Monday, January 9, 2012

Ten Reasons to Date a Geek From a Girl who Married one

  • They rarely care what's on TV. This allows you to watch terrible reality shows. They won't have a clue because they had their headphones on, talking to guild members about what dungeon they're going to do, or how they kicked tail in PvP (Player vs. Player).
  • This is somewhat synonymous with the first one, but still worth mentioning. They never hog the remote.
  • They typically encourage the purchase of the latest electronics and gadgets.
  • You will own every console system ever made. Yes, this includes the original Nintendo (and if you're lucky they'll still have Tetris and Super Mario 3).
  • When talking/texting friends, girls never come up. The most risqué topic of conversation is whether they should get the breastplate (gasp) or the helmet with their arena points.
  • Most geeks I've met have vivid imaginations. This makes conversation fun and enjoyable for all.
  • They can live off a diet of pizza and Dr. Pepper (infinitely).
  • Geeks are usually content staying home. 
  • They can entertain themselves.
  • You never have to worry about what they're doing or where they're going because you know exactly where they'll be and exactly what they'll be doing...gaming.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

From Goodreads:
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she's a girl who doesn't believe in second chances...a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom's diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life...and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She's got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who's been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It's time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she's willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

My review:
Hockey boys and cupcakes? Yes, please! I found myself fixing a couple of cups of hot chocolate while I read this book (and I haven't done that in a while). I also found myself watching a lot of Cupcake Wars on Food Network. I won't be surprised if my husband walks in with a confused look on his face because I'm suddenly watching hockey games. But Bittersweet isn't all hockey boys and cupcakes (don't get me wrong, there's plenty of both)--it's so much more.

The emotions in this book are so real. The reader feels Hudson's frustration, confusion, and longing to figure out her own path in life. She's forced to grow up rather quickly with a lot of responsibility. She's had to make sacrifices most teens don't have to worry about. She's the "Cupcake Queen," waitress, and babysitter.

Speaking of babysitter, the secondary characters in Bittersweet are rich and real. I found immediate love for Hudson's little brother, Bug. If anything were to happen to him, I would be devastated. The way Sarah describes him caused me to tear up. I could just picture him pushing his little glasses up on his nose, and taking his pet hamster, Mr. Napkins, everywhere he goes. He has a little piece of my heart.

Not only is this a great story, but Sarah has pretty much mastered the dreaded "show vs. tell." If you're a writer, I encourage you to study her books. She grounds you in the story using all five senses. I could hear Hudson nervously zipping her jacket up and down. I could hear the pop of Hudson and Josh's homemade fire in the abandoned Fillmore Steel Mill. The sounds really immerse the reader in the story.

If you're looking for a fabulous book to cuddle up to while drinking a big steaming mug of hot chocolate (and perhaps a cupcake from the local bakery), then you must read Bittersweet. If you're looking for a book with real, raw emotions, you must read Bittersweet. And if that doesn't convince you, don't forget about the whole team of sexy hockey boys that will surely win you over! ;)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Villains - Darth Vadar

My husband and I got the Star Wars bluray for Christmas, and we've been watching all six of them. I've seen them all before, but never really analyzed the characters from a writer's perspective. Now I have become somewhat obsessed with Darth Vadar as a villain. He's such a complicated character.

I told my husband I've been thinking about Anikin and Padme. Their love story is one of tragedy. He replied that you wouldn't know to feel sympathetic for Darth Vadar just by watching the last three films. But George Lucas didn't write six films for nothing. I think it's imperative to see all six films to really grasp Darth Vadar's character and motivation.

Anikin goes to the Dark Side out of his love for Padme. Padme dies from a broken heart because Anikin turns to the Dark Side. How much more tragic can you get? How can you really blame someone who turns bad out of love?

If you haven't watched all six films, I highly encourage you to do so.

Who are some of your favorite villains? What draws you to a "bad guy"?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writer Wednesday - Books on Editing

Last Wednesday's post was about my favorite writing books. This week I'm going to list some of my favorite books on editing. I've worked as a journalist, an editor, scientific editor, and scientific writer. I've collected a lot of writing books over the years and still visit them pretty often.

The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors - This book is fabulous. It has whether a word should be hyphenated, two words, one word, the spelling, correct usage, etc. It's pretty small and easy to carry around. I use this book constantly.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King - Another fairly small paperback book. This book helps with the craft of writing as well as editing. Your writing will improve and become much stronger if you do the exercises in this book.

The Chicago Manual of Style - I have the 15th edition of this book, but I also have an online subscription. I love this manual. It's a bit heavy, so not a book you'll want to tote around all the time. I use this one mainly at home.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White - This is a really useful, tiny, hardcover book. It's 105 pages of grammatical goodness. This book is a must have for every writer.

What are some of your favorite books on editing?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things to get Your Writer for Christmas

It's that time of year again. Christmas lights shine at night. Santa figurines guard the mantle. The Christmas tree is decked out with ornaments that your cat will knock down in his effort to climb to the top. Your Writer spends all their free time getting words down, neglecting their personal hygiene, putting the laundry off for "one more day" in order to meet a deadline, word count, or writing goal. You may be asking yourself, "What do I get my Writer for Christmas?" Whether it's the love of your life, a friend, or family member, I have some ideas that will have your Writer laughing, smiling, and squealing this Christmas.

A Mandala Workbook - Mandala means "circle" or "wholeness." I've been coloring mandalas in order to free up the right side of my brain. I plotted an entire novel while coloring mandalas. Needless to say, I am hooked. There are all kinds of different patterns and coloring books. Pick out one you think your Writer will like best. Don't forget to get some Sharpies (any ultra-fine point marker will do) or colored pencils.

Writing Shirts - Your Writer can write in style while wearing a writing t-shirt. Your Writer can walk with comma confidence while wearing the Grammarian, or let the entire world know what you already know...they'd Rather Be Writing. With the Not Now, I'm On Deadline shirt, your Writer won't have to explain why they're sleep-deprived, ornery, or constantly switching from manically happy to crying in a corner--the shirt says it all! Once your Writer has completed that manuscript, sent in those edits, or met that deadline, they can strut their stuff in the Writing Goddess tee.

2012 Calendar - Help your Writer remember what day it is with a 2012 Page-a-Day Calendar. There are several out there to wake your Writer's brain and provide inspiration. Don't leave your Writer defenseless. Prepare them for the unexpected with the 2012 ZombieSmarts Calendar. This calendar is complete with facts, history, and questions (there's even space for your Writer to answer) about the undead. For something a little more lively, give your Writer the 2012 Book Lover's Calendar or the 365 New Words-a-Year Calendar.

Stress Reducer - Writing. Is. Stressful. I know this, and your Writer knows this. Help ease some of their stress with this Doctor Who Adipose Stress Toy. It's adorable! Your Writer can also relax and de-stress with this Anti-Stress Pillow.

Caffeine - It's no secret that writers love caffeine. Whether it be tea or coffee, chances are your Writer will be happy with some sort of gift related to caffeine. Labeled as "one of the most convenient teapots you'll find anywhere" (did I mention that writers LOVE convenience), the Adagio Teas Ingenuitea Teapot is something your Writer will want to cuddle. Is your writer more of a coffee connoisseur? Your Writer will enjoy the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker.

Sleep - Writers love sleep, probably because a writer's brain rarely takes a break long enough for us to get a whole lot of it. Help your Writer make the most of their precious hours with this Dream Essential Kit.

Homemade Cards - Help your Writer out by dedicating your time. Take some cards and write "This card is good for..." it can be anything from laundry, dishes, massages, a movie date, dinner date, etc.

Books - You can't go wrong here. Get your writer some books on writing, editing, reading, or get them a fiction book you know they've been dying to read. If all else fails, get them a gift card to your local bookstore.

Journals - A writer can never have too many journals. Help your Writer find their muse mojo with this Journal of Choices. The Inner Truth Journal, I Can't Sleep journal will give your Writer's brain something to do on sleepless nights. My personal favorite, Inner Truth Journal, My Dysfunctions, is an excellent present for any writer.

Spend some time with your Writer this holiday season. Pry the pen from their hand and hide the notebook. Drink eggnog and eat lots of goodies. Your Writer's eyes will light up when they see one of these gifts underneath the tree. Whether they laugh, smile, or squeeze the Doctor Who stress ball, your Writer will think, "You get me! You really really get me!" And sometimes, that's the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Liebster Nomination

Lieb is love in German.

My dear friend, Tonia Marie Houston nominated me for the Liebster Blog award. This award is given to growing blogs with 200 followers or less. As Tonia says, "We are small, but we are mighty." I agree 100%. Everyone has to start somewhere. The blogs with over a thousand followers were once in our mighty shoes. And I know it's only a matter of time before make that leap from 200 to 2000.

The Three Rules of Lieb
1. Show some gratitude.
2. Share the lieb with five others, let them know they're special.
3. Shine. You've earned it.

1. We Heart YA. This blog is by a group of passionate women sharing the good word on reading and writing.

2. Rebecca Fields. Rebecca is a dear friend and critique partner. We built our friendship around the written word, and I cherish it. Show her blog some love :)

3. Stephanie Mooney. Stephanie is an extremely talented writer and graphic designer. She is responsible for my blog design and my upcoming website.

4. Tonia Marie Houston. Tonia (yes, I'm going back to her even though she nominated me) is an amazing person. She's full of encouragement and talent. Can't wait to work with her more in the future ;)

Thanks again for reading my blog and following me as I follow my dreams.