Nov 30, 2010

If you only do one thing today....

Please let it be taking a moment to vote for something so NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART!!!

Nov 15, 2010

Other Places where You can Find Me!

I know I've been missing for quite some time now. There is so much going on and since this is my happy fun blog ... well I haven't had a whole lot to say.

HOWEVER...

I don't want to ruin that with any long rants about life and living and all the lovely stuff.

I mean seriously ...

Queries, School Issues, and Money Oh my! Need I say more??? :)

So, how bout you? What's new. What have I missed? (Besides all of you!!! Duh!!!)

And hey....I could SUPER use some cheering up today. So um (**shameless self promotion alert**) if you could possibly go "follow" my new blog, we could be in love!!!

Just click here --------> www.askabipolar.com

I swear there's lot's of good stuff to read. Super educational and hey, sometimes even entertaining. (I mean really, you can't expect me to be serious ALL the time (or possibly even most of the time)

Hope all is well. I really Do miss you guys!!!

OH and yeah .... I totally redid my personal website. It's pretty! Click here --------> www.marybethsmith.com

Oct 8, 2010

It kinda feels like I'm famous (Even if I'm not!)

So um yeah....someone wrote an article about me. It kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and important. And it TOTALLY puts all sorts of #windinmyhhhhaaaiiiirrrr!

Wanna read it? (Of course you do!) Well here is the link to it. Big thanks to Writer News Weekly for featuring me :)

Sep 29, 2010

Things I miss...

Since the beginning of the year I've acquired quite a list of things I haven't been able to get to, thus causing me to miss them oh so very much...

1. My Desperately Searching Friends

2. Writing about funny things instead of all the poo monkeys that are invading my life

3. Writing about anything besides poo monkeys in general

4. Editing (Yeah....that's how busy I've been...I actually MISS editing)

5. Tiny pieces of Sanity... I swear I used to see them at least some times!

6. Being called Poppins

7. My little Kindergartner who is gone every day all day now :(

8. Working on things that weren't NECESSITIES...they were just fun.

9. Reading and commenting on blogs every day

10. Twitter

11. Writing Sprints

12. Running

13. Keeping up with everyone's publishing careers

14. Working on my publishing career

15.  Chatting up agents

      As you can see my life has been a bit hectic and all the things that make me all sorts of happy have been missing. So I'm brainstorming on how to get them all back. Unfortunately my brain storm is more like gentle sprinkle....not quenching the thirst if you know what I mean!

      So help me out. Tell me what else I've missed? Who's published? Who's agented? Who's writing a new book? I NEED to know!!!

      tell me Tell Me TELL MEEEEE!

      Aug 31, 2010

      Quick Question!

      If I were to change my domain name....what would a good one be?

      I mean I think www.desperatelysearchingformyinnermarypoppins.com would be a bit long?

      And possibly www.dsfmimp.com is a bit confusing

      I do have a www.marybethpoppins.com

      What do you think? Which site would you be most likely to visit????

      Aug 29, 2010

      I promis I'm still alive

      I know I've been quite MIA lately...but things will change soon. I promise.

      I'm almost done with my novel, I've recruited new authors for my new site and starting September 7th I will officially have 6 hours a day to myself!!!!

      So it won't be much longer kids. Soon I will be back to reading your blogs and writing my own.


      I really miss you guys!

      Aug 22, 2010

      Writing outside your comfort zone

      So I'm in love again. This time I really think it's the real thing. But here's the problem...I'm kinda afraid to introduce my new love to my friends/family/the world.

      Everything about my new book goes beyond my comfort zone. I've been pretty reserved in my last couple novels. Small kisses, light cursing (OMG I said $h!t...well probably not even that!) and for the most part non controversial plot lines. (though my first book did allude to some things that were a little less than saintly) But not much that I would be embarrassed to let my mom or dad read.

      But this book ... *blushes* ... this beautiful little creature, it definitely pushes all the limits. (At least to the point of what is acceptable in YA fiction....no throbbing members...I promise!) It's written from the voice of  sixteen year old. I went back in my journals from that age. I'm sorry, but my friends and I swore. We particularly liked four letter words. And though we may not have been having it, we sure spent a lot of time talking and thinking about sex. (*REALLY blushing now*) If I were to try to hold back on all of those things, I don't feel like it would be true to the voice of a teenager.

      So I swear. I mention drugs. My characters go to a party and drink. (Though this is something I did NOT do in high school) They think about sex. The make out.

      On the FLIP side...

      They also care a lot about family and friends. My MC tries to keep her language clean if she can at all help it. She also spends a lot of time convincing herself that it's ok not to be having sex. And if she's going to drink, she refuses to drive.

      All hope is not lost upon her. Actually, I absolutely love her.

      Still, I'm scared. These are not the normal things that I write. And then I go and throw in mental illness and push topics in that rhelm that are bound to make people uncomfortable as well.

      Have you ever writing outside your comfort zone? How did you get past the guilt, if you had any? In the end, were you still proud of your work?

      I'm not really ashamed of what I've written. I wrote the truth. I didn't sugar coat it. And I've never been so in love with my words. Still, that little Catholic voice in my head says, "Tsk tsk tsk....you shouldn't say those things!" UGH! I really need to reprogram that voice!

      Aug 15, 2010

      Working on a Blog Tour

      I decided to do a blog tour to promote my new website. It starts this week and I will post the links for you guys. Also, if anyone would like to host me let me know!!!

      Can't wait to get it started :)

      Aug 4, 2010

      A tease? Who, me? Noooooo.... ok maybe...

      Just wanted to let ya'll know that I posted a little snippet from my current WIP on my website :)

      Feel free to check it out!

      Aug 2, 2010

      Checking in...cuz I KNOW you've missed me!

      Happiness comes in many forms...in my world, it comes in the form of 30,000 shiny new words sparkling in a Microsoft Word Doc! I get all tingly inside and start feeling like I'm the queen of the world.

      And I know it's true...I'm in love.

      My manuscript is coming along quite swimmingly. It's nearing the end so it's all a matter of organizing the final events then making sure it all comes together in a perfect little circle of doom happiness.

      Where are you at with your WIP's? Is everyone getting pumped for WriteOnCon? I know I am!!!! Though I'm pretty sure my MS won't be ready and that makes me all sorts of sad. Sigh...

      BUT after WriteOnCon I'll be back pestering you via Blogger. I bet that makes you all sorts of Happy!

      So until then...I'm off to pump out another 20K in the next 5 days. (What? It's possible... #unrealisticgoals)

      Oh and in SUPER MORE EXCITING NEWS! I'm working on a big fat new update to this site. It's going to be so explosive it will knock your socks off. So stay tuned...

      Marybeth
      Ask a Bipolar

      Jul 29, 2010

      We interupt this blog break fo an important question!

      Ahh summer... Heatstroke, lemonade, sprinklers, bathing suits, beaches, bikes...

      Bikes...sigh...the downfall of my existence right now.

      Since we moved, the little ones now have a place to play and sidewalks to explore. Thus, this summer, they have learned to ride their bikes without the training wheels (sans five-yr-old). And so what do they want to do ALL day and ALL night?

      You guessed it, ride their bikes.


      Now I'm all for them getting the exercise and such. But riding their bikes means being out front. And paranoid mom in me says they shouldn't be out front unless I'm out there to watch them. Sure I can see them and hear them from the window, BUT not all the time. I mean they aren't going to just ride two feet and turn around.


      So alas, what's a paranoid mommy to do????


      At what age did you finally let go and let your little ones outside without your 100% supervision? Mine are 5, 7, and 9 and I just can't do it. I just can't stand the thought of them being out there alone.


      Am I in need of a good slapping? Or are there others who share my pain?

      Jul 23, 2010

      Priorities...or my lack thereof...

      I have this really awesomefantasticspectacularwicked book started ... and I can't seem to concentrate longer than 1 hour a day on it.

      In three words: NOT GOOD ENOUGH (that's me yelling at myself not you.)

      So I'm considering dropping of the face of the planet (aka internet) until I have finished. Obviously I can't do that entirely, because obviously I have obligations with my new website (which holy $h!t got 100 visits yesterday *passes out*) but I think I may need to take a small break from my casual/recreational internet follies. (I know I know...I cried too!)

      It's all about priorities, and I know this book is important to me and I know it needs to get finished. I also know it's not going to happen when I'm glued to twitter/facebook/blogger/google analytics (what? like you don't check your stats ever!) all day.

      So alas, I bid adieu until at LEAST August 10th. (I am SO returning for WriteOnCon yo!)  If you need me, shoot me an email. And don't forget to tell everyone you know about www.askabipolar.com while I'm away!!!

      How do I help my bipolar son transition into adult hood? (Click Here)

      Jul 22, 2010

      Bipolar and Writing and Websites OH MY!!!

      These seem to be the three things taking up ALL my free time lately. The other hours are spent playing the part of Cinderelli Poppins of course. (cook, clean, parent the children)

      And the saddest part is, that all three of the these free time subjects intertwine together into a lovely little knot.

      So if I've been missing a bit lately (have I already mentioned this in previous blogs? it's been that kind of week so it wouldn't surprise me.) I have been frazzled and in my own world.

      I think it's time to go visit Chateau Poppins again. Don't you?

      Today's post: A teenagers take on being "labeled" with bipolar disorder. (Click Here)

      Jul 20, 2010

      Just a wee bit over extended...

      I can't help it...I'm one of those people who feels the unattainable need to save the world. The need runs deep and takes over all my sense, although the rational part of me says this is impossible.


      So if I've been missing...it's because I'm trying to make the impossible possible. Most of my energy has been eaten up by my new blog (Ask a Bipolar), my new book (Taming the Crazies) and my work at home job as well as trying to keep my monsters caged up children entertained.


      This is the life of a writer dear friends....and I will do my best to keep up with this blog, but I may just be a bit sporadic until things calm down.


      In  AWESOME news...the new website has taken off in unimaginable ways. We got more traffic in the first five days than I got on this blog in the first 5 months. For all of you who have posted links and retweeted showing your support, you are my heroes!


      Thank you so much!!!

      Do you or anyone you know have questions about Bipolar Disorder. Visit www.askabipolar.com and get those questions answered by someone who's been there!

      Jul 16, 2010

      A vial of time..Harry Potter Style

      I really don't think it's too much to ask for. I mean it's not like I'm complaining about how I never got my Hogwarts acceptance letter. (I stopped whining at least three days months ago) And obviously if I didn't get into Hogwarts I never got my apparation license (Total rubbish! I tried to do it illegally once, but I splinched my left butt cheek. Oops.) Not to mention...all the time turners are locked up in McGonagal's office. That witch! (No really, she is a witch....)


      So what's a girl to do when she has obviously signed herself up for WAY too many commitments but refuses to give any away?

      Not only am I now maintaining this blog, my other blog, trying to catch up on old House reruns, working part time from home, trying to keep up with my kids and my house, AND starting a whole new website that I am incredibly dedicated to...I'm also trying to write my awesome book!  Oh and did I mention I'm trying to read 23 books this summer. It's mid July and I've gotten through...um...3 full and 2 halfs.

      See my predicament? SEE IT!!!

      Do you think if I sent a letter to Dumbledore he'd talk to Snape and together they could whip up a wicked potion that makes the day last at least 3 hours longer?

      Can I borrow someone's owl? The last one I sent off with a message never came back, but I'm pretty sure Harry got my message about how I think he needs to hook up with Ginny Weasly...so we're all good.

      Jul 14, 2010

      Getting a Little Personal...An Announcement (or two)

      I mean who wouldn't want to know a little personal bit about me? I am pretty awesome and all!

      So here it goes *takes a deep breath*

      Back in February I wrote a post called A Question of Intense Interest where I came out of the Bipolar Closet, so to speak. Then I questioned how others (as apparently some agents do) have an interest in books about children and teens with a mental illness. The responses I got were so very encouraging.

      So for the past six months I have spent much time soul searching and researching. (Imagine me on the top of a big fat hill sitting with my legs crossed, hands together and repeating "Ohm" over and over again...I mean that's not really how it went. But wasn't the mental picture fun!)

      About a month ago the idea finally hit me. (It didn't slap me in the face or anything...that would be mean. It was more like a poke on the shoulder.) I began researching harder. Reading all the books about juvenile and adolescent bipolar disorder, joining blogs, joining support groups, reading through forums...it has been amazing. Not only has it been very beneficial in finding support and answers to deal with both my son and I, but after meeting some new people and and searching my heart I knew what the next move would be.

      Thus announcement number one:

      I've placed my current novel on the back burner (for now) and started a new, and insanely exciting to write, novel.

      Taming the Crazies

      Annabelle Jones is struggling through her teenage years riding the coat tails of her bipolar brother while also coping with her bipolar mother. Though a break up with her boyfriend starts the ball rolling, one bad choice (or three) from her brother could possibly ruin her life forever. As it is in her nature, she takes it upon her self to right his wrongs (as some bipolar siblings tend to do) and make sure both his life and hers get back on track. The problem is, she's pretty sick of his crap. She has to decide to suffer the consequences his actions have had on her and just move on, or continue to clean up his messes in order to get her life back.


      It's a story about the impact having bipolar has on our friends and family told from a very raw and real perspective...and I am in love with it! Not only am I writing YA Fiction, but I'm also writing about something I am passionate about. Something to help others feel they are not alone in these situations.

      But for some reason, knowing that although the potential is there, I have no idea if I will ever get this story published, thus I felt I needed to do more! (I'm Catholic...it's a guilt thing...it makes me a really good Catholic...or something like that)

      Thus announcement number two!

      With the help of an amazing girl, who also struggles with this illness, I have started a new blog/website targeted to anyone who struggles with OR knows someone who struggles with bipolar disorder.

      Ask a Bipolar
      is a place where people can come and ask real questions to people who have dealt with these issues. We can cover topics in all areas as I have a child with bipolar, she is a teen with bipolar and I am an adult with this illness. They are in no way professional answers or opinions, BUT sometimes I think people just want to hear it from someone who REALLY gets it. At least I know I do.

      Visit the site. Let me know what you think! Feel free to share the link with everyone you know. I'd love for it to be a success!!!

      Ok enough of my shameless self promotion. Back to writing (apparently people have threatened to hurt me if I don't give them new chapters...I have mean friends...)

      Jul 12, 2010

      What the length of my Hair says about me...

      I'm an odd carrot (if you hadn't figured that out already) who has some interesting quirks. And because I feel that today is a good day for embarrassing myself, I'm going to list them out then elaborate on one. (Because after embarrassing ones self, it is only right to give a defense)

      1. 1. I shower sitting down. Many people find this strange, I find it relaxing.


      2. 2. I big fat poofy heart things between my toes, especially when I sleep.


      3. 3. I think potato chips taste like awesome sauce when dipped in sour cream. YUM!


      4. 4. I'm obsessed with gnomes. *GASP!*


      5. 5. You can tell how I feel about life by the length of my hair.


      When I was a teenager I always imagined I'd have long flowing locks of glorious hair falling down in big fat curls in my wedding. It was almost like a goal.

      I dated the same boy all through high school. When we were dating and things were happy and I saw a pretty white wedding in my future I began growing out my hair.

      Then things started to go down hill. And I started to think I needed a change. So I asked my friend to help "layer" my hair.

      Here's the thing about teenagers...they are NOT in fact professional hair stylists. The approach we took at layering was nothing like the approach that in facts puts pretty layers in your hair. Thus I was left with a the worlds worst head of layerFAIL. Not pretty.

      I cried and called my sister home from work to come fix it. Ended up chopping off like 6 inches. Unexpected hair cut = Teenage meltdown...in case you didn't know. Oddly, not even a couple weeks later. I broke up with said boyfriend.
      Coincidence? I think not!

      This trend has followed me into adulthood.

      Every time I began to feel like life was about to change, I chopped my locks. Break ups, pregnancy, job changes, etc. When life is calm and stable, the hair is long. When life is chaotic and out of control...chop chop chop!

      So it really shouldn't come as any surprise that I ended up with one of the shortest hair cuts ever for my wedding!



      Do your characters have quirks this strange?

      Jul 7, 2010

      When Tuesday acts like a Monday

      My Facebook Status:


      Marybeth Poppins Dear Tuesday, I know we fought today (a lot) and I want to apologize. I'm sorry you are such an @$$. Maybe next week you can be a little nicer. Just a thought....


      Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days where the kids don their selective hearing skills, 7yr olds decide to bounce off the walls because apparently driving mom up those very same walls is entertaining, new computers get shipped without an operating system, and daughters beads get watered then spread across her bedroom floor. (And when I say across bedroom floor I
      mean from wall to wall)

      I may or may not have had a glass (or three) of wine last night for the first time in over four weeks. Then I sent the kids to bed and fired up ye old Xbox360 for a little Lego Harry Potter. I'm not really sure any of that happened in that particular order....

      So today is Wednesday and already I'm feeling like I may just be able to be friends with this particular day. So far it's provided me with a working new computer, children with only semi-selective hearing, a wee little bit of extra sleep, and a smores pop-tart.

      In honor of my Wednesday offering up a pop-tart, I have updated my facebook status:

      Marybeth Poppins Good morning Wednesday. You seem to better than my than my Tuesday which was really disguised as a Monday. So um, if you behave it's possible I'll give you a cookie. (and if you don't behave it's also possible that I'll kick you in the face....but that's not a threat. I promise!) (or maybe it is...) PS...thanks for the pop-tart!

      Let's see if Wednesday is motivated by cookies shall we?

      Jul 2, 2010

      Breaking out the Boxing Gloves to earn Rewards Points

      I bought a computer (for the first time in 6 yrs) and it's pretty! BUT I don't get it till Tuesday. Boooooooooo!

      So here's the thing about thing about making large purchases...

      Large Purchase + Paid by Debit Card = Massive Rewards Points

      And here's the thing about my husband and I making large purchases, we have separate debit cards with separate Rewards Points accounts.


      So every time we make these large purchases we look like a couple monkey's fighting over a banana as we fight over WHO is going to get the rewards points.

      Example:

      Mr. and Mrs. Poppins stand in the grocery line. The groceries are in their sacks, coupons are scanned.

      Mrs. Poppins: Oh honey, I'll pay for that.

      Mr. Poppins: Oh no, let me pay for it. I insist!

      (Have I mentioned that the money comes from the same account?)

      Mrs. Poppins: No really, I want to pay for it.

      Mr. Poppins: Don't worry about it. I got it.

      Mrs. Poppins: But you paid for the groceries last time.

      Mr. Poppins: But you paid the electric bill.

      Mrs. Poppins: You need to step away from the card swipey thingy now.

      Cashier: Um, there is a pretty long line behind you...are you going to pay?

      Mr. Poppins and Mrs. Poppins make a mad dash for their debit cards. Mr. Poppins makes it through the card reader before Mrs. Poppins can even pull it out of her disorganized purse.

      Mrs. Poppins: *growl*

      Mr. Poppins smiles as though he has just won the lottery.

      So this is kinda how it went this morning while making our online purchase. And guess who won the battle? Mr. Poppins already had his card out and waiting before I even had our address in.

      *growls*

      *waves fist at Rewards Points gods*

      *contemplates a way she can pay rent with debit card*

      Jun 30, 2010

      Love Letter Blog Fest

      Ok I'm not gonna lie...it's kinda hard to write about anything other than Team Jacob/Team Edward (Though I am more of a Switzerland on the subject) after sitting through a 7 hour Twilight Triple Feature (that TOTALLY rocked my socks off) but I signed up for the Love Letter Blog Fest (Frankie always has the best ideas!) and Dernit I'm gonna follow through...

      Besides after witnessing the great Edward Nipple FAIL once again, I need to focus my mind on something else...

      But who to choose? I mean there's Gale (I'm sorry, but Peeta just isn't manly enough for me) and then there's Cabel from the Wake Trilogy, but seriously...and as much as I'm a tiny bit over done on the whole Edward thing...I can't remember falling in love with a character like I did him. (Minus the one's in my own books...sigh...)

      ALTHOUGH...there's always Mr. Darcy... *swoons*

      Yep...I think I've found my match. Time to write him about it...

      Dear Mr. Darcy,

      I'm not sure if you know this or not, but um, we're kinda in love. I say we because I know the moment you meet me you'll ditch Elizabeth. I'm pretty confident it will be my vast collection of Gnomes that will finally win you over.

      That being said, please never stop brooding. I don't think my heart could take it if you didn't stand in a corner and say nothing while staring at me in the most stalker-like way possible. Edward Cullen's angst can't hold a candle to your sullen nature!

      Just thinking about your intense stare places me in need of a cold shower.

      So until we meet at last, I am yours forever,

      Poppins

      Jun 28, 2010

      How come they don't have Summer Reading Programs for Adults?

      After I read for 20 minutes I totally think I deserve a sticker too!!!! Though if I did get a sticker every time I read 20 minutes I'd probably be covered from head to toe in stickers.

      But still!

      It's that time of year when all my favorite TV shows are on rerun mode and my nights are reserved for reading. Lots and Lots of reading!

      So far this year I have read 23 books.

      I want to double this by the end of the summer. I've read one so far. So um....I'm almost there...

      Here is what's on my night stand:

      Will Grayson Will Grayson (almost done with this one)
      The Uglies
      The Everafter
      Handcuffs
      Barry Trotter (The unauthorized Harry Potter Parody)(and actually this one somehow made it's way to the floor. Oops)
      The Shack
      Shadowed Summer

      I also have a slew of research books for my next novel, but I'm not going to count them in. Since I'm mostly skimming through the parts I find important.

      So I have these books On Hold at the Library:

      Glass House
      Insatiable
      Tricks
      Burned

      I'm waiting for these books to come out:

      Linger
      Mockingjay
      Torment
      Paranormalcy
      Fallout

      AND Crescendo, but that doesn't come out till October, so I can't count it. Sigh....

      On my to be read list are:

      Holes
      Catcher in the Rye
      When you Reach Me

      So that's only 19 Books. I need 4 More!!!

      Any Suggestions? Do you wish they had a summer reading program for adults? What do you think they should give away as prizes? Wine? Chocolate? B&N Gift Cards? (swoon!)

      What is on your summer reading list?

      Jun 24, 2010

      A New Obsession is Born!

      AND...it's all my husband's fault. (Shhhh...don't tell him I said that!)

      I just want to state for the record that I am still madly in love with writing. I've just decided that I need a little something on the side to get me through those "rough times" with my novel.

      What!?!?!

      It's not like I'm cheating on my writing. I mean, we're not engaged or anything. It's more like I'm kinda just dating two hobby's/professions/career prospects aka Obsessions (not to be confused with the Calvin Klein cologne).

      Alright fine! I am incapable of Obsession monogamy.

      *hangs head in shame*

      But my new Obsession is so shiny and sparkly and fun! How can I just commit to one when both are so exciting? I mean that's like telling a kid, "You can only have ONE lollipop honey." as you wave two (or ten) in their face. It's cruel.

      *dons her picket sign "Against Obsession Cruelty!"*


      So you probably want to know what my new Obsession is eh? (What was that? You think you already know ... Oh hush!)

      I am completely and utterly infatuated (I say infatuated cuz I still reserve the 'in love'ness for writing) with web design. I big fat poofy heart all this HTML schtuff! And I can't seem to get enough of it.

      This is bad. REALLY bad. So bad in fact my husband yelled at me last night! (Isn't he mean! Ok so maybe he didn't really 'yell', but let's pretend he did for suspense reasons.)

      He said to me, "Poppins!" (Cuz he totally always calls me Poppins ... or maybe that was never ...) "You need to turn off that Firebug and unplug for the night!"

      It was like he wanted to spend time with me or something. The nerve of him.

      "Bu...bu...but..." I whispered as I pulled at my hair and my body convulsed.

      The sight of me must have been alarming because Mr. Poppins calmed down and placed his hand on my shoulder as he said, "Ok, let's just gently step away from the Dreamweaver..."

      And THEN he had the gall to be all, "It's time to look at vacation destinations honey. You can do this. I know you can."

      That was a totally low blow.

      And it worked.

      But he's gone now. Away at work. So um ... yeah ... I'm just gonna go ahead and spend a little quality time with my friend WordPress. But let's just keep that between you and me. Mmmkay?

      So! Who wants a website. LOL No seriously...I'm kinda cheap...not to be confused with easy...just sayin... (Is this shameless promotion? Because I am TOTALLY against shameless promotion! ... or is that for it? I'm confused!)

      Jun 22, 2010

      Of Epic Random Proportions

      Once again I have accomplished a regularly scheduled blog post FAIL. That in my book makes me the master of awesome. I have yet to find anyone who can post as randomly as me.

      So my dad bought me a lucky gnome. I'm too lazy t
      o take a picture of it though. So you'll have to see it at another time.

      I'm also to lazy to get up from my computer and fold laundry. Although it could include a really good House marathon...so it's still being considered.

      And on another random note... ***Warning! This may come as a shock and may hurt people's feelings, but I'm totally ok with that!***... I started to reread Twilight last night cuz I need to make a trip to the library since I've read all my books.
      Um yeah...I just couldn't get into it. The whole flipping time all I could hear was Kristen Stewar
      ts voice narrating the whole dang thing. I dunno bout you, but I'm so not a fan of K Stew. She may or may not have ruined the series for me forever.

      And on that note, Only 7 more days till my Eclipse Triple Feature!!!! YAY!!! (How's that for not only random but completely contradictory and hypocritical! WIN)

      So I've gone into web design. That's right, I can now right basic HTML code AND totally understand what I'm doing. I rock!

      I'd like to share one more random fact before I leave you ... I bought new flip flops. They have owls on the soles. I love Target! (Crap that's three random facts! But hey, bonus for you!)


      So who has something random they'd like to share with me? Oh come on....don't hold back. Bring on your epic moment of randomosity!

      Jun 18, 2010

      Contests...My unlucky Misfortune...Kinda

      There have been a LOAD of contests out there lately. And by load I mean like 534!!! (or something like that)

      And like half of them are giving away super fantastic ARCs like Paranormalcy and Linger (and um...it wouldn't hurt for someone to give away Mockingjay. Just Saying....oh and I'm totally cool if someone wants to talk to Becca about throwing a contest out there for Crescendo too!) Anyways...

      I keep losing. Every time. (Okay, except for the contest where I won a query and synopsis critique from Suzie Townsend...which may or may not be a tiny bit better than an ARC. It's a big toss up!)

      So I've decided something must happen to up my luck. Apparently all my gnomes aren't cutting the mustard!


      Maybe I just haven't found that "Lucky" Gnome yet....you know..."The One"...sigh...

      So what shall I do in the meantime?

      Rabbit's Foot? Yeah that's kinda gross...just saying...

      Horse Shoe? Yeah I hung one of those up in the first house I bought...then I lost the house. I'm not a big fan of Horse Shoes.

      Lady bug? Well I have quite a few of those crawling around on the windows...so far...still no ARC.

      Rainbow? Still trying to find one of those...I think it's hiding next to the ponies...or possibly behind the butterflies.

      Falling Star? Dang it!!! All the freaking contests happen during the day. That's not going to happen!

      Sigh. I'm not sure I want to go using up my 'Deal with The Universe' on an ARC ... as I'm saving that for something a little more exciting (Possibly an Agent??? Deal w/ Universe may or may not be on the roster for next weeks blog posts)

      So what's a girl in need of some killer ARCs to do???


      Jun 16, 2010

      Break out the Umbrella, I'm having a Brain Storm!

      I've hit a wall ... OUCH! (That reminds me of a good joke. A guy walks int a bar ... Ouch! ... Oh come on...my dad loves that one!)

      Ok, so this wall that I've hit is made of all sorts of "You've done what you could on this book, now you must sit back and wait for what others think." Not my favorite kind of wall, I think I'd rather come into contact with a big fat brick wall.

      So now what do I do?

      Time to find a new idea!!!

      *cowers into a corner*

      But none of my ideas have sounded good enough yet!

      *gets dragged out of corner*

      FINE! I suppose I'll brainstorm.

      *thunder*

      *lightning*

      So I've been looking up tactics online, as well as creating a few of my own. Still haven't come up with the next best seller though.

      So you tell me, what are your best brainstorming techniques? How do you get your juices going? (Does anyone have a brain juicer? ... oh dear ... mental picture ... I take that request back!)

      How did you think up your latest idea? Share your secrets with me. I'm nice, I won't spread them around! I promise!

      Jun 14, 2010

      What my kids and The Hunger Games have in common...and a super cool announcement!

      Do you have kids? Have you ever been around kids? (More than one...one doesn't have the same effect.) Well if you have, you KNOW how loud they can be. And when you are trying to finish up your super awesome Epic Edit, loud = BAD!

      Yesterday was made of lot's of loud. So in attempt to get a break from all this loud I decided to send the monsters outside.

      FAIL!

      We have a wonderful new fenced in backyard that I entirely adore with every little speck of my "Oh my god I'm a mother in need of silence, let's lock the kids outdoors" being. (Not that I actually lock them out, but I may or may not have considered it at one time or another.)

      So I'm all, "Hey kids, you should go play outside!"

      Kids, "YAY!! Mom is great! She is the most fabulous mom made of spectacularsauce EVER." (I may or may not have added some (or at least 13) of those words myself.)

      They go outside and I crack open my window so I can hear them and keep an eye on them. And I kid you not, it was like I'd been placed in front of my TV in District Nine and I was watching The Hunger Games Yo!

      My deck was the Cornucopia and my kids were all fighting over which weapons (and when I say weapons I mean walking sticks, pop can cases, and dodge balls) they were going to get and beating each other off to get what they wanted first. I could almost picture my little Bean (my daughter) as Katniss diving for her bow and arrows. (AKA Nerf Darts)

      So I yell out the window to them. "Put that stick away." and "Stop hitting your brother with that box!"

      But the games continue. They race around the yard like 3 little starving tributes fighting over who will be the first to leave the island. (Oh wait...that's Survivor isn't it...well, same difference) I just shake my head in defeat. There is no getting rid of loud for me.

      "Mom, I'm hungry," my youngest calls out.

      I consider tossing a few packs of fruit snacks out there. Kinda like my 'peace offering', but then I picture all The Hunger Games tributes killing each other over a loaf of bread and decide maybe that's not a good idea.

      So I yell out to him, "I think there are some wild mushrooms in the yard. Maybe you can shoot that squirrel over there? But you're totally on your own kid!"

      Some or all of this story may or may not be made of complete facts. But that does not disparage the fact that it FELT like it happened like this...

      In other news. If you are a KidLit writer (a writer of a book with an MC 18 or younger) you MUST check out this Epic News!!!!


      These girls have just announced a FREE online conference they have put together. Check out the website and all their blogs. They are giving away TONS of prizes. I like prizes.

      Jun 10, 2010

      So yeah, maybe I'm a little late...

      OMG Not THAT kind of late!!! How dare you even suggest it!

      No, I'm actually a bit late in posting this week. Duh!!!

      But do not fear! I've had a brilliant week. I say brilliant because my brilliance has reached new levels. So amazing in fact, I've been asked to bottle it up and sell it on the black market.

      Unfortunately the request came from a group of zombified gypsies, and what they really wanted was to distract me so they could feast on my brains...apparently when they said bottle up my brilliance they really meant my gray matter...and I was super disappointed when I found it out it had nothing to do with my intelligence.

      Well, I used my swift ninja moves and took them down, keeping my brilliance in tact as well as my precious dignity. It's all good though, I totally didn't want to share my brilliance anyways!

      I mean why would I want to take away from my wicked creativity and mad editing skillz?

      So I've spent the week working on a MAJOR rewrite(as in, hey....why not just cut out a few characters, redo one of the major plot lines, and maybe make a small character a huge part of the book? What? That involves ripping out scenes and creating new ones? Well doesn't that just sound like a basket full of puppies!)

      The outcome ... spectacularsauce! (eat that awesomesauce!!!)

      And just so I didn't look like a boring old writer, I decided to learn how to code some HTML on the side. Just a little "hobby" of mine. I mean who doesn't want to dive into the depths of p tags and style sheets!?!?

      Aren't you jealous? What have you been doing this week?


      Jun 3, 2010

      Journey to the Center of My Insanity

      I know I promised a post on Tuesday, but life kinda got in the way. There is a good amount of my personal life that I do not share on this blog. But it goes without saying that it is CRAZY!!!

      Still, here, although I may have lost my sanity somewhere in the last two weeks (or years ago, hard to pin point the actual moment) we stay positive!

      So I thought I would share with you the HAPPY parts of my insanity!

      1. 1. Wine - I like wine. And lately I have plenty of excuses to drink it. I like excuses to drink wine.

      2. 2. Ice cream - I really like ice cream. During the week, when I'm avoiding the wine, I have numerous excuses to eat ice cream. This is working well for me, not so much for my mid section.

      3. 3. I've gone floofy, yet I'm still able to keep my house clean, critique and stress about my impending doom of a manuscript. That makes me a super hero....or something like that!

      4. 4. I've been able to start most of my summer vacationness a week and a half early. YAY for no more inconvenient trips to school. *does the happy dance*

      5. 5. Now that I have less trips to school I can focus more on my MASSIVE rewrite. *grabs a bowl of ice cream*

      So not everything that lacks the sparkly luster is necessarily bad.

      Example:


      Hi! My name is Sexy McHotPirate. I don't sparkle...
      But I do look good with a sword!

      Needless to say, happy is in the eye of the beholder. Just a reminder that even when life, your manuscript, or your dinner sucks, there is always something good to be found!

      (What? If your dinner sucks you can count it as a small step towards the diet...and/or another reason to eat ice cream!)

      May 25, 2010

      Adrenaline

      Adrenaline -[uh-dren-ul-in] A highly intoxicating substance released in the body when one is doing something totally bad-ass.

      • Also known as the rush you get when you're writing that scene where your MC is about to kiss the Hero and you get all tingly just thinking about it.
      • Also known as the feeling you get on that last quarter stretch of the mile you're running.
      • Also known as the substance that keeps your body functioning when you are insanely over extended but still seem to get it all done.
      • Also known as the wooziness you get after sending off a shit ton of query emails, then just to make things more stressful, you send off one more.
      I have been running on pure Adrenaline lately. Today I'm pretty sure I hit an adrenaline malfunction. It was like all the adrenaline disappeared and my mind just came to a stop, but my actions didn't.

      So what was I running on?

      Fumes....

      Yet I still managed to get 2 Hours of a project done AND 4 hours of Editing. I'm just oozing out the heavy fumes yo!

      Ever been here? Did the ice cream and chocolate chips work as well on you as they did on me?

      May 18, 2010

      Reminding myself that I AM awesomesauce!

      So consensus is regular postings. SOOOO I've decided for now I'm going to give you a little bit of both. I will write regularly on Tuesdays and throw in random posts whenever the spirit moves me. (Cuz my life is not complete if it is not random yo!)

      *******

      So I'm having a day. You know one of those days where you just aren't feeling the confidence a risin'? One of those days where you just want to piss and moan about how not awesomesauce you are, but at the same time you want to keep your mouth shut because you don't want to be a Negative Nancy...I mean seriously...no one likes being called a Nancy!

      Ever have one of those days?

      That's me today. Totally lost in my own world of pity. And that is SO NOT COOL!

      So I am forcing myself out of the dark place and back into my happy place. I've turned my facebook onto the English/Pirate mode. It's a start.

      UPDATE*** English/Pirate was TOTALLY worth it when this showed up on my wall...

      "Robert be plunderin' Bible Training Institute Graduation fer wenches and booty."

      I'm also considering a super long shower or bath to calm my nerves. And if it ever stops raining (ggggrrrrrrr) I intend to take a nice run. (I Heart Running!)

      I refuse to complain.

      I refuse to not feel confident.

      I refuse to think I can't do this whole writing thing. Cuz I know I totally can.

      I think I need to go cue some music. Any recommendations?

      What do you do to remind yourself you are big fat bowls of awesomesauce?

      May 12, 2010

      Writing and Reading Blog Posts

      Both VERY different animals...

      Reading blog posts is like diving into a pile of tiny sweet little kittens. (Meow!) You get to pick an choose which fluffy fur ball you're going to cuddle up to and spend your time with. There is no pressure to do this. I mean nobody is ever going to force a kitten onto you and say, "Cuddle with this fluffpod or else!!!" Sure people appreciate when you read their posts and comment. I know I appreciate when people read and comment on mine.

      (Seriously my blog is a super cute little kitten yo! And just look how fluffy and soft it is!!! Now comment or else!)

      But the best part about reading blog posts is that it is all about YOU, the reader. YOU choose what YOU read and what YOU don't. YOU get to decide if YOU like the kitten ... I mean post. YOU get to be the one who laughs and cries and feels educated afterward.

      Whether YOU are reading a blog that inspires YOU or one that just makes YOU burst into laughter...it's all about YOU!

      But writing blog posts ... although sometimes it can be all Rainbows-and-Ponies-like ... for most of us it tends to be like walking into a pit of angry, hungry elephants. (Possibly puppy sized elephants though...) You walk into the pit of pissed off puppy sized elephants and and they're all like, "Yo, give us some peanuts! And not those crappy little nuts you find in a jar, we want the kind that come in bucket dog!" (Yes elephants TOTALLY talk like Randy Jackson! Even the tiny ones...)

      So you scrounge around in your head for a big fat bucket of peanuts.

      *rattles brains until peanuts shoot out our ears*

      BUT THEN...

      All you come up with is this...
      How the heck are you going to feed a herd of starving miniature elephants with that!?!? I mean sure, they've got the shells and the definitely didn't come out of a jar, but that's barely going to feed one elephant.

      And you know what I tend to do after this?

      I smack those little peanuts back into my brain and refuse to write. After all, I don't want to disappoint my puppy sized elephants.

      But is that the right thing to do? Well considering I've started missing all my followers and my fun puppy sized comments, I'm gonna say no.

      The blogosphere is kinda a brutal place sometimes. But what we need to keep in mind is that it's gotta be as much about you as it is about your readers. It can't be a one sided relationship. I mean no one likes a one sided relationship. (Ok well the guy on the end that is receiving all the relationship benefits usually does, but it never does work out!)

      So maybe you have epic things to say on a regular basis like the Amazing Elana ... or maybe you just have a funny story to tell like Karen (Ok seriously...this post is actually epic to me....it's a must read for all writers! It may be one of the shortest posts ever, but truly one of the best!). Either way, someone is going to want to read it. But you'll never know unless you break out those peanuts.

      Sure, they might not feed ALL the elephants. But they might feed one, and that should be enough.

      What do you think? Does it bother you when people ( *cough* like me *cough* ) post sporadically and without purpose? Or are you just happy when you see a post from them pop up in your feed?

      Do you prefer just to dive into a pile of fuzzy kittens or are you all about feeding the elephants?

      May 11, 2010

      So I Got Kinda Old This Past Weekend...

      BUT not as old as I'm going to be in in 362 days!!! That's right. In less than a year I hit the Dirty Thirty! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      And it's all good. I mean 29 isn't too bad. It's kinda like 19, just 10 years older, 10 lbs heavier and 3 kids more. It's all good.

      But I'm not really that irritated about getting old. I mean ... I still look 15, so it's all good. Right?

      How do you guys feel about aging? Did 20, 40 or 50 scare you or excite you?

      May 5, 2010

      Poppins hides in the corner wearing the Cone of Shame!

      So I get this is the email I get from my son's resource teacher...

      FYI your son and I are having a discussion about beer kegs this morning… he can’t believe I’ve never heard of them

      Um yeah....the kid has never seen a beer keg!!!

      I can only imagine what this woman thinks of my parenting skills at this moment and time.

      So I email her back telling her how embarrassed I am (and asking her, "Um seriously, you don't know what a keg is....)

      So she laughs at me and says yeah...

      He said you know one of those big things that holds beer and you push a little tap thingy and the good beer comes out my dad gets them at the ghetto meijers

      And sadly...I am so guilty of teaching him the words, "Ghetto Meijers". But I'm not sure how he knows what GOOD beer is. (Memo to me....tell son there is no such thing as good beer!)

      So um, who's sending me the Mother of the Year award? I'll email you my address!


      May 4, 2010

      One of my Favorite Scenes

      I'm editing ... again ... and I decided I wanted to share one of my favorite scenes. It's a pretty quick scene, but I still love it.

      So I hope you enjoy!

      “See now,” Harris began. “Had you left this guy behind, I might have let you hang out with me, but as it turns out I don’t hang out with jerks.”

      “Kind of difficult considering you are one,” Jeremy argued.

      Alexis yelled. “Will you both just shut up?”

      Harris bowed. “Anything for you Alexis.”

      “Oh cut the crap,” Alexis said back.

      “Fine, then tell me what you want.”

      “I just wanted to talk,” Alexis lied.

      “Oh yeah?” He laughed. “And did you know I recently invented a way to freeze over hell?”

      “Really,” Alexis played along. “I’ve always thought just a few ice cubes would do the trick, but I suppose they’d melt too fast. So where are you going?”

      “To the park to frolic in the wild flowers,” he answered. “Would you like to join me?”

      “I would, but I’m allergic to pollen.”

      “Well I guess this ends our little talk then doesn’t it?” Harris smiled.

      Apr 29, 2010

      And the winner is....Drum roll please...

      T. Anne!!!

      Yay!!!

      Yeah that's about all I got today. (And apparently this week!)

      I'm editing still...editing editing editing.

      BUT loving the result.

      So the winner shall email me the first three chapters or she will get the hose! (Ok not really, but I couldn't pass up the Buffalo Bill moment!)

      Let me know if you need my email address!

      Until next time!!!

      Apr 26, 2010

      I may or may not be ... offering a free critique!

      Losing my mind? Let's go with MAY be!

      I realize I say "I may or may not be..." often. Like really often. And usually, it means I may be doing or have done the thing I'm talking about.

      BUT

      I thought it would be more fun to have you guess some on your own. So here we go ...

      I may or may not be ...
      1. drawing a blank as to what to write next ...

      2. recovering from a LONG weekend full of cake and parties and cleaning ...
      3. finished editing my book and super happy with the results ...

      4. in love with my new house ...

      5. excited about cleaning said new house today ...

      6. in need of a shower ...

      7. happy with my shoe wardrobe ...

      8. in need of a few good gnomes ...

      9. having an easy time jumping back into twitter and facebook ...

      10. full of ideas for new books ...
      So in the comments section number 1-10 and next to each number write "may" or "may not".

      Doesn't that sound fun! (Feel free to write your reasoning after it. That could be fun too!)

      I decided for my prize I would offer a free critique of your first three chapters. But beware ... I'm quite honest (in the nicest way possible) and I tell it like it is.

      So good luck! May the best gnome loving fan win!


      Apr 19, 2010

      My Orange Pen of Despair

      Once again I've fallen into the realms of a major edit. And once again I refuse to use a red pen.

      This time I've taken refuge in a tangy little orange pen. (Ok well it's not really little ... and it doesn't actually taste like an orange ...) I will do just about anything to avoid that bloody ink upon my pages.

      Unfortunately, my little citric friend is still doing it's job. It's crossing out sentences here and adding scenes there. It's like he's (yes my pen is a he ... anything that nags at a woman should be considered a he ... just sayin) laughing at me and saying, "Ha ha ha you foolish twit. How could you have missed that adverb the first twelve times around? And seriously, haven't you learned anything about show vs. tell!"

      Yeah I don't really like him either. Maybe I should return to my pretty pink pen who talked to me with love. She wouldn't laugh at me, she'd gently break the news in a pleasant matter. She'd say, "Oh honey, you can't use that many adjectives to describe his eye brows. Saying fluffy uni-brow gives us a clear enough picture.

      Isn't she sweet?

      But what do I do? Do I dig her out of my gnome box?

      Not a chance.

      Why you ask?

      Because I'm at that point in my edits where I need a little tough love. I need to hear it like it is.

      I think everyone has that point in the revision stage where we finally break down and accept the dirty truth. The truth that there is more we can do to make our manuscripts shine.

      So break out your Honest Orange pens my friends. Let them get rude. Let them hurt your feelings. Let them force you to make your manuscript better than you ever dreamed it could be!

      (Why yes, I have lost my mind. Why do you ask?)

      Apr 15, 2010

      In which I talk about my opinions of Koolaid and their possible relationship to writing and/or parenting...

      OH YEAH!!!!


      Sorry I couldn't help myself there.

      It never fails, I'm laying in bed last night attempting to sleep and my brain says, "But WAIT! I have some ideas."

      And I say, "Um I'm trying to sleep here!"

      At which it replies, "But these are really good ideas. You should totally take your daughter to get her hair cut after here First Communion. Isn't it funny that she wants a blue extension. Ha ha ha. OMG do you remember..."

      "Yo Brain, I'm getting annoyed...though seriously...it is kinda funny."

      "No seriously! Remember that time you died your hair with Kool-Aid when you were 13!"

      "Oh yeah! And then the mom at the slumber party we were at got all mad and one of the girls told her it was her shampoo that did it. Good times..."

      So I'm kinda laughing at this point...

      "Dude! You should write a facebook post about that!"

      "Um yeah, I'm trying to sleep here."

      I sigh....the brain reminds me that my Crackberry is right next to my bed and convinces me to do a tiny quick little post.

      Marybeth Geer-Smith I miss The Great Bluedini. not only was it the best Kool-Aid flavor ever, but it was also an excellent hair dye.

      And THEN it has the tenacity to correct me!

      "Oh come on Marybeth, you know that Kickin Kiwi Lime was the BEST Kool-Aid flavor ever!!!"


      Good point...Kickin Kiwi Lime was totally the most rockin flavor ever.

      So um here is the point where I tie this whole Kool-Aid episode into writing and/or parenting.

      ...

      Um...

      ......

      So writing is like Great Bluedini Kool-Aid, you start drinking it and you think it's the best thing ever!!! But THEN someone places a big fat glass of Kickin Kiwi Lime in front of you and says, "Try this, you won't regret it!"

      But you say, "No! This Great Bluedini is the best there is!"

      And they say, "Just try it!"

      So you do ... and you can't help it, it's better. Well not only is it better, it's Fantastic!

      It happens. We write something wonderful and think we could never do anything better, but then we do. We scratch it out and write something phenomenal. And that's ok. As long as we aren't afraid to try that new flavor (aka technique).

      As for parenting, give your kids Kool-Aid. It builds lasting memories. And it's ok if they die their hair with it. It washes out. I promise!

      So every time I pass the Kool-Aid isle I look for Kickin Kiwi Lime, always end up disappointed though. Now they only make flavors like Watermelon Cherry. UM HELLO! Nobody likes Watermelon Cherry! (Ok so I've never tried it ... I suppose I should give it a try.)

      Apr 14, 2010

      The Thing About Long Hair...

      I've been growing my hair out for over a year now. (What? This is very important information! Of course you need to know!) This is a good thing, I totally prefer me with long hair. See....


      Ok totally horrible picture, but you get the point. It's pretty long. And although I've tried it many times, I'm just not a fan of it short.

      But back to my original issue. There is one thing I absolutely dislike about long hair.

      Getting out of the shower and taking my hair out of the towel and that wet mop of freezing cold landing on my bare back! BRRRRRR!!!

      Ok now that I've gotten that out I feel much better.

      Aren't you glad you stuck around for that information? (Oh come on Scott...I totally could have done worse!)