May 31, 2009

Information Overload

Lots to cover here on this EARLY Sunday morning. First, a question for you. Can you explain how on school mornings I can't seem to wake up until I've hit snooze 3 times but on Saturday's and Sundays I can't seem to sleep in past 6:30AM, even though my alarm is set for 7AM?

Well it's the last day of May. How fast it flew by, almost faster than I hit the snooze button on a weekday, but not QUITE that fast. Overall it was a rather pleasant month. (Considering my favorite guy won American Idol and all)

In the lovely month of may I finished editing my book, started sending out queries, got one full Manuscript request, turned a year older, got some great birthday gifts, got MSG Poisoning and found the best treasure at Big Lots during our 'Great Deal' excursion, the Method Aroma Pill - Fresh Cut Grass Scented!!!



I also want to point out the top 5 blogs this month. (Because it makes me feel speshal!)

1. My Big News was a Big Hit! (I was pretty excited too!!!)

2. Phantastic Phriday Contest. YAY! (Although I still feel like not everyone participated! Did you? If not you better!!!)

3. Belated (and possibly my favorite) Birthday Present (hehehe)

4. Feeling Victorious (A big day for me...although I'm still waiting to hear back)

5. Oh No She Didn't! (Surprisingly my Memorial Day weekend was interesting???)

Big things to look out for in June are as follows...

* More updates to www.marybethsmith.com (Got some great content going up soon!)

* Hopefully more MS requests!

* The Last Day of School!!

* A Big Event on June 6th and 7th called Batten Awareness Day

And MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Sunday afternoon. Can't wait to see you all in June!

(By the way, don't forget to vote for me over on the side there for the Blogger's Choice Awards !!!)

May 30, 2009

Bring out the Stress Ball called Writing!

I've had a pretty crappy weekend thus far. No need to go into the details, it's pretty much the same ol shit same different day kinda thing. But for goodness sake! It's the weekend! I don't want to sit around and wallow in self pity, I can save that task for a Monday. (That IS what Monday's were made for right?!?!)

So I woke up and had the urge. (Kinda like the Herbal Essences commercial but without the shampoo and orgasmic noises) The urge that starts with one tiny thought and ends with a million words (ok, maybe not a MILLION...) upon the paper and google.com opened up on my computer and me desperately searching for answers. Granted there is not one scrap of a normal paragraph started, but the ideas are multiplying and taking form and it's starting to come together and make a bit more sense.

This book is a tad more exciting than the first one. The first one just came to me. I knew what I wanted to write about and the first paragraph just flowed from my pen as though it had always been swimming around in my busy little head. This time all I have is one tiny little scene that I have to build an entire world around. So many unanswered question that will lead to this scene. A scene that means everything to this world. It's invigorating and exciting. I don't even get to know what is going to happen next!

So how did your novels start? Did you know what you were going to write about? Did you have to rack your brain for ideas? Were you just writing to write, or were you writing to finish an idea that was swimming around in your head?

~~~

Alright Kids! It's that time again! (No not Howdy Doody Time! Geez!) Award number 3 is being given to The Momplex. This is the site that got me started on my own blog. I fell in love with her stories and decided I wanted to start one of my own. She's hilarious and creative and she writes as though she picked up a pen while she was still in the womb. Congrats Momplex! You Rock!

May 29, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - CONTEST...YAY!!!

*** DISCLAIMER: In honor of it being Phriday, and in rephusal to submit to boredom, I have decided that the Letter F shall phrom here on out be replaced with a PH (except phor in pictures, which I have no control over)***

I love contests! So I'm not sure WHAT the prize will be just yet...but we'll get to that part later!
So here it is kids, the best contest EVER!!!

GNAME MY GNOME!

When my phirst Blog winner over at Words Words Words posted her award to day she got the question, "Does the Gnome have a gname?" And I thought, "OMG!!! I never even considered naming him. But we MUST name him. He can't go on gnameless any longer! I need YOUR help! (Why is it I think oph Dora the Explorer every time I say that?)

So in the comments section please place your prephphered gname (and the reason you chose it) phor my little Gnommie up in the right hand corner oph my blog. Monday morning I will announce the winning Gname and it's owner. (I will probably announce the prize at that time too! Um any ideas?)
Have at it phriends!!! Can't wait to hear your ideas! Break out the Baby Naming books and come up with the best Gnome inspired Gname you can think oph!

~~~

Phor my 2nd Phavorite Gnome Approved Blog Award I am choosing On the Path phor her inspiring and insanely educational views on the writing industry. Having just been signed by an agent, Jody is bound to be a successphul author as she is already brilliant and incredibly talented!

And have a happy Phantastic Phantasmagoric Phriday!!!

May 28, 2009

Lack of Focus? (Oooh Sparkly Gnome!)

***Ok, well I've never REALLY set eyes on a Sparkly Gnome, but I'd like to! (I even googled it ... they don't exist ... possibly an idea to patent????)***
~~~
It appears I may be having a temporary lack of focus. (I say temporary because I am in denial of it turning into a possible permanent condition) Now that I have queried my first batch of agents, I can't seem to get my head back on on the 'write' track. I have a new book idea, but instead of actually putting the pretty pink pen (because all stories look better written in pink!) in my hand and splashing the words onto the paper of my new green (I love green!) notebook, I have been sitting here and letting the details swim around in my, already overly crowded, head. I'm not completely sure why I haven't started spilling out my story yet, but there are a few reasons why I think I am keeping it bottled up....

1. I can't decide WHAT my characters are. Are they people? Are they human? Are they little tiny gnomes running around in a pretty little garden full of flowers and pumkins? (Yeah probably not...) So I don't feel like I can start a story without answering this question. Reasonable enough...right?

2. Well up until yesterday it was because I didn't have a new notebook to devote to it...ruined that excuse.!

3. What if there is still more to do with the other story and I am jumping into the new one too soon! (I suppose choosing not to work on either of them isn't solving this problem though eh?)

4. What if this book is better than the first and my amazing first idea falls to the background even though it was the whole reason I began aspiring to be a novelist in the first place! (wow...that sounds kinda whiney doesn't it....scratch that excuse!)

5. Um....my pink pen ran out of ink....ok um...that's a lie....sigh...

All in all a pile of poor excuses ... well minus the first one. It really is a problem! ...

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever lost focus on your writing after finishing a novel? What did you do?

Ok, as promised, I am to award my FIRST Favorite Gnome Approved Blog Award (That's right...I changed the name. I just didn't understand the 'Honest Scrap' reference!) And I have chosen this new picture...

So my first award goes to Words Words Words for her entertaining yet informative views on becoming a writer. I especially like her blog titles and occasionally obsure blog topics! Give her site a visit, possibly join her Blogaholics Anonymous!

And 1st 2 Facts about me...

1. God created me a bargain shopper by making me little and able to wear children's clothing and shoes! This comes in handy when trying to save money! (So it's kinda his fault I'm addicted to Target!)

2. I rode my first 2 Wheeler when I was 4 yrs old. Something about having 5 older brothers and sisters that didn't have training wheels brought on the determination! (Full of determination even at a young age...I'm bound to be successful I tell ya!)

May 27, 2009

My Big News!

So I know you've all been waiting for it. The Big News announcement I made yesterday has you on the edge of your seats, I just know it! I am SURE that you all went to bed last night thinking about it. You tossed and you turned uncontrollably just trying to figure out what my announcement would be this morning. I am sorry I interrupted your sleep! So let's get to it!

Well I haven't found myself an agent just yet. (Actually I've only found myself a couple more form rejections. Sigh....)

Sorry JM81...no update on my cryptic message...you're still going to have to wait on that one!

And Goodness Sake I AM NOT Pregnant again!!!! (I know some of you thought that!)

Nope my Big News is this...
My New Website is Up!!!!

Check it out!!! PLEASE leave some comments and tell us what you think or if you find any bugs/mistakes. I'm super excited. It's only the beta version and we have tons to add, but you'll get a good idea of what it's all about and I absolutely ADORE the design.

Also, I have a little small news....

***I've added some links to the said for the 2009 Bloggers Choice awards. Please feel compelled to vote for me!

***I won this blogging award yesterday from Paula J. over at Life as we know it by Paula


She had some wonderful things to say about my blog. Thanks Paula J.! You rock. So apparently I, in return, have to award 7 more people and add 10 Personal Facts about myself to the end of each blog. The awards will start tomorrow (possibly with a new pic though, I'm not sure what 'Honest Scrap' means???) as will the Personal Facts. Be prepared!!!

May 26, 2009

Oh NO She Didn't!!!


Oh but I did! I actually took a day off from blogging yesterday. *GASP!* I figured it was a long weekend and I needed to spend a little more time with the family and less time on the computer on the 'Extra' day off. (Translation: I spent too much time taking naps and reading and being flat out lazy to make it over to the computer. Still quite amazing in of itself!) But it was such a lovely weekend, regardless of how busy it was!

Here are some highlights:

Friday

Took the wee one to the park with the neighbors. We had a great time. (Minus the moments where the kids would only admit to having to go to the bathroom AFTER we had just returned from the restrooms with another child...Oh No...we asked EACH child before leaving the first time, they just decided to LIE and hold it till we got back for entertainment, or at least that's my theory.) Once the kids and husband were home we went to Meijer for some awesome grocery shopping and to buy a bike for the middle son who was in need of an upgrade. (Killer Friday night hey! Grocery shopping!) Got home...threw the bottle of wine in the freezer to get it cold... cooked dinner then put the kids to bed and went to bed myself after reading for a small bit. EXCITING TIMES!!!

Saturday

Woke up and let the kids ride their bikes since middle son had just gotten a new one. The two older children winched (yes I made that word up myself) and complained because it was too hard without the training wheels while the 4 year old hopped right on his and crashed and burned a bunch of times, but it didn't stop him! I think he'll be riding a 2 wheeler before the other two. So ANYWAYS... new bike had a bent rim... back to Meijer. Ran to the back, grabbed a new bike and walked past the wine section. (OH $H!T! Frozen Wine Alert! Ironic Story Actually...) Came home...blah blah blah...had some family over, quite enjoyable time. (Especially the part where we put in Harry Potter for the kids to watch and they took off to play and only the adults were watching it.) Then I went out to a Moms Night Out Yoga class. Loved it...my body, not so much....it still hurts! But I'd go back! Came home, more reading, sleep!

Sunday

UP EARLY (UGH!!) Nephew had First Communion and Confirmation. Had to go into our hometown to attend, nothing better than an hour and a half road trip at 8AM on a Sunday morning! Well we got there early. (Oops...apparently I have a bad perception of time.....) So we stopped into Meijer. (Catching onto the trend yet?) Then mass, party party party, drive home, dinner, reading, bedtime. Oh but I got an awesome framed pic of a gnome from my dad as a late birthday gift. My dad ROCKS!!!

Monday

We wake up and realize that our flour supply is low. BACK to Meijer!!!! This time the kids say "Um, why are we here AGAIN?" I was thinking the exact same thing! Lunch, naptime, more reading... (such a nice break from writing, and it's the first time I've done it in the last 8 months!) then we decided it was time to do something fun with the kids. I suggest the Park, maybe a movie. My husband says, "No, those just don't sound fun. Let's go to Chuck E. Cheese!" (Because running around and chasing our children in a small restaurant where 500 other children are running around and screaming and not listening to thier parents DOES sound like fun...) Well it was actually a good time. The kids were great and minus the one little boy who kept trying to steal our tickets and tolkens (Um where were his parents????) it was a great time. Then back home, more reading and bedtime!

~~~

Doesn't that sound so exciting!!!! Well it was pretty relaxing actually. And what wasn't relaxing was entertaining. So I'm not complaining. I hope everyone had an equally as wonderful long Holiday weekend as us!!!

BIG NEWS TOMORROW!!! Make sure you tune in!

May 23, 2009

It was Inevitable...

...And it happened...I woke up this morning, grabbed the closest notebook to me, ran over to my desk, grabbed my favorite pink pen, ran back over to the notebook ... and wrote it all down! The scene is so vivid in my mind that I couldn't help but remember it. I had to elaborate. I had to explain why these two girls were who they were and felt how they felt. The words cascaded from the pen as if they had always been swimming around in the ink.

Here I am, barely done with my first novel, still in need of two sequels, and I have a WHOLE NEW idea brewing up in that story making factory in my head. This one is completely different though. Well it's still the good vs. evil theme, but completely different worlds. I can't help but be excited. I was getting a bit lonely without my novel sitting in front of me every day.

So there it is...my answer to what to do while I'm waiting. Guess I better go buy a new notebook!

Hope your Holiday weekend has started nicely!

May 22, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - Link Lovin

***In honor of it being Phriday, and in rephusal to submit to boredom, I have decided that the Letter F shall phrom here on out be replaced with a PH (except phor in pictures, which I have no control over)***

Happy Phantastic, Phantasmagoric, Phriday my Phriends!

I decided today was a great day to show some Link Lovin! So here is some shameless promotions!



Phirst let's start ophph with this photo....um AWESOME!!! Chris is by phar the best photografer (I suppose if a ph is there already we should change it to an f right???) ever!!!
Visit his web page, you will not be disappointed.



And here is a new blog a phriend of mine started recently...check it out...
show her some love!!!

CMOM Productions

And just wait!!! Soon I will be posting my new website on here. I am so stoked! Hubby has been working on it phor a phew weeks now and we are almost ready to launch. Can't wait to share!!!

Well iph I don't hear from you guys over the weekend I hope everyone has a very saphe and happy Holiday!


May 21, 2009

Ok....so MAYBE I screamed like a Teenager....

Yep that's right kids. I was on my bed watching TV with the husband last night and the scene looked a little bit like this...

She sat silently on her knees. Her fingers were crossed although her fists were balled up and she stared at the TV before her, drool slightly falling from the right side of her mouth. She breathed in heavily and bit her lip as she closed her eyes. This was the moment she had been anticipating for the last 10 weeks.

She could hear Ryan Seacrest open the envelope and her eyes jolted open, she couldn't help it, she had to watch. Her heart stopped as he said the words, "And our Next....American Idol..." Her fingers were on the verge of breaking as she crossed them with such force. Then, just as she couldn't wait any longer, he said the name she'd been waiting for. "KRIS ALLEN."

She bolted up from her sitting position and screaming began to jump on the bed. Her husband stared at her as though she was possibly the craziest person he had ever met.

And it sounded a little like this...



Yes, that is correct...I my friends...I Poppins, pulled a Tatiana Del Toro scream last night. I sounded like a crazy teenage (oh who are we kidding, probably a mom) fan girl that had just been sat in front of Edward Cullen. Sure, Adam WAS talented enough to win, but I can't help it. He's the underdog, the one no one thought could do it. And he proved them all wrong. The underdogs ROCK!!! Don't let us fool ya people, we can bring it!!!! (And can I just mention that Ryan Seacrest looked SUPER hot in the Norman Gentle headband and glasses!)



So, did you enjoy the show last night? There were some super hot acts! My personal favorite, Jason Mraz. LOVE that man. Other Blog worthy moments would have been...

Bikini Girl vs. Kara Dioguardi (And the coy little comment Ryan gave her "I'd ask what's new, but I think we already know." CLASSIC!)

Norman Gentle (LOVE HIM!)

Tatiana Del Toro (Was it staged? Um I'm gonna say YEAH!)

And what was up with those skeleton winglike shoulder pads Adam had on while singing with Kiss??? Kinda concerned!

Oh and let's not forget...QUEEN!!!

Ok I'll stop now...I'm sure everyone has had more than enough hearing about last nights AWESOME season finale. Hope everyone has a wonderful day now that the anticipation of yesterday has worn off!

May 20, 2009

My American Idol Theory

First off....you tell me.....

Who do YOU think will be the Next American Idol?
Kris Allen
Adam Lambert
whooga uk
I am pretty excited about tonight's Finale of American Idol. After voting for Kris about 4 (or possibly 9, I can't remember for sure) times, I hope I can spend the end of the evening jumping up and down while screaming as I did last year.

Here's my theory....

If Kris (The total Underdog that no one even paid attention to in the beginning of the season) can win American Idol ... I can so find me an agent!!! Why yes, he had nights upon nights of rejection from Simon and the other Judges who didn't think he was good enough, but in the end... well regardless if he wins or not ...he's proved them all wrong. Unfortunately at this point I don't really have anyone to prove wrong. All of my friends and family already totally believe I'll do it. I think it's just the little nagging judges in my head that one day tell me I'm incredible, and the next day tell me "I don't know dog, I'm not sure this is the right time for you."

SO GO KRIS!!! Prove those nagging judges wrong!

So a few weeks ago Rachelle Gardner held the Writing is like American Idol Because.... Contest

The winner of the Contest (and by far MY personal Favorite) is below. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (And I can so hear these little judges in my head!)

H. Scott Hunt said...

Randy: “Yo, yo, yo. Check it out. Dude. I was thinking all week long, like, man, how is he gonna do with this genre. But Dude, let me tell ya; you knocked it out of the park!”

Kara: “I’ve got just three words: You-Could-Write-The-Phonebook!”

Paula: “I…let’s…I think…what…your cover looks really great tonight.”

Simon: “Honestly, I don’t know what these other three were reading. Your story was rubbish and quite boring really, and I think the ramblings of a third grader’s essay on what he did this past summer would have been more enjoyable. I really couldn’t wait until it was over. I think you’re in serious trouble this week.”

May 19, 2009

Feeling Victorious!

I only wish it was because I had gotten "The Call" from an agent as my awesome fellow Blogger Jody Hedlund did yesterday. (Congrats Jody!!!) BUT I still made it over a large hurdle. I have perfected my query letter...and I LOVE IT! That in itself is immensely victorious!

So here is how I am feeling right now....



My head is spinning and moving at light speed. All I can think about is which agents to query and how to find them and how many agents I should send it to and and and and... I am feeling super light headed (possibly because I am hungry though...tough call there) and I am beyond euphoric.

Have I gone crazy? How did you feel when you pushed out the query letter that made you jump with excitement?

***Are you scared of how I'll react when I do get "The Call"? Because I am!!!***

**UPDATE! Got first FULL Manuscript request!***

May 18, 2009

Never too Young for Sarcasm!

One of my favorite things about me ... Yes that's right, I often sit back and think "Hmmmm what is my favorite thing about me..." But then I stop, because we all know there are too many awesome qualities to count!!! Ok back on track... One of my favorite things about me is my sarcasm. Sarcasm is a wonderful tool to possess in life. (When used during appropriate times that is. *Note to me* Blog about inappropriate uses of sarcasm soon.....)

But even better than being a sarcastic little spitfire, I have created THREE sarcastic little monsters as well! (YAY ME!)


Example:

Irritated 6 year old sits back and watches as brother and sister decide to play with their toys instead of help him with the "Cleaning" portion of the afternoon.


Smart child bellows out, "It's ok guys. You just sit there and keep playing. I'll go ahead and clean this all up on my own. I'm sure it will be LOTS of fun!"


Sniff Sniff....I'm so proud of him!!!

May 17, 2009

Sunday's are for Sharing

So I went out to Karaoke last night. Had a great group of people next to us that decided to judge Karaoke singers in an American Idol fashion. Priceless I tell ya! So one of the guys in the group got up and sang 'Hey there Delilah' and of course it's STILL stuck in my head. So I was I was singing for the it to myself for the 47th time this morning I remembered this video and decided I needed to share it. Enjoy!!!

May 16, 2009

Belated (and possibly my favorite) Birthday Present

***Disclaimer...Possibly a TINY bit off color...but I can't help it...he made me laugh!!!***


That's right...

Everyone, meet Mr. Potty Gnome!



Look how modest he is...covering up his junk!



Where my kids thought I should keep him...fair enough.
But I think he'd get in the way...just saying!




Mooning the neighbors...Classic!


Waiting for it to stop raining...so we can set him outside...

I'm not so sure the window it the RIGHT place for him, but it's raining out. We will find him a good home...soon...very soon....

To be continued...

May 15, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - Oooooooooo Scary!


***In honor of it being Phriday, and in rephusal to submit to boredom, I have decided that the Letter F shall phrom here on out be replaced with a PH (except phor in pictures, which I have no control over)***

Happy Phantastic, Phantasmagoric, Phriday my Phriends!

I've been pondering a question lately. (See what querying does to a person!!! All these questions and memories and AHHHHH!) I can't decide which is more terriphing. Success or Phailure? Here are my explanations phor both phears.

Phear oph Phailure


Somewhat self explanatory. No one wants to be a phailure. All the rejection hurts and tears down on our self confidence. It makes you wonder if you are always going to be a phailure, which is unlikely, (I'm taking the Poster Paint out to my card board box JUST INCASE this afternoon. One needs to be prepared!) but the pheeling is there regardless.

Phear oph Success


A bit more complicated. Most people crave success, as do I. But I'm still terriphied of it! My entire liphe would change. (No need to worry about Poster Paints, someone give me the number phor a contractor! He can do the painting!) Some oph my problems would disapear, but what iph new ones arrise? Will I become a diphpherent person? Will my phamily still love me iph I change? See how scary that sounds!!!

I am not sure which scares me more, but I did hit send on my phirst query letter today, so maybe it is Phailure. But then again, it was Nathan Bransphord...kinda shooting high with that one, maybe it really is Success.

Which scares you more? Phailure or Success?

May 14, 2009

Interview Survivor - Who will get voted off the Island!


Working on my query letter and thinking about what will happen next has had me thinking about what has happened so far, specifically the interviews I've taken part in. After all, isn't querying an agent similar to interviewing for a new job? One interview in particular sticks out as the most unique experience I've ever had in the interviewing world. Interview Survivor!

I kid you not...it was exactly like a Survivor/American Idol/Apprentice/Reality Vote Someone off the show experience. It was great!

So here is the scenerio...

Five unemployed individuals who are desperately in need of a job come in for the interview of their lives. Only TWO will leave with a job offer and a personal cubical! Who will make it through to the next round in "Interview Survivor"!

I arrive to the interview late because I had gotten lost. (I'm losing points before I even get there! Crap!) Not to worry though, two other interviewees did not bother to show! (HA HA...Sweet...I'm back on the Island!) It's now only three unemployed wanna-be's fighting for the best (worst) job of their life. I can handle this. I'm cute and friendly and people like me! (I keep repeating this to myself) I sit down behind someone's laptop that they've donated for the event which has been placed upon a folding table. (Sweet! Apparently they are already having budget issues...this isn't a good time to bring up my 90 Day review raise is it?)

Round One - Hand Shakes (Have I mentioned that I still don't know what job I'm interviewing for at this point?)

Each of us walks up to (let's just say) Bob, the man heading up the interview, and shakes his had. I walk up to him and give him a firm grip, holding onto his hand for a moment, looking him straight in the eye and smiling like I know his secret. (Which I don't!) I let go and walk to the back of the line, which by this time has grown and now includes the other employees who had recently been hired for other positions. The line moves and Bob frowns as he shakes each persons hand. He gets to the end and shakes his head back in forth in utter disappointment. (Did I do something wrong?)

"I want each of you to walk up to Marybeth and shake her hand." (Oh CRAP...I did do something wrong, maybe I looked at him for too long?)

So the line goes through again. I continue to shake the hands of the other participants in the exact way I had shook Bob's hand. Their grips were weak and shaky, and to be honest somewhat uncomfortable. They all pulled away quickly and stared at me as though I am hurting them. (Kay, um...I'm about 5 ft nothing and my hands are the size of an 8 yr old's. The possibility of me hurting them was about 5%!)

"This," Bob announces, "is the way you should be shaking hands during an interview," he concludes pointing to me. (SCORE! I did something right!) And he makes them all do it two or three more times.

Round Two - (Finally!) The explanation of the job description.

The job involves some light web design work. This is perfect, my husband is a web designer. I automatically have a one up on all occupants of the room. Bob smiles at me as he witnesses me understanding everything he explains. He instructs each of us to create a website right then and there using one of his ready made templates. Round two's winner is, by a landslide, Marybeth!

Round Three - Sales Pitch

Round Four - I can't remember...

By the end of the day I was so burnt out! All this for one job interview! BUT without fail, it was mine. He offered it to me immediately... for $7 an hour. (FAIL!) WITH potential to be a sales rep and make massive commission ... after the first year. (DOUBLE FAIL!)

Lesson Learned!

I rock ... I can sell the phone book. However, I need to keep a watchful eye out for those who want to take advantage of me. In a world where the economy is so unforgiving, it so easy to just give in to the first job or contract offer that comes our way. We need to remember to be choosy and not sell ourselves short.

I am not by any means saying I KNOW my book is going to sell and I am bound to have an agent contract with my first query. (Although I would LIKE to say that!) But I do need to remember to keep a watchful eye and look at all my options if I do in fact catch the eye of someone who realizes I have talent ;)

May 13, 2009

Why Gnomes are Gnessesary

I went out to dinner with my cousin the other night (Soup, Salad and Breadsticks Baby!!!) We ate, we laughed, we mocked obscure family members...it was lovely. Afterward I needed to take a detour to Target for a prescription. (I love Target...I could live there...seriously!) Unfortunately after we had finished devouring our yummy yummy Italian goodness, the Pharmacy was closed. We then decided to peruse the store. (I mean, we were IN there already. Why waste a perfectly good trip by just walking in and out of this heavenly store? That would be wrong in so many ways!)

We get to the dollar section and what is sitting there? One lonely little gnome...poor little guy...all alone...how sad! I double checked my purse and (of course) what had I done? Forgotten my Target Gift Card!!! (The world stopped. Thunder struck. Screams were heard... possibly from me... and tears formed in the corner of my eyes.) I could not figure out a way to rationalize spending $1 on my debit card and unfortunately a Target shopping spree was not in the budget this week. So I sulked out of Heaven, I mean Target, with my cousin laughing at me.

"You are weird," she says to me. (Um DUH, you are too...remember, we are related...I refrain from saying this aloud)

"But gnomes ROCK!" I explain. She stares at me with confusion, or possibly fear that I have gone completely crazy. I couldn't tell the difference. It was clear what I needed to do to make her understand. I needed to start from the beginning.............


Last year my husband an I took a trip to North Carolina. It was the same time of the year and Target once again had Gnomes in the dollar section. I HAD to get them. I mean isn't it obvious...we were travelling....we NEEDED them! (Helllllloooo Roaming Gnomes!!!) So I bought one for each of us and they sat beside us the entire trip.

Oh No! Dear Husband is driving...I can't look!


It's ok guys. I'll keep you are safe up here, you just rest up.


Oh No! We're Lost!



Oh....did I tell you to turn that way? My bad...




It's an early morning, just because Marybeth doesn't like coffee doesn't mean I don't!



That was some Nasty Coffee! (Should have listened to Marybeth!)


Now OBVIOUSLY you can see why this was necessary....right?!?! After our trip to North Carolina with my awesome Roaming Gnomes, it is safe to say...it was love. Now I need to have gnomes for everything. Unfortunately, the story didn't help her understand. She still thought I was crazy. But I'm not, I swear! You understand...Right? RIGHT!!!!



May 12, 2009

But I like to Play in Traffic!!!

As an aspiring novelist ...I like the word novelist better than author or writer...doesn't it just roll off the tongue so nicely...say it with me...novelist...it just gives me goosebumps! So as I was saying ... As an aspiring novelist, I find that it is important to build a platform. (small word...Big meaning, I know...didn't quite understand it myself at first.)

Although it wasn't the only reason I started this blog, I have found it to be quite relevant toward making a name for myself. (Keep in mind, the networking and support system I have gained has been much more rewarding than simply getting my name out there!!!) Unfortunately simply building a blog doesn't exactly guarantee you readership. That piece of the puzzle is a bit more difficult to put together. And let's be honest here...regardless of WHY we are blogging, we all want more followers...am I wrong? (Who said never play in traffic...I love traffic!!!)

So here are a few things I have started that have helped build traffic.


Facebook has been an AWESOME tool for me. By building a
Page, starting a Group and participating in Networked Blogs...I have brought on a good amount of new readers (Thanks guys...I LOVE YOU!!!)

I've become very active in Twitter. Although I haven't gained a ton of readership, I have gained contact with other aspiring novelists (there is that pretty word again! Novelist...) and publishing agents.

I've also joined other sites such as
Blogher, Blogged, and MomLogic but unfortunately haven't had much success with them yet.

I think the best method of building traffic is comments. I know when someone new leaves a comment on my blog, I immediately check out their blog in return. I've also noticed when I leave comments on new blogs I have visited, I often get a comment from that blog owner.
Comments ARE Contagious!

What have you found to be helpful? If you are a fellow writer, has blogging helped build your platform? Let me know what you think!!!

May 11, 2009

There is Only One Thing Left to Do

It's finally that time kids ... I've written, I've edited, I've pruned, I've rewritten, I've moved chapters, I've edited some more, and edited again ... and now it's time. The only thing left to do...

...*Poppins pulls her hair out, breaks into a cold sweat and screams!* ...

The only thing left to do is write the query letter.

I have painfully realized through my first attempts at query letter writing, that I am indeed not very good at it. Well let's be honest, I'm horrible at it. My novel comes off as silly, superficial and uninteresting when I try to summarize it. The novel itself, not so silly, superficial and uninteresting. Does this make me a bad writer? Am I suffering from lack of oxygen to the brain? (No need to answer that one kids...) Why is it so hard to summarize 80,000 words into 250?

...*Poppins sighs (Loudly!) and places her wrinkled forehead in her tiny child sized hands*...

I've read ALL the blogs and articles I can find on it, yet I still can't seem to perfect it. And seeing as I AM Desperately Searching for my Inner Mary Poppins, you can guess that my Query Letter is not leaving my Inbox until it is PERFECT! I'm just not sure how to get it that way yet.

Can you help me? PLEASE SHARE WITH ME YOUR SECRETS! I like secrets! (No not the secret about your co-worker's husband's affair with the secretary's sister who was once a man, or the one about your brother's uncle's monkey that just got out of Banana Rehab, and I do NOT need to know that you pick your nose and pee in the shower... ) Tell me your secrets to Query Letter writing! I need all the help I can get!!!

... *Poppins gets down on her knees and begins to beg with her pathetic blue eyes turned into a puppy dog fashion*...

May 10, 2009

May 9, 2009

Bread and Water

I love my kids, sweetest little devils on the earth I tell ya ! I woke up to my daughter in my face saying, "Mommy, we made you breakfast. Toast and Water, your favorite!" What a beautiful gesture. Breakfast in bed! I love her. But.....I'm not so sure Bread and Water is my "Favorite"...LOL

So let's explore this statement a bit further...

If Bread and Water WERE my favorite...

I would be an excellent candidate for being homeless. (I hope they have butter!)

I'd be Jesus's BFF! He loved Bread and Water! (Which WOULD benefit me in a great way, considering he turns water into wine!)

My grocery bill would be significantly LESS!

Bad breath would never be a problem...BONUS

AND I would have a theme song!!!! (Please watch this, it's one of my favorites!)



YEAH TOAST!!!

SO.... After exploring my options a bit further, I have decided that my daughter was correct. Toast and Water IS my favorite! Way to go darling little daughter, you know me better than I know myself!

May 8, 2009

What I REALLY got for my Birthday

Dear Mother Nature,

I know it is suppose to be "the thought that counts", but seriously. Although your intentions may have been genuine, I'm not so sure you chose the right gift. I know... I know... I should be happy you took the time
to give me anything at all. It's not every day you send out Birthday Presents. But really, one gift would have been enough.

Bronchitis was a lovely thought. Who doesn't want to hack up a lung on their birthday! It was a lovely gesture. However, I think the double ear infection was a little bit over the top! It is a little known fact that most people enjoy staying up late to ring in their Birthday, but I do not believe a throbbing ear was the right way to keep me awake.

Point being made, sweet darling Mother Nature. Please don't give me any gifts next year. It was kinda of you to think of me, but a simple "Happy Birthday" will suffice in the coming years.

Sincerely Your Ungrateful Friend,


Poppins

May 7, 2009

Before I'm Thirty

After tomorrow, I have only 2 years left before the Dirty Thirty! I've decided to compile a list of Goals to fulfill before May 8, 2011. And because you guys are so wonderful, I have decided to share this list with you...in the form of a poem! (Did I mention I suck at Poetry?)
Before I am Thirty
a Poem by Marybeth Poppins

Before I am Thirty there are many thinks I'd like to accomplish.
Before I am Thirty I want to know how Roger turned into a fish!
(I mean seriously, how does an ant turn into a fish!)

Before I am Thirty I want to publish my book.
Before I am Thirty I want to be the worlds greatest cook!
(So that my kids will finally eat my food without complaining!)

Before I am Thirty I want a 28 inch waist.
Before I am Thirty I want to teach my young daughter how to copy and paste.
(Starting to have trouble with the rhyming thing...)

Before I am Thirty I want to really big house.
Before I am Thirty I want a smoke free spouse.
(Oh maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud, I LOVE YOU TOBBY)

Before I am Thirty I want my hair to be long.
Before I am Thirty I want to write a killer song.
(Because as you can see, I'm an AWESOME Rhymer!)

Before I am Thirty I will be famous and loved.
Before I am Thirty will be something else that rhymes with loved.
(I couldn't think of a way to put 'doved' into sentence, and what does it mean to be 'doved' anyhow?)

Before I am Thirty I will b
e SUPER Successful.
Before I am Thirty I will be Fantastical.
(That's right! Fa
ntastical!)

Dr. Seuss should make a book out of this! Isn't it the best poem you've ever heard? Maybe I should try to get it published??? Hmmmmmmm......




May 6, 2009

If my children were purchasing my birthday presents...

I'd end up with THESE items...


The Topsy Turvy. I will no longer have to dig up a garden and I will always have fresh tomatoes. I'll be the envy of all tomato gardeners!


Touch and Brush...also in 'Chrome"!



Mighty Mendit. If I had some of this, I wouldn't have to throw away any clothing ever again!


And who can forget these!!!



BendaWhat?! BendaWho?!

Thank You Nickelodeon, Disney AND PBS. I am now a horrible parent for not owning these particular items that, in my children' opinion, should be able to save the world!

Are your kids as entertained with these commercials as mine are? Did I miss any "Must Have" items? Do you find it as disturbing as I do that they market this stuff during kids TV? :D

May 5, 2009

My Birthday Wish List

That's right kids, my birthday is Friday ... and I'm going to be old(er)! I'm counting down to the dirty thirty...two more years! Maybe by then I'll LOOK 18 and stop getting carded when I buy my husband cigarettes. (Doubtful!) So I decided to let you all know WHAT it is I want for my birthday. (Someone please send this link to my husband!!!)

1. First I'll need a Pedicure to start out my "Special" Day.
We can't be having dirty feet!

2. Then I'll need a Camera to take pics of my "Special" Day.
The CrackBerry phone just isn't cutting the mustard!

3. How am I going to get through the day without some tunes?
I'm gonna need a Green Nano.

4. Speaking of green...I need to finish my book soon.
It would be WAY easier with my own green laptop.
I've tried a pink one, it just didn't do the job well.
I am SURE a green one would improve my manuscript drastically!

5. Summer is creeping up, as is swim suit season...so I could use a Personal Trainer...who looks like this....

(But I'll settle for one that looks like this)

6. I would also LOVE a Literary Agent


7. And I NEEDS me one of these so I can write blogs like
this!

8. I'd also like one of these

9. And one of these..

10. And a pair of these to make it ALL match :D
**Notice the open toe, to show off my pedicure!**


So if ya'll could get started on that...that would be GREEAAAAATTTT!!!!!


May 4, 2009

I Can't Leave a Friend in the Dark!

Oh poor dear Katie!!!

While voting for my favorite "Why writing is like American Idol" entry, I see the most disturbing comment ever.

Katie said...

I'm eager to see who the winner will be! I'm confused about something... maybe I'm out of the loop here - but who is McDreamy?? If someone could enlighten me, that would be awesome!

WHO IS MCDREAMY??!! Well I couldn't just leave a fellow blogging friend in the dark. I felt compelled. I felt inspired. I would be the savior. I would inform this poor, unfortunate, non Grey's Anatomy watching child about the greatest man to ever walk the earth. (Right next to Edward Cullen of course...)


McDreamy = LOVE

Derek Shephard, AKA Dr. McDreamy, is the love of my life (Shhhh, don't tell my husband, although I'm afraid he's already suspicious)



I LOVE this video. It's only from the first season, but it's got "The Look", and that is to die for.

So you ask, "Who is McDreamy?". May I suggest seasons 1 thru 3 for the best description? You'll be hooked immediately! PROMISE!

Did this help? Are there any questions? I could continue to describe with words...but words just can't do him justice :D