Friday, October 31, 2008

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Daily Stats:
Words: boo!
Caffeine: goulish morning cup
Evil Calories: brains! eyeballs! entrails!!! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
Reality TV: DVR Celebrity Rehab (scary shit, man)

Hello, creepies! You come to visit me on my favorite holiday of the year, and for that, I will forever want to eat your brain (in a nice way). May your day be full of frights and copious amounts of candy. And make sure you remember to give mad props to the Celts, for had they not celebrated the festival of Samhain 2000 years ago, building huge sacred bonfires and sacrificing little furry friends to the Celtic deities, today would just be another boring day in October.

On this most festive of occasions, I have decided to hold a contest. Since I'm totally broke and am serving shaved ice salads for dinner, I can't promise an outrageous monetary reward. In fact, I can't even promise a meager monetary reward. Basically, you get nothing substantial if you win. But, if you're up for shits and giggles, the winner will have an opportunity to guest blog on Cursing in Heels sometime in November, when I'm eyeballs deep in NaNoWriMo!

(of course, most of the people who read my blog have their own blogs, so...this will basically be creating double to work for them. Sounds like a fun, yes?)

So, to win this exclusive (lame) prize, you must be the first person to name which movie the title of this post is from. I'll give you a is spoken twice in the movie by the same character, once at the beginning, and once at the end.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo...the countdown is on and come tomorrow morning at butt-crack-of-dawn a.m., I will be plunging in head first. 50K words by the end of November. Holy bat shit. I have no clue how I'm going to pull it off. However, I am committed to my blog and will continue to post, though the posts may veer a bit from the usual. I may post my favorite youtube vids, horrifying teenage pictures of myself, excerpts from my NaNo novel. Hopefully you'll continue to be entertained. Or mildly amused. Or at least you'll still visit in hopes that I'll say something really stupid (you know it'll happen).

So, a sinister, spooky, most frightful Halloween to you, my creepies!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Still feel the sting

Daily Stats:
Words: more than 2, less than 5000
Caffeine: morning cup + lunchtime cappuccino
Evil Calories: none due to alarming size of bottom
Reality TV: Biggest Loser

It's been one year since I began querying the daylights out of my first book. One year since I received that request for a partial from my dream agent, sending me on jaunts into la-la land. I'd been following his/her blog for what seemed like forever, now he/she wanted a partial. It was fate! All my hard work had paid off, and I finally stumbled into some decent karma. Soon we would be meeting to discuss the wonder that is my writing, and how for sure, without question, my book would go into auction, sell millions and I would end up on the cover of Vogue (not sure how, but we'd work that out later).

Of course, I quickly watched that karma flip me off, grab a cab and go screaming away down the street. A rejection from him/her quickly followed, as well as a truckload of rejections from every other agent I'd queried. For three months, I walked around with same expression, that if manifested into a verbal reflection, would have sounded something like, "But...but...but...I thought it was good...".

Oh, silly little naive self. How you keep me endlessly entertained.

But, in my defense of my little naive self, I'd already gone through something quite harsh by the time I received these rejections, and it wasn't that I was just thoroughly disappointed, but I was really confused and slightly disillusioned. I had taken a writing class, and the instructor, who had been published before, was very complimentary of my work. When the time came for the class to end, he/she asked for me to keep in contact. I did, and when my book was finished, he/she offered to read it
and give me some feedback, as well as help me with my query. I must emphasize the word "offered". I never asked or even hinted that I wanted he/she to do such a generous thing. I was so excited, had serious delusions of grandeur, got everything polished, and when time came to send it...he/she flaked. I don't mean, "oh, sorry, I changed my mind". I mean, he/she never responded to any of my emails. Ever. Even the emails I sent months later trying to be the bigger person and thanking he/she for offering to help, but saying that I knew he/she was very busy and that I'd just go forward on my own. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. There I was again, "But...but...but...??"

It sucked and to this day my stomach still turns icy when I think about it. In some ways, I think it gave he/she a little thrill to perk my hopes and then dump me into a puddle of worms. A published writer squashing the hopes of their pathetic little students to feed his/her ego. Of course, I took what I could from the situation and decided very early on that I would never, ever be that way to another writer. But, honestly, we could have skipped the whole shitty experience altogether because I already knew I didn't want to be that way. Last I checked, I have a soul.

Anyway, onward and upward. Take what you can, chuck the rest and move skyward.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sticking to The Daily Prophet

Daily Stats:
Words: laundry
Caffeine: morning cup, midmorning cappuccino and laundry
Evil Calories: McDonald's at 10:00 last night. And laundry
Reality TV: laundry

That’s it. I can no longer read the news without wanting to crawl into the closet and hide. I realize that it’s good to stay “informed”, but what the crap am I supposed to do with all this f*cked up information? The only story in the past week that hasn’t made me want to seek out low cost “panic room” installation is the story about how researchers discovered that the stink in farts controls blood pressure. That’s nice kids…now, how are we coming on that cure for cancer?

(By the way, I'm not kidding. It was one of Yahoo's top stories yesterday. Read it here.)

I have no doubt the world has been full of wackadoodles since the dawn of man, but it just seems like you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting a total narcissistic, sociopathic loon. I’ve had this conversation many times with my pal Shannon. We often try and figure out if A) the world is more of a sick and messed up place now, or if B) the world has always been a sick and messed up place but, thanks to the media machine, you just hear about it more now. I can't quite make up my mind. All I know is that in some ways I think we were better behaved as a society when we thought thunder was caused by the gods being all pissed off at us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earth shattering decisions

Daily Stats:
Words: gobs and gobs
Caffeine: morning cup, midmorning cappuccino and late afternoon cup of coffee
Evil Calories: had lunch at a Coney please...
Reality TV: Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

Up until yesterday, I had my feeble little mind made up about my piece for NaNoWriMo this year. However, it dawned on me this morning that the back story of said piece is very loosely based on actual events involving my dad. And, as fate would have it, my parental units will be invading camp Alden come the second week of November. Now I'm a little concerned that my dad sitting three feet from me in my living room may monkey with my creative mojo.

Now, I should clarify that this back story involving my dad isn't really that scandalous of a morsel. In a nutshell, my dad was engaged to another girl when he met my mom. He was attending engineering school in Minnesota, and he ended up marrying my mom without even letting this poor girl know that he'd met someone else. And the weirdest thing is that, in one of our family photo albums, there's a picture of my dad and this girl, from prom or homecoming or something. When my sister and I would ask about it, we'd always get this light and airy response, like "oh, hahaha, that's you're dad's old fiance. Goofy, ain't it?" It wasn't until earlier this year that I really began to think about it. This poor girl's fiance goes off to engineering school and marries someone else. In fact, I think that my grandmother had to actually tell her that he'd married someone else. Nothin' but love for you dad, were kind of an ass.

Anyway, from this little crumb of an incident spewed forth a loaf of a story, about a girl, a strange box of letters, a woman named Pepper Ann and a quirky little town in Washington State. Aside from the back story, there are vague elements in my book that echo my own issues with my dad, and I'm a little worried I might drum up some repressed feelings while he's here. What if, right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, I spring up, throw the green bean casserole at him and scream, "WHY DID YOU LAUGH AT ME WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO GROW UP TO BE PRINCESS LEIA????" (, that would be a good story...girl confronts parents at family gathering about dismissing her hopes of being a super hero when she was young. They laugh at her again and call her silly. She wakes up next morning, sews stylish suit out of super-hero themed halloween costumes and becomes vigilante...saves Han Solo-ish guy from evil gangsters...joins secret society of super hero wanna-be vigilantes...)


My point (I have one, I swear) is that I'm now thinking I should do something else for NaNo. Perhaps jump to my back burner idea, The Grim Life of Kat Clark, a little light-hearted tale about a girl with a shitty (I mean really shitty) job
(and you always assumed the grim reaper was a creepy dude in a cloak wielding a scythe. Ha!)

So, that's what I'm thinking.

I'm also thinking about having waffles for dinner.

(my intellect is dizzying, no?)

(ps...i still want to be princess Leia when I grow up)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ah, nostalgia...

Daily Stats:
Words: enough
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookies
Reality TV: Top Design

Remember Mad Libs? Possibly one of my all time favorite childhood games. Though, I proudly admit to partaking in the game well into my 20's. Gather a few possibly not fully sober people with a less-than-average grasp of the English language, and it can become "laugh-so-hard-you-pee-a-little-bit" funny. In fact, one of my daily mottos is based on a Mad Lib from the days of yore. When things in life are going pear shaped, I will often utter, "save me from this terrible yellow". I can't remember what the Mad Lib was about or to whom I threw that clever adjective, but it stuck.

So, I was being geeky (read: my normal self) and found myself cavorting in strange corners of the web when I found the official Mad Libs website. After shrieking, "holy balls!" and waking my poor husband out of a post-chocolate chip cookie binge coma, I did something that I never dreamed possible. I PLAYED MAD LIBS ONLINE! I somehow feel changed now. Mad Libs online, you complete me.

Behold...(i'm having formatting issues, so I hope you can read this. If not, go to Mad Libs online and do you own! Also,
I would like to point out that "Al Roker" and "bald" showing up in the same sentence is a total fluke, and is an example of the glory that is Mad Libs.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The artist formerly known as my son

Daily Stats:
Words: a few
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: Scary large bowl of badness at Mongolian BBQ yesterday
Reality TV: DVR'd Chef Jeff Project

My son is possibly the coolest child ever in the history of time. Even people who don't normally like children seem to recognize his awesomeness. I attribute his coolness to all the caffeine I drank when I was pregnant (which, I suppose, could also be responsible for his strong aversion to sleep, but never mind.)

So, the other day I was pulling all the various pictures from our digital camera, when I stumbled upon these:

They're quite exquisite, aren't they? Great angles. Impressive lighting. I love the one with his feet. I have no clue when the child got his hands on the camera. Which makes this one a little alarming:
Clearly I was in the room when this was happening. Though the bed frame is blocking it, I'm obviously sucked into my computer and missing all the action (and from the mound of laundry at the foot of the bed, my son's artistic expression wasn't the only thing I was ignoring).

I'm a good mom, I swear!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Something wicked this way comes...

Daily Stats:
Words: many
Caffeine: morning cup + mid-morning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Going out to dinner tonight. Will have super meaty steak and a vat of Guinness. Will feel like tranquilized bear tomorrow.
Reality TV: DVR'd Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

Creepy. This photo was taken by my hubby. It's a tree in a graveyard just up the street from our house. Could there possibly be a better graveyard tree? It's all gnarled and the graveyard is like a gazillion years old, which ups the creep factor. And...while he was there, he said the temperature felt about 10 degrees colder right in front of the tree. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Speaking of AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! ...with Halloween just around the corner, I though I would share a list of my top 10 favorite Halloween flicks that I must enjoy at least once during the holiday, or the rest of my year is all wonky.

1. The Omen (the original, mind you)
2. Rocky Horror Picture Show
3. Night of the Living Dead (they're coming to get you, Barbara....ah, love it, love it, love it!!!!)
4. Nightmare before Christmas
5. The original Disney Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (Shut up, it's freaky as hell! When Ichabod Crane is riding home from the party through the graveyard. It's totally creepy! You know, Disney used to make scary stuff. When we were little, we had the Disney Halloween sounds album. OMG, the haunted house one still gives me chills.)
6. Beetlejuice
7. Dawn of the Dead - the 2004 remake (the end of this movie is one of the best I've ever seen in any zombie/undead flick ever!)
8. American Werewolf in London
9. Evil Dead II
10. The Addiction (This is the best vampire flick ever! It's intelligent and awesomely bloody.)

And the following are the movies that I CANNOT watch:

1. The Shining
2. The Exorcist
3. The Thing

I'm sorry, I just can't. I sometimes make it to the "hot chick in bathtub" scene in The Shining, but I usually burrow into my couch after that. And don't even get me started on The Exorcist. Nope. Nope. Nope.

What are your favorite Halloween movies?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Daily Stats:

Words: some
Caffeine: morning cup + mid-morning cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate croissants
Reality TV: Rachel Zoe Project

Only two and a half weeks until the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. I wish I could talk everyone I know into partaking - even my non-writery friends. It's crazy (and I do mean crazy) fun, and the more people around you participating in the utter madness, the less you feel like you're going to have a total brown out. (Plus, you can do nifty things, like create and post your own book cover that your super-talented husband made for you.)

For those who are interested (or haven't a clue what I'm talking about)...

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2007, we had over 100,000 participants. More than 15,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

I'll admit that my NaNo piece from last year is collecting dust bunnies in my "poo lives" folder on my computer. But, it was my first venture after completing my book and I needed to simply think about something else. And if anything, NaNo is just a bust-ass creative brainiac work out. Will you want to tear your own arm off and beat yourself to death with it? Oh, yes. Will there be weeping, whimpering and several bad hair days due to lack of time to shower? Without a doubt. So, follow the link and sign up! It's free (though I highly recommend making a contribution. Insanity like this can't be completely free.). And then once you sign up, you'll get hooked on the forums immediately. Don't try and fight it. It happens to everyone. But before you get sucked into a NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul thread, add me as a buddy here!

(My NaNo secret? I'm all about the word sprints, baby! There's truly nothing like convoluted crap spewing from you at break neck speed.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting to know you...

Daily Stats:
Words: 500,000,000,000,000
Caffeine: morning cup + midday iced latte
Evil Calories: some Cadbury chocolate eggs I found hiding the in freezer
Reality TV: DVR'd The Chef Jeff Project

Okay, I usually just delete these emails. You know the ones...cut and paste the question and fill in your own answers, then send it to everyone you know. They annoy me about as much as those horrid chain emails that promise sacks of cash to magically appear if I send it to exactly 33.7 people, and if I don't send it at all my head will fall off and the world will end. But I had a little time to burn, so here it is...probably more than you ever wanted to know about me.

Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?
Rick Springfield (shut-up…it was the 80’s)

What type of pets do you have?
2 felines - one three-legged wheezing monster and a grouchy old bitty who hisses at air

What is your favorite color?
Blue-ish, green-ish, red-ish purple

What is most memorable about your high school years?
Bad spiral perms, failing algebra, having a crush on my neighbor Brandon, who always made fun of my shoes, cutting class to drive to Santa Cruz to see all the places from The Lost Boys, getting caught and being grounded.

What word describes you best?

What drives you every day?

What is your favorite food?
The kind that tastes good

What is your business goal this year?
to distract my husband with shiny things so he doesn’t look at our credit card bills

Who do you admire?
All my fellow writer friends and the girl down at Starbucks who makes really good cappuccino foam

What is your mission?
To point out people who walk funny

If you were invisible, where would you go?
To Clive Owen’s house

What turns you off?
People that ask stupid questions, like “what turns you off?”

If you were on an island, who would you want to be with?
Someone with a large boat parked nearby

You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it about?
The plight of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat (c’mon, like anyone would be sober and paying attention anyway)

Riveting, yes? Don't you feel closer to me now? (barf)

Anyhoo, if you're bored and have time to kill, feel free to leave your version in the comments section.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

i rite gooder

Daily Stats:
Words: 4
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: more brownies
Reality TV: ANTM reruns

Do you ever have one of those weeks where everything you write sounds like it's straight out of a Dick & Jane book? "She drove the car. The car went zoom-zoom. There were birds. The park bench was green. The bell went ding. The end."

I'm so annoyed with my brain right now, I'm seriously considering exchanging it in for a mound of cherry flavored Jello. It would basically produce the same results, and it would smell better.

Not sure what my malfunction is. I am completely and thoroughly uncreative. Perhaps it's the moon, or the changing of the seasons, or the 487 billion episodes of Max & Ruby my son insists we watch (it's a Nicktoons cartoon...they're bunnies, you see...Max is Ruby's little brother, he's always getting into mischief. if you've never seen it, consider it a blessing). See, we're in a transitional stage here. My son is beginning to resist nap-time. And when I say resist, I mean he has a shit-fit. He's very passionate in his aversion to sleep. I appreciate his persistence, however, the boy does not yet grasp the concept of "quiet time" - he in his room playing quietly with his toys & mommy downstairs playing quietly with her toys. It's an essential part of the daily mommy-child relationship (read: if mommy doesn't get two hours to herself, she's going to flip out and start smoking the drapes). So, when he aborts the napping process, he stays downstairs with me and my normal writing time is invaded by a bunny in overalls with a three-word vocabulary. I think my brain is regressing. Pretty soon I'll be eyeing Cabbage Patch Kids at Target instead of shoes.

...and NanoWrimo is coming up. Apparently I'll be writing a 50K word novel consisting of three word sentences. (Is there a forum on Nano for "brain dead"?)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's in a name?

Daily Stats:
Words: 1200
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: brownies
Reality TV: ANTM, Project Runway, Top Design

I'm in a bit of a quandary. I'm well into my WIP, and have come to grips with the fact that I need to change the name of my MC. The main reason is that her name is very similar to another pivotal character, and I fear this could lead to some confusion (and I cannot change the other character's name because it's a huge part of the story).

So here's a question - what would a English lit major name his daughter? I've thought of Cordelia or Ophelia, but he would have been met with resistance on the more theatrical names from my MCs stern, rigid mother. It would have to be something a little more tame.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Send medication

Daily Stats:
Words: 1000
Caffeine: morning cup + midday double mocha
Evil Calories: sugar cookies
Reality TV: Rachel Zoe Project reruns on Bravo

Well, it's been three days, and I still haven't gotten completely over the chubby chipmunk incident. And I know I'm probably being paranoid, but when I go outside, other chipmunks seem to run away from me much faster than they used to. They know what happened. They think I'm a rodent killer. I'm not! But, I've seen Law & Order enough. This may not be outright rodent-slaughter, but it's definitely a case of depraved indifference. There's probably some head chipmunk who looks just like Sam Waterson - all stressed out, tie askew, enormous bags under his eyes - meeting with the assistant head chipmunks, trying to figure out a way to arrest me. The poor little dude who met his fate in our downstairs toilet was probably some high powered diplomat. Now, chipmunk relations will deteriorate. Wars will ensue. Acorns will be smuggled and illegally traded. All because of me.

Okay, I'm being a tad hard on myself because I'm a mother, and as a mother, you have this crazy, insane, slightly diabolical heightened sense of safety. The fact that I overlooked the lid of the toilet being open as a hazard is a little frightening. The fact that I set the trap right next to said hazardous toilet seat, enabling the chubby little dude to climb on top of the trap, and then onto the toilet to try and make a break for the open window, is downright ridiculous. The word "duh" doesn't even begin to capture my ineptness.

And to make the whole event even more disturbing, my mother reminded me that I used to be a chipmunk. When I was little, I played Simon many times for our school's Christmas musical thingy. We always did the finale with the Chipmunk's Christmas Song. PAGING DR. FREUD!!! I think I drowned my inner child.

She also reminded me that I was petrified of Chip & Dale when we went to Disneyland for the first time. There are pictures of me flipping out while the two characters lurk in the background.

I'll be fine. Just gonna go see if I can find some inexpensive, emergency shock treatment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Back to life...

Daily Stats:
Words: 500
Caffeine: not enough
Evil Calories: still recovering from the 900 chocolate croissants I inhaled last weekend
Reality TV: DVR'd Tabatha's Salon Takeover

Ah, reality. It's so overrated, isn't it? If someone had given me the choice (and the bank account), I probably would have stayed in Vegas for another week. Or ten. Sunshine, slot machines and 24 hour margaritas? Sign me up! But, alas, I had to return. The bank account was dwindling and my husband refused to UPS my son to me (whatever!).

Of course, I wasn't able to ease back into real life gently. Oh, no. I returned home just in time for the partial demolition of our family room. Turns out all that pesky water made its way in through a crack in our foundation (dry heave) and we may have to dig a huge hole outside to get to the outer wall (double dry heave). Then, we realized we had a little visitor that snuck in when the walls came down. At first I thought it was a rat (triple dry heave + shrieking) but to my relief it was just a chubby chipmunk. Of course, Pep, our three legged, wheezing feline monster was totally shitting himself and tried several times to use it as a hackey sack. I felt so bad, so we banned Pep from the family room and set up on of those live traps, so we could just catch it and set it free.

But things took a downturn today for our poor little rodent squatter. He ran into the bathroom this morning, so I set the little trap in there and closed the bathroom door, figuring he'd eventually catch the scent of the bait (peanut butter and sunflower seeds). But when I went and checked on him, the poor little dude had apparently tried to climb up the toilet, but lost his footing and...well...rodents can't swim (except for the rats of NIHM, of course.) I felt horrible!!! Geez, you try and do good and it just backfires terribly. And I had to fish him out with our shrimp tempura fryer basket thingy (quadruple dry heave + tears).

I think I need a vacation from my vacation. I just want to write, but pesky ol' life just keeps getting in the way!!!!! Go away, life!!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

6:45am flights should be banned (especially when departing from Vegas)

Daily Stats:
Words: tired
Caffeine: tired
Evil Calories: tired
Reality TV: really really really freakin' tired

I'm back. Brain go squish. Will blog later and say neat things. But for now...

umm...yeah, check please...