Friday, March 26, 2010

W.I.P. Excerpt

Excerpt from PlATINUM DIARIES: Sayra just spent an afternoon with her friends and found out a couple of them had read the books her mom wrote, and they aren’t books targeted to teens.
That reminded me, and before they could speak I said, “Guess what I learned today?”

They both looked at me with mild curiosity.

“Mom writes porn.”

Dad’s café sprayed the counter as he choked on his mouthful.

“Excuse me?” Mom’s face took on an expression that had me thinking, ‘oh shit’. Say something, stupid, or run out of the room faking impending projectile vomiting. Granted, if Mom kept looking at me like that, there would be no faking involved.

“I…well, I mean…Chaz told me that you write about heaving bosoms and throbbing loins and—”
Dad choked again, but this time it was on his laughter.

Mom aimed her daggers at Dad. “You find it funny that our child is being disrespectful?”

“Well, no, but—”

“Sit,” she snapped and I plopped my butt on one of the high-back stools at the island. Dad sat on my right at the end of the island, with Mom on the other side, squaring off with me.

“What do you know of the books I write?”

I licked my lips, annoyed that now they seemed glued together when they should’ve been sealed shut minutes ago. “Um, well, nothing. I just—”

“Exactly. You know nothing about it, and do you know why?”

Did she want me to answer that? “Well, because you told me that I couldn’t read them.”

“Years ago, yes. But natural curiosity should’ve made you question me by now. You’re just not concerned with anything that doesn’t have to do with car parts.”

Ouch. That was the second person to tell me I wasn’t normal. I starred at her as a bit of anger flared up side. “So Chaz lied, you don’t have characters named Storm or Sebastian in your novels?”

When she glared at me, I dropped my eyes. “I do,” she said. “But give me some credit not to be such a cliché as to have heaving bosoms and throbbing members. I write romance and fantasy, but it’s in a real way. You’re not a child anymore, Sayra, why are you so upset by this?”

“Because…people will make fun of me at school. Hillary knows now and I don’t know how, but she’ll make my life hell because of it.”

Mom shook her head and walked out of the kitchen. I stood to go after her, but Dad clamped a hand over my forearm. He gestured for me to sit back down. A moment later Mom returned. She resumed her position on the other side of the island and tossed a book in front of me. It had a metallic blue jacket with the word, FIRSTS written in silver.

“That’s one of the first books I had published. It’s about a twenty-year-old girl going through an identity crisis and experiencing a series of firsts, including her first sexual experience. You’ll be twenty soon enough and will be having sex soon enough too.”

Dad jerked like someone had touched the back of his neck with icy fingers. He hissed something in Spanish, but Mom ignored him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FanFiction...Yay or Nay?

I read this article about fanfiction. It got me thinking, so here is the story of how fanfiction changed my life.

Back in 2005 I was at work saving pictures to my computer for a slideshow screensaver. To add to pictures of family and friends, I also wanted pictures of some of my favorite things. So I searched the internet for pictures of puppies, *awe*, wine and martinis, *yum* and of course of covers of books that I love. It’s when I typed Ron and Hermione into the search engine that I found a horde of fanfiction sites.

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of this stuff before—a place where people go and write stories based on popular novels and movies and tv shows. Still, at this point I was only looking for pictures to round out my slideshow screensaver.

Eagerly anticipating The Half-Blood Prince I, like many others, wanted something to hold me over. I didn’t know it would be fan fiction, nor did I know I’d like it so much. Admittedly, some of the first stories I read were pretty bad. Lot’s of goofy stories about Ron running around in his boxers, but then I stumbled upon this story called After the End at a site named The Sugar Quill. Wow, that story was amazing! It was super long—I think 1000 pages or something crazy like that—but when you’re getting it chapter by chapter, you’d read a million pages if you loved it enough.

In 2007 I took the leap and wrote my own fanfiction. I don’t know why, but I felt like I should try. I’d written original work before that, tons of it for my own personal enjoyment and some with the hopes of publication. But one thing I can say about writing fanfiction is that I learned a lot about what NOT to do. There are some bad habits that can be picked up in fanfiction. Lots of purple prose, lots of Mary Sue characters and lots of runaway stories—hard to rein yourself in when you have no one tell you, “enough already!”

But I have learned some priceless lessons too. It taught me to take criticism. When you put your story or chapter out there for all to see, people can be brutally honest if not cruel. Fortunately, I never had anyone be nasty, but some were brutal. I used to guard my writing like a fragile antique, all bubbled-wrapped and strapped to my chest. But fanfiction helped me share it with strangers. That there is one lesson I’m SO happy I learned. You can never hope to be a successful writer if you’re terrified to let people read your work. Before fanfiction, I was TERRIFIED!

There is and probably always will be controversy surrounding fanfiction. Some people think it's for losers and I for one was embarassed to tell people how into it I was--I'm not anymore.

Some authors don’t want people writing their characters in different stories/situations that they haven’t created themselves. I understand and I respect it. At the same time, I don’t know that I would care if fans created fiction based on characters from my novels. First, I’d probably be jazzed that my work was popular enough to spawn fanfiction, but if they weren’t profiting from the stories then I don’t think I’d mind.

I can’t really say because I’m not in the shoes of a J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, or Anne Rice. But looking at it from my point of view…with all the help it’s given me, I seriously doubt that I’d be willing to fight fans looking to write fiction based off my characters. I don’t write fanfiction anymore, haven’t for more than two years. It’s not because I’ve changed my opinion of it, it’s more so because it opened my eyes to the type of writer I want to be, one who writes fantasy for young adults.

So tell me, are you a fan of fanfiction? Has it helped you? Or do you think it’s a rip off of the original author? All opinions are welcome!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blogging for a Year!

I just realized that I’ve been on Blogger for a year. This came about when I started looking for a topic that I wanted to blog about and couldn’t remember if I’d posted something on that topic before. The exact date was March 1, 2009 so it’s technically a belated birthday.

Initially I was on Live Journal. And while I enjoyed LJ, I realized I was coming over to Blogger more and more to read the posts of industry people, aspiring writers and just some all around great blogs. So I created a blog over here. At first I thought I would only talk about my writing process, maybe use it as a query tracker. I have used it for talking about writing, but it’s also been a place for me to learn and meet people.

Looking at my first post,--which going back to read it felt like more of a complaint than a post—I remember sitting back and waiting for some comments to come in-lol. I had no followers, but I wasn’t really sure how Blogger worked-lol. Then as I read a post by someone, I don’t remember who now, but she was saying how to make your blog more active and successful. She said you must follow people to get followers. I didn’t know how to follow people. I’d found some really great blogs and wanted to be a follower and once I figured that out, I started following like crazy.

I wasn’t doing it just to get followers. There were certain criteria a blog had to meet for me to follow. For the most part, the blog had to be about writing in some form, professional or just the love of it. Also, they had to be active, blogging a least a few times a week and then I’d follow them. But I also found followers from blogs like Miss Snark’s First Victim, Nathan Bransford, Colleen Lindsay, and Rachel Gardener. I’d read the comments on their posts and go to the pages of the ones who said something I enjoyed, agreed with or even some I didn’t agree with. If I like their blog, then I’d follow.

Over this year, I’ve learned so much about my writing, about the manuscript I queried in 2009 and about myself. So I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you out there who offered advice, encouragement and just a pat on the back when I needed it.


Friday, March 19, 2010

The Thin Line Between Realistic and Too Realistic Dialogue

Today I had a typical conversation with one of my friends at work. It went something like this:

Trish bursts into my office. “Are you okay with lunch at The Orient?”
“What?” I said, because I genuinely didn’t hear her since I was listening to an audio book.
“The Orient.”
“The Orient?”
“Why do you keep saying The Orient to me?”
She laughs. “Are you good with lunch from The Orient?”
“Do I have to go get it for everyone?” (I’m the designated lunch getter since I don’t see patients.)
“Then I don’t care where we eat.”

So this is a prime example of how real people converse…sometimes-lol. Although I’ve never understood why people simply repeat the last word when they’ve asked a question and someone didn’t hear them. Still, we wouldn’t want to write anything like the above interaction, nor would we want to read it.

Some people have very distinct and sometimes horrifying ways of speaking, or slaughtering the English language. Even as one side of me squirms when I hear someone ask, “Where you been at?” there’s another part of me that thinks of a character who might speak like that. I think there’s a fine line between making dialogue real and making it too real.

If someone speaks broken English, it would be hard to write—and read—a whole page of dialogue with figgerin’ and nuffin’ and dunno’s all throughout it.

So here’s a bit of dialogue from one of my current works, DWELLERS, tell me what you think. And feel free to put some of your dialogue in the comments where you may have a character speaking in broken language or has an unusual way of speaking. I’d love to read it!

This is a conversation involving Britta (the heroine), Gareth (the hero), and Keo (the leader of the strangers they’ve just met). Keo has a bit of a lazy drawl and a southern twang. I wanted to make his way of speaking a bit different and hopefully it shows.

“So the government still exists?” I ask.

“Course.” Keo pinches the area between his brows. I know my questions are inane to him, but there’s a lot I don’t know.

He continues. “Renegade soldiers been herdin’ Dwellers south, anywhere below Virginia. They plan to blow this place off the map in ‘bout four weeks, last I heard. So that means we got a week, but I’m outta here in three days tops.”

Gareth looks at Keo like he can’t understand the language Keo is speaking. “How the hell do you herd Dwellers?”

Keo barks out a laugh. “Trust me, you don’t wanna be face to face with a Renegade soldier. They ain’t nothing nice, and I might add, they the only ones allowed to drive, other than a few licensed poachers. Anything that’s not in a Renegade uniform is an enemy and they don’t ask questions—capture or kill. Believe me, you don’t wanna be captured.”

“They’ll kill even humans?” I ask.

“I repeat, capture or kill. Best thing to do when a Renegade is near…run, hide, pray.”
I’m not sure I want to know, but I ask anyway. “What do they do with captures?”

“Experiments. Stuff like they did with the Dwellers.”
I really like writing dialogue, but it’s one of the things that intimidate me too. Not as much as writing scenerymakes me squirm, but with dialogue, I want to make sure I capture the flow and the natural breaks without making it too chunky, or having it be too wordy. So now, I pay attention to how I speak and sometimes I’ll play over conversations I’ve had in my head and ask, “Would that look right on a page?” Most times the answer is, no.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Query, Query, Why So Dreary?

Today's, or rather, tonight's post is inspired by a comment by the lovely A.L. Sonnichen from yesterday's post and my admission of how I like to write query letters. I think I need to explain this a bit more.

When I’m having writer’s block…well, I don’t really like to call it writer’s block, I’m more so just at a stall and need to let my mind focus on other things. So when I’m like that, I still like to be in the world of the manuscript and that often has me writing my query or synopsis.

I know some people think you shouldn’t be writing a query or even thinking about it until your manuscript is complete, but I say do what you want! If it helps to keep you in that world by drafting out a letter, then do it. I have queries written for books I haven’t even started. Now I will caution not to send out the query until the ms is complete, but write it whenever you feel like it.

So here’s my offer. Because A.L. Sonnichen wanted to know if I offer help to those aspiring writers who have queries they’re struggling with, I came up with this idea. If you look to the right sidebar you will see where the fan-tab-ulous Daphne Unfeasible--a.k.a Kate Testerman over at KT Literary--critiqued my query for LIGHT BRINGERS, or you can go here and read it. I’ve also posted the query I just wrote for my current w.i.p., PLATINUM DIARIES, if you like either of them and want me to take a look at your query, feel free to email me at kdrose72 at gmail dot com and I’ll have a looksee.

Also, feel free to offer an opinion on either of my posted queries!

Note: I can’t claim major success with my query for Light Bringers, but it did get me several requests for partials which lead to a few full requests. Ultimately I haven’t landed an agent, YET :-), but there are some problems with LB that I’m working on and I truly believe it will see the inside of the books stores, and not just from me carrying the ms into Barnes & Nobel-lol.

I am seeking representation for my young adult paranormal novel, PLATINUM DIARIES, where dreams can cause real life nightmares.

Sixteen-year-old Sayra Nieves’s dreams always come true. Usually, her nocturnal visions are glimpses of teen angst—who’ll get caught making out behind the bleachers, who’ll face-plant in the cafeteria, or which teacher has a pop quiz planned. When she dreams of a man being murdered by a gang of masked men, Sayra is shaken to her core—she’s never had a dream that hasn’t come true. Because the dream manifests after the new student, Chaz Bishop knocks her off her bike with his truck, she wonders if that accident is the reason for the violent turn in her dreams.

Weird by most standards, Chaz instantly lands on Sayra’s bad side with his gloved hands, tightly buttoned shirts and freakish aversion to being touched. He’s kind of cute, but to Sayra, not nearly cute enough to overlook his odd-ball behavior. It becomes a side project for Sayra, finding out why Chaz is so weird about being touched. But as her dreams become more sinister, Sayra enlists the help of her two best friends—and reluctantly, Chaz—to begin their own amateur sleuthing. As one mystery leads to another, Sayra quickly discovers that she and her friends are dangerously in over their heads. But once they discover the identity of the murdered man from her dreams, no one will quit until they help him, even if it costs them their lives.

Platinum Diaries is complete at 65,000 words. I majored in English at the University of Maryland, where I studied media arts and creative writing. I believe fans of Lisa McMann and Alyson Noel may enjoy my novel. The entire manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I got tagged my Tere over at The Lesser Key and here's what I have to do:

Finish each sentence and then tag three bloggers.

I like Peanut M&Ms…duh.
I like listening to audio books at work.
I like having a dvd marathon of tv show seasons I’ve missed.
I like a good steak…man I could go for a prime rib right now!
I like happy hour with my coworkers…5pm and a cosmo is alright with me!
I like making protein shakes. I know that sounds lame, but they really help me lose weight.
I like my new H2Go water bottle. It’s eco friendly, and a cute copper color and helps me get in at least 64 oz of water a day.
I like writing query letters…I know, I know. This is something I’ve just discovered about myself and it’s shocking-lol.
I like summer when the festivals and vineyards are open and the weather is balmy.
I love my mother and sister…I know I should, but I really do. They’re awesome!

Today was boring at work, but tonight I did my workout and now I’ll write a bit and then watch my shows…Life Unexpected, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Greek! So the nights looking less boring.
I hate getting an MRI. Just had one for the first time and it was the WORST!
I hate seeing anything with big pores. Not people who have large pores, but something abnormal like this frog I saw once with all these holes in its back. So basically any tight cluster of holes that could be porous will gross me out-lol
I hate waiting forever to get my hair done! Salons are ridiculous!
I hate doing dishes…nuf said.
I hate news stories about people doing things we shouldn’t care about ie: John and Kate, Heidi and Spencer, Tiger Woods sex scandal…need I say more people?!
I hate when I’m scheduling people at work and they won’t shut up and let me give them the information they need.
I hate racism…nuf said there too.
I (secretly) like America’s Next Top Model…omg, did I just admit that? Sorry, but I can’t help it. For some strange reason I like looking at the finished pictures.
I love writing and can’t wait until I can do it fulltime!

And I chose to tag:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

WIP Excerpt

This excerpt is also from my current w-i-p PLATNIUM DIARIES. Sayra (16yrs old) is at school talking to her best friends Ivan and Penelope about the dream she had last night—the first violent dream she has ever had.


Ivan sat beside me again. “Haven’t you ever had a dream that was just a dream?”

Again, I shook my head. I couldn’t recall a single dream that hadn’t come true. In fact, I had no memory of ever having a dream before I turned eight.

“Maybe this is the first,” Ivan said hopefully.

“Yeah,” Penelope added.

They were trying to make me feel better, and I loved them for it, but there was no denying it. I’d dreamed the murder and it was going to happen. The diary was snatched out of Penelope’s hand before any of us knew what happened.

“Dear Diary, I think Chaz Bishop is ever-so dreamy.” Hillary giggled while she walked up the steps as if no one would dare rip out her hair, which was exactly what I’d planned to do. I dashed after her, ignoring the jackhammer attacking my head and the greasy ball of nausea in my stomach. Maybe I’d puke on her.

Tag grabbed the diary from Hillary, laughing like the oaf that he was. He looked at Hillary for approval and when he got it, held my dairy out of reach.

“Give it back, you idiot!” I might’ve felt like the walking dead, but nothing lit a fire in me like someone touching my diary without permission. I jumped for it, but as one of the few people taller than me, Tag managed to keep it just out of my grasp. Then his free hand was caught and bent behind his back. The glee on his face quickly turned to terror as Ivan gripped Tag where his neck and shoulder met, bringing the big guy to his knees.

A hush fell over the front steps as nearly the entire school watched. One of Tag’s cronies ran up, ready to swing, but Ivan only kicked out his long leg and tripped the guy, sending him sprawling across the steps.

“Give her back the diary,” Ivan said quietly.

Tag’s face had turned a purplish-red and a vein in his forehead bulged, but he held out the diary.

“Asshole.” I snatched the book.

Ivan released Tag and danced back quickly, anticipating the attack. Tag had to save face, after all. He swung wildly, but Ivan sidestepped, ducked, pivoted and managed to avoid both throwing a punch and having one land. Somehow Tag still ended up on his ass looking dazed.

Every so often some testosterone-head would try Ivan, unable to resist his gangly build, his glasses, his ja-fro and his affinity for electronics. They always seemed to forget that Ivan was a second-degree black belt until they were staring down the business end of his fist or foot. His parents put him in the classes when he was seven to give him confidence. In all the years I’d known Ivan, I’d never seen him start a fight, but he’d always finished them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Great Audio Book Debate

I’ve spoken of my fondness of audio books before, but I find myself defending my stories on cd once again. A co-worker told me I was cheating listening to audio books. Cheating…moi? Surely you jest. Am I not actively engaged? Is the story not embedded into my mind? Do I not fall in love, or out of love, or get bored, or get excited listening to a book? Of course.

I won’t be as simplistic as to say that listening to a book is the same as reading one, but some people can’t read books. Should they be denied fantastic fiction, informative non-fiction because they are blind or illiterate?

Okay, so maybe she wasn’t speaking of the visually impaired or the functionally illiterate so we can strike that from the argument. But speaking as a writer, I LISTEN to the books I choose on audio. I pay attention to the sentences, to the dialogue and to pretty much the same things I would pay attention to if I had the book open before me. No, I can’t see the punctuation and can’t really tell if the author is using sentence fragments or if it’s the way the narrator is reading, but that doesn’t matter when I’m listening. I still get pulled out of the story when I hear a sentence that is crafted well, or one that’s poorly worded just as I do when reading.

Don’t get me wrong, if it wasn’t for my job, I probably wouldn’t be able to listen to audio books other than on road trips.

Also, if the narrator sucks it’ll ruin the book! Prime example: My mother loves James Patterson and has been after me to read his books for some time now. Well, I was at a bargain bookstore and saw James Patterson’s, 1ST TO DIE in audio format and bought it. I couldn’t get twenty minutes into the story because the narrator droned on in a monotone that put me to sleep—not something you want to do whilst at work.

Another example: Nora Roberts book, BLOOD BROTHERS. The narrator—a man with a naturally deep voice—went up to a creepy falsetto when doing the female characters. I can’t believe someone didn’t stop him and say, “Um…what the hell is that voice? Just talk normal, dude!” Note: I love Nora Robert’s books and that particular one is the only one I’ve ever had a serious problem with the narrator. They find good ones for her novels.

So as much as I love audio books, I still read a lot too because I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning a page. Just because I listen to some books, doesn’t mean I’ve somehow cheated myself, or the author, or the story.

And as a writer, if someone came up to me at a book signing with an audio version of my book, I wouldn’t tell them that they haven’t REALLY read my book because it’s on CD. I’d be delighted that they took their hard earned money and purchased my work when they had hundreds/thousands to choose from. And I guess that’s all that matters.

So tell me…cheat or no cheat?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back Home

So I just got back from Delaware where my parents just bought a new home. Basically, they used me as a pack mule as my mom and I went through a few hundred boxes—no exaggeration—looking for the rest of my mom’s underwear and frying pans. Found the pans, but the underwear is still M.I.A. Personally, I think she already has them up in her bedroom somewhere.

Anyway, I had a nice time with the parental units and I’m sure I’ll be making many a trip up to the fair state of Delaware. Granted, I could probably never live there. It’s just a bit too spread out and not enough to do. I need culture and city and ethnic things nearby.

So, once we finished opening boxes I had lots of time to sit and do nothing—my mother was watching HGTV (as usual) and my stepdad was watching some movie with Jan-Michael Vincent—which gave me time to think about things I want to write. I couldn’t actually write since I was barred from the upper level of the house because my parents were having hardwood floors put in and, unfortunately, I left my laptop up there and who could concentrate with all the banging.

After I thought of a new direction for my novel LIGHT BRINGERS, I began to make a mental list of movies I want to see. At the top of said list is the revamping of Clash of the Titans. There are a number of reasons why I want to see this movie and why I hope it doesn’t suck. First, it was one of my favorite movies as a kid. The scene where Perseus—Harry Hamlin—cuts off Medusa’s head is my main memory of that movie. It was awesome! My mother was totally grossed out but my sister and I couldn’t get enough.

My second reason for wanting to see the new Clash is Sam Worthington. I’m really starting to like this guy. I loved Avatar. I know there’s a backlash with it now because that’s usually what happens when things become uber successful. Still, I loved it and I’m proud of it! Lol.

My third reason for wanting to see this movie came when I heard Liam Neeson say, “Release the Kraken!” I mean, come on…you know there’s going to be some sh*t going down right after those words are uttered. Cause it’s all fun and games until someone releases the kraken. I want to be able to say that one day. Maybe I’ll get a dog and name it Kraken. That way I can set him on intruders. Hmm, not a bad thought.

Okay, so clearly I’m in a silly mood, but seriously, I want to thank Niki over at Wool’n‘Nuts for Nominating me for the “From Me To You Award!”

The rules: Tell 7 things about yourself. Since I just told some things about myself, I’ll just send you here to read those. There really isn’t that much interesting about me-lol. So now I’m off to watch some old episodes of Smallville!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lost a Follower

So as I reported a few days ago, I had reached 100 followers! When I started this blog I wanted to meet people, other writers, people in the industry and simply make new friends. When the numbers started to climb for my followers it made me so happy. I love reading blogs and it delighted me that people wanted to tune in and read what I had to say.

So the other day when I pulled up my blog and saw that I was down to 99, I have to say that my feelings were hurt. Who would suddenly stop following me and why? Did I say something to offend someone? Did I not update enough to keep someone’s interest?

I had all sorts of questions and I’ll even admit to doing a preliminary search of my list of followers to see who had jumped ship. Well, as I was at work I couldn’t commit to an all-out down and dirty hunt—which I had planned to do the moment I got home—but a funny thing happened…

When I got home I was no longer in the mood to hunt for my lost friend. Maybe I was tired by then—after the killer workout—but I think it was more that I’d resolved to simply let it go. Truth is, not everyone is going to like me, not everyone is going to be interested in what I have to say, not everyone is going to want to be my friend. As I thought about this, I realized that whoever this person was who stopped following me had every right to do so without me seeking them out and trying to figure out why they stopped following me.

Believe me, as someone who was once called “Machete Mouth,” because of my razor sharp tongue, I know that not everyone will like me—most people do though. *wink-wink* I was more surprised by my reaction to this than the actual loss of a follower. I guess on some level we all want people to gather around and hang on our words, but the truth is, that’s not going to happen.

What I know is, I have great people tuning into my blog. People who care about what I have to say, people who are funny and smart and interesting and hopefully they find those characteristics in me as well. I also know that I’ll surely gain more followers just as I know I’ll probably lose some more on the way...but it’s all good.

Take care my 99 lovelies!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

WIP Excerpt

I've been working on a new novel--Platinum Diaries--well, full disclosure, this is what I started during NaNo. So I decided to post an excerpt. This is a first draft, but in this scene Sayra (16 yrs old and has psychic dreams) is upset because her parking space was revoked at school and given to the new kid who has yet to show, three weeks into the school year.
Students filed past me, lingering on the sides of the main steps for the few remaining minutes we had before first period. I stared at the mustard-yellow number nine drawn on the asphalt, taunting me from my coveted parking spot. What would the headmaster do if I just drove my car and parked there? Nothing, right? So I should just do it tomorrow!

“If you stare at that space any harder, it’s going to burst into flames.” Ivan bumped my shoulder.

I spared him a glance. Ivan was tall, skinny and tragically Jewish—his words—and my other best friend. His handsome face was nearly covered by what he liked to call his Jewish afro or Ja-fro. He wore wire-framed glasses and baggy clothes that made him look like a bully’s wet dream.
Without taking my eyes off the vacant parking spot, I handed my diary to Ivan. “Flip to the last entry.”

He groaned as usual about holding the silver book encrusted with crystals that he’d labeled my platinum diary. “Please tell me you finally had a dream about me making out with a hottie?”
“No, and quit asking me that.”

“I’m hoping it’ll seep into your brain like a subliminal message and voilá, you dream of me giving some tongue action to Hillary Teagarden.”

That got my eyes off the parking spot and onto him. “If I ever have that dream I’ll gouge out my mind’s eye with a rusty nail. You can’t seriously want to hook up with her, can you?”

He blushed, making him look like an adorable little boy. “No. I mean, well, why not? I know I’m not a big stupid jock like Tag, but she could like me.”

“That’s not what I meant. She’s not good enough for you. She’s so…she’s just a…” I let out a frustrated breath. “She was probably the muse for Pink when she wrote that song Stupid Girls.”

Ivan laughed. Ugh, what would I do if I dreamed of him with Hillary? Move heaven and earth to see that it never came true, that’s what I’d do. There was someone else who liked him anyway, someone much better. According to my dream he would find out soon. Ivan scanned the page detailing the headmaster’s slip and fall during our lunch period and howled with laughter.

“Oh, today is going to be a beautiful day.”

Monday, March 1, 2010

Updates & Awards

Whew! I just finished digging out from the snow…kidding…but wouldn’t that be an awesome excuse for why I’ve been M.I.A. for more than three weeks. The truth is, it’s been a combination of bad health and laziness. I’ve been having these headaches and dizzy spells because my blood pressure drops when I stand up. Turns out, I was severely dehydrated—who knew—and I was probably on too much medication for high blood pressure—go figure. So my doctor and I are working it out now and I’m feeling much better.

As for the laziness, well, there’s nothing to explain there except everyone goes through it from time to time where all you want to do is come home from work and plop down in front of the tv to veg out. I knew it was bad when I couldn’t even muster the energy to write on the weekends and I LOVE writing on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But I’m back in the swing of things now. I’ve set myself a schedule for writing 1000 words a day and exercising 1 hour a day. The exercise has really revved me up and gotten my mental juices flowing…hence the blog update. I went out on a limb and bought the Power 90 dvd’s. If you’re not familiar with them, check out the link here.

My sister owns the dvds and she really likes them, plus they worked for her. So, while I belong to a gym, today is day one of the Power 90 dvd’s. I took all my measurements last night *gulp* and my weight *double gulp* and I’ll update my progress in 30, 60 and then 90 days. If any of you out there has used Power 90 or P90X please let me know what you think!

Anyway, on to better things. I was nominated for two awards during my hibernation! An Over the Top Award by Hannah over at Musings of Palindrome--—Thanks! And The Sugar Doll Award from Stina over at Seeing Creative—Thanks!

I’m going to cheat here a bit as the rules to both of these awards are similar. For the Over The Top Award I must:
Mention the person who nominated me and link to their blog. And then give one word answers to the following questions:

Your Cell Phone? Blackberry
Your Favorite Food? Italian
Your Hobby? None
Your TV? RCA
What Are You Wearing? Scrubs
Your Life? Awesome!
Your Music? Hodgepodge
Where Did You Grow Up? Baltimore
Your Car? Neon

For the Sugar Doll Award I have to tell ten unusual or unexpected things about myself. I’m going to make it five as I’ve already made this post long enough-lol-and I can’t think of ten things. :-)

1. I scored a perfect 90% on my test for the 12-gauge shotgun qualifications. I am in no way a gun fanatic, in fact I won’t own one. But when I was a correctional officer we had to qualify with a .38 and a 12-gauge. For some reason I took to it like I was a card carrying member of the NRA.

2. For the last year or so, I’ve worn fake hair! LOL. I have hair, nice, thick and healthy hair, but as I’m trying to save money, it’s just easier to wear the fake stuff sometimes. Most people have no clue unless they know me. I think by summer I’ll be going back to the salon regularly and won’t have the fake stuff then. Ironically, I’m a trained cosmetologist, but I don’t feel like doing my hair much anymore…am I getting old?

3. Once, in a high school rendition of The Wiz, I was on stage poppin’ and lockin’ like Re-run from What’s Happening and while the audience loved it, the director tore me a new bleep-hole for upstaging the other performers. That was not my intention…I just wanted a laugh.

4. When I was little, I used to live behind a school. The neighborhood kids and I would climb in the dumpster and get out all the old school supplies like dittos, chalk and pointer sticks! God, just thinking about it now gives me the willies. There was never any garbage in that particular dumpster, but still, it was a DUMPSTER!

5. I used to have a reoccurring nightmare as a kid about a giant crab. *note, I just fixed a typo that said I had nightmares about a giant crap! That would give anyone nightmares-lol* Maybe this has something to do with growing up in Maryland—who knows. But the crab would come up the back alley behind my house and peer into the windows with its beady little crabby eye looking for kids who weren’t sleeping. I was never afraid for myself because I knew it was coming and could fake sleeping, but I was terrified my sister would wake up as the crab was peaking through and it would take her. I had this dream off and on from the time I was 4 or 5 until I was about 10. Maybe one day I’ll understand what it meant…or better yet, maybe one day I can parlay it into a bestselling novel like J. K. Rowling and her Demetors!

The five people I want to award both the Over The Top Award and the Sugar Doll Award—see, I’m cheating—are:

Lisa Marie @ Confessions of a Writing Mama

Roxy @ a woman’s write

Sarah @ Falen Formulates Fiction

Katie @ …&& Prophetic Pictures

MG Higgins @ A Day at the Zoochini

Last but not least, I have to say I was very surprised to pull up my blog and see that I’ve reached 100 followers! You guys are awesome! Thanks for following and I promise to have regular updates from now on.