Feb 23, 2011

Enjoy an Excerpt of 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: The Ultimate Guide

It's here! 
It being the ARC of Christine Fonseca's newest non-fiction title, 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: The Ultimate Guide. Follow this link for an excerpt of the second chapter of the forthcoming release. Or head on over to Christine's blog and click the link there as you give her some love.

I love the layout of the 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: The Ultimate Guide, but I most like the content! Chock full of easily understood insights and children's testimonials, I recommend checking the book out no matter what part of life you currently find yourself. And make sure your library has it on order, as well as her fall release, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students.

Any questions? If so, Christine's blog awaits your arrival.

Side note: I am trying on different blog banners this week. I spent two months creating one of them and decided it sucks. But I needed the change, so feel free to weigh in as the changes occur.

Feb 21, 2011

Misc. Mon.

As many of you know, I am not a TV watcher. I made the mistake of taking someone's advice to let loose and watch TV this weekend. I was entertained at HGTV, one of my old stomping grounds. I flipped past most of the other places I used to find quality entertainment. And then I was sucked in by Animal Planet. I made the mistake of watching Infested, which shows how three different families battled some type of pest. Last night's episode showed a family in Oregon which had a massive SPIDER NEST under their house. My toes are curling just thinking about it. 

Another family in Idaho moved from the city to the country to be at one with nature. They got more than they had bargained for when they discovered their home was on top of a SNAKE DEN! Lalalalalala. Okay, the worst part is that the mom of the family found a news clip online of a family in their same town which was forced to abandoned their home because of a garter snake infestation. THEN she realized IT WAS THE HOUSE THEY WERE LIVING IN!!!! So yeah. The point? Pest infestations make compelling stories. And this hour-long episode on animal planet had a plot and mystery and kept me captivated. 

I am even more thankful to live in Michigan, where our worst pest is the stink bug.

Speaking of life in Michigan, we have an unexpected snow day today. That never happens after Feb 1. It sucks though because it's also President's Day which means work will be saturated with more annoying people than normal. Ugh-a-lug-a-ding-dong.

I am reading The Absolute Value of -1, by Steve Brezenoff. I like his blog, and although he sporadically and rarely updates, they are quality and entertaining posts. One thing that hooked me right away in |-1| is the strong voice of each character. One of the strongest voices I have encountered in any book. The POV switches among hilarious and troubled teens. I look forward to getting to the end and telling you all to go read the book, but if you decide you cannot wait, I'll recommend it now.

I am in a weird mood. Yeah.

I am choosing The Fighter for my next film review paper. Yeah.

I am starting a creative writing forum through my college's newspaper blog. Yeah.

Feb 19, 2011

Time-Wasters for Writers: the senses edition

                  s o u n d

               t o u c h

   t a s t e

  s m e l l (well, it'll make your nostrils flare)

                  i see dead people

Feb 17, 2011

It's 46*!!!!

Sadly, that's the biggest thing to celebrate this week.

I have been sick, varying between Athena trying to crawl out of my left temple and my stomach churning like the cement mixer filling the potholes down the street. But after two sleeves of saltines and countless glasses of water, I am finally feeling better. I'm still crabby though.

I have done little writing this week. Actually, I have written many pages of essays. No prose though :(

Guess what...NO CLASS NEXT WEEK! I can finally bust out some wordage on Sasquatch Eleanor (the WiP I am collaborating on with Kelly Polark) I am not classifying it as a secret, but all I can tell you is that it involves a sasquatch and an Eleanor.

I decided to give you a break from watching music. I kind of shove it down your throat, don't I? I will at least tell you that Marcus Mumford and I have been renewing our vows all week.

Any other ideas about what I should do with my school-free week?

Feb 14, 2011

In honor of Valentine's Day and their Grammy win, I profess my love for Arcade Fire

Okay, I know I have already done this several times in the last year, but what's one more time?

Especially for the winners of ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!

They rock, they rule, they totally make me drool.

Arcade Fire then (2005)
"Wake Up" from Funeral

(and yes, that song was used in the Where the Wild Things Are movie)

And Arcade Fire now (the bikes make sense now, don't they?)
"The Suburbs" from The Suburbs

Also, their songs - every single one of them - make for the perfect writing anthem.

So go little friends and celebrate one of the best upsets in the Grammys' history. Oh, and celebrate Valentine's Day too.

Okay, end psycho fan moment.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 12, 2011

What do you recommend

Please recommend ONE book on writing.

FYI: I'll be purchasing one of these with the Borders gift card that has been taunting me since Christmas. I figure I have enough unread books to last me until next x-mas so I'll go self-help this time around.

So gimme your picks.

More music:

Free books: including I am Number Four!
The super sweet, super Scottish Mia is having a Valentine's Day contest/shindig involving giveaways of hearts and books and fun. Check her out. And her blog.

Feb 8, 2011

Let's Get the Conversation Started

My friend Andrew Smith has welcomed us to his couch for a discussion about boys and YA literature. It's a valuable video, so please devote fifteen minutes of your day to get a prolific perspective on the big picture. No disclaimer needed, just go make of it what you will.

Feb 7, 2011

Monday Meeting: uh...

Hey guys. Normally, I'd outline my week for you, but I was up much of the night attempting to recover from a killer stomachache/nausea that was brought on by the smorgasbord of savory and sweet food from watching the Superbowl. Plus, this morning was spent digging the snowmobile out from four feet of snow. It got stuck across our property on Wednesday because the Snowpocalypse gave us dry, powdery snow which we are not used to here. I am so tired, I am not even editing this post <---consider that a post-disclaimer rather than an excuse.

Thanks for your rocking comments on my post from Thursday. I was totally nervous to post that excerpt from The Second Person Experiment. I should have known that you guys are so awesome and would've seen the good in it. Thanks!

Did you have a great Superbowl Sunday? What's on your agenda for the week?

Feb 3, 2011

The Second Person Experiment (AKA this bizarre little side project that i haven't been able to avoid.)

I posted this before I was introduced to Christine H.'s I've Come a Long Way, Baby Blogfest, but consider the below entry a first draft. I suppose I'll have to follow up with a final draft later. Also, it's not too late to enter the blogfest, if you're willing to show some before and after of your writing. And there's a contest attached to the blogfest!

“Excuses are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.” –Grandpa
You avoided getting a summer job for three reasons 1. you’re lazy 2. you had prior obligations and 3. you try your hardest not to listen to your parents. Sitting on the toilet, you ponder these truths.
1. Yes, you are lazy, but you’re lazy with class. You still bathe and you still workout, be it once every week. You still wear Axe body spray and hold doors for the ladies, old or hot. You work hard on your material, and it pays off - everyone laughs at your jokes. You are the class clown. Well, you’re a clown at least.
2. Video games. Parties. Video games. Sleep. Video games. Yes, you were very busy this summer. There was no time to ‘freshen up and head to the mall and ask for applications’ like your mom asked you to do on what seemed like an hourly basis. You were simply too busy. So busy, in fact, you didn’t even have time to fill out the day planner your dad bought you. That was supposed to be the proof that you were trying. Well, you weren’t.
3. It’s not that they are always wrong, but they are 99% of the time. “Allen, do this, do that, and everything else will fall into place.” Well, you listened to them for the first twelve years of your life and look where that got you.
There’s only one person who had lead you in the right direction and that was Grandpa. You miss him and wish he were still here to tell you what to do. And then you realize he would’ve told you to get a job. He would’ve sided with your parents. Their 1%.
Dammit, someone forgot to change the roll. Oh yeah, it was you.

On Monday, your school counselor concludes three things during your after-school meeting 1.you’re messed up 2. you’re on the wrong track and 3. you’re too comfortable with failure. All of these things you have known since you were twelve.
“And?” you ask. It’s not necessarily a rhetorical question. You genuinely want to know what Mr. School-Counselor thinks you should do to turn your life around.
“Mr. Jacobs,” he says to you,” you’re doing so well in U.S. History and Spanish, test-wise, but you’re not completing the assignments.” He looks at you, waiting for a reply.
You grunt (and?).
“Well, if you do not turn in the homework, you will not pass.”
Grunt (well, duh).
“Mr. Jacobs, what can I do to motivate you?”
Grunt (you don’t know).
“We need to work together on this. Yes, this is my job, but I really do want to see you succeed. It’s what I want for all of our students. It goes beyond being able to go to college and get a job, Mr. Jacobs. It’s about the pursuit of happiness.”
Grunt (don’t quit your day job).
As you leave the counselor’s office, a poster catches your attention.
It’s a cat hanging from a branch. HANG IN THERE, it says.
Let go, little kitty. Let go.

Feb 1, 2011

February 1st is Unofficial Post a Photo of Your Work Space Day

Before I get to the goods, go check out Anita's workspace AND give Heather's blog an overview. She alludes to the "sekrit" project.

One year ago I posted a photo of the office, complete with some delectable venison stew. It was less than a month after I'd started blogging and I took fifteen photos in an effort to get the best one possible. This year, as a seasoned blogger, I took two and did not do anything in preparation for the shoot. I was even too lazy to get a camera and just used my phone.

Before you look at the photos, there are a few things to keep in mind: I am channeling my characters (teenage boys), I am a student, and I have not been working in this space lately (you'll see why).

I should feel ashamed, but I don't.