Friday, March 30, 2012

Bangs, Day 23

I feel like it's taking way longer than I ever remember it taking for my bangs to grow out this time.  I've developed this weird cowlick thing on the right side of my forehead, making it almost impossible to swoop my bangs off to the left.  This has never happened before.  So yea.  The growing-out process is very, very painful this time around.  It's been over two weeks since my last hair post, and um, yea.  They still seem pretty much the same length to me.

Also?  For some reason, I'm so tired today I feel like my face is melting off.  Our coffeemaker, our beloved Keurig, is broken at work so I had to stop for a giant coffee on my way in this morning. 

Yes, the coffee is bigger than my head.  Is necessary.

Happy Friday though!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Oh So Quiet...

Hmm.  Perhaps I'll just starting using song titles for all my blog I totally have that Bjork song in my head...

Anyway, I feel like I've been on the quiet side lately, social media-wise and all.  Hardly any blogs, tweets or status updates...I don't know.  I'm just not feeling it right now.  Sometimes the world doesn't need to know your every thought and move, right? 

Well, plus I also just haven't done anything worth posting about.  So there's that.  Borrrrrr-ring.

I did manage to get through a few pages of revisions last week.  I hated the beginning of the story- way too much background info right up front- so I cut a ton of stuff out and now need to figure out where to move it to within the bulk of the story.  I know I also need to develop a couple characters a lot further- one of them being Anna, the ghost, who I added in my first revision.  The other is Max, a secondary character who needs to play more of a role due to how I decided to end the story.  So that'll take some work.  And when I start, I know I'm going to want a few good solid hours to devote to it.  I have a mini-spring break coming up next week, so hopefully I'll pound out several chapters' worth of revisions then.

For now, back to the quiet.  Sometimes, I think you can hear a lot more when you just sit and listen to the silence.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Girls, Girls, Girls

Is that Motley Crue song stuck in your head now?  Heh.'s totally in mine.

Anyway, so I've been looking forward to this weekend for a while now, as it is jam-packed with some quality time with like, all of my favorite girls!  It actually started last night, with our normal Thursday Vampire Diaries night (and holy hell, what an episode!  Hello, shirtless Damon?!  For like a quarter of the episode!), and continues tonight with the same group of girls (but including Karyn! Hooray!!) as we all traipse to the movie theater to see The Hunger Games.  I have been looking forward to this movie forever, you guys.  I read the books about a year ago, and kept meaning to reread the first one before the movie came out, but you know, my to-read pile just keeps growing...regardless, I LOVED the series and I can't wait to see how they adapt it to the screen.  I just hope the rowdy teenagers in the audience don't make me go all Katniss on them myself... 

Then tomorrow night I head to the east side to hang out with girls I have known for practically my whole life.  For reals.  I've been friends with Michele, Michelle, Kelly, Kristen, Holly and Nikki since high school- or even junior high.  Michele is the big winner, because we became friends in fifth grade.  Um, so that's...25 years???  Holy crap.  A quarter of a century!  When did I get so old??  So anyway, I may not get to see all of them very often (insert sad face), but when we do get together we always pick right up where we left off.  I expect many, many laughs tomorrow.

Happy Friday everyone!  And, in honor of the Hunger Games - "May the odds be ever in your favor."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Novel #2- complete!!

This weekend I FINALLY finished the first, crappy draft of the WIP!  Or, I suppose I can start using the working title, which right now is still After the Dream (I have another title in mind, too, but we'll deal with that later).  So anyway, yes!  Just about 10 months after I first started writing it and almost 76,000 words later, it's done!!  HOORAY!

And now, revisions.  Oy.

Part of me is excited to start revising, because I honestly think I can make this a GOOD story.  It's got good bones right now, just needs to be whipped into shape.  So I'm trying to wrap my head around what the best way to start revising is.  Print out a copy and start applying the red ink everywhere?  Revise as I read it on the computer?  Work on an outline of things I know off the top of my head I need to go back and change?  Hmm.  I suppose there's no set way to go about it, I'll just have to dive in and see what works best.  Starting with the beginning, which I hate...

However, I'm pretty psyched about the ending, you guys.  I'm not gonna lie, I left it sorta "open".  Not necessarily for a sequel, just for the reader to interpret what they want from it.  Mwuah hahahaha.

*insert pic of me doing a happy dance here*

In other random news:

I sort of gave up on my query for now.  I like where I've gotten it, but it still needs to be cleaned up.  At this point, I think I'll wait to continue with it til my revisions are done.  It's not like I'll be submitting it anytime soon anyway.

I'm off to see the Black Keys tonight!  I have a feeling it's going to be an awesome show!

Also?  It's been eerily warm, like HOT, here in Cleveland for the past week or so.  It's like we're skipping spring and heading straight for summer...which is interesting, because last year it just stayed winter til about mid-May.  Ah, Cleveland weather.

Today IS the first day of Spring though, so with that, Happy Spring everyone!  Here's to new beginnings (literally!)!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bangs, day 7

A conversation with myself this morning:

Myself: Hey, your bangs look kinda short again.
Me: Yes, they were trimmed last night.
Myself: Why would you do that when you're growing them out??
Me: Erm, it's for the greater good.  Now they'll grow out "right".
Myself: As long as they grow, who cares?
Me: Just admire my new highlights, doesn't my hair look spring-y?
Myself: I'm too busy looking at your shorter bangs.
Me: Sigh.

Monday, March 12, 2012

fatty fat fatty

This weekend, my sister in law and I had a grand ol' time shopping, drinking margaritas and just hanging out together.  The good news?  I scored 7 books on my to-read list at Half Priced Books, my favorite store on the planet.  They practically had to kick us out at closing time.  The bad news?  We did a bit of clothes shopping, too, and while trying a few things on I realized I have to face facts: I've gone up at least a pant size.  This does, however, explain why all my current clothes feel like they're squeezing the freaking life out of me.  Sigh.  What happened to my super fast metabolism??  It seems like with each passing day it slows down more and more.  Getting. Old. Sucks. 

However, I felt so awful about this discovery that it actually kicked me into gear and yesterday, after a loooong day I made up my mind to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather by going on a nice run/walk around my 'hood.  I still can't run consecutively for any great length of time, but I walked fast and kept setting little goals for myself, like "Ok, as soon as I get to this driveway, I'll run all the way down this road til I get to the parked car" and so on.  I ended up being out for just under a half an hour, burned almost 300 calories and went 2.15 miles. 

And I felt so much better when I got home.

I mean, sure, the aches were already setting in by the time I got out of the shower (damn hills in my neighborhood are deadly) but I was just so proud of myself for going out and being active.  Especially when all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and relax, maybe nap off some of the margaritas from the night before.  Now I just need to keep this mindframe going.  If I can hit the gym at least twice a week, and maybe start up a spinning or zumba class too, I'm confident I can shed a few pounds and tighten back up in just a couple months.  After all, summer is coming!  And with any luck we'll be enjoying the beach in the Outer Banks at the end of July.  I'd prefer to not be forced to wear a muumuu down there, too.

In writing news, I still have those last final pages to write.  But I have been working on my query letter nonstop for the past week, thanks tosome wonderful critiques from the folks at  It's come a long way already from the original version, and I think I'm jussssst about there.  After this latest revision I'll probably take a little time to step back from it so I can view it with fresher eyes later.  But I'm pretty proud of the progress I've made with it.  Getting criticism from people who haven't read the story helps so much, you don't even know.  I'm way too close to it and everything seems important to leave in.  It's nice to get that kick that says "hey dummy, why is this here?"  Ok, they're a bit nicer than that, but you know what I mean.

I'm excited for my Friday off this week, when I plan on writing that damn ending already and hopefully starting revisions, too.  I have so many ideas to implement, it's crazy.  Super excited to share this story again with my readers when it's revised.  Smiley face.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Return of Three Things Thursday

After a brief hiatus, I'm back with another round of Three Things Thursday.  This week's three things are totally random, mainly because I have a lot going on in the ol' noggin right now.  I can't keep my own thoughts straight long enough to think coherently for longer than five minutes at a stretch.  So, here you go:

1) I recently posted my query up for critique on AgentQueryConnect, the site I used last year where I got a ton of suggestions and comments from some very helpful peeps.  It's been posted for a couple days, and as you'll see here, I've already posted my first revision based on some feedback.  Now I'm just waiting for more.  If you're curious to see how it develops, keep checking back over the next week or so.

2) I'm falling behind a little in the 2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Sad face.  I'm currently 5% behind, or 3 books behind, if I want to get to my goal of reading 75 books for the year.  That's not too bad, but it's still stressing me out a bit.  Even though it's totally just an arbitrary number I assigned to myself, now that I've set it I don't want to end up disappointed. I'm sure I'll catch back up at some point- if we go on vacation, I usually go through at least 3 books during that week.  If you're curious, right now I'm reading the HILARIOUS Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty.  I'm on book two, Second Helpings, after flying through book one, Sloppy Firsts, last week.  I needed something a bit more lighthearted after reading several "serious" novels, and this series is perfect. I've laughed out loud several times, including a huge snort yesterday when Jessica talked about her friend tripping this one guy and then kicking him "in the teabags".  Bahhh.

3) So, in early November I decided it would be a good idea to cut bangs.  I've enjoyed them for the past 3 months or so, but now it's time to start the growing out process.  I thought I might start to document said process here, totally stealing the idea from Heather Armstrong of, who is also posting random pics of her hair-growing-out process.  We'll call today Day One, even though I technically decided two days ago that it was time to start growing them.  Here's how they look today:

Not the most flattering of pics, but you get the idea.
And that will conclude this Thursday's blog...the weekend is almost here, kids!

Monday, March 5, 2012


As the title of this post suggests, I am THIS CLOSE to wrapping up my first draft of After the Dream.  So close I can taste it, sweet like chocolate after a long, rough day. 

I actually almost finished it last night, but after steadily writing for about three hours I was spent.  And it was getting late, and I have learned I need to turn my brain off before I can actually fall asleep.  This means turning off the laptop at least an hour before I plan to go to bed. 

It didn't matter last night, though.  Even though I shut down over an hour before we headed upstairs, my mind was still filled with ideas for the final few pages, as well as all the revisions I plan on doing.  Like, I'm not even letting my readers take a look at it til I go through and revise on my own first, because I know there's a lot I need to add to tighten up the story, add to the conflict, etc.

In addition to writing almost 3,200 words yesterday (!!), I also mapped out some more family tree stuff.  I had to in order to figure out what the hell I was doing.  I had papers and notes everywhere.  I think it makes sense now...but I'll need my readers to tell me for sure.  If it's too complicated then it just won't work.  I'm not out to confuse people, but to entertain and intrigue them! 

Also, today is the day I'm supposed to have a phone call with the guy from the publishing company.  I'm not holding my breath, but we'll see what happens.  I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to say to the guy, considering ATD is not even close to being ready for submission yet.  And if this really is a "pay to publish" kind of deal, well then, no thanks.  I'll post an update about the call later this week (if it actually happens).

Here's to completing crappy first drafts!

Friday, March 2, 2012


So, my last blog post was what, almost two weeks ago?  Whoopsie.  I skipped my Monday post this week because I really didn't have anything to say about the WIP, because I really didn't even crack open my laptop last week to look at it.  Again, whoopsie.  But that's really because next time I work on it, I hope to actually FINISH the first draft.  So I want a good chunk of time to sit and write, not just an hour here or there.  I am hoping that happens on Sunday.

Last Thursday I went on a spur-of-the-moment day trip to Toronto with my boss.  Over ten hours in the car = lots of chatting time, and I happened to mention that I'm finishing up writing my second novel.  He was all sorts of impressed, to which I wanted to reply, "Dude, you haven't read it.  It might completely suck." But still, it was nice to hear encouraging words.  He asked me if I wanted him to ask around in his Entreprenuer's Group if anyone had any publishing contacts, and I was like, uhh ssssure.  I figured he would forget about it as soon as we were out of the car. 

To my surprise, he did send a request out to his EO group, and someone actually responded, saying they would be more than happy to talk to me, even setting up a date and time to call.  At first I was completely excited, even though of course the WIP is nowhere near being ready to submit yet.  It's still an opportunity to maybe get some insight from the guy and submit later, right?  So I spent some time working on a rough draft of a query- something I hadn't expected to be doing for another month- just so I could really organize my thoughts about what the book is about.  I didn't want to babble like a fool on the phone to the guy.

Well, then I started doing a little research on the company.  I knew the guy is not an agent, but as it turns out he is the CEO of a vanity publishing company (I won't mention the name), and basically they assist "independent authors" (in other words, unagented) in editing, publishing, promoting and marketing their books.  For a fee.  A big fee.  A gigantic, no-way-in-hell-could-I-pay-it kind of fee.  Nor would I even if I could afford it.  It's not necessarily a shady thing, it's just another route for authors to take to get their work published, if they so desire.

But I have faith in this WIP.  I just have a feeling an agent will see the potential in this one.  I know my writing has improved since In My Mind's Eye- this story has more depth and stronger voices. Just more "oomph", as I've mentioned before. So, while I'll still talk to the guy (provided he actually calls for real), I know it won't be the road to publishing for me.  I'd much rather find an agent who believes in my work, instead of paying someone to believe in it.

But hey, at least I got the first draft of my query out of it.  I may post it at a later date, but it's definitely going to go through some critiques first on the AgentQueryConnect website I was on last year.  Aaaaand let the nerves of having complete strangers critique my work begin once again.