Friday, January 28, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m a firm believer in paying it forward, random acts of kindness and do unto others… Yeah, I know it all seems a bit hooky and clich├ęd, but something tells me that even the most pessimistic person would change their mind when they are on the receiving end of an act of kindness.

I find that when I’m down, having a pity party or just having a funky day, someone always does something, or says something that makes me feel better. Maybe I’m just hyper aware of what people do and say because I’m a writer and I pay attention to things like that. Most times the person isn’t even aware that I’m in a bad mood. I’m not whiny or a person who dwells in sadness, so when I’m having an off day, I’m usually trying to dig myself out. It’s not always possible. Sometimes I’m just going to be in a funk for a day or so. This is why it’s so important what you say and how you interact with people. It has an impact that can reach far more than you know.

Well, the other day, I’d just gotten a rejection on a full and was having a major case of the “When’s it going to be my turn?” Complete with sniffles and pouty bottom lip. I hadn’t told anyone about the request nor had I told anyone about the rejection so I was literally having a private pity party. Then, I got this email:

Hi Karen,
I just wanted to send you a little note of thanks for the comment you left on my blog yesterday. I'm glad you enjoyed my story . . . but more than that, I'm glad you're writing. :)
Who knew it was so hard, right?!
Not that it matters, coming from someone you don't even know, but from one writer to another, keep at it, alright? All of it--the writing, the resolutions--all of it.
Hey, You just may be closer than you think!


Yes, Beth, it does matter even if it’s coming from a woman I don’t know. I’d just left a comment on her blog because I was moved by her story of The Call. My blues were completely wiped away when I read this. My situation hadn’t changed. I’d still been rejected by an awesome agent, but how I reacted to the rejection was completely changed.

The entire email made me smile, but it was the last line that really had me feeling better. This author will probably never know that her email came at such a perfect time, and isn’t that really how it works?

I just wanted to share this with you all because it was such a pleasant surprise. Do any of you have a random act of kindness someone showed to you? I’d love to hear it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Are Those New Year Resolutions Going?

This year, I’ve decided to set goals. Goals for my writing, goals for my health/weight loss, and goals for my social life. So far, on the 26th day of January, I haven’t stuck to any of those goals. I haven’t written 1000 words a day. To be honest, I’ve been reading for friends and that is taking priority right now. So it’s not like I’m just veggin’ out on the couch—yeah, I’m making excuses-lol.

I haven’t been to the gym at all this month. Granted, I’ll be getting the Zumba Fit for Wii this weekend, so I plan to be svelte by summer…tee-hee.

And as for my social life…I’ve been to one party. It was a football party and there were more women there than men. So…um, yeah, not the best place to meet a man. In my defense, the weather has sucked. I’m supposed to go to happy hour this Friday, but they are calling for more snow!
Snow, Snow, go away. Little Karen wants to play! I haven’t given up on my goals for 2011. It’s still early. I WILL get on track.

Tell me, have your resolutions/goals fallen by the wayside already? If not, share your secret to keeping your word to yourself. I could use the help!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Suggestions for 2011...Help!

Last year I set a goal to read 100 books. I fell short with a total around 70 (I know I’m missing about five, but I can’t remember them now so I won't count them). Some of them were rereads like, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Lord of the Rings and a few of J.D. Robb’s In Death series. Some were classics that I’d never read but will now be a part of my favorite lists, like Pride and Prejudiced, and Sense and Sensibility.

I discovered some fantastic YA novels that weren’t in my genre, like Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It’s been a long time since a book has made me cry tears of joy, but that book did it. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was my favorite book for 2010. The characters stayed with me for weeks after reading that book, so much so, that I bought it after borrowing it from the library.

This year, I’m going to keep my goal of 100 books for 2011. Now that I know it’s MY responsibility to keep track of the books I check out of the library—thought they had an archive, but they don’t—I’ll a keep better list and won’t forget any.

I just finished What I Saw and How I Lied. I didn’t know what to expect, but I really liked it. For this coming year, I want to read more books in my genre—YA, paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian. I really want to read more Steampunk and sci-fi too. I like character driven over plot driven and a little romance isn’t bad either.

I welcome suggestions, actually, I’m begging for them. So if you have anything you want to recommend, leave them in the comments for me. Many thanks!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sushi Slippers

Every once and a while you get a gift that, on the surface, seems so ridiculous, you wonder what the giver was thinking when they bought it for you. Well, my brother-in-law thought it would be funny to buy me Sushi Slippers.

What are they you ask?

Well, they’re exactly what they sound like…slippers that look like sushi. (I assume they are supposed to be salmon and tuna-lol) And they just happened to be the most comfortable slippers I own!!!

What started out as a gag gift is rapidly becoming one of my favorite things of 2011. So thank you, Naoki!

What quirky gift did you get that you ultimately loved? It doesn’t have to be from this year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Word About Jealousy

Yesterday I was at lunch reading a printout of Authoress’ post about how she landed the awesome Josh Getzler as her agent! I loved the story and commented, out loud, that I was 95% happy for Authoress and only 5% jealous.

One of my lunch companions said, “Jealousy is such a wasted emotion. I never get jealous.”

Hum…let’s examine that.

First, I was probably 98% joking and 2% serious, but can anyone honestly say they NEVER get jealous?

I don’t think so.

Personally, I agree with part of that statement. Jealousy IS a wasted emotion. And for the majority of my day-to-day life, I’m not a jealous person. I don’t covet my neighbor’s husband, house, or fine automobile. I really do look at the world and think, “You never know what’s going on behind closed doors so coveting could get you something you definitely do not want.” The grass isn’t always as green as it looks.

However, I’m also honest. And being an honest person means that when I read stories from authors who just signed with an awesome agent (yes, I mean you, Josh!) I get a pang of jealousy. I want that too! And to me, it’s only natural to feel that pang when you’ve worked hard for something and it’s right at your fingertips, but you haven’t been able to grab it yet.

I don’t take anything away from Authoress. She has done far more than I think even she imagined for unagented authors. And while I’m 5% jealous of her, I would never want to dismiss her achievements or even envy them. She’s worked hard and she certainly deserves all the great things to come.

I just want to sign with Josh too…is that so wrong? *blinks kitten eyes*

So tell me, am I alone? It’s okay if I am. I’ll live on my 5% island of jealousy. It’s really only the size of a postage stamp. I swear.

Monday, January 3, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hi all! Hope 2010 was a good year for you. I have no complaints. There were things I wanted and did not get last year and things I got that I never asked for. J

Looking back at my post New Year’s post 2010, I actually asked a Magic 8 Ball to answer my resolution questions? What the heck was I thinking? This year, instead of leaving my life to chance, I’ll be setting a list of goals and constructing an actual plan to bring them to fruition. This way, at the end of 2011 I’ll see how I’ve achieved each goal. If for some reason I am unable to reach a certain goal, hopefully my plan will show me exactly where I went wrong.

I have three goals I’ll carry over from 2010 to 2011. In no particular order…

1. Obtain an agent.
--It didn’t happen for me last year, but to be honest, it couldn’t have happened for me in 2010. I was at the tail end of querying LIGHT BRINGERS and had come to the decision that it needed a major rewrite (something I’m still working on) and then I started on my current novel, PLATINUM DIARIES. That novel wasn’t ready to be queried until mid October. Granted, it was possible to query in October, hear back from an agent and have an offer by December 31st. But with this novel, I queried in stages and thank God for that idea. Needless to say, things are looking up for my novel and I’m happy about it.

2. Get a husband.
--Now those of you who are married and have been for a while, don’t know what’s happening in the world of dating. To sum it up…PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! No other way to put it. Without getting too specific, I had an incident that has really soured me on dating. I’ve NOT given up on love, but man, some guys are just creepy! Nuff said. I know there is someone who will be a perfect match—not a perfect man, but a perfect match for me. So I can be patient, but really, where is he already?! LOL.

3. Reach my goal weight.
--Maybe the reason I haven’t reached my goal weight is because I don’t really have a ‘goal weight’. I’ll know it when I see it. According to my height, and age, the AMA (American Medical Association) says I should be between 107-lbs and 131-lbs. Maybe 131-lbs would be okay, but seriously, something tells me I’d look like a crack head at that weight. I’m muscular so I weigh more than I look like I do. I look at my sister who is my height and 155-lbs and she looks good. She wants to lose 15-lbs and I think that would be fine, but her frame is smaller than mine. I was probably meant to be taller, but somehow got stunted-lol. All the same, I’ve lost 25-lbs and while I still have more to go, I feel good about my accomplishment!

So, now as I add those three goals (and several others) to my list for 2011, I’ll also add a plan to achieve each. Granted, I’m not sure how to set a plan to find a husband, but I know ‘Avoid the nut-jobs’ will be at the top of the list!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (if that’s the holiday you celebrate. If not, hope your holiday was wonderful, nonetheless). I look forward to 2011, because I plan to make this a great year!