Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ER Memories

When I was in college the attendants at the emergency room knew me by name.

It started Freshman year when I was introduced to basketball.

Ice skating is a pretty solitary sport and I enjoyed basketball because of the team aspect of it. I played on a co-ed intramural team. My forte was defense. The refs rarely called foul on a girl when she tried to bat at the ball (and sometimes hit the opposing player in the process) or jumped up to block shots (and sometimes hit the opposing player in the process again). On offense, if I happened to have the ball I'd get too nervous and was quick to pass. I'd leave the dribbling and shooting to team mates more seasoned than I. I can't recall if I ever scored points in a game, but I remember practicing a lot of three pointers because if a girl shot one in a game it was worth four points. I do, however, remember finding great joy in setting picks for my teammates. The last thing someone expects on an intramural team full of predominantly Asian girls is for one of the girls to set a pick. I relished seeing the defense's stunned faces when they'd run smack dab into me and my teammate would run past and score.
The bad thing about basketball was how it ate up my ankles. After a couple trips to the ER with bad sprains, and some disapproving looks from my ice skating coach, I hung up my basketball shoes.

Next, came football. I loved it even more. What really helped me understand the game was my friend Victor teaching me how to play Madden. I finally found an appreciation for those weekend college and NFL games that I had thought were boring tv time sucks. I remember practicing very hard on perfecting my spiral (because if a girl threw or caught a touchdown it was worth more points), but I always had a bit of trouble in the catching department. It never failed in practice or a game that I would get hit in the face. And perhaps this was fitting because our team's name was Broke Jokes. Though I never visited the ER for facial trauma, I did see my health care friends for a pulled ham string and jammed finger.

When I wasn't playing intramural sports I was making bad life decisions. I moved out of a town home, away from some awesome girls that are still my best friends today, to an eighty year old apartment infested with lady bugs. When I wasn't vacuuming lady bugs off my ceiling or swatting and screaming at them when I was in the shower, I was befriending my crazy neighbor who was in love with Pomeranian puppies and booze. When I decided to move into an even older (albeit bigger) house with drunk Pomeranian lover I ended up slicing my hand open on one of those old fashioned glass door knobs.

My friends at the ER were waiting for me with open arms, lidocaine, and twelve stitches.

There may be a few more visits to the ER that I'm not remembering, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. Next time I'm in a nostalgic mood maybe I'll share my affinity for walking into glass windows and doors.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


You never know when you'll find inspiration. I found some in an e-mail from my soon to be published critique partner Liz. She was nice enough to share this video with me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gossip Time...The Fault in Our Stars

Maybe this story supremely touched me because I have friends and family who have battled cancer. Maybe this story resonated with my soul because I have seen one too many people die young. Or maybe it's just because sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster, the main character in John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, is unlike any person I've met on paper or in real life.

My first instinct when I heard this story was about a girl with terminal cancer, was to not read the book because I don't particularly like reading books or watching movies that are sad. Sure there are some sad moments in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, but there are also some extremely happy and funny moments too. There is one scene where a blind boy is trying to egg his ex-girlfriend's car and I found myself crying because it just seemed like such a great injustice that this boy couldn't even have the gratification of getting back at his inconsiderate girlfriend, but I was also laughing simultaneously because it was so pathetic that it was funny.

A book has never made me cry and laugh at the same time, and for that I give THE FAULT IN OUR STARS two thumbs up, five stars, I dub it a book that will forever be one of my personal favorites.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is not just a novel about sick teenagers with cancer, it is a book about love of the most unique and genuine kind. It is a book about family and our place in the universe.

Needless to say, I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Writing Update

As I was perusing through my old blog posts I realized its been quite some time since I actually talked about my writing. I've written plenty of Gossip Time Book Reviews and had a pretty steady round of Forever Waiting Writers Series interviews, even posted videos of me skating, but pretty much I've been talking about other people's writings and evading the topic of my own.
Deep breath...here goes:

1. Conferences create lightbulb moments
Late February I attended an SCBWI conference in Atlanta, GA and I had the awesome opportunity to hear Kristen Daly-Renz, editor at Balzer + Bray, speak. I had been struggling with the beginning of ANOMALY for awhile, but what she said, it was like I was on this road battered by a storm with giant fallen trees blocking my path, and she literally cleared all those trees with her words. Yeah, pretty amazing.

2. Embarking on Query Road
Late March I wrote this optimistic post about how I was packing up my metaphorical car with just me and my manuscript, ANOMALY, safely buckled into the passenger seat, and we were heading out on Query Road. We dropped off 13 queries. Out of those I received two no responses, ten rejections, and one partial request. We keep telling ourselves that it's a subjective road trip. But no matter how you look at it, sometimes rejection stings.

3. Conferences create opportunities
When you go to SCBWI conferences often editors at publishing houses are open to submission from conference attendees. Not all, but some are. On Friday the 13th, I received an email from an editor that I had submitted to months ago and had pretty much written off as a rejection. She said she'd be happy to read my full manuscript.

4. Now I'm on the ship Forever Waiting
I'd say I'm handling the waiting fairly well. As recommended by many, I've started writing a new novel about a figure skater. Sometimes it feels cliché, a figure skater writing a novel about a figure skater. It has its ups and downs, but over all I think it's a positive creative output versus checking my email a million times a day. Now, I only check it about half a million times.
I've started reading more. Currently in the middle of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. Let's just say I will be definitely gossiping about this one. I'm also reading quite a few manuscripts from pre-published writers. That's also been quite fun.

Care to share what's going on with your writing/reading journey?