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Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I do Instead of Homework

Well, I do a lot of things instead of homework. But this is what I made instead of doing homework today.

Movie: Eragon

Song: How Does It Feel by Avril Lavigne

Ed Speelers may be a sucky actor, but hot dang, that boy is pretty.

PS: A little birdie said something about another book trailer contest? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Use for Finger Nail Polish #352

I was sitting at my computer tonight when my sister strutted into my room. I knew that strut. I groaned. "What did you do?"

Sister leaned over me and tipped her head in my direction. A teenie speck of silver sat on her left nostril, glistening in my laptop's iridescent glow. "Does it look real?"

That question automatically brought up this question: "What is it if it isn't real?"

She grinned and admired her home-made nose-ring in my mirror. "A drop of white finger nail polish, a drop of silver finger nail polish, and a nail crystal."

She beamed at her invention while I gaped at her. "You painted on a nose-ring?"

"And it doesn't come off! It looks so real, doesn't it?"

And the truly funny part was, it did.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's Face It: Cindy Pon is Made of Awesome

She's repped by Bill Contardi. She's being published by an imprint of HarperCollins. Her super-pretty book is coming out TODAY.

Let's face it, all: Cindy Pon is made of awesome.

Like any bloggin' author, o'er on her blog she's got a release party going down! And it also is made of awesome, with prizes in the form of her own brushpaintings (not only is she awesome, but also uber-talented with the paint brush) and a $100 gift card to ANY bookstore of your choice! Yep, a $100 GIFT CARD. And super-beautiful brushpaintings! What more incentive do you need?

But wait -- there's more! With each prize you will also receive a signed copy of Silver Phoenix!

But wait -- THERE'S MORE! If you needed more convincing that this contest is awesome, there's a super-cool book trailer!

I should be getting my copy of Silver Phoenix very, very soon, and when I do I shall post a review as quickly as my ability to read will allow. But until then, head on over to Cindy's blog, get in on this contest (because, trust me, you want to!), and spread the Silver Phoenix love!

Monday, April 27, 2009


So, there is nothing going on in my little world. No.thing. There are a lot of things that COULD be happening. I COULD be working on that book whose title is now up in the air (formerly The Tudor Tool), but I'm just not feeling Tudor England this week. I COULD be doing homework, and in fact I have been, quite a lot more than I care to admit. I COULD be spelunking. But I'm not. Mainly because I don't actually know what spelunking is. Something with caves? Maybe?

Anyway, I will feel like an incomplete human being if I don't post something for my legions of adoring fans to giggle over. What shall it be? Oh, I know!


This is a chunk from the very beginning of The Tudor Tool, and it's actually the last part I wrote. Here you get to meet someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters: Docker Lewis. He and Crystal are at Crystal's house, where a party is being held to celebrate Crystal's mother's tenth year of teaching at Yale. "The Eloi" is the machine that got Crystal's dad fired the day before the party.

Six-four, black hair, olive skin, Docker Lewis had been the poster boy for Italian heartthrob since he was seven years old. Hunched over the end of the buffet table, he speared a meatball and added it to the stack of food on his plate. He’d been the star forward for Greens Farms Academy’s varsity soccer team, and by the look of his never-ending appetite, he was beefing up to be the star of Columbia’s team next fall.

I shifted in my stilettos, debating a U-turn. My relationship with Docker had consisted of nothing but mindless practical jokes since he’d returned the Katie Smith incident with the spring formal fiasco. I had returned that by finding out he had a crush on Elizabeth Reuben and telling her Docker was in love with her brother Kyle (who really was gay). Kyle spent the next two months sending anonymous love notes to Docker – by way of Elizabeth. Needless to say, once Docker discovered the whole messy affair when he invited “Elizabeth” to a festival, he plotted revenge on me again. So I plotted revenge on him. And so and so forth, until today, when I knew it was my turn to be revenged-upon.

Before I could turn all the way and retreat into the Yale territory of the kitchen, Docker looked up. He grinned, still half-chewing a meatball, and strolled over. His extra dose of cockiness said he knew I would be squirming.

“Crystal Thorne,” he declared. “You finally decided to come down from your perch?”

I frowned. “Perch?” He motioned to the back window that gave a clear view of the living room – and the balcony where I had been hiding. My eyebrows shot up. “I wasn’t hiding from you!”

Docker shrugged and nodded. “Sure you weren’t. But I’d hide from me too.”

I glanced to the side, at a group of my mother’s students who were slowly inching their way out of Yale territory and onto the terrace. Three girls, all looking-but-not-looking at Docker. I lifted an eyebrow at them before swinging back to him. “I should’ve kept hiding. It’s far too dangerous out here.”

Docker noticed the girls and broke into one of his Greek-god-like smiles. Fortunately, he hadn’t yet finished chewing another meatball, and his smile was coated in a fine layer of pasta sauce. The girls flinched as one and pretended their intent was to take a stroll through our backyard.

I laughed more than was necessary, especially when Docker licked his teeth and realized what had happened. “Oh man,” I snorted, “you’ve given me so many ideas for my turn.”

Docker freed a napkin from underneath his plate and scrubbed at his teeth. “If you live to see your turn. Muahahaha.”

He was kidding, but I still wasn’t about to stay and be humiliated at my mother’s party. I turned back for the kitchen and didn’t get very far when Docker’s hand tightened on my arm.

“Crystal.” His voice dropped to all-business, and he looked past me, into the kitchen. “Is your dad here? I was hoping he would–”

“No,” I cut him off. “No. He’s sulking.”

Docker nodded. Aside from being the sole reason I would avoid going to Columbia (dodging practical jokes while trying to establish some sort of adulthood independence wasn’t high on my list of to-dos), Docker was my dad’s favorite freshman physics major. The look on his face said he felt bad for my father, and before he could say anything to that effect, I jerked his hand off my arm.

“My dad is sulking at a party that his wife has been planning for five months. If you can find any reason why he should be sulking and not amongst the many well-wishers, then you absolutely deserve the physics department.”

I tried to stomp away again, but Docker swung around me and held my shoulder back as he tried to keep his food plate balanced. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Just – stop for a second.”

I crossed my arms and gave him my best I-will-physically-remove-you-if-you-don’t-get-out-of-my-way look. Docker set his food plate on a table and smiled at me, sans-pasta-sauce. I groaned. “What do you want?”

“I was going to ask your father. But – Crystal?” He tipped his head down and looked up at me, which was very difficult for him to do, considering I was five-two with the stilettos on. “Is it at all possible for me to see The Eloi?”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fantastic Friday!

It's almost 70 degrees here. 70 degrees! But shh, if the region realizes it's giving us good weather, it'll start snowing this weekend. Act like nothing's happened. Be cool.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) All the books I'd ordered as research for The Tudor Tool came in! Unfortunately, they came after my MC informed me that the previously decided upon story path will not be used, and she will be involved in something far easier to research. As I said, this was after I'd spent countless hours finding and buying books about the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find books about the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536? But what Crystal wants, Crystal gets, and I now have a pile of relatively useless books sitting on my desk. Anyone need any books on the Dissolution of the Monasteries? Yes? No? Eh, worth a shot.

Thing #2) I also got a super fabulous book. One of the most fabulous books ever. I was in B&N after classes on Tuesday and wandered to the Travel section. As I approached said Travel section, I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if they had a book that told you what it was like to move to New Zealand? I should Google it when I get home." So me, all unawares, knelt down to the New Zealand/Australia section. And guess what I found? Yep. It's called Living Abroad in New Zealand, and it is the love of my life. It tells you what visas you'll need to fill out, where the best place to live for you is, how to get a job, what to pack, etc. Did you know they don't have solid deodorant in New Zealand? Only roll-on and spray-on? Yeah, didn't know that. So. Much. FUN!

Thing #3) I got an Honorable Mention in Miss Snark's First Victim's Secret Agent contest! The Secret Agent was uber-fabulous Kate Schafer Testerman. How fabulous is she? She reps Alyson Noel, author of Evermore, as well as fellow bloggers Carrie Harris and Stephanie Perkins. Yeah, that's pretty fabulous.

Thing #4) I had three test-type things (do quizzes count as tests?) this week, and I definitely passed one of them. Great odds, eh?

Thing #5) I saw 17 Again last Friday night, and I'm grumbling that I will actually admit this, so I'll do it quick: Zac Effron is hot. Rafi Gavron, Paul Bettany, and any olive-skinned guy will always be first in my heart, but I so did not mind looking at Effron for 1.5 hours.

Thing #6) Entertainment Tonight had a sneak-peak into the filming of New Moon last night. While their interview skills are rather lacking (is Robert Pattinson dating someone? Not that I care, but they never let him answer the question.), they had some decently interesting snippets into scenes. Yay, Jacob! Show those Edward fans what a real man looks like!

Monday, April 20, 2009

But He Has a GREAT Personality...

Brutally honest time: I HATE character development. My least favorite part of writing is developing characters (which I semi-mentioned in this post). So much so, in fact, that I am struggling like crazy to get started writing The Tudor Tool (or whatever I'm going to call it) because I just can't get my characters' development off the ground. Usually I dive right in to the story and go back to fix the development later, but this book focuses so much on development that I can't get started until everything is in a neat little developmental row.

But I think I've found something that helps. So I thought I'd share my little discovery, should it help anyone else.

I took my first personality test about two years ago, and it completely freaked me out. Just by answering "yes" or "no" to a few questions, this little computer program was able to tell me EXACTLY who I was. Exactly. That was weird to me. I mean, in what possible situation would I want to know EXACTLY what details make up certain personalities?

Then it hit me: when I'm trying to develop my characters.

So yesterday I put on my character-cap and took a personality test as Crystal Thorne, my MC in The Tudor Tool. What did I get? A detailed explanation of why Crystal acts the way she does (she's an INTJ personality type), what motivates her, and what her preferred occupations would be. With the exception of the last bit of info, it was exactly what I needed. Basically, this little personality test did all the hard work for me. Sha-zam: instant character development/explanation/description.

I used this personality test, which gives you a choice of two different descriptions as well as a free trial of what personality types would be the best mate-matches. Even if you don't use it for character development research, it provides hours of entertainment. Hours.

Friday, April 17, 2009

(Extra) Fantastic Friday!

So. Excited.

Fantastic Thing-that-happened-in-the-past-week #1) Lookie look! I'm a guest blogger over at Alice's CWIM blog! Hopefully we'll get some interesting discussion rolling about the Edward/abusive-relationship stance. I know from the reactions I got on my blog that it can be a very intense discussion. Can't even imagine what could happen on a blog with 282 followers!

Thing #2) Fabulous things are spreading. Teehee.

Thing #3) I can't for the life of me figure out how to link to Twitter, but apparently today is #queryday (formerly #queryfail).

Thing #4) Mini Cadbury eggs. A sharp contrast to the picture used in the contest this week, but probably a lot less nauseating after eating.

Thing #5) The Tudor Tool is coming along swimmingly. I have the first 250+ words down, and everything else in early outline stages. Wait-- what? You, you want a snippet? Well, I suppose I could post what I have so far. But keep in mind two words: rough draft.

In first grade, I got detention for correcting Miss Surbotski on the historical inaccuracies of the movie Aladdin.

In third grade, I got detention for telling Mrs. Walter that the bouquet of evening primroses and snapdragons her husband had delivered to school represented inconstancy and deception.

In fourth grade, I got detention for starting a fight between Katie Smith and Docker Lewis. Katie was pretending to be a medieval princess and Docker was the knight who was supposed to save her. When I pointed out that princesses were generally handed over to the richest men, Docker took that as his cue to leave Katie locked in the tower of the tunnel slide. Katie didn’t take too kindly to being abandoned and knocked the air out of Docker when she landed on him.

In sixth grade, I got detention for refusing to read any of the Magic Treehouse books, claiming that if I wanted to learn what didn’t happen in history, I would’ve watched Aladdin. This was a bad choice of words, because Miss Surbotski had been promoted to the sixth grade and took my refusal as a direct attack of her teaching methods. Which it was. But I didn’t expect her to get that.

Eighth grade was an event that later became known as “the spring formal fiasco.” The theme was a medieval masquerade, and Docker Lewis came as Zorro. I think he knew I would rebuke his inaccuracies and land myself in detention. I’ve summed it up to a vendetta for the Katie Smith incident.

Suffice to say, by the time high school rolled around, I had learned to shut up.