Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Books Read in 2014

1. Insurgent
2. The Book Thief
3. The Help
4. Cell
5. A Monster Calls
6. The End
7. Wonder
8. All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well
9. Past My Defenses
10. The Bankrupt Viscount
11. Glancing Through the Glimmer
12. The Way of Kings
13. Landline
14. Words of Radiance
15. A Love Worth Living
16. Thirteen Reasons Why
17. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
18. Stephen King's On Writing

Monday, December 29, 2014

Failing at Goals...or Not

Sometimes I wonder: "Why do I even BOTHER making new year resolutions? I'm probably going to fail after week three--if not before!" While this might be true, I still think it's important to try. But "resolution" is too heavy a word for me, so I'm just calling them...

"New Year's Goals"

But why is it important to have goals?

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
- Tony Robbins

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

-Albert Einstein

And how do we achieve goals when we've failed so many times before?

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't 

adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. 


If something's not working out the way you want it to, and you continue approaching it from the same angle and in the same way, of course you're going to keep failing.

So, vary your steps. If your goal last year was to write 1,000 words a day, but you only lasted for a week, look at your approach. 

Q: Did you get distracted by the Internet? 
A: Well, this time UNPLUG IT! 

Q: Were you undisciplined in your writing time? 
A: Then set aside a certain time when you know you won't be interrupted, get rid of all distractions, and see what else you can do differently.

Some great free software for writers with distraction issues is FocusWriter.


MY New Year's Goals:

1. Finish revisions on Scotch (a novella for--le gasp!--grown-ups)

2. Finish revisions on The Disorderlies

3. Finish writing draft one of Things Heard in a Graveyard (also for an older crowd)

4. Finish writing draft one of Murder in the Afternoon (yet another for those who are no longer kids)

5. Write two KILLER query letters ;-)

8. Write two TO-DIE-FOR synopses

What about YOU? What are your goals for 2015, and how do you plan to reach them?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

On a Cold Winter's Night

What am I drinking?

Am I drinking...

A. Hot chocolate

B. Tea (with lots of sugar and milk!)

C. Coffee

D. Hot buttered rum


E. A gingerbread-scented candle from Swan Creek

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Batman Does NOT Smell

Hooked you with that title? Oh, all right:

Jingle bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
Batman broke a wheel
And Joker took ballet!


(This year's tree)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


My family has very few Christmas/holiday traditions...well, ones that have carried over into (my) adulthood. With seven deaths and some crap in the last year or so, things have changed. Dynamics change. You grow out of old things and into new things.

Why Have Traditions?

I mean, who cares? ...right? Maybe THIS guy...

I learned from my grandmother, who grew up in devastating war times, how important it is to keep with tradition and celebrate the holidays during tough times.
- Marcus Samuelson

Okay, so I have you convinced that holiday traditions are good, yes? But what are some traditions I could start with MY family?" you ask.

So glad you stopped in!

1. Sleeping next to the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve
3. Read the Christmas story together
4. Watch your favorite Christmas movies in a marathon
5. Bake everyone's favorite cookies and decorate them together
6. Give money to a trusted charity in each other's honor
7. Open one gift on Christmas Eve (one family I know gave their daughter new PJs every Christmas Eve)
8. Give an ornament to your loved one that has something to do with what happened during the year*
9. Go caroling at a nursing home
10. Volunteer


How about YOU? What are some of YOUR favorite traditions? Any new ones this year? 

I have a toddler niece and would love to hear ideas for special activities to do with her!

*For example: When I was really into Harry Potter, my mom got me a Harry Potter ornament. When In a Pickle was published, she gave me an ornament with the cover art plastered across it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sure to Make You Go Grrr!

What day is today?

Note: This pic ^ is from a 2015 calendar, hence the 22nd of December. Pay not attention to that man behind the curtain!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Discussion: Santa?

Question for polite debate:

Is it right/okay to tell a child that Santa Claus is real?

If so, why?

If not, why?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas/Writer Medley/General Silliness

Hark! Show don't tell!
Sweet endings smell.
Write bittersweet,
That's really neat.

Silent as I type,
No talking while I write.
You're too loud,
My ears don't lie
About the racket.
Manuscript = Child
Murder your darlings,
Or suffer slushpile.
Rejections they come, do not wee-eep!
Put the pen down, get some sleep!

Up on the keyboard
Fingers type
Hope this time I get it right.
I before E, 'cept after C?
I can't remember; woe is me!
Oh, oh, no!
This prose blows!
Oh, oh, no!
This prose goes!
Up on the keyboard,
Clack! Clack! Clack!
This prose is a waking nap.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Today is the day the final Hobbit movie hits theatres! Let me know what you think of it; I'll probably wait for the DVD ;-)


(Pretend that 7 is a 1...)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seven Days!

One week until the final Hobbit movie arrives in theatres in the US! To celebrate, I'm starting a countdown...using a countdown calendar that I made for the Lord of the Rings movies!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Books I WANT to Read in the New Year

In no particular order, here is the list:

1. Shadow of the Unicorn
2. The Hundred-Foot Journey
3. My Sister's Reaper
4. Godland
5. Book 2 of the Mistborn trilogy
6. Book 3 of the Mistborn trilogy
7. Dorothy Must Die
8. Misery
9. Little Dorrit
19. The Giver
20. The Great Gatsby
21. Uglies
22. Dead Poets Society
23. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
24. Jurassic Park
25. Fight Club
26. Schindler's List
27. The Bourne Identity
28. Life of Pi
29. The Devil Wears Prada
30. Inkheart
31. Finding Alaska
32. Paper Towns
33. Anna and the French Kiss
34. The Paris Wife
35. Across the Universe
36. Hidden in Paris
37. Cuckoo's Calling
38. The Mists of Avalon
39. This Weakness for You
40. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

I would LIKE to finish reading:

1. Emma
2. Bleakhouse
3. Shatter Me
4. Mistborn (book 1)
5. The Once and Future King

What's on your TBR (to be read) pile?