacked-up teeth (um, seriously, that's how well my brain remembers anything from that show) had overly groomed pubes? They couldn't find an actress to seem more of the time? If there were a time with dragons and whatnot. You know what I mean.

I better go. I still haven't sent my acknowledgements page to my editor. I don't know why it's driving me into madness. Nobody read them when The F-It List comes out, just in case they sound like I'm signing your eighth grade yearbook.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Final Day to Enter F-It List ARC Contest!

It's a rainy, blucky Friday. Ever since my beloved Tobin died on a Friday (five weeks ago? Sheesh), I kind of hate the day. And the night before. So let's brighten up today by entering my contest to win an ARC of my forthcoming novel, The F-It List. Enter here for a chance to win.

I've started about twenty blog posts about Tobin, and I still can't seem to get it right. But here's a couple pictures of the guy to add a little snuggle and smoosh to our day.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Quacker Rests

I used to watch QVC on a regular basis. (Actually, I have no idea what QVC stands for. Their website doesn't make it at all initially clear. But I do like the appearance of the letter "Q.") It's been years, back before my daughter was born, since I would sit for hours and watch the hosts talk about one product for an exorbitant amount of time while convincing hundreds of people to purchase said product. I rarely bought anything, although I did accumulate a few things: tanning wipes (like hand wipes, but they make you look tan!), a snowflake pin (when "Toby and the Snowflakes" was just coming out), and an olive tree that has yet to produce any olives (but does enjoy shedding its leaves on our family room floor). The best part of QVC was how nice everyone was. I don't care if it was forced! When I was in a shitty mood, I would turn on QVC and watch hosts spin stories about products and then interact with shoppers over the phone who had nothing but kind, loving, positive things to say. Where else do you see that these days? It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

One of the classic QVC shows I liked to watch was Quacker Factory, which offered a selection of, shall we say, spangly clothing items, the likes of which you remember your teacher wearing on major holidays. The host of Quacker Factory was a woman named Jeanne Bice, a hilarious, almost sermon-spouting force of positive energy. The clothes were a little old and oversized for me, not to mention all the sequins, and Jeanne's words were occasionally a little too Jesus-based for my taste, but her affirmations were delightful and often hilarious.

The other afternoon, at a rare moment of being along in my room (I think my mom was babysitting, and I was still moping about the gestational diabetes), I flipped through the channel line-up and saw Quacker Factory was on QVC. It had been years since I watched it, and I needed the pick-me-up. There were the seasonally appropriate bedazzled clothes, but where was Jeanne? I had a sinking feeling, so I looked her up online. Lo and behold, she passed away two years ago. I was rather devastated, as I'm sure thousands of people were. I read a little about her, and apparently she was a regularly featured guest on The Soup! My respect level for Joel McHale just went up a billion-fold.

It's funny to think that a host on a home shopping channel could affect people in such a positive light, especially someone who wouldn't even wear the clothes. I don't know if I'll be turning on QVC again anytime soon, but remembering Jeanne and her Quackers also reminded me of her saying, "Pull yourself up by your bra straps." I have to remember that more often. Quack quack, my friends.

*And don't forget to enter The F-It List contest! You could win an ARC of my next novel, The F-It List, not out until November!*

Monday, May 06, 2013

The F-It List ARC Contest!

Hello, All. I hope there is an "all" out there at this point. Anywho, I just received a box of galleys for my upcoming novel, The F-It List! The book itself won't be out until November. That's six months away! Think of all the wackadoo things that can happen between now and then! Or, better yet, do not. Just enjoy this opportunity to win an Advanced Reader's Copy. Here's a picture of the front (LOVE the cover!!!).

Here's a picture of the back (I still have a dream that someday there will be a GIANT picture of my head on the back cover of my books.):

And here are a couple trivial tidbits about the writing of the book:
The book is indeed about cancer, and I worked on my second-to-last round of edits (the ones that are indeed in this ARC) while my cat, Tobin, sat on my lap sick with cancer. (I did not mean for that to sound so morbid. Actually, it's a happy memory in my mind, that we got to be together instead of me running around somewhere else and not home with him. And he was still purring!) Hopefully some Tobin love rubbed off into the book.

I am working on the final, FINAL round of edits as of now. Actually, I am finished with them, it's just a matter of getting those perfect words and commas over to the assistant editor at Feiwel and Friends. Anna, I'll be talking to you on the phone later!

Here's how you enter the galley/ARC contest (I never know what to call them):
Comment on this blog post with an item you would have (or do have) on your bucket list. Be sure to include an email address where I can reach you. I'll choose a winner on Friday by the end of the day. If I get a lot of entries (and I don't always, since my blogging is so sporadic), I will add a copy of two to the pot so more people have a chance to win. Good luck!