101.

When I get 101 Followers, I'm going to do a giveaway.  I haven't decided what yet.

Am open to suggestions--within reason...no one will be receiving a pink Mercedes with mod plaid interior.  (But wouldn't that be uber-cool?)

[Okay, I just had an idea, but I'll need to check a few things out before I can deliver on it, so I'm zipping my lips for now.]

The Final Day of Olympics Fever

And I'm so very sad about it*.  I always go through a bit of Olympics withdrawal when they end, because let's face it, it will be another four years before I'll get to watch awesome local news coverage about the curling league in our little corner of Arkansas. (Yes, you read that right.)

My favorite part of the Olympics is watching some of the more obscure events or the lower-ranked athletes within the higher profile events.  Sometimes, the difference between the gold medal and 37th place is a matter of minutes...or seconds.  That 37th ranked Olympian?  She has probably trained just as long (or longer), just as hard (or harder) as the gold medalist.  And he probably wants it just as bad (or worse...how many medals can you have lying around before it's just another thing to dust, Apolo Anton Ohno?)

Oh, the writing analogies.  There's the obvious--seeing the podiumed athletes as those who have been published.  Or even seeing them as the superstars of publishing.  Basically, those who have gotten the stamp in their writing passport that says "Good Job", whatever that means to different people.

Or maybe it's just meeting a goal, finishing what you start, working up the courage to submit.
I don't know.

But I do know this.  Whatever it is, it takes three things.  Power, love, and self-discipline.  I applaud that, and I commit to it in my own life.

So you know what, Kelime Cetinkaya of Turkey, who placed 53rd in the Women's Individual Cross-Country Sprint?  I think you're pretty awesome.  And you can bet your bippy that your mom does, too.


*Yes, I realize that the Olympics don't technically end until tomorrow, but I don't count the Closing Ceremonies/half-day.  My apologies to any athlete competing on Sunday.

You Can't Go Back Friday: I Am A Writer.

The moment is still fresh with me.  That moment when I, in the tiniest peep of a voice, asked my husband if everyone wanted to write a book.

"No, I don't think so.  I mean, I don't want to."

So it's not just one of those universal desires you ignore?  Shoot.

And now, I can't go back to the time when I thought that 2,000 words would be a good length for a picture book.  When I believed "revision" was just something editors would help you do.  When I woke up well-rested.

But I wouldn't want to even if I could.

I am a writer.

I Need Your Help (and there's something in it for you, too)!

If you weren't aware yet, the fabulous Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins are hosting a contest over at their blog Shooting Stars this week.  To enter, you just need to be a follower (which I am already) and get another person to follow (which you should if you don't already...just tell them I sent you in the comments).

Then, of course, you can recruit someone(s), and away you go on your own entry(s).  The winner gets a 5 page critique.  Actually, they're giving away two critiques because they're just that cool.  All you need to do is go follow them and say "Karen @ Novels During Naptime sent me" in the comments.


I want to win.  Please help.

Cupcake

Once in a while, a picture book comes along that takes me completely by surprise.
When I grabbed Cupcake written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper, I was expecting a sweet little story about a cupcake.

What I got was a sweet little story about a cupcake that almost made me pee in my pants laughing at the end.

Page flip perfection. 

And The Winner Is...

Rachel Cobb!

(This is one of those cases in which I wish I had a glittery, sparkly text editor to show you how cool Rachel is.  And she knows her Kevin Bacon movies as well.)

Movie Trivia Tuesday: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon (and a bonus link to a birthday contest)

For this week's Movie Trivia Tuesday, name 6 movies in which Kevin Bacon has appeared.

Lookee there!  I'm even giving you the first one.

Up for grabs?  A free Redbox DVD rental code!

Want to win a slightly more fabulous prize, too?  Head over to Melissa @ i swim for oceans.  She's hosting a birthday bash giveaway with $25 Amazon gift card and 2 books up for grabs!

Whoops! Blogfest


I wasn't going to participate in the Whoops! Blogfest hosted over at Laurel's Leaves due to lack of material, but I can't help myself.

Here's a snippet from a picture book I wrote a year ago about a tooth fairy on her first day of school who has a different way of seeing things:

In Math class, things went from bad to dreadful.  Mrs. Ticklewing started a lecture on tooth exchange rates.  Before long, Francine had drifted into a dream world.
Mrs. Ticklewing rapped her wand on the podium and cried, “Francine, please pay attention!  Do you have anything you’d like to add to our discussion on incisor trading?”
 “Do we have to leave money for teeth?” Francine asked.
Mrs. Ticklewing nearly fainted.

The Fever Never Fully Goes Away...

Blast from the past...four years ago in Torino.  The scary thing is it seems like they were yesterday, and the Pea will be in kindergarten the next time the Winter Olympics rolls around.

Oh, oh...also!  Head on over to Laurel's Leaves tomorrow for her Whoops! Blogfest. I think a good time will be had by all.

Interview

Hey!  Head on over to Heather Ayris Burnell's blog to read an interview she did with me for her Unread series.

Yee hee!

(FYI, you have no idea how hard it was to find a picture of me without the Pea on my hip.  I finally just cropped him out of one.)

You Can't Go Back Fridays: Fruit "Drinks"

You have no idea how many times I opened up our freezer growing up and was greeted by this sight:
 Hubbykins and I were discussing fruit juice last night, specifically how superior "Simply Orange" is to all other pre-packaged juices.  It led to this conversation:

me:  Do you remember that one that had a bunch of different citrus fruits in it, but it didn't really taste like any of them.  It just tasted vaguely juicy.  I should write Friday's blog post about it.

Hubbykins:  Oh, yeah.  What was it called?

me:  High Five.

H:  Five Alive.

me:  Five Alive...

And then, we both got that "ehh" look on our face.  Like we were trying to get an unmemorable but not entirely unpleasant taste out of our mouths.

[Anyone who can identify the fifth citrus fruit on that can gets a shout-out...lime, orange, grapefruit, lemon, and ???]

ETA:  Okay, I just broke the cardinal rule of "You Can't Go Back Friday" and checked the ingredients in Five Alive.  And we have a winner!  Kelly at Just Write guessed tangerine.  At least they stuck it in the back.

You Have No Idea How Much I Want to Win This...

...because (a.) Elana Johnson is just cool like that.  And (b.) did you check out her query critique line-up?  Oh, and (c.) I just can't get away from Elana's inherent coolness.  Go here to enter.

Want a quick larf?  Head over to The Reign of Ellen.  That niece of mine is a stitch.

In Which I Almost Forget About My Own Blogfest

**Sheepish cowering.**

It's been a crazy few weeks.  In a good way.  I've spiffed up some manuscripts that needed polishing, chugged away on some WIPs that need finishing.  And, as I mentioned earlier, accepted that the blog may not get too much love right now.

If you'd like a chuckle, here is a (first draft) scene from my WIP in which the main character discusses breaking up with her Math Camp boyfriend (who you may remember from my No Kiss Blogfest post):


“Well, you did break up with him by Twitter.”
            “Only because you told me to!” I hissed into my cell phone.  I was the only person in the girl’s locker room, but I still felt the need to whisper.  Jen spent the first five minutes of our conversation saying, “Calm down, calm down, calm down.”  Her consolation that “Maybe he doesn’t even remember you,” wasn’t quite the soothing balm my soul needed.
            Any worries I had of how to steer clear of him were soon alleviated.  After his one-word acknowledgement of my existence in the cafeteria, he avoided me like I was a carrier of the bubonic plague.  Coach Moore didn’t question my refusal to dress out for P.E., the first of two classes Wentz and I had together.  By God’s good grace, it coincided with Jen’s lunch period since she was an hour behind me.
            “I may have advised you to reconsider your relationship with him.  But I did not tell you to break up with him via Twitter,” she said.
            “Yes, you did!  You said, and I quote, ‘Just rip off the bandage fast—like a Tweet.’”
            “Like a Tweet.  Not by actual Tweet.”
            “And how was I supposed to know that?”
            “Who breaks up with someone in less than 140 characters?”
            “Who breaks up with someone like Wentz, period?”

We Have a Winner...

...and it's Little Miss J.

(The answer was "Chevy Malibu".)

I (Still) Have a Fever...

...And the only prescription is more Olympics.

And perhaps some cowbell.

I bet the Dutch Speed Skating Fans have an extra one.

Movie Trivia Tuesday: Say Anything

In honor of both Valentine's Day and the upcoming So-Long Blogfest, I give you today's question.  A free Redbox DVD rental code is again up for grabs.

I'm even posting a picture to help you cheat.

What make and model of car does Lloyd Dobler drive in the movie Say Anything?
Yes, I realize I'm a tiny bit obsessed with this movie.
No, I have never made Hubbykins dress up like Lloyd Dobler.

I'll even give you another little clue.  The car was included in this rhyming "rap" in the movie:

Lloyd, Lloyd
All null and void.
He got ditched in the _______.
He don't know what-to-do.

As always, cheating is both welcome and encouraged.  

Did I Mention I Have Olympic Fever?

I've got it bad.

Hannah Kearney & Shannon Bahrke, you had me at helmet pigtails and pink hair.

You Can't Go Back Friday

I woke up this morning cranky that the Pea didn't sleep well last night.  

And then this post about Kate McRae, a sweet, precious six year-old girl battling an aggressive brain tumor put everything into perspective.

Her parents can't go back to the time before their beautiful daughter got sick.  But we can pray for her to be healed and for them to be comforted as they make decisions that no parent should have to make.

Please join me in praying.

Hint.

For next week's Movie Trivia Tuesday:
Readers, start your engines.
(And that's all the hint I'm giving you.)

Completely unrelated side note:  Hooray for Kids' Day Out.  Do you have any idea how much one can get accomplished in four toddlerless hours?

Quiet.

Some of you may have noticed that I've been a bit subdued on the blog front lately in terms of number of posts, comments, etc.  This is purposeful.  I have a certain number of hours in the day, and too many of them have been filled with bloggy stuff as of late.  Not enough of them with writey stuff.

I'm still going to give away movies on Tuesdays.

I'm still going to reminisce about random beloved objects from my past on Fridays.

I'm still going to post encouraging words and annoying intriguing questions about writing on occasion.  Just not as often.

And The Winner Is...


I'll e-mail you with your Redbox code, Susan.

The answer was 3.  And for those of you who haven't had your morning dose of swoon, here's the full quote:

You must know... surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.  ~ Mr. Darcy, Pride & Prejudice (2005)



Sigh.


Oh, and still not too late (at all) to sign up for the So-Long Blogfest next Thursday.



Movie Trivia Tuesday: Pride & Prejudice

This week's trivia question is an easy one.  Up for grabs?  A code for a free Redbox DVD rental!

In the scene portrayed in this picture from Pride & Prejudice (2005)...
...how many times in a row does Darcy say he loves Elizabeth? (note:  using the actual word "love")

I'll pick the winner from the correct answers submitted and announce it tomorrow morning!

You Can't Go Back Friday: Picture Pages

Picture Pages, Picture Pages
Time to get your Picture Pages
Time to get your crayons and your pencils
Picture Pages, Pictures Pages
Time to get your Picture Pages
Time to something something (about Bill Cosby) and a Picture Page with you!*


First off, I remember this show from the early-mid '80s, but I'm pretty sure that it was in syndication by that point.

Picture Pages was Bill Cosby's attempt to introduce children to the joys of reading and writing**.  He did so by singing, storytelling, writing with a magical pen on a big sheet of paper, and...being Bill Cosby.  FYI, this was very confusing for me because he was also the Cosby Show dad, but the two had nothing to do with each other.

In my area, Picture Pages was a short snippet that always came on after another show.  Either Captain Kangaroo or Fat Albert, I'm not sure which.  I'm putting my money on Fat Albert because Bill had some atoning to do for the complete lack of educational value on that other Cosby-produced show.
Here was the best thing about Picture Pages, though.  Bill Cosby's pen was alive.  Bill Cosby talked to it.  It talked back***.  It also hopped around on his table when he put it down.  Do you understand how exciting that was for a five year old?  It was like when Mr. Rogers brought out the treehouse to go to the land of Make-Believe rather than taking that annoying trolley.  Don't even get me started on how much I love Mr. Rogers.  I won't stop.

*Remember, I'm not allowing myself to look up the actual lyrics.
**Hooray!
***I was seriously an adult before I realized that these were just funny Cosby-esque sounds he was making under his breath.

The Pea's Big Day


Today is the Pea's first day at Kids' Day Out.  I'm not sure what I'll do with the morning to myself (most likely clean...and I have a first draft of a PB I need to finish).  I do know I'll miss that little buglet like crazy.

Movie Trivia Winner

Congratulations, Elana Johnson, come on down!

Actually, I'll just e-mail you the code.

And "yay!" for everyone who knew/guessed the correct answer that Bill Murray was bit by the groundhog twice during filming.  Ouch.

Tossing Out The Welcome Mat

This is a teensy bit belated, but I wanted to officially welcome my friend and critique partner Kim to the blogging world.  A few things to know about Kim:

-She is awesome.
-She is passionate about her characters and story.  (Kim has such a clear vision and understanding of the world she's created in her writing...it's inspiring!)
-She is funny, with a nice dry sense of humor.
-She's a natural cheerleader.
-She has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter in a critique.

If you haven't gone to visit her blog, go!  Go, go, go!

Movie Trivia Tuesday: Groundhog Day Edition

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone!!  This is one of my favorite holidays.  Unsullied fun with weather prediction thrown in to boot.  Who doesn't love that?



In honor of Groundhog Day, I present to you the first Movie Trivia Tuesday.  Up for grabs?  A free DVD rental code to Redbox:

Question:  During the taping of Groundhog Day, how many times was Bill Murray bitten by the groundhog?

(The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct answers, to be fair to people living in different time zones.  You have permission to guess randomly and/or google the answer.)

Fight Club

Am I the only one who feels like she's standing in a playground circle with other bloggers today shouting, "Fight! Fight! Fight!"?

I love reading all these fight scenes in the Fight Scene Blogfest hosted by Mireyah Wolfe over at Crimson Ink.  Alas, I do not have one to share.  My kitteh picture will have to do.


Also, thanks for the outpouring of empathy this weekend.  The cabin fever's been bad, I tell you, but it's above freezing today so I have hope for melting.

Two orders of business:
I've changed the date of the So Long Blogfest from February 15th to February 18th....because when you think about it, what self-respecting girl would break up with someone the day after Valentine's Day?  Nope, gotta wait a few days.  Keep it classy.

Also, don't forget to stop by tomorrow for your chance to win a fun little prize in my new weekly feature:  Movie Trivia Tuesdays.  (Hint:  there is trivia about movies involved.)