In Which I Create a YouTube Sensation

So, I didn’t get much work done yesterday. But that’s okay, because I was doing this:

Are you dying from all the cuteness??

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Gone But Not Forgotten TV Shows

I joined a blog fest over at Something Else to Distract Me today, and the topic is gone but not forgotten TV shows.  We’re supposed to list our top five shows that are no longer making new episodes.

This is tough!

#5—Dark Angel

Although I get my Michael Weatherly fix on a fairly regular basis on NCIS, I still miss me some Logan Cale action.  Jessica Alba and Weatherly were a match made in Manticore, and I was so sad at how the series ended—so lame, and so much left unresolved.

#4—The O.C.

As bizarro as season four got, I miss all the Seth Cohenisms.  And although there are O.C.—like shows out there, they’re nothing but sad imitations in my eyes.  It’s nice to see some of the actors pop up from time to time—Benjamin McKenzie is on a show that no one watches, Alex pops up on House reruns (Is she still on it? I’m behind on House), and Summer’s dad is on NCIS from time to time as well as All My Children, which I don’t watch—it’s not enough!

#3—Frasier

One of the best-written shows ever.  That is all.

#2—The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby just makes me smile.  And no matter how many times people on Twitter try to say he’s dead, Heathcliff Huxtable will always be alive in my heart.

#1—Space Ghost Coast to Coast

This one really stings because they’ve been pretty stingy on the DVD releases as well.

You’re welcome:

Change Your Routine, Change Your Writing Style

Two things happened this week that inflamed a writerly itch in me (OK—that doesn’t sound so good, but it’s a good thing—I swear!).

First: Sunday, I attended a meet & greet, where I met (and greeted) a bunch of writers in the Harrisonburg area.  As an icebreaking exercise, we were supposed to write up to 500 words in response to a prompt (the bird).  I ended up writing a short short story that leaned toward—gasp!—suspense.  What??  Completely different from anything I’ve written, well, ever—but it was kind of liberating.

Not that I don’t love YA or plan on changing my genre and writing suspense novels or anything, but it was neat to see what I could come up with in a short amount of time (I did it in about an hour)—and when I’m not the one picking the topic. I got some decent feedback on the piece, too.  Score!

Second: Yesterday, I was forced to break out of my hibernation—there were groceries to be bought, movies to return, shoes to pick up, and a new computer charger to find & purchase.  <—Yeah, that one was pretty important.

So, I’ve been listening to the same few songs lately, and I was looking forward to listening to them again, during all my errand-running.  But when I pulled out my iPod right after I took off, it was dead. Grr.

That was particularly annoying because the ‘burg doesn’t have great radio reception and I don’t yet know the stations very well, but it turned out to be a good thing too.

I flipped around radio stations and heard a lot of songs from my college—and even high school—days.  And, I don’t know about you, but songs almost always take me back to exact places and times, feelings, etc.  Some of the songs I heard (“Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, anyone?) yanked memories out of the depths of my brain like a magician pulling a bunch of handkerchiefs through my ear.  (You’re welcome for the visual, bee tee dub).

But these two change-ups in my routine sparked something.  I know it’s not groundbreaking advice, but it’s been a long time since I’ve entertained the idea of a new manuscript (almost a year!), and I’m proof that altering your yoozh can be fodder to your shiny, new ideas because I got a lot of those yesterday.

Anyway, I highly recommend stepping out of that comfort zone.  I know it’s the dead of winter, and it’s nice to wrap up in your robe and settle in to what is comfortable, but if you go out into the cold a bit, you might get some interesting kernels of ideas you never would have gotten!*

*Or frostbite.

Speaking of songs I’ve been listening to over and over (and over) . . .

Stuck in the winter doldrums? Love this song—think the video’s a little creepy**:

**Especially the part where the mom is giving birth and, like, spontaneously combusting.  Nope—not helping me not be afraid of childbirth, Katy Perry!

A Question about Coffee

How much coffee do you drink?  Writers and nonwriters alike can answer—I’m just curious.

I went on a writing retreat with Sara McClung and Cristin Terrill this weekend, and they seem to think I drink a lot!  Which, I know I do . . . but I didn’t really drink that much in front of them, and so now I’m interested to know how much people generally drink.

How many cups a day?  A week?

Groundhog Day with My Manuscript

Thank God my Facebook friends reminded me that today is Groundhog Day—otherwise, I might have forgotten the utterly pointless holiday this year.  However, any reminder of Bill Murray is a good thing—so there’s a reason to smile. 🙂

But that got me thinking about how I’ve been kinda Punxsutawney Phil with my manuscript.  I’ve stayed a bit underground lately—my loyal blog followers may have noticed this—because I have been swamped with work.  However, it’s mostly because I’ve been going over and over my latest manuscript.  I finally finished editing it to my satisfaction two weeks ago, but now I’m trying to come up with the perfect title (no such luck yet) and writing and rewriting my query ad nauseum.

Some of my friends are starting to ask why I’m *still* not jumping into the query pool.  They think I’m worrying too much about it.  And I suppose I am.

But no matter how many times I rewrite my query, it seems like there’s something I can change—a new word I can use—something to cut.  Then it’s back to the drawing board because I don’t want to put it—and myself—out there until I’m 100% on everything.

Some call this crazy; others call it the “right way” of handling it.  I don’t even know anymore!

I suppose I’m being a little wackadoo, but I’m just afraid of opening that query door and seeing my shadow.

However, I am starting to realize that, until I pop my head out, I can’t know if it will be an early spring or six more weeks of winter for my writing career.  Right?

Tell me:  How do you know when it’s time?

Books I Read in 2010

I realize, of course, that many of you probably put me to shame in terms of how many books you read in 2010.  However, several of the bloggers I follow have been posting their 2010 reading lists, and it’s been kinda fun to see what everyone’s been reading—so here’s my list (in no particular order—just the order in which I remembered them):

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Allie Finkle#7—Blast from the Past by Meg Cabot

Airhead by Meg Cabot

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Runaway by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries, Part 1 by Meg Cabot

PD2: Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot

PD3: Princess in Love by Meg Cabot

PD4: Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot

PD 4 and a 1/2: Project Princess by Meg Cabot

PD 5: Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot

PD 6: Princess  in Training by Meg Cabot

PD 6 and a 1/2: The Princess Present by Meg Cabot

PD 7: Party Princess by Meg Cabot

Rhymes with Witches by Lauren Myracle

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

Suite Scarlett by Maureen JohnsonNothing Like You Lauren Strasnick

Quintessence (draft) by Alicia Caldwell

Season Ticket (draft) by J.M. Lacey

Behind Hazel Eyes (draft) by Alison Miller

Shiver of Blue (draft) by Marice Kraal

Dramarama by E. Lockhart

Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambuchino

Gimme A Call by Sara Mylnowski

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

That’s 35—which is a lot for me.  I’m sure there are one or two others I’ve forgotten to list, but I wasn’t really keeping track.  I will this year, though!  My goal is to read 52 books.  And with the books of awesome I got for Christmas [The DUFF; The Sky is Everywhere; Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd; Prom Nights from Hell; How to Be Bad; The Hunger Games; Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and my new Kindle], I might have a shot!

What did you read?

Co-Anchor for the Day & Power Shopping

I had a pretty great day today.

I got up super early (which is just regular early for regular people, but super early for the vampire girl—a.k.a. moi), went to the university where my husband teaches, and filmed a news show for the Virginia Department of Health’s Bright Futures project.

And when I walked in the studio, WHSV’s (that’s Harrisonburg’s news channel) Yuna Lee was there—playing my co-anchor!  So cool!

Anyway, we spent about three hours filming, and it was fun to play newscaster.

Here's the pic Yuna took of the studio (and me---there I am in purple!) and Tweeted. 🙂

After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon working my husband’s office and meeting some of his students.  I’m still not used to people calling him Dr. Schultz—hee! It’s always just really fun to see how students interact with him.

So . . . I was going to do this week’s blogosphere post before I turned in for the night, but I’m too wiped.  Hoping to sneak it in tomorrow afternoon after we do our power shopping (being that there isn’t a ton of shopping in the ‘burg, we’ll be traveling about two hours away to an awesome mall in Short Pump, Va., to finish out our Christmas list).

Happy Friday!