Tuesday, January 25, 2011

XOXO Betty and Veronica: We're with the Band

Well, I was hoping for a cover credit, but I guess a paycheck and resume booster will have to be good enough.

I have joined the ranks of Archie by writing a Betty and Veronica novella spinoff, We're with the Band. It's Archie Comics partnering Grosset & Dunlap (Penguin) to put out some upbeat tween books.

I have to admit, they're pretty fun to write. The world and characters are already all set up, so all I had to do was make them run around and do stuff. (Okay, that might not be considered fun in some people's universe, but it's a cool way to make a buck in mine.)

We're with the Band will be launching May 11th. Get your Amazon pre-order in now! ;O)

My Sister is Fully to Blame, But...

American Pickers Fan Club

I am completely addicted to American Pickers.

Okay, as the daughter of antique dealers, I don't normally like shows about buying / selling / appraising antiques. Why? Because they're usually totally unrealistic about pricing. I can't tell you how many times someone has come into our antique store with something to sell and said, "There was one exactly like mine on Antiques Road Show and they said it was worth $$$." Well, that's because the appraisers on that show are trying to sell air time for commercials, not antiques.

Now that I'm a full time writer, lashed to the keyboard for numerous hours each day, American Pickers gives me my thrift fix. (That's the urge to sift through a thrift store, garage sale, flea market, etc... looking for cool old items) Sometimes I think AP's prices are a titch high. Especially when they go to see a professional "appraiser" about a specialty item, but in general, I think the prices are fair. I like the personalities of the pickers and enjoy watching them hunt down hoarders. collectors and other pickers to wheel and deal.

The only other program I've come across that was as realistic about pricing was Cash in the Attic*. It was a BBC show where people were trying to raise money for something specific and therefore were willing to part with some of their antiques. What made the show really work is the experts would give an appraisal and then put the item in auction to see what it actually brings.

*Since initially writing this post, I have watched the American version and don't like it as much. Okay, I'm only seen one episode, but FYI.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aspiration Pony Revisited

My friend Erick, who is a bit of a word hound (I'm assuming that's someone who is like a rock hound, but for words) has been trotting aspiration pony around the track. Here's what he emailed me:

I already brought up the phrase on a date last night. She noted that it's similar to "living vicariously through someone." But I think the newness of the phrase is in its recognition that being the person someone lives vicariously through can be a burden. But a burden mixed with being put on a weird pedestal, which is why the term isn't 'aspiration mule.'

Very true! And also, someone can make you an aspiration pony even if it's not something you want for yourself. For example, "Ken" never wanted his old college buddy to get married so the guy could "keep living the dream for the rest of us". Being single may or may not be what the college buddy wants for his life, but it's the aspiration that Ken projected onto him.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Mammoth Minis! - Only 7 years away!

Mammoths managed to survive on Wrangle Island for much longer than anywhere else in the world by shrinking to 1/4 their regular size. Now, I've been harassing husband for a mammoth mini for years, but his excuse has always been they are extinct. Well, according to this article, Japanese scientists are only 5 years away from cloning a mammoth. I figure 2 additional years (give or take) for them to perfect the technology and then they'll be marketing mammoth minis as household pets. I brought this very exciting information up to husband and asked if he agreed we should get on a waiting list for a mammoth mini. He responded that there is no current mammoth mini waiting list.

That is until now!

Waiting list for a mammoth mini*:

1) Adrianne Ambrose

*By creating this list Adrianne Ambrose is in no way stating, promising or implying that she has access to mammoth minis or scientists that will create mammoth minis. She's only saying that when they do come out, she wants to be at the head of the list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Antsy Does Time - Neal Shusterman

No, this is not a Neal Shusterman fan page. It just feels like it is.

Yes, I've been a bit obsessed with Shusterman lately, but the library is partly to blame for that. I always have a ton of books requested and I cannot be held responsible for the order in which they become available.

Here's what I find annoying about Mr. Shusterman - He's a great writer and can create really unique storylines with well thought out characters then, he can turn around and be super funny. It's so multifaceted that it borders on irritating. It's kind of like a really attractive doctor. Hey, you're already a doctor! Stop with being so good looking already! How am I supposed to talk about my toe fungus or whatever, if you're standing there looking like a model. I also think doctors shouldn't be too ugly. No one wants to be in a paper gown in front of Jabba the Hut.

Anyway, Antsy Does Time it the sequel to The Schwa was Here. And, if anything, it's even funnier than the first book. Not sure how Mister N. Shusterman pulled it off, but he did. And, as usual, it's somewhat thought provoking. Not as much as Unwind, but still, for a light comedy, it brings up some interesting issues.

I admit, I'm in the middle of another of Mr. Neal's books right now, but after that I really have to take a break. At least for a week or two.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When the end of the world comes...

I hope I'm wearing a sports bra.

I imagine there will be a lot of running and dodging fireballs and other aerobic activities. And when doing physical stuff like that, it's best to have some support.

But how do you plan for the end of the world? You can't always wear practical shoes and carry a windbreaker. Sometimes, while waiting for the apocalypse, the husband wants to take you out to dinner and that involves putting on heels.

There's really no practical way to plan for Armageddon. But, when it does happen, I hope I at least have a change of underwear.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Favorite Books in 2010

I used to have this rule that if I started a book I had to finish it. Which, it turns out, was a stupid rule because if I disliked a book, I'd take forever to get through it when I could have been enjoying reading something else. Okay, I was a teenager at the time and had a lot of harebrained ideas. (still do) Anyway, I read a lot of books in 2010. Many I didn't complete. Or I completed them and didn't like them enough to review them in my blog. It's hard to write a book and I don't want this blog to be about bashing other authors.

So, my favorite books that I read in 2010 (not counting books that I re-read - The Scarlet Pimpernel for example) and in no particular order are:

1) The Hunger Games - Yes, it's popular for a reason
2) Unwind - Really a haunting book that I thought about for weeks after. It deserves to be more popular but it's so disturbing.
3) Flora Segunda - Just a neat world. Really clever.
4) Uglies
5) Frindle - Did I read this in 2010? I think so. Still good book. Shows kids how trends, fads, language is born.
6) Hatchet - Classic adventure

My least favorite books of 2010 are:

... Not Available...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Duff: A novel by Kody Keplinger

I was initially reluctant to read this book because DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I thought somehow my feelings would be hurt by the story because, at six feet tall in stocking feet, it's easy to feel like a shaved Yeti in a crowd of pixies. But, I'm glad I read it and took delight in doing so. Through the story, Ms. Keplinger points out that everyone feels like The Duff sometimes. It's easy to relate to the narrator's plight, the characters are likeable and, at points, the book is just flat out funny.

Ms. Keplinger is apparently only 18. I have to confess that I can barely control my envy. What the heck was I doing at 18? Oh yeah, partying with my friends and feeling like The Duff.

There is some mature content in the story, so maybe not for very young girls, but in general a very enjoyable read with some good life lessons. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Keplinger comes up with next. (even though I'm sure I'll still be envious!)