Things I Heart Right Now...

With a capital <3:

-Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.  I discovered Kiersten's blog before the book came out, and she is so hilarious.  Her blend of humor and action is fabulous and something I strive for.  Can't bleeping wait for the sequel.

-My new desk and writing area, courtesy Hubbykin's kick-heiny CraigsList negotiating skills.  My new little writing area is tucked in a picture window alcove, people.  An alcove.  How Anne-with-an-e romantic is that?  Much more romantic than splayed out on the dining room table.  And probably more sanitary.

-A weekend visit from the In-Laws with accompanying date day to see The Social Network, eat out, AND sit at Barnes & Noble and read for 2 hours.  Date DAY.  A whole day.  Yay!  Thank you, Inny-kins!

-My little desk lamp.  It has fringe on the shade, and little embroidered stars, and...oh, I'll just have to post a picture of it sometime.  It makes me happy to look at it.

-Febreze flameless luminaries.  They make my house smell yummy without burning it down.
Mine is cuter than this one.

-The "I Love My Hair" Sesame Street song.

Oh, come on. You know you want to sing along, too.

What the Teens These Days Are Liking

My personal fave?  Her opinion on the name Damien.  Hee hee.
And I must say, I think my WIP hits on some key likes, which makes me all smiley inside.


I bought some early season satsumas the other day.  They weren't great, but I couldn't hold out any longer.  The Pea promptly ate 97% of the bag.  I think I got one slice in there.

A few days after I'd given him the last one and thrown out the bag, I opened up the fridge to get him a snack, and he yelled, "Orange!"  I assured him that, no, we didn't have any more oranges, but he could have a pear or a plum.

"Orange!"  No, but you can have another fruit or some yogurt.

"Orange!"  No.

At this point, I figured he was just arguing with me for argument's sake, as two year-olds are prone to do.  I opened up the produce drawer to get him a pear.  Behold.  An orange.

It had rolled to the back.  

I couldn't see it.  I was looking from the wrong angle.

So I'm curious.  Who are your "orange" readers?

Logline, take 2

Still not there, but I hope I'm getting closer:

When jaded time-traveler Bree encounters a boy from the distant past who claims to be both crazy for her and on a mission to protect her, she realizes that her worst enemy may be none other than her reckless future self.  

Also, super timely post over at Kristin Nelson's Pub Rants.

Llama Llama Logline Drama

Oh, sigh.

The time has come to tackle my logline, and (insert whiny tone here) this is hard.  Sell your manuscript in one or two sentences.  Make your pitch succinct but punchy.  Oh, and don't forget to make sure it has voice.

And the interesting thing is that I can write loglines for other projects.  Example:  When a charismatic 13th century (??? too lazy to google this) Scot loses his wife and home to a tyrannical king, he must rally his countrymen to fight for the only thing he has left...his freedom.  [Note to Hubbykins if you are reading this: No, this is not a hint that I want to watch Braveheart tonight.]

Or, for a book/musical:  Think you know the Wicked Witch?  Think again.  [Note to Hubbykins: Anytime you can snag us a pair of tickets to see Wicked, you go right ahead.]

I think the issue is that I'm too close to my work.  If you asked me to describe my next door neighbor in one sentence, I would say, "She's a passionate middle school principal who, I realized after we moved in, was actually my most favoritest principal ever growing up."  Not a great sentence, but I hope you're intrigued by the fact that I happened to move in to the house next door to my middle school principal from years ago.  And I could pepper it with adjectives about how she's kind, generous, funny...but do you really think she'd be my "most favoritest" by being anything but?  Even tossed a little voice in there with the "favoritest."

Now, ask me to describe my child in one sentence. Blank stare.  I could tell you he's funny, but then I'd want to launch into a story about the hilarious thing he did last week.  Ditto for cute, sweet, charming, get the drift.

And I'm not implying that the plot of my book is more complex than an epic 3 hour long movie.   Although, to my defense, it does involve time travel, so that automatically makes things a little difficult.

So without further adieu, I give you my logline as it currently stands.  I would love any feedback you can give me.

Nothing throws time-traveler Bree for a loop like finding out her future self has fallen for a boy from the distant past—the same boy who’s hitched a ride to Bree’s time, convinced he alone can protect her from an unknown threat.  At first Bree scoffs, but in searching for a way to send him home, she uncovers a danger that’s closer than she ever imagined…the microchip in her own brain.

The funny thing is, when I read this, it sounds pretty heavy sci-fi, and it's not.  It's actually funny and fluffy.  So how do I keep a pitch about microchipped time-crossed lovers light and fluffy?

Oh, sigh.

(On a bright note, Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama Holiday Drama arrived the other day.  The illustrations are ahh-dorable.)

Current Revision Strategy

Hubbykins has a bag full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with a padlock on it.  Only he has the key.

Guess who gets a treat at the end of the day for meeting her goal?

(note:  This was my idea, not Hubbykins'.  But he didn't respond well to my observation tonight that I could "cut off the zipper in a pinch.")

Not Too Late...

I am just now getting around to entering myself for several reasons, the chief of which would be two infected little middle ear canals.  The second reason?  It kind of took me awhile to think of a great adventure.  I'm not, by nature, an adventurous person.  I am a home body.  I'm also an extrovert, so these two paradoxical traits are somewhat at odds at times, but that is neither here nor there.  If and when I am published, I'm going to need to hold book signings on my front porch or something.

But whenever I do think about adventure in my life, I think about a season of it I had with Hubbykins, when we were Pea-less.  Hubbykins' job required quite a bit of travel, and as we were Pea-less and I was working, we had some expendable income.  I followed him all over the place.

West Coast.  (How did I not blog about our trip to California?  It was awesome.  We rented a convertible and drove all over San Francisco and Sonoma.)  East Coast. (Where I had the most terrifying adventures of my life in a NYC police station.  So please don't kill me for it not being my favorite place in the world.)  CanadaCaribbean(Okay, those last two were not for business, but we went, nonetheless.)  Hubbykins went to China(I didn't go with him but talked to him on Skype every day, so that should count for something.)  Everywhere.  (Oops.  Almost forgot my kick-butt weekend in D.C. with my friends Sarah and Shelli.  I don't have any pics on either blog, but it was awesome!  Also, also...Hubbykins and I went to Minnesota, Nashville, Florida, Texas, L.A., St. Louis, Chicago, Lawrence, KS...which is way cooler than you realize, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin.  And I'm sure I'm missing a few.)

And then that second line popped up.  And a whole new adventure began.  Yes, with recurrent double ear infections and scary bonked heads and trying to convince the Pea that "red" and "blue" are different colors while hiding my fear that he is color blind.  But also with snuggling and hearing "Mama" for the first time. And discovering a new-found inspiration to write.

ETA:  Oh, and I was once thrown out of a castle.

As I Revise...

The phrase that keeps popping into my mind the most is, "If you can cut it, do."

I'm curious.  What's the best revision advice you've ever received?

On Second Thought...

My critique partners and I are always threatening each other with a dousing of Silly String if one of us doesn't meet a self-imposed deadline.
epic fail photos - Celebration FAIL
see more funny videos
Might need to rethink that strategy.

(Thanks, Kristin, for sending the video!)

The Easy Way or The Hard Way

Little known Karen fact:  In junior high, I was the "Lady Panther Cub" basketball manager.  Non-surprising addendum:  I hated every minute of it.  But I hated exercise more.

The coach was evil.  Like Cruella De Vil, but with 8th grade girls.  Taunting, teasing, you  name it.  She even sued one of the high school players for "emotional distress" after the girl accidentally backed into the coach's BMW in the school parking lot and left a tiny dent.  Evil Coach wasn't even in her car at the time.

And then there were game days.

Bear in mind, these are 8th grade girls.  There was a strict fingernail-length rule (and I could see the point of it).  On game days, fingernails could protrude no further than the tip of one's finger.  For most girls, this meant a sliver of white showing, at best.  This was the rule. Every. Single. Game.

And yet, how many times did I have to hunt down a fingernail file on the bus for some whiny player who had forgotten hers?  We'd pull into the opposing gym's parking lot, frantic scraping everywhere.

But why the frantic scraping?  Because we had an evil coach.  If the nails weren't short enough, she'd cut them off with a pair of office scissors.  Have you ever cut your nails with a pair of office scissors?  Didn't think so.  Because it's evil.

I actually have a point to all this.  And it has to do with writing.  Imagine that.

As many of you know, I'm revising my novel.  (1/3 through...woo hoo!)  The way I look at it, the harder I am on my work, the easier it will be in the long run.  Filing your writing down to the nub is not an easy task.  But those scissors of rejection feel as blunt as they look. 

Movie Night With Husband

New Karate Kid kicks original's buttocks. Still wouldn't cross a Cobra Kai, though.

ETA: Final scene, Hubbykins said, "Ralph Macchio just peed his pants."

The Day So Far

Number of times I've had to explain to the Pea that "No, we do not eat cookies for breakfast":  7

Number of tiny little stickers plastered to his shirt that will eventually  clog up the washer:  6

Number of children running around in naught but a pajama shirt and diaper:  1

Percentage of Mommy's getting-ready routine accomplished:  4%

Number of words written and/or revised:  0

Hrmmm.  I sense a correlation.