Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I read "I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It" and I liked it!

Let me start off by saying that I don’t do “reviews” and I stalk follow Adam Selzer on Twitter. When I first saw the name of his book, I knew I’d have to get it, and I started stalking following him. He, however, didn’t really know me from Adam uhh… other followers and this recommendation is unbiased, and I bought my book at retail price on Amazon. By the way, while I judge books on their covers ALL the time, unabashedly, this is the first time I’ve felt a book’s cover demanded it be bought. It lived up to my high expectations.

Algonquin “Alley” Rhodes is part of the “vicious circle”—a group of seniors in high school who run an online paper. Alley is the school’s music correspondent… and she is cruel if accurate. She’d already written the review of a local band almost entirely before they even took the stage. Well, they sucked as she expected. What she didn’t expect was to fall hard for their soft-spoken guest singer, Doug. Doug croons the classics of Cole Porter and Leonard Cohen into life… which is ironic because, as Alley is the last to figure out, he’s dead and has been for years—NOT that there is anything wrong with that. The whole post-death population of the world has “come out” and there are groups of girls at school just dying to date the post-dead. Alley has always mocked them, in fact. A member of the vicious circle is falling hard and learning quick that loving someone means being okay with the facts that they always wear the same suit, smell a bit funny, and they’re a zombie. Quite a few people want Alley to “convert” and join the undead—Will, the local vampire stud, is among them. Alley has to make some tough decisions by the end… including whether she wants to avoid her own.

Foremost what impressed me was that Adam nailed the female first person narrative. Alley’s voice was authentic and consistent. She was humorous and flawed. The style of humor reminded me of Christopher Moore’s vampire series which I’ve really wanted to recommend, but the swearing and depth of sexual content of those books… made it impossible. This book has the same sort of satirical humor, and I can whole-heartedly recommend it. What I love about male writers is that they don’t get caught in some of the romance traps that female writers do. Romance doesn’t always work out when it shouldn’t… and there is a good dose of reality. It was fascinating to see how he wove in the actuality of a flawed first love with the fantasy elements. This is not Twilight where things work out regardless of whether they should… and the obsessed vampire with the glorious cheekbones gets the girl. This is the reality that first loves don’t work out but life does and there are growing experiences. It’s a coming-of-age book… through falling in love with an age-less undead. (Okay, so that might not be a realistic path for most teenagers.)

Also *Possible Spoiler* you know that I don’t read sad books. This book does not end happy… but it ends right and satisfying and the book is not unhappy or sad, in my opinion. I think this is another of the traps that female writers fall into. Love doesn’t conquer all… forever. Alley’s life changes for the better, and THAT is your happyish ending. I put down the book thinking, “Yeah… right on. That’s how it should have ended.”

If you do buy this book… and you should… be prepared for people to sit and stare at the front cover and even crouch beside you to try to read the back. I read it in LAX and on the plane and wound up just holding the book upright so people could see the cover easily. I didn’t think you could “sell” a zombie romance though after stalking following Adam on Twitter… I knew his humor might carry it off. He did it. This zombie romance is more believable than most of the contemporary YA books I’ve read recently. Unfortunately, I’ll have to “out” myself on Amazon now because this book deserves every positive review it gets. Dang it. I love anonymity.

Two zombie thumbs up.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kidless Disneyland

So, I disappeared for the weekend. I dropped down the rabbit hole, but I'm back now. Once a year, a friend and I escape our kids for a few days at Disneyland to get our grooves back. This time we took my sister with us. We left Saturday morning... really, really, really early. We got back last night (Tuesday) --really, really, really late. So, it was four full days of the Disney experience. It rocked hard-core.

The first day, we were exhausted as none of us really slept much the night before, but adrenalin and caffeine kept us going. Saturday meant that the park was packed. I can't remember what time we gave up, but we didn't wimp out and put in a solid day. I think we got to bed around one a.m. So, we didn't "close" down the park that night, but give us some credit for a twenty hour day... and our voices were raw from screaming by the end of it.

Sunday, we slept in... seriously. My sister took off to go visit family, so it was just Steph and I at the parks. We went on some of our favorite rides "Screamin Mickey" and a few others. Heidi joined us that night for the fireworks--which were fairly impressive and we closed down Disneyland Sunday night... including going on some rides like Pirates of the Caribbean in our own boats. (Three of us... with a whole boat to ourselves.)

Monday, we met up with Di (who was full of awesome) and we went and did all the rides that you can't do with kids (so Di had never been on them.) We did the Tower of Terror and Screamin' Mickey. The picture from Tower of Terror was fantastic. My sister got sick on Screamin' Mickey... and loathed the ride. (Di loved the adrenalin rush... which was my reaction, so as my other half of the brain... that was expected.) After, we went and split garlic fries and the best Monte Cristos on the planet. Di had moved heaven and earth (aka arranged babysitting) and had to split, so she took off. We went back to riding rides and closed down Californian Adventure (their parade is really cool, btw.) Then, we went to buy souvenirs in downtown Disney and eat beignets at the Jazz Kitchen there. (We didn't know that we could get beignets at the same place we ate lunch in Disneyland.)

Tuesday, we were at California Adventure at opening. We went on Tower of Terror again. There was a lady who sat beside me, behind her group, that was on it for the first time. Apparently, she hadn't been warned that the elevator would do several free-fall drops and jumps. Not only did she scream in my ear, but she grabbed my bicep in a death-grip while doing so. Everytime the elevator would level out... she'd apologize profusely, before doing it again when the elevator dropped again. I had her handprint on my arm. I was laughing hysterically at it... even though I did put her hand on the metal handgrip to save myself some bruising. In the picture, she is looking at me in horror (realizing she was clutching a total stranger and I'm laughing hysterically.) Then, Steph and I went on Screamin' Mickey and the rollercoaster car hit a bird. Feathers flew all over everyone even though we couldn't see their source (thank goodness) and we periodically got sprayed with feathers the whole ride. I thought they were petals and someone in the front was doing it. No one knew what had happened until we got off and one of the people said they'd got feathers stuck in their hair. (Heidi said she saw us hit the bird, though.) I keep telling myself that it had to be a really, incredibly stupid bird to fly in front of a moving coaster. Still... gross.

The last ride we went on was Indiana Jones. (I love that ride.) We went back for one last Monte Cristo. Mmmmm. Then, we hurried back to meet a shuttle ride back to LAX. The ride in the shuttle was, by far, the bumpiest and vilest ride of the whole trip. The people in LAX were scarier than most of the rides too. (We've flown into Long Beach before... and hopefully we'll do that again next year.)

When I got home, the kids and the husband had made a big sign for when I walked in and a shower of balloons fell from the skylight where they'd been trapped until I triggered them by opening the door. LOL. It was pretty cool. My husband also bought me beautiful pale orange roses.

The son woke me up this morning to pass out souvenirs. After I'd given them all their cool stuff, brushed B's hair, and the wonderful husband made sure they made the bus... I crashed hard. The weather here and lack of sleep caught up with me. I have a weather migraine, but I slept in until around one p.m.

That was my weekend... It was full of awesome.

I finished the book "I kissed a Zombie and I liked it." I'll do a commentary on it tomorrow. I loved it, though, and immediately passed it on to Steph. It was the only book I managed to read on the trip. Steph was reading the Forest of Hands and Teeth, though, and I started The Dark Divine. Anyway, I'm going to go tie on some more meds for this headache. It's good to have gone... and good to be back... and THAT is the sign of a good vacation.

Last year, the son said, "OH NO... NOT YOU!" in irritation when I got home... as his time with just Daddy was over. (He adores his dad.) So, while the kids didn't miss me (and I'm used to that) it was really nice to have them not disappointed that I'd returned. Plus, they were so excited to have rigged a shower of balloons... and that I'd tripped it. (The anticipation of that and souvenirs was "almost" as good as being missed.) Autism makes for a funny kind of world, but I'm used to it... and the husband was wonderful at taking care of them and he even took them to see the circus. Having someone else step in and even out-do me for a few days of the year is so nice. Having it be someone I trust and my co-parent is the best gift in the world. I can walk away from my life and have someone fill my shoes completely. I don't worry about the kids or the husband the whole time. It's amazing. I love this trip. I feel alive again when I get back.

I do have some really, really impressive blisters and my body aches in every joint and muscle... but it's a good solid "I rocked Disneyland hard" kind of pain.

Have a good Wednesday everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Zazzle it!

Oh... for those contest wins and so on that I've been posting.... Here are the products from zazzle that I've been getting:

Whipped and WIP Wednesday

So, the husband is on his way to New York after a few days in New Orleans. The kids have been... interesting to deal with. Okay, by interesting... I mean exhausting. I'm so tired. I got nailed with a migraine that I've just now tamed... probably temporarily. On the other hand, if I can survive, my Disneyland trip is this weekend.

As far as writing goes, I've been working on a new WIP and trying to decide whether to continue to devote time to querying Scorched or what? I keep thinking maybe I should take a break and work on the new WIP while I'm under stress with the kids, but I have fulls and partials out. It feels weird not to keep replacing any queries that come back just so I have a certain number out. I don't know.

So, anyway, my new WIP is freaking awesome on a stick. The premise is fantastic... we'll see how the execution goes. Thus far, it's going much slower, but I'm writing in third deep and I think that's not so odd for it to go slow in third deep. I'm a week and a half into the project and just crossed 10K. I'm getting the feeling this will finish out at 50-60K. It's a YA Literary Fiction with Magical Realism. Just in case I stick up a ticker on it, the name is "My Other Life" at this point.

Well, that's about it. This is rambling, but my life is rambling, so it was bound to be.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday (Stuff... about stuff...)

Okay... here is my Flashy Fiction dragged back:


Mom looked down at the three of us.
"Do not make a scene in there tonight."
Well, if that wasn't an invitation...


None of us wanted to be there. We'd all had places we'd rather be. I'd been invited to Chloe's house for New Year's. Greg had been given tickets to an all night monster movie marathon. Even Missy had been invited to spend the night at her best friend's house.

As we were about to go inside Uncle Larry's place, Mom looked down at the three of us. "Do not make a scene in there tonight."

Well, if that wasn't an invitation... The three of us smiled at each other. When siblings united in purpose, that was all it took. It was all the extended family... which meant our cousins were soon roped into ruining the party. There were accidents with spilled punch and burnt food.

The adults pressed on.

My sister tried whining... and whining and whining. All of us wanted to kick her, but that just went to show she was going with her strength. Someone locked the cat into a room with the dog... and all of Aunt Marge's figurines.

The adults pressed on.

They'd do anything... anything... it seemed to ruin our night. Then, something totally unexpected happened. Uncle Larry... boring Uncle Larry. Boring, bachelor at forty-five, and wealthy home-owner Larry. Grandma's perfect child Larry got drunk and not just a little bit. He got rip-roaring drunk and began to strip down in the middle of the coffee table.

My sister, Missy, pointed and said, "Mom, was that Uncle Larry's...?"

My mom slapped a hand over her mouth and while my dad was dragging Larry to a back room, she shouted, "Greg, Jake, why don't you take off... drop your sister off at her friend's house, will you?"

We bolted. We'd just come around the house, laughing at our good fortune when we saw Larry climbing out a back window.

Larry smiled, winked, and said, "Don't tell your mom. I had someplace I had to be."

He was gone a moment later in a squeal of brakes and the roar of his convertible.

"Uncle Larry is so cool," I murmured.

"Yeah," Missy said. "But I'm still pretty sure I saw his...."


It was the best advice I'd ever gotten.


"Whatever you do, don't run with scissors," she said. It was the best advice I'd ever gotten. She'd told me right before the big championship. I shook out my arms, limbering up.

Outside, the announcer called out over the loudspeaker, "Here she is... the reigning champion, Lenora Michaels... the Rockinator."

I needed a new nickname. It gave it away. Well, I didn't ONLY use rocks, but I rarely went with paper. I walked out into the arena, my cape billowing behind me in the smoke from the pyrotechnics.

"Her Challenger... Billy the Scissors!" Out he came. He was twice my size, but slower and that could count against him in the ring.

We shook hands. He tried to crush mine. Juvenile.

The referee looked us both in the eyes: "You know the rules. Best two out of three."

The crowd went wild... for some reason... the build-up was their favorite part.

We nodded. A hush fell. I'd studied Billy. I'd watched every competition he'd competed in--even that small one in a bar in Tulsa that I'd found on youtube. I knew his technique down to the muscle twitch.

In my mind, I heard my coach say "Whatever you do... DON'T run with scissors. DON'T!"

The referee yelled out "1-2-3 and..."

Our hands bounced in unison. The crowd screamed.

I boldly covered his rock with my paper. The traditional mockery was fun to go with sometimes.

It could be over that fast. Two rounds.

"1-2-3 and..." the referee shouted.

"BOOOOOO!" the crowd hissed. I held up a hand to still them. In all fairness, scissors did cut paper. I'd gone for the repeat knowing it was taking a chance.

I'd be expected to fall back to scissors this time. Billy would assume that. I knew him... knew what he was thinking.

"1-2-3 and...."

YES! They didn't call me the Rockinator for nothing. My signature move drove the crowd into a frenzy.

This WOULD be it! IT WOULD! I felt it in my bones. He would go with his strength now that he felt backed into a corner. I'd go with mine. I wouldn't run with scissors. I'd run with rock because I WAS the Rockinator.

"1-2-3 and..."

It was over. The crowd picked me up on their shoulders as Billy crumpled to his knees... a broken man. I'd won. Rock SMASHES Scissors!


I love strange choices. I'm always interested in people who depart from what is expected of them and go into new territory. Cate Blanchett, Actress


It didn't matter. I didn't matter. I was getting ready to go out and sing my heart out, but it wasn't my song and my name wouldn't be acknowledged. I was the understudy for if Ms. Klein didn't feel like going on. I looked just like her--now. Sang just like her. I was her--except--that I wasn't, and no one knew that. That was the secret--the big secret--the reason that Tamara Klein seemed to be able to manage such a maniacal schedule and be EVERYWHERE without burning out.

I looked in the mirror and touched her cheeks--only mine for two years now. I even had a scar on my arm from where she was burnt by a light six years ago. I had her scars.

Tonight, though. I was finished. I was done.

We'd been sworn to secrecy. SWORN! Two people in the whole world outside of Tamara and whoever I was... knew. Our agent and stylist. They knew that three years ago Tamara's baby sister had become her twin.

The people that knew I was dating the camera guy... were fewer. In fact, it was just Tamara and I that knew. I'd been planning on telling him tonight... on our date. I'd been planning on getting out of this life. I'd been hoping he'd take Mimi Klein over Tamara.

Instead, I'd been outmaneuvered by Tamara and locked in the dressing room just before Late Night was about to go on. She'd just snuck out with MY boyfriend. She knew I wouldn't back out of going on Late Night. I couldn't. Wouldn't.

I was in love with him. In LOVE with him. There were things you didn't do. Lines you didn't cross. Tamara didn't get whatever she wanted.

She was soooo going to regret this.

Tamara Klein was about to shock the world. I raised Tamara's sculpted eyebrow in the mirror. How'd you like me now, Tamara? Then, I walked out to show the world that Tamara Klein lip-synched.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes--writing is hard and ugly and stinky

I know... it's not really a brilliant title, but it's true.

Slogging through this writing game isn't always fun--especially not if you want to get published. There are days that writing and your home life can't co-exist peacefully. I'm there. T is not doing well. Every step forward leads to twenty steps backward. I don't know what to do.

Add to that, this new WIP is not a cheery, light-hearted one. I think it's good, but it's hard. The words don't jump into my head. They seem to be stumbling around in there keeping me awake.

My husband just told me that he'll probably be gone all next week on business trips.

I've got a ton on my plate. I feel burnt out. If I'm not around for a bit... that's why. I want to write, so I can escape my reality, but writing might not be enough to keep me sane.

T is just so angry right now. Everything sets him off.

Anyway... so, I guess the gist of this post is: I've started a new WIP. It's cool, but hard. T is a wreck. I'll be a wreck next week. Heaven help me survive. Le sigh.

Oh... next weekend is my annual "just the girls" Disneyland trip. No kids for four days. Four days. Four days. Such pretty words.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Motivating Factors--Warning Deep Waters

This post is not light-hearted or amusing. You've been warned.

Some days, I stray into deep areas of thought and get swamped there. I don't know if it's the nature of OCD, the soul of a writer, or just my spiritual side creeping out, but I woke up with a feeling of intensity and grim anticipation. It's entirely possible that my bad memory is giving me this weird feeling of unreality because I can't remember nearly anything from yesterday. (OCD meds kill my memory and I'd only had two hours of sleep yesterday.)

Anyway, so this morning, I started off with prayer. I'd like to say as a devout Mormon I pray every day and all day, but I've been a spiritual slacker lately. The feeling of depression and disassociation had me attempting to refill my spiritual needs. Why? Usually when I get the feeling that I woke up with... something exceptionally bad happens that day. So, after I was praying, I was thinking about how much I do each day based on three motivating factors:

Superstition: I'd love to say I'm not superstitious. The reality is that anyone who thinks things are lucky... is superstitious. In the writing industry, I find myself thinking, "With any luck, my query will land on their desk at the right time." Luck. Luck. Luck. I've read books recently that absolutely stunk. How were they published? My mind answers: The author was lucky. No matter how much I try to find the Hand of God in all things... I'm forced to admit that in my mind there is still a strong belief in luck. Also, I believe in unlucky things to a small degree. I knock on wood, don't walk under ladders, and don't say stuff out loud for fear of "jinxing" it. I'd be surprised if most artisans don't believe in luck on some level of their psyche. The creative mind needs avenues of existence that seem open to good fortune. A small optimist inside of us says "maybe" to possibilities that are rational mind won't admit to.

Tradition: I have a strong family, and I don't mean the kids and my husband (though I'm not discounting them.) From the family I grew up in come traditions. Some are the accepted strictures of morality that are easier to call tradition or accepted rules. Some are just things I do and ways I do them because I have always done them that way. There are small things. Last night, I had a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. I always have tomato soup when I have grilled cheese sandwiches. I won't eat grilled cheese sandwiches with it. There are big things. I am far too over-weight to be happy. My mom was obsessed with her own weight. I remember 138 lbs being significant because if she weighed more than that... she was disgusted. My mom has NEVER brought up my weight. She's never mentioned I weigh too much. In my mind, this correlation has formed based on the way I was raised to believe. A million therapists, talk-show hosts, books can try to tell me differently, but in my mind my weight can equal happiness. (Also, food equals happiness, so it's a vicious cycle really.)

Religion: Not everyone practices their religion to its full extent and not every religion is as all-encompassing as Mormonism. My religion and faith in it seep into every portion of my life. There is not any significant decision I make that isn't influenced by religion. However, religion is a touchy subject and not one I really need to illustrate how it affects me.

My feeling of desperate gloom this morning might be because of so many variables both real and imagined. My response was affected by fewer factors.

So, as I finished praying this morning, I considered what factors had brought me to my knees. First, my religion has taught me that God is a concerned Father who can help me. My faith in my religion has led to believe that all things are possible if it's His will. Second, traditionally, I know that if anything does happen... my mom can be counted on to ask, "Did you pray about it?" Traditionally, praying has brought me peace of mind. In the traditions of my family, my experience, and my religion... it was the right course of action. With some embarrassment, I'll admit, superstition played a role too. I've had that feeling of gloom in the past on days where something has gone wrong. My superstitious mind thinks, "Maybe nothing will happen, but maybe it will... you might as well cover your bases, Wendy." (Yes, using the phrase "cover your bases" in relation to prayer is very tacky. My soul is tack and that's what it said.)

I'm not sure why I wanted to write about this, but I did. I started a new WIP yesterday. I'm excited by the idea of it, but it's terrifying to me. It's not light-hearted or funny. It's not a fantasy. There are no vampires, ghosts, or gargoyles. There is a main character... at odds with herself. The conflict is internal... no one will die or be in danger of death. It's very, very different from what I normally write. It's turning out to be very, very difficult to write and not the escape that writing normally is for me.

So, that's where I am today. The kids are back in school after Spring Break. T is very moody today, but he went to school. B is similarly moody. Perhaps they're feeding off my frustrated energy, but I'm not sure. I need to do laundry and clean. Next weekend is my yearly "girl's time out" trip to Disneyland. It's coming on fast.

Have a good Tuesday, everyone.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sometimes--frogs MUST be kissed

Trust me. I know. Just boil your lips after....

LOL. This is one of my unfinished paintings that I nearly stepped on when I was searching for something in my room. A Twitter friend posted an amazing Jack Be Nimble story after a very strange Twitter conversation I had. (All odd posts were mine--not that you wondered.)

Anyway... yeah... that's a painting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blogfest--Murder Scene

You guys know how much I love blogfests. :)

Anne Riley is hosting the Murder Scene Blogfest.

This is from book "Re:Straint" and it's one of the sections from the point of view of Lydia who is the MC, Lucas's, mother. She's an assassin and a sociopath. She is also dying of brain disease and hallucinating from it. (At the end, Lucas's father's 'ghost' will appear.) She leads a group of assassins and found out they were planning on killing her son because they knew she was dying, so she poisoned all of them. Lydia was completely amoral... and yet... I totally liked her. She was so evil that she was fun. Anyway:

The pounding on the front door had to cease. It was Tuesday, and I knew Lucas was out with his little girlfriend. Besides, he wouldn’t be knocking on the door. There was no reason. Just as I approached the front door, one of my planters sailed through the window and skidded across the entry hall.

“Lydia!” Travis bellowed from outside.

I should have expected this. The walls swayed and wobbled as I grabbed the front door’s handle, yanking it open. My vision had been… interesting today.

Travis was leaning against one of the marble columns on my porch. He looked like hell. I was surprised he’d been able to throw the planter. “You!” he hissed, pointing at me. “Dead. They’re all dead. Damn you.”

“We’re all damned, Travis. I just arranged for a quicker trip for some of us,” I said, leaning against the other pillar. “I found some interesting correspondence in your house, Cousin.”

He laughed. “That bastard wasn’t bluffing about that either. Well, I’ve got enough life in me for one last act, Lydia. I’m going to kill you and then your son. Maybe I’ll get to his little friend too.”

I rolled my eyes. Travis was stupid. They really would have replaced me with him? That had been my primary reason for killing all of them. Seriously… who told someone they were planning on killing them before doing it? Stupid. I pushed off the pillar. The other reason he’d never have adequately replaced me was that he was slow to act. I’d broken his neck with a well-placed high-heel to his neck before he’d even considered I was capable of it.

Sitting down on my front steps, I contemplated the body of the last of the violent Virulents. I was still alive, but only a shell… a ghost. Speaking of which, I saw Charles to the side of me.

“There!” I said, gesturing at Travis. “Happy?”

Charles frowned at his body and shrugged. It was the closest to forgiveness that he’d given me.

“No, of course you’re not. Lucas is just like you in that. Do you know that he intends to go to every one of their funerals? I’ve been hoping we’ll just toss them in a ditch and be done with it,” I complained. “Or throw them in the ocean. Set them on fire.” After remembering that Travis was MEANT to be my replacement, I added, “Feed them to zoo animals. Seriously, have they no respect for my true sheer villainy? Yeah, well, I’m laughing last.” Well, that was an odd twist of fate, wasn’t it? I shouted, “Did you hear that? I’m laughing last!”

Charles raised his eyebrows. That was so like him.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The End... Beautiful Friend

Hey... so I finished that book... the one I started two weeks ago... yeah, that one. It ended at 61K. I haven't done a revision, so that'll change, but I wrote out the last chapter. So, I can sleep again. It's all out of my head.

I don't know many other obsessive writers. I'm curious if there are many out there. Whenever I finish a book, people are generally shocked. I don't know what it means that I can write so fast... in some ways, I get a little ashamed of it. I'm sure a good portion of the people that read this will assume that anything written that fast must suck. Meh... maybe it does. I just know the story is out of my head... and on paper, so I can sleep again. Thank goodness. Last night, I was crashing so hard trying to get it out of my head because my body wanted to sleep, but my mind wouldn't shut up.

It's not pretty. If you're jealous of how fast I write... stop. Seriously. It's a part of this sickness that is OCD. I can't sleep. I can't think. I can't live outside of OCD sometimes. My mind is never quiet. I can't even imagine what it must be like to have any silence in there. It's better with the meds, but it's still never quiet.

Anyway... so it's done. I'll work on the rewrite and we'll see how long the mind let's me rest before it's on to the next book or project.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Sticky Wicket of Picky

So, there are a few books I'd like to get but I'm also sick of getting YA books that I can't pass on to my teenage beta reader. Can someone give me the lowdown on the following books in these three categories:

1. I can't pass on books that have serious swearing in them (The F word even once, and the more serious swears frequently.)

2. Sex... graphic in any way, but I'd rather not have any at all.

3. Underage drinking or any drug use promoted or accepted.

Okay, like I said, I want to pass these books on to my fourteen year old beta reader (who reads voraciously) but out of respect for her mother's rules... and admittedly these are my preferences anyway... I just want to know if I should buy these books. Some of them, I know are safe, but I'm curious about opinions anyway. So, yeah, read these?

1. I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked it

2. Fallen

3. The Forest Of Hands and Teeth

4. The Dark Divine

5. Hex Hall

6. Leviathan

7. Beautiful Creatures

8. The Body Finder

9. Graceling

10. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

I've been wanting a few of these for a while now. Leviathan's book trailer was wicked awesome. So.... anyone?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Springing back in

It's spring break for the kids. I've been trying to do therapy every day with T, so we've been busy. I also started another WIP a week and a half ago while cutting back on my OCD meds that stop certain obsessive activities. Since obsessive writing was one of the things that it was stopping, my brain is obsessed with this current WIP. I'm trying to find the right amount of obsession to go with keeping up with T and coping with the stress that comes with kids with needs. I like the rush of obsessive writing. It's frustrating to deal with aspects of my personality that are entwined with OCD to the point that medicating them makes me feel wrong.

Anyway, so... I'm trying to figure out a balance in everything, but that balance may need to wait until after I finish this WIP and the kids are back in school again.

Good Wednesday to everyone!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

First Page Blogfest

This is my entry into the first page Blogfest. I've been doing stuff from my WIP, but this is from one of my Company of Him books and it's a WIP too that I've hit a block on. It's about a girl in Honolulu who is blind but has prophetic visions. It's called, "You Come To My Senses."

Not all animals are born with their eyes open.

Rabbits are born into the world without sight, hearing, and hair. They are completely dependent on their mother. They are helpless. They stay in their nest and wait for their mother to return with food. Hares are born with their eyes open and with both hearing and hair. They move around from birth and can flee if danger presents itself. So, of the two… which is more likely to be frightened if startled?
You’d find it difficult to scare a baby rabbit. It has not yet learned to fear.

I was born with my eyes open, but it wasn’t until I lost my sight that I started to see.

As I awake, the flurries I sensed settle in my mind. The shadows form faces and objects which speak to me. I sit up and I can hear Hau as he rumbles into my room to wake me.

“Aloha, Hau,” I said as he licked my hand. “Is Cal already in?” Hau pushes his nose against my hand.

“I’m here. I’m here, Island Princess,” Cal said as he came in. He was pretending to be grumpy. He does this every morning. “You need to put some clothes on, Kai,” he admonishes as he sets a tray near my bed.

I could smell sweet, sugared rice and pineapple.

I laughed at him and said, “Why, Cal? I can’t see that I’m not wearing clothing.”

“Well, I can, and I have no desire to see you wandering about in your underwear.”
I can sense the air move around him as he moves around the room. “What would your parents say if they saw you like this?” he asked.

“They’d ask me how it feels to be alive and aboveground,” I said as I stretched. “My parents are dead and we will not speak of them today, Cal.”

“Yes, Miss Kai,” he says. “I’ll set out your clothing. What will you be wearing today?”

I crossed my legs on top of the comforter. “Today, I will take Hau on a walk and we will find a man with dark hair and dark eyes who has come to live on the island recently. He is running from something, but it has found him.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fine... I don't know why I bother...

I posted a sketch... a real sketch and I got no comments aside from people wondering if he was naked or not. Well, anyway... it's the human/gargoyle body... and he is pretty hot. Let's see if this is considered artistic by some of you....

Naked Gargoyles

The sketch has been modified and it's in a separate blog due to its adult content. Yes, he is now naked--be aware. This may not be safe for at work--depending on how your work feels about sketched naked gargoyles. (Sounds like a good email topic for you to send to HR.)