Monday, July 30, 2012

Top Ten Things That Make Me Feel Really Old

This past weekend, I chaperoned an overnight trip for the teenage girls in our church congregation. (I'm the Personal Progress adviser, for the LDS-Lingo-users out there)

Things that made me feel really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, old:

1. That song, "Call Me Maybe," that I thought was kind of like the current "Macarena:" you know... everybody knows it but nobody actually likes it...? Apparently, this is the best song ever. It was sung so much that I still have it stuck in my head.

2. At midnight, I was pretty much collapsed on my bed, ready to sleep forever, and the girls were all still running around upstairs. Literally. It sounded like they were running relay races around above our heads. At 2:00 AM, I went upstairs and actually said the words, "You don't have to go to sleep, but you have to stop running. Don't make me come back up here."

3. One of the other adults mentioned that she's leaving for Rio next week. The girls reaction? "Like, the birds? The movie with the birds?" When I explained that "Rio" is short for "Rio de Janeiro" and, yes, that is where the bird movie was set, they reacted by saying, "OH, Edward and Bella go on their honeymoon to Rio de Janeiro. Is that the same place? I thought that was, like, in Europe." Public high schools FTW.

4. Taylor Swift is, like, soooooo smart, you guys.

5. This conversation:
"I love to read."
"Oh me too! Have you read Twilight?"
"Yes!"
"You should read House of Night. You would love it!"
"I did! I totally loved it! It was awesome!"

6. I was called "lame" by a muttering thirteen year old.

7. While switching radio stations, we heard a Beastie Boys song followed immediately by an Everclear song. I was just thinking how completely awesome my day was going when a voice from the backseat spoke up, very timidly, and asked "Can we find a good song on the radio, please?"

8. A commercial for the I Heart Radio Music Festival came on, and apparently No Doubt is performing. The girls squealed about this "new band that just came out of nowhere and is awesome."

9. I thought One Direction was kind of new.

10. I thought I was hip for knowing the words to two of their songs. That is insufficient to guarantee hipness, though. I don't know where the cutoff is, but I didn't make it.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Honorable Mention

This is just a quick post to say thank you to the gals at Falling For Fiction- I received an Honorable Mention in their Hookers and Hangers Blog Hop, that I participated in last week.

You can check out my post full of hangers here.

Thanks again for all the kind comments and to Falling for Fiction for hosting the contest!


Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm sick of it.

I am so sick of hearing women say:

"I started walking two weeks ago, and I've lost eight pounds!"

or

"I just stopped drinking soda last month, and I've lost twelve pounds!"

or

"Try this healthy recipe: bacon, cream cheese, and chicken wrapped in Pillsbury crescent rolls. What? Yes, that's how we eat every night. Yes, I've lost nine pounds this year."

This list could go on and on, it really could.

I just am so frickin sick and tired of it.

I'm currently about ten pounds overweight, and I have been for the last FIVE YEARS. Well, when I wasn't pregnant. When I was pregnant, I weighed more, of course.

I eat pretty well. Whole grains, lean proteins, lots of veggies, not a lot of sauces or cheeses. I don't drink soda unless we go out (which we can never afford to do, so I'm not consuming restaurant food, either: double points for that, eh?). I drink four bottles of water every day, I don't eat a bunch of sweets and I am a good snacker (low fat string cheese? whole grain crackers? fruit?).

I work out, somewhere between four and six times a week, and I mean I WORK OUT. I lift weights and do cardio to make a workout that's approximately seventy minutes long. Or I do yoga (if the yoga class turns out to be a little too "light" I'll do a bunch calisthenics on my own afterward). I do the "lazy girl workouts," where I do squats while brushing my teeth, lunges while carrying out the trash or taking down the laundry, and wall-sits while I straighten my hair. Trust me: people who see me in real life see me in after-workout-face often enough to believe me that I'm really doing it.

It doesn't seem to make any difference whatsoever. No change to my body size or shape.

I recently added running to my routine. I get up at 5:30 in the morning to run. Five. Thirty. AM. I run slow, yes, because I've never run for fun before in my life. But I figure slow, short distances are better than nothing.

Too bad I've gained two pounds since I started running. 

And, please, spare me.

I've heard the whole, "You gain weight when you start a new routine." and "You gain weight when you're training hard, but then you drop inches."

Well, I'm not dropping weight or inches and it frickin sucks. I don't really care how mopey or whiny this sounds, I just want the internet to know that I really hate hearing everybody else's success stories, especially when they seem to be doing just a little bit (or a lot) less than I am.

That is all.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sixteen Candles is a Thing.

Earlier this week, I entered the Hookers and Hangers contest, posting some of the hookers (first lines of chapters) and hangers (last lines of chapters) from my novels. The most commented-upon line was:

I climb in, trying really hard not to worry about the fact that this guy has never even heard of Sixteen Candles


There's actually a funny story that goes with this line. It's one of the original lines from the first draft of this novel, but I loved it so much that it was kept all the way through the editing/rewriting process, even though it did move around in the chronology a bit.

So I put that line in my novel, just as it appears here. The female character doesn't expect the guy she's talking about to have the movie memorized or anything, but he has NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT. Bonkers, right? How could a grown man not have any idea what she's talking about when she says "Sixteen Candles"?

(I know I shouldn't be this upset, since they are 1- Fictional characters and 2- Fictional characters of my own creation, but... there you have it.)

One of my beta readers commented that most men do NOT know what Sixteen Candles is about, and that this line was out of place, unrealistic, and just basically stupid.

I thought, "Oh, no. There's no way I have so completely misread the pop culture landscape of America! Men my age know what 'Sixteen Candles' is, right? Maybe not the whole thing, but they are AWARE of it, certainly?"

So I did what any red-blooded social-media-junkie would do: I crowd sourced it. I asked Twitter and Facebook the same question:

"Men- without the help of Google, tell me what you know about 'Sixteen Candles'"

You know what I got? About sixty responses, almost all from men in their twenties (this character is supposed to be twenty-three). Some admitted to loving it as much as their girlfriends/wives, some quoted lines back at me, some said something along the lines of "Molly Ringwold's underpants, right?" and a bunch cracked jokes about it being a girls' movie but they've been forced at to watch it at least once.

But the bottom line?

Men know what this movie is.

I win.

And this has been the single most commented on line among my Hooker/Hanger entries.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hangers

You may recall I said I am terrible at opening lines. 

However, I am fantastic at "hangers-" the lines at the end of a chapter that make you turn the page, no matter how bleary-eyed you may be at the time. I can keep you coming back for more.

Today I am participating in Falling For Fiction's Hookers and Hangers Blog Hop, and we are featuring hangers, those last lines of a chapter or book.




“Wouldn’t I know if I was dating somebody?”
“You would think.”

For the first time since she arrived, she understood what it meant to be Immortal. 

Why, then, did she feel the overwhelming urge to kill somebody?



I guess that also means that we technically broke up.
 
I climb in, trying really hard not to worry about the fact that this guy has never even heard of Sixteen Candles


I decide it’s easier to just drop the subject and focus on the fact that The Princess Bride is on, since nothing else really matter when you have a young Cary Elwes to watch all night. 

Tonight, I will start being a good girlfriend.  

“Shall we, then?”
“Shall we what?”
“Go and get you a name.”


        I give him the same answer as I did four and a half years ago, and we move toward the dance floor together. 
 
        By the time I’ve finished my burger, we’ve made enough plans to fill four or five summers together, and I have no idea how we’re going to do all the things we plan to do in the short amount of time we have to do it. 


My blood runs cold at the thought. 


They have perspective, and they are able to see things that nobody was able to see in the heat of the moment. 


For now, I will have to be content with just knowing that this pain can be erased somehow, even if just temporarily.


Yes, I know that a couple of them are not technically a single line, but I thought it necessary to give you a teensy bit of context to help demonstrate why the closing line is as dramatic as it is. 

There you have it. 

Now, head over to the blog hop and check out everybody else's hangers! 
 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hookers

I am terrible at opening lines.

The irony of that being the opening line of this post is not lost on me.

However, today I am participating in Falling For Fiction's Hookers and Hangers Blog Hop, which means I need to display at least some of the hookers (opening lines) of my novels.


These first four are from a contemporary YA romance, currently on submission with niche publishers:

I’m pretty sure I can think of at least six things I would rather do on a Saturday night than be at a school dance.  

It quickly becomes apparent that Eric is a man of routines.  

I don’t even have the guts to tell Lily where I am going.  

I look down at my phone, wanting it to say that this horrid, horrid day is almost over.    

This last one comes from my current steampunk YA fantasy, in the very earliest of the rough stages: 
Alice came to intrude on Sophia’s rest around nightfall, and while the girl was nothing but polite, Sophia found it incredibly difficult to do the same.

Like I said, I'm not great at opening lines. I do encourage you to come back on Wednesday, though, because my hangers are like WHOA. 
 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Awesome Search Terms Roundup

I love seeing how people find my blog, particularly if they come in from a search engine. My favorites from this blog:

"Men in underwear"

I've never posted a picture of a man in his underwear. This isn't that kind of blog. Though I'm sure you can find a lot of those kind of pictures on the "People" tag on Pinterest. Just Saying.

"Pithy marriage advice"
Why, thank you. I thought it was pithy.

"Research paper on Harry Potter"
This person, sadly, spent only twelve seconds on my blog. If they had emailed me I probably could have helped them a whole bunch, though.

On second thought... do your own darn homework.

"Some people are exhausting"
I don't know how this lead to me, but... it's true. And I think I could blog about this topic. Stay tuned.

Probably ten percent of my traffic is looking for this post in which I correct some seriously orange hair problems.  Which is a little bit funny to me, since it was my very first post on this blog. Perhaps I should have stopped while I was ahead?

Another five percent is looking for this post, in which I display the only semi-crafty thing I've done in... five years? Yeah. Five years sounds about right.

But my proudest achievement is that a whole bunch of people came looking for What Harry Potter Taught Us.

But, seriously, internet, why are you coming to me for "Romantic Teenage Text Messages"?

I cannot help you with that.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

11 Questions

The lovely Coyote Rose of Dancing on the Bar of Life asked me eleven questions, and I decided to answer them vlog-style.




I've also tagged eleven other bloggers (including, of course, the three other Parenthetical Chicks) and ask them eleven questions of my own.

Here are the bloggers I've tagged:
1- Megan Whitmer of Finding Joy in the Journey
2- Suzanne Gale of The World According to Suz
3- Jen Meyers
4- Eisparklz
5- Kirsti of Melbourne on My Mind
6- Kimba McG
7- Sarah of Shades of Shayes
8- Lor of Late to the Party (and Snark Squad)
9- Jessica of Faith Permeating Life
10- Darci Cole
11-Marieke Nijkamp

And here are my eleven questions:
1- What are your five favorite movies?
2- (since I'm asking all females) Would you rather go without makeup for a year, or without shaving your legs for a year?
3- What book have you read recently that you really loved?
4- What book have you read recently that you really hated?
5- If you had to eat one food for one meal every day for a year, which would you choose?
6- What was the best part of your senior year of high school?
7- What piece of electronic equipment do you think you could easily live without?
8- Do you prefer your beverages through a straw, from a bottle or from another container?
9- Would you rather have glow in the dark skin or squishy teeth?
10- Who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore?
11- Do you consider pushup bras to be a form of dishonesty?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vlogging Like It's Hot

Is anybody else endlessly amused at the screenshots they can find of themselves while vlogging?

Just me?

Good to know.