Friday, February 18, 2011

Totally My Idiom Blogfest

Well, this is incredibly late, since the This Is Totally My Idiom blogfest was yesterday. But I'm finally managing to get my entry posted...a day late and a dollar short (you see what I did there? I used an idiom). Anyway, thanks to Delia for hosting!

I couldn't decide on one idiom, so I put a few in there. This is another episode of the Happy Acres saga, and it's really super long, and for that I apologize. I just couldn't find the end of it!


Things had settled back into their usual routine at Happy Acres since I'd triumphantly slain the Zombie King. The souls of each and every one of my friends were safe and sound thanks to me, not that they appreciated what I’d done, since most of them didn’t believed the Zombie King ever existed.

“As King of Scotland, I command you to cease this nonsense talk about Zombie Kings,” Simon said from his perch on the couch, surrounded by his imaginary literary babes. And twirling his icy glass of contraband vodka. At 10:00 a.m.

“I will not!” I said, stomping my foot. I’d had enough of everyone doubting me. “Mia? If anyone here can defend me, it’s you. You know the truth about the Zombie King. I single-handedly rescued you and your zombies from him.”

Mia left the wall where she and her zombies used their newest box of crayons to color a post-apocalyptic mural, and met me in the middle of the room. She took my hand in hers, “You know I owe you big times for that, for defs. The zombies are totes hero-worshipping on you and everything. They’ve so even been urging me to throw you a special cupcake party because you are like their sparkly champion.”

“Are you trying to guilt-trip me for not believing this Zombie King malarkey?” Simon asked.

“Shotgun!” Bill called from his chair.

Mia shot him an ugly glare, but Bill remained oblivious.

“What are you talking about, Bill?” I asked.

“If we’re going on a trip, I call shotgun,” he answered.

“Do not say the S-H-O-T-G-U-N word,” Mia said.

“Why not?” Simon asked.

“Because the zombies do not like it. It makes them mad,” Mia answered.

“Who cares if the zombies get mad. They’re just a bunch of cupcake eating sissies, anyway,” Simon said, taunting her. The literary babes giggled.

“They are not sissies,” Mia said, defending her friends. “They’re sensitive, I keep telling you. They’ve been through a lot, you know. First the whole trauma of being infected. That was not easy to accept. The biting. The dying. It was very icky for them. See? Talking about it still makes them all mopey.”

She was right, the zombies had stopped coloring and were hanging their heads and patting each other on the back.

“Shotgun,” Simon said, a smirk on his face.

“Simon, you’ve been warned,” Mia said, wagging a finger at him. “This is the last one. You are provoking them. You will not like the zombies when they are angry. If you hurt their feelings they will take action. I promise you.”

“What are they going to do, cry on me?” he asked.

“You do not want to know,” Mia said.

“Rip off an arm and beat me over the head with it?” Simon asked.

“That is gross. The zombies are pacifists and do not believe in violence. Unless you provoke them. Then they will resort to cranky behavior,” Mia said, dismissing Simon and heading back to comfort her zombies.

“SHOTGUN,” Simon called across the now silent common room. All eyes bounced back and forth between Simon and Mia.

“Um, Simon. You might want to cool it,” I said, noting that Mia’s lips were set in a thin, firm line.

“We have been over this, you will address me as Your Majesty, or Your Highness. If you must address me at all,” he said, only glancing in my direction briefly, then returning his attention to Mia..

“You’re not the king of anything,” I said. “We’re all kind of tired of your delusions of grandeur.”

“They’re not delusions,” Mia said, her voice quiet and even, a sweet little smile on her lips.

“Thank you, Mia,” Simon said, thinking he’d won a major battle.

“They’re overblown fantasies. Hallucinations. Flights of fancy. Mirages. Castles in the air,” she said, delivering her salvo.

“SHOTGUN!” Simon thundered across the room.

“Shut up!” Mia hollered in her little voice.

“Make me!” Simon dared her.

“Wait a minute, Mia,” I interrupted, attempting to diffuse the situation. “What is it with the shotgun, anyway. Why do the zombies hate that word so much?”

“Are you serious? You totes don’t know?”

“I totes don’t,” I said, noting that her easy distractibility may have saved Simon from being massacred by zombies.

Mia whispered to the zombies, “Plug your ears, I’m going to talk about that word,” then after they had, she said to the rest of us, “the shotgun is the ultimate international weapon of choice for zombie killing. It is their Achilles heel.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because they are already dead. Undead. Not living anymore. But kind of living. The only thing that can make them totally dead is a shotgun. They do not want to be dead. They just want to eat cupcakes and color. And be left in Peace. Is that asking so much?”

After having dealt with the Zombie King, I could totes relate to the zombies’ desire for peace. “No, that’s not too much to ask at all,” I said. “In fact I could really use some of that myself.”

From his chair I heard Bill snort, “That’s what she said.”


Whew! If you made it this far, thanks for reading the whole thing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Marbury Lens - Review

I recently finished reading The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, and I loved it.

I'm not going to deal with plot details here...go read the book for that. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

First of all, I don't write YA literature (usually), but since I have three teenagers, I do read my share of it. I like to read what my kids read, and we like to talk about what we read. It's kind of like having a built-in reading group.

The Marbury Lens is twisted, and compelling, and heart-breaking, but most of all it made me think. Despite Jack's straightforward matter-of-fact voice, the story isn't laid out in black and white. It's not wrapped up in a neat package, all the plots and sub-plots resolved. No happy ending here. In fact, there's not much of an ending at all, but that didn't bother me because it works with this story. In short: the book is not easy.

The story follows Jack on his complicated journey through psychological trauma and his vulnerable, tender, desperate attempts to make sense of the dissociative worlds he finds himself in. I won't even pretend that I understood it all, and I suspect that it'll mean something different to each person who reads it, which is actually pretty high praise for Smith. What author doesn't want readers to take their work personally, for it to get under their skin?

I know I'll have to read this book again, and then maybe again, and even then I may not "get it," but that's the beauty of it. I didn't care that it was difficult or complicated, because Smith makes readers work, makes them become invested in the story and provide their own answers to all the open-ended questions. Because in the end, there are no easy answers in life, especially for teenagers, (or anybody, for that matter). We all struggle with our demons, trying to figure out how to tame them and fit them into our lives.

Now the big question, would I let my kids read it? The book contains some uncomfortable graphic situations, and some grim post-apocalyptic visions, not to mention the complex PTSD issues.  Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend it to my 18-year-old son.  Because the story isn't typical of what my 13-year-old daughter would read anyway, I doubt she'd even be interested in it, even if I did recommend it to her. But, in the end, I probably wouldn't. Knowing her as I do, I don't think she'd be able to process it. And I wouldn't let my 12-year-old read it because, again, knowing him, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't understand it well enough to even know what questions to ask, and I just don't think he's ready to deal with some of the imagery.  It's one thing to warn your children against the Freddie Horvaths of the world, it's another for them to read the gruesome details about what can happen at the hands of people like Freddie.

I do, however, wholeheartedly recommend the book to anyone over, say, 15 or 16 years old, and especially adults. It's a remarkably well told tale, and certainly worth reading.

Now I look forward to Smith's next novel, Stick.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just Kiss Already Blogfest

Yes, it's another blogfest! This time it's the Just Kiss Already Blogfest, hosted by the lovely Stina and Christina.

The idea is to post a scene in 250 words or less that involves actual kissing. It is Valentine's Day, after all!

So my post is an excerpt from my paranormal romance, Faerie Fate. It's not a Valentine's Day romantic kiss, but it's still a kiss!


A fiery redhead with steely blue eyes, Ash’s body art was a wildly abstract storm of color. The art merged with the pattern of his wings, as if his wings weren’t trophy enough, he’d had his body tattooed in the same pattern in order to emphasize their glory

“Where’ve you been?” Dusty asked, slapping Ash on the shoulder.

“Far and wide, man. You know me, I’ve got to see it all,” at this point he noticed Holly and gave her an appreciative once over. “And try it all,” he said. “What have we here?” he asked, sidling up to her and breathing her in, a lascivious grin on his face. “You dipping into another well, Dusty?”

“Okay, Ash, keep it in your pants, buddy,” Shadow said as he and Willow caught up with them. He wrapped a possessive arm around Holly’s waist, his hand coming to rest on her hip. Against her will she melted into him. “This well’s already spoken for.”

“Seriously? Damn. I’m always like a day too late," Ash said. "Don’t get me wrong, congratulations are definitely in order, and wow, she’s a hot one.” He leaned in and kissed Holly on the mouth, the tip of his tongue just barely caressing her lips before he pulled away.

Surprised, Holly jerked away, taken aback by his boldness, but sensing his amusement at her reaction.

“Just a taste of what you’re missing, if you ever decide Shadow’s not man enough for you,” he said, and winked at her.


I like Ash, he's a fun character. I think I'm going to have to bring him back in another novel. Maybe give him a love of his own.

Now go check out the rest of the kisses in the fest!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest

Because I'm a hopeless sucker for blogfests, here's another one! I just now learned about this one and I'm so happy I did because not only is it a fun idea, but it's got killer prizes to go with it, so how could I resist?!

So the blogfest is the, "Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest," hosted by the ever lovely Brenda Drake.

The idea of the blogfest is that writers are tasked with posting the first line of their current completed WIP. It must be a completed manuscript. Lucky for me, I just happen to have one of those.

This is the first line from my paranormal romance, Faerie Fate:

"Holly Reed slept curled in a tiny bundle reminiscent of the fetus she'd been only a week ago, unaware of the two women who stood over her, watching."

So what do you think? Compelling? Stinky? Needs work? Would you keep reading?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Top Ten Horror/Science Fiction Movie Quotes Blogfest

Thanks to iZombie and Ellie Garratt for hosting the Top Ten Horror/Science Fiction Movie Quotes Blogfest!

The idea is to count down your top ten favorite quotes from horror or science fiction flicks. Mine are pretty short and sweet, and it was nearly impossible to keep it down to 10 because I could easily get 10 faves from just one movie, so spreading it out was a bit of a challenge (I adore Galaxy Quest - it's like a quote-a-palooza). These are in random order.


10. “There’s that word again, heavy. Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?” (Doc Brown, Back to the Future)

9. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” (Obiwan, Star Wars: A New Hope)

8. “That’s no moon. That’s a space station.” (Obiwan, Star Wars: A New Hope)

7. “I have been, and ever shall be, your friend. Live long and prosper.” (Spock, Star Trek II)

6. “Did you guys ever WATCH the show?” (Guy Fleegman, Galaxy Quest).

5. “I see you’ve managed to get your shirt off.” (Alexander Dane, Galaxy Quest).

4. “Whoever wrote this episode should die.” (Gwen DeMarco, Galaxy Quest).

3. “Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it?” (Russell Casse, Independence Day)

2. “Never give up, never surrender. (Jason Nesmith, Galaxy Quest)

1. “The First Rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons, were the fatties.” (Columbus, Zombieland)

(bonus: "Hasta la vista, baby!" (Terminator2))

There you go. Nothing intellectual, nothing long-winded, just some good fun. Now go check out the rest!