Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Not Fair

March 24th was my one year ACL surgery anniversary. I had thought about writing this positive post about how much I'd learned this past year and how the injury made me take a step back and re-evaluate my life, and how wonderful rehab is, and everything is butterfly and rainbows.

But, I couldn't bring myself to write the post. The day came and went and I didn't even really mention it to anybody. It was just another day.

But I remembered. I remembered how scared I was and how I wrote my surgeon a note about how important skating was to me and that I was putting one hundred percent of my trust in him. I remember all the pain and how I couldn't even lift my leg, let alone walk.

So I guess I should be thankful that I can walk (close to normal) now and I can most definitely lift my leg to put my pants on in the morning. But every time I look at the banner of my blog and read the words Writing, Skating, Laughter, I can't help but feel it's all one big fat lie. Let's face it. I can't skate. And this morning I just broke down crying because I don't honestly believe I ever will. I called Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) and when he heard me bawling on the phone I'm sure he thought someone had died.

So I'm sorry this post isn't all upbeat and positive, but this just plain sucks.
After one year post-op most athletes have returned to their sport. And I know that ice skating is especially demanding on the knees, but why did I have to be that small percentage of patients that developed patellar chondromalacia. If you google the problem they describe it as mild irritation under your knee cap. Mild my ass. Basically my knee cap grinds against my femur whenever I try to do anything. It stinks. I've been doing therapy for a year. One year! That's not fun either. I even drive to see a doctor a hundred miles away every week or two just so we can get my quad working correctly again. It was helping a lot in the beginning, but now my quad is trying to regress. It sucks.

Isn't it supposed to be that if you work hard then you see results? I'm not seeing any results. And the fact that it's been raining for the past five days is also making my knee all sorts of happy (NOT). Ugh....
Why was there a hole in the ice March 10, 2010 and why did my blade get stuck in it? Why?
This officially ends my rant session.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gossip Time...Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Last week Brenda Drake held a contest called Show Me the Voice. Will Grayson, Will Grayson written by John Green and David Levithan is an excellent example of strong character voice. This story is told from the point of view of two different teenagers who both happen to be named Will Grayson.

Other than sharing a name, these two Will Grayson's couldn't be more different. This book tells us the painfully hilarious tale of these two teens and how their paths accidentally cross one night in Chicago.

My favorite line from the book (bear with me as this is not a direct quote as I listened to this on audiobook) was when Will Grayson is venting about the pointlessness of TTYL, LOL, and ROFL.

ROFL. Are you really rolling on the floor laughing? Well, if you are, stay down there so I can kick you ass!

With so many female driven young adult books out there, this book can definitely be categorized as a guy book. But, it's a guy book with a character driven story that even girls will fall in love with. If you're looking for a good laugh and read, check out Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silly Texts

Poor Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) has been battling the flu, couple that with his insomnia and some meds, and his text messages get really interesting.

SARCASTICALLY DELICIOUS (SD): We should write a gangsta romanz novel, yo.
ME: Ok, after you get some rest though.
SD: Probably a good idea. I'm more delirious than normal. That can't be good. Is this real life?
ME: No, it's that place where minds go when they're sleep deprived. It's called Delirium.
SD: Arghhhh! It's a magical place of romance and adventure. And the cursed double sneeze. I think I've managed to coat my entire room with particles of mucus and viri. My walls now sparkle in the sunlight. Could they be vampires?
ME: Little miniature vampires.
SD: I wonder if they notice plain ole me...
ME: Why do you want a bunch of microscopic vampires to notice you?
SD: To complete me. Maybe I should take my shirt off in case I transform into a savage beast. You too, we can't be too careful.
ME: I think I'm going to leave my shirt on.
SD: So, if you teleport with a cold, does the cold go with you? Or are you instantly cured?
ME: The cold goes with you.
SD: What about a fart? The gas isn't technically touching you?
ME: If the fart is in your intestines then it goes with you.
SD: So you could fart, teleport, and do a stealth crop dusting?
ME: Totally.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yesterday I received my first ARC ever in the mail! And it's not just any ARC, it's Elana Johnson's Possession set to be released on June 7, 2011.  Let me count the many reasons for my excitement:
  • Elana is ultra-cool and an internet force to be reckoned with. She blogs here and here. She's on goodreads, facebook, and twitter. Elana also helps organize WriteOnCon and is one of the founding authors for Query Tracker. Oh and she also has a free e-book, From Query to the Call, available for free download on her website. If I forget something, Elana, please forgive me.
  • This books is about a society where girls and boys don't kiss and a group called the Thinkers brainwashes society. Can you believe that? What kind of a sad little world that must be, that is until Vi decides to break the rules.
  • I can't wait to write a Gossip Time post about this book!
  • And then once I'm done promoting the poo out of it, I'm going to give it away to a lucky reader, who I hope will also promote the poo out of it, and then pass it on. (Stay tuned for contest details)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Show Me The Voice Blogfest/Contest

Writer, Brenda Drake, is hosting an awesome contest on her blog. And the top three winners will win critiques from agent Natalie Fischer from the Bradford Literary Agency. Agent Natalie is looking for strong voice.

I've decided to participate, so here are the first 250 words from my young adult fantasy Trifecta.

I have went back and made changes that you wonderful readers have suggested. (3/21/11 9:27am)

Michael hands my luggage to the taxi driver waiting at the curb. The driver throws my stuff in with Mom’s suitcases and slams the trunk with a finality that signifies, to me at least, the end of my life as I know it.
“Thanks,” I mutter.
The driver gets in the car and slams the door.
“You're welcome,” Michael says with a grin.
I respond with a goofy smile, hook my thumbs in the back pockets of my jeans, and rock back and forth on my heels.
His lips part, and I wonder if he’s finally going to declare his love for me, or tell me that he doesn’t know how he’s going to make it through the summer without me. Instead, he calls out to my best friend, who’s running across the front lawn.
“Hey! Rachel!” His eyes gleam at the mere sight of her, and something dies inside me.
            “I’m going to miss you sooo much Maya beans,” Rachel cries as she tackles me with a hug. I hug her back, because despite everything, I love the girl. I mean, she’s my best friend and neighbor. She can’t help it that she’s prettier than me and all the boys are attracted to her super human pheromones. She doesn’t know that Michael is in love with her or that I’ve had a crush on Michael since the seventh grade. I pull away from her grasp and see tears pooling in her caramel brown eyes. And of course, my eyes start smarting too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Importance of Silence

Around my birthday, my grandfather recommended that I read a book called 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have to admit that at first, I wasn't the most excited about reading it. But, after I read it, I was so glad that I did.  It really helped me view and process my life with a different perscpective.

Dr. Dyer says that secret number four is embracing silence.

The famous scientist Blaise Pascal observed, "All man's miseries derive form not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."

There's a momentary silence in the space between your thoughts that you can become aware of with practice. In this silent space, you'll find the peace that you crave in your daily life. You'll never know that peace if you have no spaces between your thoughts.

It wasn't until he pointed it out, that I realized there are very little times in life when things are simply silent. When I'm in the car, I listen to audio books or talk on the phone. When I'm at home, I'm doing chores, knocking dishes together, listening to the drone of the Swiffer Vac (which is the best invention ever for hard wood floors), typing away on the laptop (click, click, click), or I'm sucked into the lights and sounds of television. Then at work there are the screaming children, and at the gym there's up beat music and people grunting and straining. At the ice skating rink there's the sharp sound of blades crunching and cutting grooves into the ice, and of course there is music blaring through the speaker system.

That's probably one of the many reasons I enjoy writing so much. It's a silent time, just me and my imagination. I can't write with music on, it bars me from entering my mind because I get all caught up in the lyrics. If I listen to classical or movie soundtracks my mind starts choreographing ice skating programs to the music.

Besides the peace I find when I write, I was determined to find my moment of silence, center my mind and all that jazz. Something that would calm my outlook on things. Because sometimes I feel like I can't get into the writing mode because my mind is a buzz with the goings on of the world around me or I'm consumed with that infinite to-do checklist in my head (that never seems to get finished) that keeps pulling me away from what I like to call my creative zone.

I'm sorry, I'm not going to wake up any earlier than I already do to sit silently in my room, or hike into the woods behind my house at the butt crack of dawn to find silence and peace with nature, or sacrifice the other things that I need to do to find these few minutes of silence every day. I mean, it would be great if I could, but when it means risking falling asleep behind the wheel due to sleep deprivation or not fulfilling my responsibilities, then it's just not feasible.

But, this morning I think I found that moment.
I was driving to the gym, and sun had not yet risen. It was dark, but you could see hints of light in the sky. The air was moist with dew and it was refreshing to breathe as I loaded up my car trunk. There weren't any kids playing in the neighborhood, no lawnmower drone, no cars on the road. And when I got in my car, I didn't turn on the CD player, or make any phone calls. I just drove. Sure there was the soft rumble of the engine, but it was more or less quiet. No cars honking, no bass thumping from a teeny bopper's car, just the mild rumble of tires against asphalt. So I had my five minutes this morning of what is as close as I'm going to get to silence, and it was bliss. I didn't think about anything. Just soaked up the nothingness. My mind is clear and my mood is bright, despite being congested with this sinus funk that's going around.

I encourage you to give it a try. Let me know what you think. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gossip Time...If I Stay

After Kiersten White recommended the sequel to If I Stay on her blog the other day, I felt like I had to go read this book. I mean, if her Dad loved it, then why wouldn't I.

So I checked out the audio book from the library two days ago. I'm about seventy five percent of the way through, and I'm not going to lie, I kind of want to go out in the garage, sit in my car, and listen to the rest.

The author Gayle Forman does several great things in this book that leave me in complete awe.

  • Characterization. She is awesome at it. I find myself invested in every character. I love in particular the small details, like how Grandmother believes in angels, Dad smokes a pipe and used to be in a band, and best friend is Jewish and believes that everything falls in one of two categories.
  • Voice. Wow. The main character Mia is quirky, smart, and passionate. Hearing the story unfold in her words is like the best lesson in voice for any writer.
  • I think many of us wonder, including physicians, how much a comatose patient experiences in the real world. I love Ms. Forman's take on this. I know it's fiction, but part of me finds it extremely believable.
Gayle Forman has an awesome website and blog and I can't wait to read the second book Where She Went.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dream Job

When I log into my online banking, one of the many security questions the site asks me is What is your dream job?

I have mixed reactions to this question.

Sometimes, it makes me sad. Are there really that many people out there who aren't doing what they dream or hope to be doing? We spend the majority of our lives at work or commuting to work. Life is too short to be spending it doing something that we don't enjoy or feel passionate about.

Sometimes, this question encourages me. It reminds me that I have a dream and it pushes me to work harder at reaching that goal.

Sometimes, the question makes me feel silly. Dreams. Bah. Those are things that fantasies are made of and we all know fantasies aren't real.

How does this question make you feel?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Give Aways!

It seems like spring time brings out generosity. There are many authors and aspiring writers out there that are giving away books.

  • Beth Revis is giving away signed copies of the books from the Breathless Tour.

  • Valerie Kemp is giving away one of a plethora of awesome books on her blog on her Back From Branson Give Away PART DEUX.
  • Jill Hathaway was giving away a copy of the much expected Divergent, but alas she chose a winner yesterday. But you should still check out her blog because it's all sorts of cool.
Hope everyone has a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


One day you can be riding a bicycle beside the Pacific Ocean, admiring the beautiful purple flowers and laughing with your friends. The next day you can be driving down the interstate in pouring rain, cursing the traffic, with a pounding headache. Then once you arrive at your destination all the children you're working with decide that they must play a role in some kind of karmic retribution for something you did in your past life and they proceed to scream at you, full throttle, until your blood pressure is up, and your face is hot, and you have a mother of a head ache.
Then to make things worse, you're at that middle murky part of your manuscript where everything just seems wrong, and you keep writing because you think if I can just get out of this part, it'll get better. But you just can't get out, because you're stuck in mutant quicksand, and the kids are screaming at you!
Maybe today will be better.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gossip TIme...Wake

Do you remember your dreams? I'm pretty sure I dream, but I honestly can say that I don't remember a majority of them. The last dream I had though, helped me figure out an important plot point in my current manuscript, although the dream didn't have anything to do with the story I'm writing. I know. Weird.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you were constantly being sucked into other people's dreams? This is what seventeen year old Janie has to deal with in Lisa McMann's novel Wake, the first book in a three book series.

I know this novel came out in 2008, so I'm a bit behind on the hype, but I'm so glad I finally got around to reading (aka listening) it. I love Lisa McMann's style of writing. It is very to the point and powerful. She creates characters, that as a reader, you become very sympathetic too. These teens are real and the books shows the harder side of what it likes to be a teen. There is language, but it is not gratuitous at all, and makes the characters seem even more authentic. I know when I was in high school & college I developed a potty mouth. I don't know why. But, I did. And then as I got older I expanded my vocabulary to use words that didn't begin with S, D, or F. I guess it's part of growing up.

Lisa McMann has a pretty cool website. According to her blog, she'll be on TV on the Oprah Wynfrey Network on March 7, 2011 9pm Eastern.

If you're looking for a good read, I highly suggest this series.

Friday, March 4, 2011

California or BUST

Today I'm flying to California to visit my Gal Pals. It's hard when two of your best friends live in California, and the other one lives in Texas, and I'm all the way over in Alabama. So these visits are important.

We have a weekend of shenanigans and pampering planned, and of course we'll eat some good food. I mean, how can you have fun without food?

And I know I must be super lame for admitting this, but I'm very excited about the plane ride. Twelve hours round trip to read and write, uninterrupted! And on top of it, you have peeps that periodically bring you drinks and snacks. What could be better?
Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Face Off: Idol versus O'Reilly

Lately, Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) has been monopolizing the television.  At first I didn't mind when he randomly put on O'Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck, or even Robot Chicken, I could deal with it in small quantities. When it started becoming a daily thing, I thought I would try reading, while he watched. But then he'd pause the show so he could show me a certain part, or make me listen to people argue about a particular political issue. If I wined about it, then he accused me of not caring about our country. I think that's kind of crossing a line. It's just that after you've been to school for 20 years and your daily life consists of screaming children, you really don't want to come home and listen to someone lecture you for an hour or listen to heated arguments about politics. I care about current events and what is going on in our country. But, come on, there has to be a limit.

And then I had an idea, and came up with a compromise.

Back in January I had asked him to watch American Idol with me. He just flat out said NO. He used to watch it with me in the past, but ever since Daughtry got voted off in season 5, he says he has lost all faith in the show. Ugh.

So yesterday I asked him if we could trade off one hour for American Idol for one hour of O'Reilly/Beck/ Robot Chicken. And he said that was an unfair trade. I asked him how in the world was it an unfair trade and he said it was because it was like I was giving him the choice between eating pizza or dog poo. Of course I retaliated, and asked who made the call on something like that. Of course, he said he did. He's a TV dictator!

So in the end, we have decided to forgo watching TV all together unless it's a show that we both agree upon. Do you realize that I'm two episodes behind on Idol? I've been so busy I can't even catch up on the weekends. I'm missing the opportunity to see Steven Tyler on television twice a week. It's just too much.

What is your opinion? Do you think one hour of American Idol is equivalent to one hour of O'Reilly/ Glenn Beck/ Robot Chicken?