It Got Me Again!

Sometimes little gifts turn out to be very expensive…

When my daughter gave me a book-a-day calendar, I thought it would be fun to read nice quotes every morning, a nice change of pace from last year’s doodle calendar on which I drew far too many octopuses. The calendar isn’t filled with quotes, it’s filled with well-written little blurbs. And they’re making me buy books. Lots and lots of books. It got me again, today.

Heck, yeah. I want to know about China’s Taiping civil war. I want to go to China someday! I love learning! I love reading about everything! Books, books, books, more books!

I told my daughter that she better get me another bookcase next year. Or maybe I should just start drawing octopuses over the enticing book blurbs?

How To Procrastinate Writing A Synopsis

Writing novels is fun, a little agonizing at times, but mostly fun. Writing a synopsis is mostly agonizing. Here’s how to procrastinate. I’m not saying it’s based on my life or anything…

1. Order yourself a box of chocolates. You deserve to celebrate–you finished your novel!

2. Can sweaters be celebratory too? Summer kind of disappeared and fall appeared while you revised that now finished–yay–novel. Click on all those links in your junk file and do some virtual window-shopping. Just a few minutes or so…

3. Realize that you get way too much junk mail. Take some time to Unsubscribe. Real quick before you open that really, really blank future synopsis document.

4. Cleaning up junk mail feels great. Cleaning up workspace is even better! The synopsis can wait. After all, you do work better with a clean desk.

5. Under a pile of clutter, you’ll find that book you’ve been meaning to read. Maybe it will help you brainstorm ideas for your next novel. Take a nice long reading break & snuggle with your cat.

6. Just one more chapter. Okay, now just one more… it’s super short. So is the next one…

7. Reading has given you some cool ideas for your next story. Maybe you should write then down. After you go to the store and buy a cool new notebook.

8. The mailman is here! He’s got your chocolates–and a pile of intriguing catalogues. Hey, maybe you’ll get ideas for some of new characters. Ooh! These models are wearing really nice sweaters… The trip to the mailbox was chilly.

9. Go online and peruse several sweaters.

10. Okay, you have to write at least the first line of the synopsis. Done. Name the document. Done. Hmm? Is the first page of your novel as good as it really could be? What if you changed that fourth word in the second paragraph?

So, yeah, I’m literally sitting on my sofa eating bonbons and reading books. I’ll work on my synopsis tomorrow. I promise!

Mayan Calendar

During every school visit I’ve done for Jungle Crossing, eventually students ask me about the Mayan calendar’s prediction that the world will end in 2012. I explain how that’s only one calendar of many Mayan calendars & reassure them that the world will continue. But I kind of like this answer better (a friend sent it to me on New Year’s Day):

Still Collecting Characters…

One of my favorite neighborhood “characters” is a man who walks three little dogs every morning. With his dark shoulder-length hair, bushy beard, and old-fashioned coat, he looks like someone from another era. He should be wandering cobblestone streets in the mist, not dodging early morning sprinklers watering manicured lawns in a dry climate.

Seeing him, I sometimes wonder if there’s a time travel portal hidden among the white vinyl fences in my neighborhood…

But today I saw him walking his three little dogs, wearing shorts–Richard Simmons shorts. Oh, no! It turns out he’s a man from another era alright, but that time is 1980!

Well, at least he can still be a time-traveling nomad in my imagination.

An Argument Against E-Readers

Yesterday I snuck away with a good book (Stolen by Lucy Christopher) to soak my feet in the lotions and potions my husband gave me for Mother’s Day.

I lit a candle, swished my toes in the fragrant bubbles, and read… Until my kitten Minnie joined me. And fell in the tub. Twice.

A much drier, but still embarrassed, Minnie.
(I wasn’t going to interrupt my foot bath–or this great story–to take a wet cat photo.)

While I rescued Minnie, my book tipped off my lap into the sudsy water.

My first thought: I’m so glad this isn’t an e-reader! Minnie skittered away, trailing her soaked tail, and I kept reading, carefully turning each wet page (it’s a seriously compelling story!).

So, between not being able to read in the bathtub (or poolside or at the beach), and not being able to read during airplane take-offs and landings, I think I’ll stick with paper books.

Like Minnie, I tend to be a bit klutzy.

The Bachelor, Brad Womack, Needs To Read More YA Novels

Yesterday I was exercising to bad television, finishing up this week’s episode of ABC’s The Bachelor, hoping, hoping, hoping that Brad Womack would finally ditch mean girl Michelle.

She’s fake, snarky, manipulative. But he just doesn’t get it. The guy’s clueless! Brad Womack & his bevy of beauties obviously need to read more YA lit:

Since the women on The Bachelor constantly struggle to maintain their rank, I recommend The Geek Girl Guide To Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance. High school hierarchy at its best!

For those nice bachelorettes who get caught up in all the drama, I recommend The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder. Be careful about who you hang out with!

To learn about truly manipulative behavior, Brad should read Her And Me And You by Lauren Strasnick. It’s tricky trying to form a healthy relationship when someone’s always out to sabotage you!

Finally, Michelle’s got to realize she’s a mean girl, right? She is thirty years old, not to mention someone’s mother. I’d like her to read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Sucks to realize that you’re a mean girl when it’s too late to change!

Which books do you wish mean girls and clueless guys would read?