Saturday, March 12, 2011

Contest and Housesitting... and Probably Some Random Blather...

I'm housesitting at the moment. It's just over the weekend, not a big deal. And yet, something about the fact that I left home Thursday morning and haven't gone back yet is having an odd effect on me. I feel like I've never left work or something. It doesn't help that I'm in the last third of the first draft of Thornbriar and that vile-tempered Red Chief keeps trying to run roughshod over the retelling. God help me if the characters could ever actually show up in physical form and have at each other...

One of my temporary fur children. Can you feel her terror over having been left in my charge?

Next order of business... a CONTEST!!! My friend Christi (remember Christi? Smart gal I'm always stealing smart ideas from? That's the one :) sent me a link to a contest over at Brenda Drake's Head over and check it out. I'm uber stoked. Even more because as you'll remember, I'm nearing the point in which Evernow will be given a SPOT ON THE SHELF *cue high drama music* In fact, as soon as I've gotten Thornbriar finished, I'm going to take a break from querying, more like than not, and focus on editing Thornbriar as well as AGMG which I haven't forgotten about although it's been a while since I worked on it. But I digress. Check out the contest, join in if you've got something eligible. It'll be the first time that I've ever put that much of Evernow up on my own blog (I have been part of a few other contests involving openings and such) and I'm a little nervous about what everyone is going to think. Even if you aren't in the contest, swing by and give me your opinion!

And for the blather... am I the only, ahem, mature girl out there who still watches anime? I've got a number of friends who read manga (I'm still getting the hang of it) and I love light novels like D Vampire Hunter and Trinity Blood. But more and more, I'm dabbling in anime. It can get mighty weird, mighty quick, so I'm picky, but I just found Black Blood Brothers and spent all night with one episode after another playing while I was writing. Now I'm drooling for the light novels on which the anime was based.
Pretty soon I'm going to have a room full of light novels and their subsequent animes...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bloggy-Type Awards!

So I just got a comment from Kristina over at KayKay's Corner letting me know that she was awarding me two blog awards! *takes a moment to feel special* I'm not the only one either. So head over there and check out the other winners. Blog-hop and take a gander (you're not the only one to use that word Kristina :) at everyone's entries in the Catch Me If You Can Blogfest! Officially, it's over, but hey, everyone loves feedback, even after the fact. Thanks so much Kristina!

So, to accept these awards, I must:

Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
Share 7 things about yourself.
Award 15 or so recently discovered great bloggers.
Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Here goes!

7 Things about me:

1: I am an identical twin. I know, one of me is almost too much for reality, but hey, the other girl is virtually normal, so that helps.

2: I have a very high tolerance for physical pain. In fact, I have 9 hours worth of tattooing on my back, and I both ate a cheeseburger and fell asleep during the various sittings. I wish I could handle the near-misses with agents in a similar fashion, as opposed the Sicilian hair-rending that seems to overtake me every time I get a request for a full, and really encouraging feedback, followed by a 'not quite for me'... *rends hair*

3: I never had an imaginary friend, but I went imaginary places... I still go to imaginary places... I just write down the trips now and try to sell them...

4: I have spent hours asleep on my horse. No joking. My father was a sailor who could sleep on a rock in the middle of the ocean. I got his genes.

5: I also got my dad's 'can't spell sheat' genes... this hinders me greatly in my writing endeavors...

6: I hated school so much that when I randomly said once (in about fourth grade) that 'I'd quite school except that I know you'll go to jail and I don't want you in jail' to my mother, she LET ME BELIEVE THAT IT WAS ILLEGAL TO QUITE SCHOOL. Seriously, I was out of high school before I realized I was wrong! But I'm glad she did it.

7: I have dyscalculia, which is like dyslexia for numbers. To this day, I transpose them and anything numeric is an utter nightmare to deal with.

Who I'm awarding! Um, there's a lot of great new bloggers I've met, but I don't have time to award everyone because horses are screaming at me...

Trisha Leaver

Angela Scott

Kristina Fugate

Nicole Ducleroir

Gina Blechman

Okay, I know it's not fifteen but it's all I can manage right now... horses are still screaming and I'm a dork on the computer...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beer for Lunch and a Recounting of the Infamous Air Freshener Incident...

I'm having beer for lunch today. Not beer WITH lunch. Beer FOR lunch. Don't judge. It's been one of those days. One of those weeks. Hell, one of those MONTHS. No, nothing really 'bad' has happened. I'm just still moping over my near-misses with agents... I know, I should get over it, but if I could just 'get over it', I wouldn't care, and if I didn't care, I wouldn't be putting myself through this torture chamber that passes for the road to publication.

But I digress, and I have promised that I will put up some funny posts since I've been moping so much. And as KLo requested that I tell of the 'air freshener incident' I will now do so. Hopefully, you will enjoy. If I happen to get a little goofy by the end, we'll know I'm running out of beer... just joking, it's just one beer, and I'm not even driving the tractor later... :)

To begin this story, you must understand the entire situation of that day. Things have been very busy and very crazy recently, as only the life of aspiring writers who are also mothers or into horses can get crazy and busy. On the day of the aforementioned incident, we were shorthanded, had a lame horse, had a client who was supposed to buy a horse drop off the face of the earth, a man coming to take samples of all of the fields for seeding/fertilizing, a flat tire on the tractor, a sick kid, and an elderly cat who had lain against the electric heater and literally slow roasted a section of his own back... and that's just what I can remember offhand. Serious shifizzle was going down. Anyway, that was the sort of energy circulating. On top of all that, I'd just gotten one of THOSE rejections. The sort where you're 'almost' cool enough to work on the school newspaper, but not quite. So I was totally useless, beyond saving everyone else from any loose chocolate calories.
Lunch that day wasn't really lunch either. I mean, we sat down and started watching A Nightmare on Elm Street (the new one) but we had to get up for a hundred different little things that interrupted lunch. That combined with the AWFUL writing of the movie (although I ADORE Jackie Earl Haley's portrayal of Freddie) which only made me groan over how someone got the movie made while I can't even land an agent, sort of ruined lunch. The result was that lunch blurred into the afternoon chores and while we normally would have been outside doing something specific, we were, instead, doing random things inside. Like cleaning the cat litter boxes.
Now I work on a horse farm, but really the lady collects cats. Seriously. We have cats off the street, rescued from dumpsters, taken from hoarders and saved from the roadside. A few have wondered up of their own accord and one was thrown from the window of a moving van. The point is, where there are many cats, there is much cat poop. So cleaning the litter boxes is a daily thing. I was the one cleaning boxes. My coworker, code name Momma Chiquita was emptying the trash cans. My sister Fenris was yelling at her cell phone as it randomly dropped calls. While I filled up the trash cans Momma Chiquita was emptying with fresh dirty cat litter, we were arguing about how mean our boss Jefe, should be to both the woman who no longer seems to be in residence on planet earth (leaving us with a horrid pain-in-the-ass horse) and some random man who had done something stupid. The thing about Jefe is, she's a good boss, but sometimes she's TOO nice. And then we all get mad on her behalf. Also, Jefe had some other personal troubles at the time, and did not need extra stress.
While Momma Chiquita and I were arguing, Jefe came through the lounge from her office announcing that she now had to deal with an entirely new matter that involved her ex-husband (I will leave it at that) and went into the laundry room beyond us. As Jefe entered the room, Fenris exited, now yelling at the farm phone, which wasn't letting her dial a regular number. Meanwhile, Fenris' cell phone was ringing off the hook as our mother called for about the third time in a row, trying desperately to make contact. Over our conversation, Momma Chiquita and I could hear Jefe's cell phone start ringing out in the wash room, with, what we were sure, would be the most recently discovered catastrophe. Throwing out random snarks and bets as to what that catastrophe might be, neither of us saw Jefe come back into the room, although we heard her because she was still talking on the phone.
Wending her way between the two of us, she was passed and nearly to the office door before we noticed the smile on her face and the fact that her hand was raised into the air above her head. Really, it was the suffocating scent of 'tropical forest' that got our attention. A fine layer of mist was issuing forth from Jefe's raised hand as she doused everything in three rooms with an entire can of air freshener, including Fenris who was still screaming at the phone. The smile on Jefe's face was as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa's but said clearly that 'Everything might be going to shit, but it can still smell like a rose, dammit.'
Well, we got so damned tickled about being hosed in air freshener that we laughed until our sides hurt, and afterwards, none of it seemed half so bad. The moral of the story? Anything can smell better with the right attitude, even if you're still dealing with genuine shit. It's all in how you tackle it.
So when the going gets tough, get a little air freshener and get to work!

*I know that's bee spray, but what are the chances I had a photo of someone holding air freshener that way?

Catch Me if You Can Blogfest!

Ok, this seemed like fun, so I thought, what the hey! Here are the first 500 of Evernow, my YA dystopian for the Catch Me if You Can Blogfest.

Life is so much easier without underwear. That was one of the first things Sal taught me. He taught me a lot of other things too. Like how to pee while holding a bow with an arrow nocked and drawn. In the Wild you have to know such things.
That’s what I’m doing now. Crouching over a leafy sprig of creeper so that my urine makes no sound on its way to the ground. My bow, Donriel, rests across my knees. My left hand holds it steady, my index and middle fingers twisted in order to keep tension on the arrow which is, in turn, applying tension to the string. I can let it fly while still crouched if I need to. But my friend, Brother the raven, is nearby at the moment. He’ll forewarn me of anything approaching.
I couldn’t do this wearing underwear. But in just chaps and a loincloth it’s easy, with practice. I’ve practiced a lot.
Eyes constantly scanning the forest around me, I pluck a large leaf of lambs ear with my free hand. It’s almost better than toilet paper. Softer but also more substantial. The pale leaf comes away with a smearing of blood.
Damn! The curse rings only within the confines of my mind. I’m too smart to curse aloud. Damn. Damn. Damn!
I stare at the leaf for a moment then drop it aside and pick up another. I get the same result. The last time I cycled while I was in the Wild, I was with Sal. Now I’m alone, with no one to keep watch or hunt while I lie in miserable discomfort. And bleed. And attract anything with half a sense of smell.
Brother startles me from my cringing thoughts, dropping from the air to strut around me in a circle. He lowers his thick-beaked head and snatches the soiled leaf of cows tongue from my hand. Skittering a step sideways, he grabs up the first one too, ratting them like a terrier with a toy.
“Yes, yes take them!” I murmur, shooing the black bird aloft. Sal taught him to carry dirty bandages, anything with blood on it far away and drop them where they won’t betray their source.
With the bird winging overhead I quickly set Donriel aside, rummaging for the cloths I carry in my rucksack. They never work like in the stories and books but they’re all I have nowadays. Three years after surviving the cataclysm that killed most of humanity, I’m used to going without what was once considered modern comforts.
I don’t have much time to debate what to do. It won’t take long for me to attract unwanted attention.
I skirted a small settlement yesterday morning. I might make it back there by nightfall if I rush. But if I go back to the settlement while I’m bleeding, they’ll know that I can still bear children while so many women nowadays inexplicably can’t. That will make it harder on me when I try to leave. And I will leave. I always do.
I decide to go it alone instead, find a defensible hiding spot and hope that I go unnoticed by anything roaming.