Monday, October 31, 2011

Secret 13 of 100

There's something creepy about the number 13, so I figure why not creep y'all out. It is, after all, Halloween. No better time for creeping and stalking, is what I always say.

My secret is I was a stalker. 

No, not in the funny I read your blog and look at all your pictures on fb ten times a day. (Although I do that too.)
When I say stalker I'm talking I-wore-black-and-followed-a-boy-around-town kind of way.

Yeah, I get that the following stalking techniques may come across a little creepy:

1. I watched said boy from behind cracked blinds to see when he was coming and going from his home. (A good stalker knows when and where her Stalkee will be at all times. Stalking Tip #12, from Erin's Book of Stalking).

2. After taking note of his schedule, I mysteriously popped up in same places he was, and when confronted about it, I blinked at him and said, "You're kind of creeping me out. Are you following me?" (Always turn the tables on the Stalkee. Stalking Tip #29, from Erin's Book of Stalking).

3. I may or may not have followed said boy three cars behind while he took another (might I add hussy) girl on a date. This charge I can't confirm or deny. (Stalking is creepy when it's illegal. So try to make your stalking look like innocent interest instead of law-breaking activity. Stalking Tip #29, from Erin's Book of Stalking)

The point is, I was a stalker. I admit it, and I'm not afraid to say it. Because without my suave stalking techniques I wouldn't be married to that boy now.
All those out there that stalk, say aye!

Friday, October 28, 2011

friday five - killer characters

I was thinking to myself how neat it would be
if five lethal characters could hang out with me
five deadly acts that have drawn my attention
five killers that can't go without mention. 

First, I'd invite Sydney Bristow the spy
When she wore the red wig, she first caught my eye
There isn't a foe she can't fight and kill.
She'll kick your A if you're up in her grill.

Second, I'd call on my main man Ash
And not just because he'd be just as handsome in a stache'
He's the ice-prince, he's deadly, he'll kill you on sight
But for a girl, he'll go to the end of the earth, and put up a fight. 

Third, there's Chuck. If I'm being honest he's no threat,
If he was fighting one of the other characters he wouldn't get my bet.
But he's lovable, and funny, and sometimes he kick's A.
So he makes my list because meeting him would make my day.

Fourth, I was tempted to talk about Noah and not Mara
He's surprisingly alluring despite his girl drama
But she's the real killer in this haunting tale
She's vulnerable, curious, and holding a secret as big as a whale.

Fifth should've been first, because Michael is the man, 
Except when he's dancing around like a killer without a tan. 
(Ok, so I get that probably applies to the last half of his life,
but the man's Thriller is a genius and it made me want to be his wife)

There you have it, five characters I want to meet.
Killers, well, most of them, but still they'd be cool to greet!

What Lethal persona is the top of your list?
Who would scare your pants off if he came at you out of the mist?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

writing inspiration - coolness

As you can see from my Secrets, I wasn't very cool growing up. In fact, I went through a pudgy phase where I was down-right the nerdiest thing north of the equator. I was the most un-cool girl around.

(Picture borrowed from

So now as I try to write characters that are the essence of all things cool, I sometimes find myself doubting aspects to their design. From clothing, to vehicles, to their speech.

So to deal with my shortcomings, I googled coolness.

This is what Wiki How has to say: 
"Have you always wanted to be the cool guy, who always seems to do the right thing? Or are you dying to be the cool girl, who flows through life with ease and grace? If you think about all the people who you think of as cool . . . they have several characteristics in common: they're all confident, unique, and on friendly terms with everyone . . . Everyone has their own definition of cool; there is really no true universal definition on how to be cool, but here are some guidelines to get you started."

I like that. Confident. Unique. 

But really, is that enough? I want to know how you create a cool character. What's your recipe for cool success? 
If you read my last secret, it's clear I ain't got one. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

writing inspiration - queries

Last year I queried a book.

And it didn't go so well. Why? Because I made all the rookie mistakes. ALL of them.

  • The query was confusing.
  • My book wasn't polished.
  • I gushed. A lot. I like to gush at people.
  • Basically I sounded like a twit.
  • And so on, and so forth . . .

So this year when I'm ready, I'm not going to do that again. Not by a long shot.

But in the mean time, Suzie Townsend of the Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation is offering a review of your query. She'll tell you why she'd really reject it. And it's for free! To enter her Query contest, go to: 

Monday, October 24, 2011

secret 12 of 100

Last night Mark and I returned from visiting my sis in Washington at midnight. (No, that's not the secret).
This morning when I woke up I felt like a giant piece of crap--sore throat, achy, fever. (Again, not the secret).
Because my brain's a little fuzzy the only secret to come to mind is so mortifying I cringe even now as I'm on the verge of sharing it. But I can't sit in front of the computer any longer to think of another good secret. So don't say I didn't warn you. This is a mother of a secret.

Secret 12 of 100:

I played violin in the school orchestra. I wasn't very good. But the summer between sophomore and junior year, when all my friends were dating, I spent my lonely hours practicing.

Junior year, my marked improvement earned me a spot at second stand. And my partner became Illusive hot boy--a guy that wore a leather coat and reminded me of James Dean.

The day of our first concert of the year I felt like a giant piece of crap. (Much like I do now). But I went anyway, taking my place beside Illusive hot boy.
The concert started. I played well. In between songs Illusive complimented me. He was flirting with me! I giggled, managed something witty back . . . and then I sneezed.

And then time seemed to freeze. The seconds of post-sneeze silence spanned an eternity. Illusive looked at me with widened eyes. What was wrong? It took my foggy brain another second to follow the path his eyes took. I looked from I-hot boy to the spot on my violin that had trapped his attention.

Oh. Dear. Mother!

There on the curved, honey wood of my violin sat the most vile, slimy, loogie I'd ever seen. And judging from the timing, I'm guessing it flew out of my mouth mid-sneeze.
In that moment I wanted to die. Especially because the conductor tapped the stand, lifted his arms and started a new song .
I didn't have time to wipe it off. Oh the horror. I had to play an entire new song before I had a chance to free myself of that forsaken excrement.

And after I did, using my sleeve with as much pride as I could muster, Illusive never quite looked at me the same. Then again, I couldn't bring myself to look at him. So I guess that makes me even.
But there you have it. My secret is I'm a loogie sneezer when I'm sick. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

friday five - goodbyes and one hello

This summer my husband came home from work and said, "Hey, so I know my job as a Treasury Manager is pretty freaking awesome, but I think I want to try my hand at being a dentist."
Say what?
Mark wants to return to school for the next year to take the prerequisite classes for dental school, then apply to dental school, and then after getting in . . . he wants to actually go!
Hyperventilate much? You better believe it.

After much thought and discussion and prayer, I agreed. It took a little faith because Mark and I were just about to close on a lot of land. And if Mark hadn't had his dental ephiphany we would now be living in our dream home. This post is to say goodbye to those dreams and hello to new ones.

1.  Goodbye dream house and your craftsman style charm. 
I think of you fondly and then want to do Mark harm.
I'm letting you go, for now that is,
And when Mark graduates, repayment will be his! 
Muah ha ha

2. Goodbye 50's styled basement kitchen adjoined to my writing room
Really, you were just a dream because your cost would be my doom.
But since I'm bemoaning my loss, I added you in
Maybe in the future the expense of you won't be a sin.

3. Goodbye reading settee, so cozy by my bed
When I think of you I feel sad in my head.
Where will I sit and read in style?
Not in my dream house . . . at least not for awhile.
4. Goodbye days of lounging around like a cat
Now life's super busy because my hubby's wearing the student hat
I know this poem sounds a little lame
But I love the picture all the same

5. Hello future! Whatever you may hold
I hope the out look is good before I get too old
While Mark's studying and learning at dental school
I'll be writing away like a YA writing fool!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

reading update - dragons and hot guys.

Slayers by C. J. Hill 

My Take: 
It's kind of like Rampant, but with dragons instead of unicorns. And by the end of the first book I don't loathe the main character and think she's a complete and total whore. That being said, I loved that CJ Hill crafted such a heart tugging romantic plot line without the smut.
Along with the romance, the action and adventure plotting is excellent. Each chapter brought new twists and turns that kept the book moving forward. Never a dull moment.
CJ hill excels in writing true to life characters that pop off the page.
This is a book you'll want on your Do Not Touch shelf.

What they say about it:
Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

You Shouldn't read this if:
All you like is poorly crafted smut. Go for Rampant. 
You're opposed to cruelty to fire-breathing, people-eating dragons.
You're illiterate. For obvious reasons.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

writing inspiration - dialogue

Two nights ago I stayed up till 3:23 in the wee morning reading the new book, Slayers by CJ Hill (aka Janette Rallison). I've been a big fan of her writing for quite some time. Usually it sort of falls under the chick lit category, so I was curious to how well Janette would pull off a fast-paced adventure. Of course, I can't share that now. I gotta keep all of my five blog readers coming back. So I'll post my opinion on Slayers tomorrow. You won't want to miss that.

But I walked away feeling newly inspired to write better dialogue. Janette's dialogue is witty, funny, true to character personality, and never forced. It makes her characters and the story come to life.

Dialogue is often my own challenge, but I've seen a lot of awkward talk in published books. I'm always surprised when I find a little "maid and butler" in something I pull off the new releases at B&N.

In order to write better dialogue, I've developed a system.

Erin's Method to Writing Dialogue

1. I write the conversation as fast as I can as it pops in my head. I don't worry about punctuation, or blocking, or tags.

2. Then later, after a trip to Harts for my Diet Coke, I read through the scene out loud. (Ask Jessie Humphries. She said I'm a mumbler when I'm writing. It's mainly because I'm getting a feel for my dialogue). When I'm reading, I omit anything that sounds awkward or fake to the characters in the scene.

3. Last I add blocking. I have them move, or show expression.

4. Then I read it once more out loud, and adjust anything that feels awkward.

My process is somewhat layered, but it's helped me create better dialogue. Maybe one day I'll be a master like Janette.

What do you do to create witty and natural dialogue? I'm quite curious. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

writing inspiration - faces

I used to be a people watcher. In order to make my characters feel more real, I'd go to the mall and shop a little for shoes, but mostly I'd check people out. I'd listen to their conversations and study they way they move, and look at their features. But honestly speaking, I kind of felt like creeper. Especially when people noticed me watching them.

Now I stay home. Thanks to Pinterest, I find my interesting character faces online without creeping anyone out besides my hubby. Here are the faces of my current WIP that's a contemporary spy novel:

Milla - Kick-A protagonist. Lethal agent that too often listens to her bleeding heart.

Mag - Milla's bestie, just as lethal but not as confident 

Crow - their beloved trainer that looks tough but really has a soft side

Kane - the new trainer who is as mean as he looks . . . most of the time

And the boy. Sigh. 

Of course a lot of my characters are dream cast, but I tried to find pictures that set the scene for me. When I'm finding my character's voice, I'll pull their image onto the screen and start writing scenes. Sometimes those scenes don't end up in the novel, but they help me figure out who the character really is.

Now, the questions of the day:
How do you find your character's voices?
Are you a picture finder? If yes, who is in your dream cast?
Or are you a people watcher? If so, where do you go? 

Monday, October 17, 2011

secret 11 of 100

I own 46 pairs of shoes. (An all time low for me.)

After falling victim to a terrible shoe storm in my closet, my husband made the rule that I could only own as many shoes as years old I am.

First, I'm not 44. I won't be for quite some time.
Second, I used to be pretty good about following the rule . . . by bending it a little. I separated my winter shoes from summer. Depending on the season, I kept only my age amount of shoes in the closet. But last month I had a yard sale and purged myself of fifteen pairs of shoes. (Yes, that means I had over 60 pairs.) So now that my 44 are feeling small in number I decided to put them all in the closet. To heck with the rule.
Third, I'm feeling the itch for more shoes. Have you seen all the boots this season? Ugh. I'm dying. What's another couple pairs of boots?

I admit, I'm a little bit of a shoe addict. But not bad, right? What's 44 pairs? I'm pretty sure there's a lot of you out there that probably own twice that. And if that's the case then it wouldn't matter if I add a few more pairs to the closet. I NEED shoes!

Do you have a shoe addiction too? If not (though I can't imagine why not) I want to know what's the one thing you hoard in your home. I've decided that these new shoes I want so badly can be my reward once I finish my WIP. I'm super close, ya'll. And then we can party with my new boots!

Friday, October 14, 2011

friday five.

Today I'm dedicating this post to five people that I think are seriously awesome. Some are published, some are not, and some are really close. But whatever the stage of writing they're in, they amaze me with their mad skills. Check them out:

1. Peggy Eddleman - my girl Peggy has been with me from the beginning when we were rogue class attendees in a writing class that changed our lives. She's helped me figure out plot structure and fix bad dialogue. And on a side note, her husband makes a mean roasted red pepper soup.

2. Jessie Humphries - I like to call this girl Coonskin because her maiden name is coon. We met at a writing conference two years ago and she's been one of my best writing buddies since then. I can't imagine going to a conference without her. It would just be lamesauce. Jessie makes me laugh because she's kind of irreverent and kind of random and a lot of cool.

3. My Pile of Books -this awesome little book review site was started by a great writing friend of mine, Stacey. She and a few other "anonymous" bloggers support this blog. But sometimes those other gals are really busy and kind of lame and they feel really bad for not supporting so much. But the point is, the blog is awesome. And Stacey is awesome for starting it. Can anyone say awesome much?

4. Ally Condie - I met Ally years ago at a writing conference. I love her because she's small, she likes to run, and she writes like a friggin' genius. She makes me laugh with her dry wit. And her next book, Crossed, is soon to come out and it will be as fabulous as the first so check it out.

5. Julie Donaldson -  Alright, so here's the situation with Julie. One, she's amazing. She can do anything when it comes to writing. I met Julie at the same conference I met Ally. Julie published a little book on love awhile back and her first national title will be out sometime next year. You'll want to keep an eye out for her.

Those are my five favorite writing ladies. They inspire me. Check them out, I hope they inspire you too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

reading update - people from England time travel?

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

My Take:
Honestly speaking, I was more hooked by the cover of the book than by the first chapter. It took me at least two before I warmed up to the main character. I've found that a lot of YA writers write mature characters, at least to some extent. But Gwyneth is 17 and she actually acts that age. Once I got used to her quirky self doubt, yet strong determination, I was down with her. And by the end of the novel she kind of rocked my socks off. I loved her. I love that this book takes place in England. And I REALLY love Gideon, her potential love interest and time traveling partner.
The thing I didn't love is the end. Why? It ended and the story wasn't done. As in, there's a hook.
But, (there's always a but) the costumes in the book are fab. There's danger, mystery, and serious romantic tension.

What They Say It's About:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

You Shouldn't Read This If:
You can't stand books that end with a hook. But if that's the case, pick it up when the next installment comes out.
You have no fashion sense and you're a country-ist. (England + to die for outfits = awesomeness . . . unless that's not your thing.)
You're illiterate. For obvious reasons.

Go Forth And Read!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

writing inspiration - do i dare go there?

I am so happy with all the feed back from yesterday. Writing has been on my mind a lot lately because I'm getting my current work in progress (WIP) ready for submission. I was so amazed with your answers and quite inspired. Thank you so much!

In short, my current WIP is a little edgier than other books I've written. People die. And not just by the (duh, duh, dun...) bad guy, but by lots of main characters. Basically my book is killer. (ha ha, sorry I had to put that one in).

So in real life I'm not a killer. And my biggest sin is my frequent use of the "D" word. I'd like to blame my hubby for that, but I'm sure if you met him you'd know I was a big, fat liar. Though I've written a kill-all book, I'm not in any way advocating being an assassin. When my character uses the "D" word, it doesn't mean I use the "D" word in everyday life. (Alright, so not a good example).

What I'm wondering is, when and where do you draw the line?

What if what you really want to write is a bit darker and scarier than your personal morals or religious beliefs?

"D" Word or the "B" Word . . . or the "Sh" word . . . or the (duh, duh, duh . . .) "F" word?

Holy mother, did I just ask that question? Yes I did. 

Please, for the love of all things, let me know. Or I'll be a sad "D"word-dropping girl for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

writing inspiration - working out

When I was seventeen I graduated from high school and went away to college. My freshman year I put on twenty pounds. Ugh. I felt tired and pudgy. After hearing me bemoan the drama of my tummy tire, my roomate convinced me to take an aerobics class with her. Reluctantly, I went.

I hated it.
Every muscle burn, drip of sweat, and labored breath. I loathed aerobics.

I know what you're thinking (well, maybe I know). You're thinking, that's weird because Erin is an aerobic instructor. Yep that's right. I am. See the thing is, when I was seventeen (not so many years ago), I made a deal with myself. I decided I would stick with it until I LOVED working out.

And the funny thing is, now that I love it I don't want to stop. I usually work out five days a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But I've found that consistency is the key. The more I do it, the more my body expects it. And really after awhile all those push-ups and lunges kind of, sort of feel great.

Writing is like working out.

Sometimes you hate it. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes forming a great scene is as hard as doing a hundred one-arm pushups.

But the more you persist in writing every day, the easier it gets. And the easier it gets, the more you love it . . . like aerobics. Right?

How often do you write? 
When do you write?
What time of the day works best for you?
If you don't write, but you just read my ghetto blog for fun, what would you write if you were a writer? 

Please for the love of all things holy, just respond so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself. I'm such a sucker for a comment. 

Luv, erin

Monday, October 10, 2011

secret 10 of 100

My mom is really my biological mom. 

Seventh grade was a beastly year for me. I was chubby and I lived in Hawaii where all the kids at my school were brown or haole (Hawaiian slang for a white person. Take for instance my mom.) Since I shied away from confrontation like my kids hide when it's time to clean the bathroom, I was also teased a lot. I hated that. 

One day during math, I felt feverish. My teacher sent me to wait in the office for my mom.

When she arrived the brown girl beside me asked,"Eh, who dat? Your auntie?" 
This particular girl was the queen beast of seventh grade, and I didn't care for her. She teased me on a regular basis. I didn't want her making fun of me for having such a ghost-white mom. 
So I said, "No. She's my step-mom." 
And she believed me.  

I admit I was spineless. Not claiming my mother was a terrible thing to do. So I'm setting the record straight. My secret, one I've carried for so many years is that haole woman in the photo with me and my sisters is really, truly, my mom. 

Have you ever lied about something big in your life to save face? Or told a little lie? Any lie at all?
Don't leave me hanging. I want to hear your little secret too.

Friday, October 07, 2011

friday five.

In Utah, it seems like this is the weekend for writing conferences. Well, at least two that I know of. At UVU, prospective and pubbed writers can attend the Book Academy, or if you want to trek into the cold snowy Utah mountains, there's the Heart of the West conference held at the Canyons Resort. My writing buddies and I have been to both, but this year we're heading up to Park City for the Heart of the West conference. In fact, we got here last night and I'm freezing my toosh off. There's something seriously wrong when it snows during the first week of October. (Silent prayer to move back to Hawaii)

Today I'd like to dedicate this post to Writing Conferences. I'm not a complete conference groupie, but I go to a couple a year. And I've learned a thing or two that may help you.

Five Things To Do At A Writing Conference

1. Shower
How should I put this? Since I'm not one for putting things in a delicate manner, I'll just say it. Sometimes people stink. And sometimes a room can be filled with the stench of dirty head. (I'm not pointing any fingers at the ladies I'm attending the conference with. I'm just saying.) Fifty writers in a room can smell bad. I know I don't shower for days on end when I'm in writing mode. But conference mode is different. For the love of all books, please shower.

2. Keep your bra to yourself
Or better said, don't wear shirts that have buttons. This one really just comes from personal experience. But since I'm back at the same conference, I certainly don't want to flash any hot pink braziers to older, erotica-writing men. You can read about that HERE! 
(Side note: Don't try searching for "pink bras" on google. Big mistake. UGH.)

3. Leave the Wizarding Costume at Home
Well, if you're going to World-Con, go for it. But for any other conference, it's always best to dress your best. Wear something that plays up to your eye-color or hair style. I think setting a good first impression is sometimes more important than showing the world how much you love The Lord of the Rings. Then again, I've seen some fab costumes at conferences so I could be totally wrong about this one.

4. Put on a Happy Face
It may be a year from now when I get published, or ten years from now (heaven forbid). But since I don't know, I think it's best to always be friendly to other prospective writers. I've met some of my best friends at writing conferences. If it wasn't for Jessie Humphries smiling face and charming wit, we wouldn't be friends now. If you're open to making new friends, you can find your greatest writing supports at conferences.

5. Go with me and you'll find an agent
Call it luck, but there's something about attending a conference with me that will snag you an agent faster than you could probably finish your WIP. The last time I came to the HOW conference I attended with three other ladies. Two ended up signing with the agents from the conference. How is it possible I wasn't one of them? Well, my WIP wasn't ready. It's still not ready. The whole photography life of mine sometimes gets in the way. But I don't mind so much. I'm just glad to help another writer along even if it is by strange coincidence.

That's my five! Now keep it alive. I'd love to hear what things you've learned at writing conferences.
What conferences have you been to?
What has been your favorite conference?
What's something you've learned from going to a conference?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

i want to thank all the people who made this possible...

I got a BLOG award! Can you believe it? 
I'd like to take a moment to thank the Cherie at Ready.Write.Go for giving me this award. It makes me ridiculously happy. Second I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad who made all this possible. Without their enthusiasm, I would've never been born, let alone given free reign to write whatever I feel like on this here blog of mine. Last I want to thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet. Thanks to him alone, I've been able to put my deepest thoughts out into cyberspace to be read by one or two people. 

Now, this is my first award, so I better play by the rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated me. (Check)
2. Share seven random facts about myself. 
3. Pass the award along to 5 newfound blogging buddies
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

1. My 4 year old is a parrot. The other day he said, "That guy is a bad guy." He was watching a movie, and yes, the guy was indeed a bad guy. Then Parrot-son added, "If I see him on the road I'm gonna kick him in the crotch." 
Uh, nice. Where did he learn that? Way to go, Mark. 

2. Sometimes my filter doesn't work. I should really watch what I say more. (Thus, the crotch comment.)

3. I don't wear deodorant. This isn't a blog secret, because I mentioned this years ago. But it's still the same. And if you're new to reading my blog, now you know. 

4. I don't stink. Unlike my sister who got B.O. at age 13, I never had the misfortune. I could teach three aerobic classes back to back and be dripping sweat like a 50yr old fat man, and I still wouldn't stink. 

5. I read a book everyday. I don't always finish it, but I still read. It's good for my soul. Not so much for my family. Yet another thing for me to work on.

6. When I write I gain weight. This is because my diet suddenly is reduced to M&Ms and Diet Coke. No matter how many aerobic classes I teach, it won't work off the constant hand-to-bag-to-mouth action. 

7. I own a pair of teal sweats that my Mom gave me when I was 15. I'm not 15 anymore...a mere few years have passed...and I still wear those sweats nearly every day. I love them more than I love M&Ms and Diet Coke. If someone offered me $1000 for those sweats, I wouldn't sell them. That's the honest truth. And if my husband ever threw them out...I would think about divorce. 

Now, that I've been so very blessed with this award, I would like to pass it along to other awesome blogs that I LOVE!

1.  An Alleged Author - I love this blog. The writer has great voice, 
and makes me laugh. And the latest post quiz is hilarious!

2. Angela Orlowski Peart - Does Angela have a rockin' name or what? I hear a name like that and I think she's probably the type to wear J Crew and drive a Range Rover. She just seems uber cool.

3. Alexis Bass Writes About Writing - For one thing Alexis is from Washington. For another, she loves the books that I love! So I know if we knew each other in real life we would be bosom buddies.

4. Myself As Written - I met Charlie a couple years ago in a brief writing group stint. She's pretty cool and she is named Charlie. What could be more intriguing. Right? 

5. Iain's Iainspiration - Iain makes me laugh so hard. When he publishes a book, I'll be the first in line to buy it. 

There you have it! My first blog award makes me feel so warm and squishy...or that could be that I've eaten too many M&Ms today. 

Thank you all! 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

writing inspiration - robbed

2:12 am
Rosie, my great Pyrenees, howled just outside my bedroom door. I jerked awake, my heart racing. A couple foreign noises sounded in the night outside my house, and Rosie reacted with non-stop, ear-splitting barks. Mark hurried out of bed, and took Rosie to the back yard.

2:12 am
After she settled down, he brought her back in. Mark, unable to fall asleep, curled up on the couch in the front room. The light pouring through the open window shutters annoyed him. He walked to the window to close the shutters.

2:13 am
The shadow of two people beside our van, parked in the driveway, grabbed his focus. It took him a second to register that these people were taking something from our van. They were robbing us. Mark freaked. No matter that he was wearing just his undies, he tore out of the house and yelled at the burglars. They took off running.

2:14 am
In the other room, Mark's yell gave me a coronary. I jumped out of bed just as he came crashing into the room to pull on pants. In the blink of an eye he was in the van and sailing down the road to catch the crooks.
I was speechless. Did someone really just try to rob me?

2:15 am
I called the police.

2:18 am
Mark came back empty handed. The thieves got away with a backpack and dvds. Devils. I hope they watch Tangled in hell.

2:20 am
The police arrived. Apparently one should never chase two burglars alone. Next time we'll try to remember that.

3:30 am
Still awake. I figured there was no better time to write. Laptop open, I finished a scene that had been giving me trouble all week. Now it's better. It's awesome. I guess being ripped from my sleep isn't all that bad since it inspired me to write.

Writing Inspiration -

  1. Usually if I can't sleep I pull out a book. But why not write? 
  2. When do you write? 
  3. Have you ever written in the middle of the night? And if so, was it pure crap the next day, or was it freaking awesome?
Please, I want to know. Because last night was a first for me. And I kind of liked it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

secret 9 of 100

I once lied to a boy.

Tis true. Shocking, no?

Eleventh grade was big for me. Younger than most of my classmates, I finally turned sixteen halfway through junior year. Which meant, I could finally date. Thank the Good Lord!
There was a boy I had my eye on. Tall, athletic, well known, funny (most of the time), and so sweet it made my heart swell just thinking of him.
We shared a few classes. I was on cheer (um...solely by the grace of the cheer coach. Not by talent.) And tall-boy was a basketball player. Whenever possible I would find times to talk with him, try my hand at flirting, and I'd hope and pray Tall-boy would ask me out.

It seemed like eternity passed and Tall-boy hadn't asked me out.
Until one day, he called me on the phone.
Holy freaking moly! He called.
"Hello, Tall-boy," I said into the phone, trying to sound the picture of casualness. But really, "Freaky" and "breathy" pretty much sum it up.

"Hey, Erin. My friend and I are going mountain biking this weekend. I was just wondering if you've ever gone before."

Ok, so was this him asking me out? Or was he just testing the water to see if we were even compatibable. By George! If I wasn't compatible before, I was then. I knew he was quite athletic, and though I was a cheerleader that meant nothing in way of other athletic areas. But there was no way in Hades I would miss an opportunity with Tall-boy. If he wanted a mountain biking chick, then I was the girl for him.
"Of course," I totally and utterly and shamelessly lied into that phone. "I go all the time. I LOVE mountain biking." Or not.
I'd ridden a bike before, it couldn't be that different than riding a cruiser around town. Just add a little mountain, right?

Wrong. So very wrong.

Tall-boy picked me up early in the morning on Saturday. We went with another couple. After driving up into the mountains, we started our bike ride on a very secluded mountain trail. And when I say "mountain trail", I mean vertical ups and downs. As in the most hell-acious bike ride of my life.

Thirty minutes into the ride, my legs felt like jello and I seriously doubted I would ever pee normally again.

An hour later, I wanted to die.

After two hours of biking torture, I thought I was paralyzed because I could no longer feel my limbs.

Three hours later, I hit a tree.
Maybe it was because I mis-judged how fast I was coming down the mountain, or because I was shaking so badly I couldn't see the boulder in the path, but when my bike hit the rock, I didn't even realize I was in the air until the tree stopped my forward momentum. I knew right them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I never should've lied.

Lucky for me, Tall-boy and his friend had gone on, leaving me and Other-girl to follow. She helped me up, dusted off my ridiculously muddy body, and got me back onto my bike.

An eternity later we ended the trail. I could barely walk, I looked as if I hadn't showered in months, and I'd lost all ability to form complete sentences. To this day, I never told Tall-boy the truth. Though he probably figured it out.

What I did learn is that lying about mountain biking is BAD. So very bad.