Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Goosip Time...HALO

Ok, I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm jealous and envious. My brown skin is literally turning green.

Alexandra Adornetto, the author of Halo, is just a teenager.

When I was a teenager I was too worried about what other people thought about me, and ice skating, and boys, and pitying myself for having strict indian parents (Thank you Mom & Dad for being so strict. I mean it.). This girl freakin' wrote a book. And it's GOOD.

Ok, you may say, fine this girl is a teenage author and her book is good. Well, Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon when he was a teenager. So it's not like it's a first. Chillax Anita.

But, this girl not only wrote a book that is GOOD, she also narrated her own audio book. She produced unique, genuine voices for each of her characters. Her narration was so GOOD. She created convincing male and female voices.

So, I guess the point of today's post is that the book Halo is good and Alexandra Adornetto is a super human teenager and a very talented narrator. Go read this book.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Brave Author

This past weekend I was trekking through the blogosphere and I came up Cindy Pon's Blog. She is the author of The Silver Phoenix and soon to be released The Fury of the Phoenix. On her blog, Cindy was promoting the books of her fellow debut author L.K. Madigan.

On her blog, L.K. Madigan shares her difficult news of being diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to her liver. She is not only a breast cancer survivor, published author, mother, and wife, she is incredibly brave as she shares the story of her battle with others. I was moved by her words.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Super Guest Post Today

As today is my 21st birthday (for the purposes of today's post 21 is the secret code for 21+10), I thought what better way to celebrate this fabulous day than to share today's post with my good friend Ken. By the way, Ken, I feel like an awful friend because I've known you all these years, but I can't remember your last name.

The government says I'm not at liberty to divulge my last name.

Oh, ok. Sorry. Didn't mean to pry.

Before I hand the mic over to Ken I just want to tell everyone how exceptionally loved I feel today. I am overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes, the songs and heart felt messages recorded on my voice mail, the flowers left on my front porch, the delicious brownies baked in my honor, the uber birthday wall posts on facebook. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such thoughtful loving friends and family.

So Ken, tell me a little bit about the photo that we see here.

Well, Anita that photo was taken last Saturday when I was watching the NFL playoffs. I wore the spandex and rainbow color leg warmers to show my team spirit for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Why, Ken, I didn't know you were such a big Steelers fan. As you know Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) and myself are HUGE fans ourselves. But, may I ask why you aren't wearing the traditional black and gold to display your Steelers pride?

I feel that the sheen of the metallic spandex acts as a beacon, shining the light of my Steelers pride upon one and all.

Will you and Barbie be watching the AFC Championship together this weekend?

Absolutely, not.

Oh, my. Why not? Did something happen between you and Barbie?

She's a Jets fan. Need I say more? I refuse to be in the presence of anyone who isn't rooting for the Steelers.

Who do you think will win the NFC Championship?

Aaron Rodgers.

So you think Green Bay is going to win?

Don't know about that. Aaron's got a nice butt and fling that football around like it's nobody's bidness.

Well, is there anything else you'd like to say to the lovely folks reading Anita's Edge today?

Yes. I want to take this opportunity to talk about a subject that I hold near and dear to my heart. 

What is that?

Hair care.

Hair care?

Yes. Just because our hair is made of plastic, doesn't mean that we don't need it brushed, shampooed and blow dried. Just because our hair is made of plastic it doesn't mean you can goop Suave on there. I myself prefer Aveda. There is unfair hair care representation towards the toys (Barbie in particular) who have non-plastic hair. But, I tell you plastic hair is just as important and needs care just like that fake blonde stuff that sprouts from Barbie's head.

Ken, I had no idea. Thank you so much for educating us about the grooming needs of toys with plastic hair all around the world. You are such a humanitarian.

I take pride in championing the causes of those in need.

Well, thank you again for spending time with us on Anita's Edge today. And please join us again soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Quote on Adverbs

I'm currently reading Stephen King's On Writing. This is my favorite line:

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.

Classic. Just classic.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Back in March 2010, after I tore my ACL, I had promised on this blog that I would post footage of me skating.

And then, I never did it.

I couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't bear to watch myself do something that I didn't know if I would ever do again. It was a dark time.

I started skating again this month. It's nothing like I could do before. But I see hope and possibility if I continue working hard. 

Below is footage, from a United States Figure Skating Ice Dancing Test I took three days before I tore my ACL. Ice dancing is kind of like ball room dancing on ice.

The first dance is the Paso Doble and the second is the Killian.

Before my injury I also skated freestyle. This is when you do spins, jumps, and footwork to music. I don't know when I'll be able to jump again. It will be at least another 3 months, I think. Below is a snippet from an ice show I performed in 2008. I think I had a neck injury at the time, but I hope you'll still enjoy. My solo is at the 5:25 mark. I'm also in the group number at the beginning.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gossip Time...Writing & Selling the YA Novel

During the month of January, I'm filling my brain up with writerly knowledge. K.L. Going, the author of Writing & Selling the YA Novel, is also the author of Saint Iggy and Fat Kid Rules the World. She grew up with a librarian parent and worked at the Curtis Brown Literary Agency for awhile. Needless to say, she knows her stuff.

This book is great if you're just embarking on the journey of writing a YA novel, but it also provides sound advice for the seasoned writer. I particularly like the sections where Ms. Going touched base on:
  • Character development
  • Opening with conflict
  • Believability
  • What resolution is
But I think the major thing I learned from this book was about creative momentum. This past weekend was Wild Card NFL playoff weekend and the college football BCS championship. The football commentators often talk about momentum. Game changing moments such as interceptions, fumbles, kicks returned for touchdown. These all create momentum, that an intangible energy boost that makes a team feel like they own this game, that they're unstoppable.

Well, apparently I've been killing my creative momentum. I admit it. Sometimes I try to make things too perfect. I spend days editing, feeling like I haven't earned the right to keep writing, and moving forward with the story. Ms. Going talks about the dangers of editing too early and how it can kill your creative momentum.

I plead guilty to the charge.

She describes creative momentum as the following:

Momentum can be a powerful force to keep you moving through the writing process. Writing is not easy, and the task of finishing an entire book can be daunting, but it's easier to keep going when you're working hard and your story is flowing well than it is when you're picking up something cold. You know you've got momentum when each day's work leads into the next, and you just can't wait to finish the scene or chapter that you had to leave dangling the night before.  ~page 141

Consider this: If momentum is so precious, why would you want to lose it too early in the process? You wouldn't. That's why editing too soon can be dangerous. When you stop the creative process in order to turn your attention to revising, the forward motion of the book stops. ~page 142

To sum up, Writing & Selling the YA Novel, was informative, and definitely not dry. Ms. Going even includes opinions from actual teenagers on issues ranging from teen voice to e-books. I recommend this book to any aspiring YA Author, but I want to make clear that I don't' know Ms. Going and in no way am I being compensated for this post. Just sharing a book that I found helpful.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, Rainbows & Beaches, Rainbows & Beaches

Today my sixty-year old mom made her first snowman. Not only did she make her first snowman, but she even texted me a picture. I think it's so cute when parents text.
I particularly like the pink scarf around Miss Snowman's cone shaped head.
Then my mom must have decided that Miss Snowman's cone shaped head was cold, so she accessorized:

I love my Mom. I wish I was there playing in the snow with her.
You know what else I love.
My cats.
Yes, that is Sasha in the washing machine. Apparently, she wasn't feeling very clean that day.
This is Jasmine under-cover. She is recently retired from the CIA because of a little vision problem us optometrists call esotropia.
But, you know what I don't love.
Cleaning the litter box. It is awful scooping up cat urine and poo. Especially, since one of the cats (I'm thinking it's Jasmine. She's never been the same since the CIA let her go) doesn't cover up her poo very well. Not only do I abhor this job, but it makes me severely gag. I'm not going to lie. There have been a few times where I actually vomited in my mouth a bit. (Mental note: Don't clean litter box directly after eating breakfast) I know it's disgusting. So a while back I figured out a solution. It may sound stupid. But, it works for me.

As I'm scooping up said revolting pee and poo, I chant in my mind, Rainbows and Beaches, Rainbows and Beaches. I continue this mental chat as I run the plastic bag of excrement outside of the house, raise the lid for the trashcan (as I hold my breath, because trashcan contains previous days of fermenting poo and pee), throw it into the trash, then runaway (lest the fermenting zombie poo raise from the dead and start chasing me around the house). It's not until I'm safely back in the house that I start breathing again.

It just dawned on me today how ridiculous my daily routine of rainbows and beaches and running away from the trashcan really is. So I thought I'd share this for the primary purpose of entertaining you,  my wonderful readers and followers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Sense of Calm

Today is my grandfather’s eighty something birthday. The reason I say eighty something is because we’re not really sure how old he is. Way back then in India, they didn’t have birth certificates.

This morning on my way in to work I gave my grandfather a call to wish him a happy birthday. He picked up on the first ring and greeted me, his voice booming with joy, “My Goggy Girl!” He refers to me as his goggy girl because apparently when I was young I had an affinity for dogs, which I referred to as Goggies.

He said that I had called him at the perfect time. He had just finished meditation and was about to sit down to breakfast, before heading off for a 10:30 Bridge game. At this point, I had pangs of jealousy. I seriously envy retired people and can’t wait to be retired myself. Sad, considering I just entered the real-life work force barely five years ago.

My grandfather told me about the furnished 1 bedroom apartment (located near the water- more envy and jealousy) he was renting in Florida for the winter. We made small talk for a bit and then he said he needed to run because he didn’t want to be late for his bridge game.

Before he let me go, he told me that it meant a lot to him that I had remembered his birthday and that he thought about me, the leader of the pack (I’m the oldest of 8 cousins), every day. He said that when he thought about me that he wished that I had peace, calmness, and tranquility in my life.

At this point I started crying, because I don’t have any of those things.

In fact I’ve been so consumed with stress and anger this past week that it has practically consumed me. I even dream about the things that are stressing me out. I told my BFF the other day that I was so mad that I thought I was going to have an aneurysm. And the other day, I found a reddish-blonde hair on top of my head (I have black hair), that I know is on it’s way to turning white, and I blame all my anger and stress as the source for this one soon-to-be-white-hair. And of course, writing, yeah…that’s not happening. I’ve been too angry to think about anything fictional.

My grandfather had no clue that I was crying. I mastered the art of silent crying as a teen. But, I listened to what he was saying and he reminded me of the valuable lesson he taught me when I was an impatient, temper tantrum prone teenager. Back then he told me, that there was nothing in this world worth getting angry or stressed about . All anger does is create negative energy, it never changes the situation at hand. If there is a problem, it can be solved calmly, rationally, peacefully. I don’t mean to get all religious here.  He told me (and I believe this too) that our souls are a reflection of God, and that if we truly focus on that belief, there is no reason we shouldn’t be calm, peaceful, happy.  There’s no reason to get all worked up with all the crap that life throws at us.

I don’t meditate like my grandfather. I’m not against it, I just don’t know how I can find thirty minutes in my already jam-packed schedule to just sit and think. Although, I think it would be highly beneficial for me.  It’s worked wonders for him. He doesn’t look eighty-something and he must have developed some kind of ESP, because how ironic was it that he brought up this particular subject on this particular morning when I hadn’t told him anything about what was going on in my life.

Even though, I don’t mediate, I realized though, that I do other things that take-me-away in a meditation-esque (yes, I just made up that word) kind of way. When I read a book, I’m transported to a fictional world, away from my worries and responsibilities. When I ice skate I never think about anything except moving across the ice.

Anyway, I’m sorry if this post got all personal. But, I think, if there’s just one person out there whose going through a stressful time like me, and if this post can help them change their perspective, and deal with the stress a little bit better- well, then , being transparent was worth it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

OMG. Are You Freakin' Kiddin' Me?!?

Let me start off by saying that I love young adult fiction. Absolutely, LOVE IT. The teenage years are such an exciting, tumultuous time, full of hormones and rash decisions. Throw in something supernatural or just a really hot guy and you've got yourself a gripping tale.

Let me also say that I enjoy reading books that evoke a visceral response. Suspense. Urgency. Anxiety. Pain. There are some many emotions that course through me when I'm reading a good book.

Currently, I'm reading a book (which is nothing short of excellent) that makes me want to reach through the pages and throttle the protagonist. I literally want to slap her. She is so stubborn! And so stupid! And so hot headed. If she would just chill out and have a calm conversation with her male counterpart in the book, so much could be resolved. Instead she's making assumptions (which only makes an ass out of you and me- apparently this character has never heard of this before). I mean, she's possibly throwing away the love of her life! All because she won't chillax and hear this dude out! I mean come on. At this point, I don't even feel sorry for her. Go ahead, and be miserable you fictitious character, because you deserve it. That' s right. You deserve it!

And, I think that about sums it up for today.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

This is going to be a melting pot type post. Lots of different delicious things to skewer your mind with and dip them in.

I'm not making any resolutions for 2011 other than I'm going to be positive and not work too much. I went into 2010 thinking that turning thirty was like the end of my life.  I had such a pessimistic attitude about being thirty that I ended up having a pretty sucky year. There I said it. 2010 SUCKED. Horribly. Sure there were some nice moments. But over all, I think it was the worst year of my life. And now looking back on it, I wonder if my awful attitude kind of set me up for it. Of course, my awful attitude didn't put that hole in the ice that ended up tearing my ACL. (BTW I did 105 lbs on single leg press today with my surgical leg. Woot! Woot! First time since surgery.) But, I think our lives are a reflection of how we choose to envision them.

Ahem. Now, that's out of my system.
Lots of positivity and happy thoughts for 2011. Each day is bright, shiny, and golden. And I'm thankful for all that I have.


A lot of my friends have children and they often tell me about the darndest things that their wee little ones tell them. Now, I don't have children, but I do have Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend). After seeing the movie Little Fockers on New Year's Eve and a few choice beverages, these are some of the darndest things that Sarcastically Delicious said to me:
  • You look like Katherine McPhee. Except your brown. And you have more prominent massetter muscles.
  • While we were dancing to the Gin Blossoms, Sarcastically Delicious starts giggling. Seriously. He was giggling. When I asked him what was so funny. He said that he was thinking about that scene in Little Fockers where Ben Stiller made his son finish his lasagna, and then son proceeded to projectile vomit all over his Dad. Correlation between dancing to Hey Jealousy and Lasagna vomit- I thought none, but apparently not. 
So we've touched base on skating and laughter. Now, on to the writing stuff.

I'm starting 2011 with the intention of rewriting my novel. Yes, I know I said I was going to do that in 2010. And I did do that, partially. But, it still needs some work. It needs a stronger foundation. I want it to be the best that it can be. So I'm going to rewrite it again. But, before I embark on this adventurous rewrite, I've decided that I'd like to learn more about the craft of writing, the theory behind plots and character development, etc.... I'd love to go to Simmon's college and get an MFA. But, since I can't just jump ship and go to Boston. Here are some books that I'm going to try reading instead so I can learn more about writing. If you guys have read any of these, please let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I'm thirsty for the knowledge.