Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friendships and Book Memes and Trailers

Last night, I was on the phone for almost 2 hours with one of my closest friends from high school. We've gone in completely different directions since then, but it's one of those friendships where you can pick up the phone anytime, any year, and know you'll have exactly the same kind of heart-to-heart, laugh-a-minute conversation you did when you were teenagers having a sleepover. It's nice.

And she's writing a book! Not only is she writng a book, but she wants my feedback on it (since I'm an oh-so-successful published author now :)...and she has a really good premise for a story. I was already thinking of all the ways she could market it (does that mean I'm really sucked into this whole publishing thing?) Anyway, I can't wait to read it.

Here's a funny book meme, to add to the collection of the ones that have been circulating the last few weeks.

And here's a book trailer contest to enter, for anyone who's interested. No big prize as far as I can see, just bragging rights and another way for new authors to get their names out there. On second thought, maybe you shouldn't enter, so the prize can go to me :)

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 19, 2007


"How do people make it through life without a sister?"

~Sara Corpening

So yesterday morning, I developed a splitting headache. This is a little unusual for me, because I rarely get them. I thought maybe it was because I didn't have my morning latte, but I don't usually get caffeine headaches, and I don't drink lattes *every* day.

Skip forward 5 hours or so, to noontime, when I opened my email at work and found 3 messages from my father, telling me that early that morning, my sister fell in her kitchen (the circumstances are too long to get into), knocked herself unconscious, and gave herself a concussion and a head wound that required 7 stitches...

Weird, huh? Just a coincidence, or actual sympathy pains from 150 miles away? I know twins have that kind of telepathic connection, but I didn't think regular sisters did. Still, she and I are pretty close. (She'll be fine, though she's required to stay out of work for 3 days. I told her to quit drinking so early in the morning ;)


I'm happy to share the good news that I will have a number of articles featured in a couple of places, over the next few months. The Samhellion has taken on two for their upcoming issues (no $$ but my book cover will be featured in both issues), and WOW! just told me they're interested in one "How 2" column for their January ezine issue and a *feature article* for their February issue. So I'm happy about that ~ anything to get my name in a few more places! And how ironic (or sad) is this: the 2 articles for WOW will likely pay more than I've received in royalties from One Night in Boston, so far. Ah, well. Good thing I'm not living on my writing (yet!)...


And now, of course, the Friday Feast. Enjoy!

Appetizer If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?
Hmm, maybe a German shepherd - 'they're strong, tough, beautiful, and loyal. I'd like to think I'm some of that too :)

Soup What does the color purple make you think of?
Harold and the Purple Crayon!'

Salad Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?
About an hour, if we're talking school (work) days.

Main Course How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?
On my side, 10 first cousins, but they're all a lot older than I, and live in other parts of the country. On my husband's side, though, there are something like 20+, and they almost all live within 25 square miles and grew up together. Big difference.

Dessert Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for.
Allie Loves Baseball! (Even though the Indians lost last night and now have to go back to Boston to win the's OK...they will!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Endings

It's amazing to me how much cruelty there is in the world :( I think that's why I write, and like, stories with happy endings.

This story, while a sad one, also has its very own happy ending: 200 dogs were recently rescued from a horrible puppy mill in VA. They were covertly bought by animal rescuers and then driven through the night to a no-kill shelter in NY. This is, by the way, the same shelter where I started volunteeting a few months ago.

Last night I got an email from the director: "We are up to our eyeballs in puppy poop! Any volunteers that can help give some extra hours, please contact us!"

So guess where I will be the next few days? (And any of my local friends reading this, they need new volunteers, too! Email me if you want to help out) But it's all good, if it helps the poor animals feel better in their brand new, first real "home."


Fingers crossed for the Indians-Red Sox playoff game tonight, because it's gonna be a tough one. The Sox have their best pitcher up, so we'll see...


And how cute is this guy? I stole borrowed him from Marianne, and I will most definitely need to give him a permanent place on my sidebar. Right now, this is where I am in (revising) my current WIP, Summer's Song. Feelin' pretty good about it, too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: Tricky Words that Trip you up, and How to Get the Best of Them

Here we go, Indians, here we go! (woo woo)

Up 3 games to 1 over Boston...can a girl dare to dream??

Okay, okay, now that the celebration is over with, welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Today, I thought I'd pass along some tips for keeping track of easily-confused words...

Lay vs. Lie - The first can be used as the past tense of "lie" (as in, "Today I lie down to take a nap, but yesterday I lay down to take a nap."), or as a verb in which you are actively placing an object somewhere. This means that the sentence "Peter lay his map on the seat" is correct, but "Peter wanted to lay down on the seat" is not. Use "lie" if you are talking about assuming a prone position: "The dog lies at his master's feet at night," NOT "The dog lays at his master's feet at night." You could say "The dog lays his bone at his master's feet at night," but unless there is an OBJECT being placed somewhere, DO NOT use the word "lay" in present tense.

Farther vs. Further - Use the first word to describe distance, and the second one to describe degree of comparison. Example: "Shirley lives farther away from work than Martha does." (Hint: the word "far" is in the word "farther," to remind you that you're talking about a measurable distance) In any other case, use the latter: "Max went further in his education than Elmo did."

Fewer vs. Less - Use the first word if you're talking about items you can count, and the second one if you're talking about items you can't. For example, "The ball team with fewer errors won the game" is correct, since you can count actual errors. Don't say "The ball team with less errors won the game." In the grocery store, the express lane should say "10 Items or Fewer," since you can look into your cart and actually count the items. A store that has an express lane sign reading "10 Items or Less" is committing a grammatical error. Yes, really :) When to use "less?" Anytime a quantity cannot be individually counted: she had less experience than he did, we got less rain this summer than last summer, I have less anxiety today than I did before, etc...

It's vs. Its - It's ALWAYS means "It is" or "It has" or, rarely, "It was." Since it's (ha ha) a contraction, you can test your use of the word in this manner. "The cat found it's favorite toy" really means "The cat found it is favorite toy." Use its (with no apostrophe) to show possession (and yes, this is opposite of the way you show possession in the English language for almost any other word): "The vine attached its leafy fingers to the side of the house" or "The team lost its first game in over a month."

Effect vs. Affect - In most cases, effect is a noun: "The effect of global warming on the earth is a frightening one." Affect is a verb: "The movie affected me profoundly. " Now, effect can be used as a verb in a very limited sense, to show the creation of change: "Teachers can effect change in the future by shaping young minds." But for the most part, use the "e" word if you're talking about a noun, and the "a" word if you're talking about action/using a verb.


Make sense? Or are you more confused than ever?? Are there others that trip you up? Let me know, and maybe I can help (or just commiserate)...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some Links for You!

First off, a big cheer for the Tribe, who beat the Red Sox last night 4-2 and are up 2 games to 1 in the ALCS playoffs!!! Still a long way to go, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. Though I've lived in Yankee territory for over 10 years, part of my heart will always belong to the city of Cleveland...

Now on to serious sorts of writing things: check out the October issue of The Samhellion, my publisher's newsletter. Some great stories, articles, recipes, and author interviews there. You know, I've been toying with the idea of writing a ghost story for some time now. Maybe, with the hint of October and the witching hour in the air, I should give it serious consideration....


Second, stop by and visit the American Title contest, which just began its 3rd go-round. You can vote on your favorite opening line, and I find it interesting that the judges have commented on each one. Reminds me how important those initial sentences can be!


The Long and the Short of It has multiple chances to win some great prizes this week!


Finally, fellow Samhain author Rose Marie Wolf interviewed me for her blog today, (should be up later this AM), so hop over, give it a read, and maybe leave a comment if you would, so I don't feel lonely over there :)


I'll be here tomorrow with a writing article for Writers' Wednesday, so I hope to see you back here then!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Major League Monday

First, I have to say that I love being married to a handyman...who, after a few hours of trying everything under the sun, fixed our satellite TV problem yesterday. Hooray! Now I can watch tonight's playoff game!!

And since my Cleveland Indians are holding their own against the Boston Red Sox, here's a little tribute video, a clip from the movie Major League. In case you've never seen it, it's a hilarious sports comedy, well worth renting.

The premise: the woman who owns the Indians' baseball team can't stand Cleveland and wants to move the team to Florida, so she drafts all the worst players she can find so that they'll lose. Of course, when the players find out, they decide to turn the tables and try to win...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I Have Nothing Important to Say Today

Of course, this is assuming I have important things to say on every other day I blog. I suppose they might be important to me, but to anyone else? Hmm...probably less so. :)

I guess I could write about the fact that I was up until 2 am watching the Indians-Red Sox playoff game (they pulled off a nail-biter, winning in the 11th inning!!). I suppose "watching" isn't really the right word, though, since hubby and I came back from dinner last night to find that our TV satellite doesn't work. At all. No matter what. And it will cost $50 for a technician to come out and tell us why. I was NOT a happy camper. Thank goodness has a real-time score page, which even updates itself so you don't have to keep clicking "Refresh."

Or I could write about how I finally put down The Time Traveller's Wife yesterday, 265 pages in (of 500+). I. Couldn't. Do. It. Lovely story, fairly interesting plot, but it just moved too slowly for me. Ah well. I hate not finishing books.

I guess I could also write about how I worked through about 3 chapters of my WIP yesterday. That was a good feeling.

Or about how great it was that Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his work with raising awareness about global warming. Now that must have been a good feeling!

Or I could just stop blogging now, get on with all the things I have to do today, and wish you all a happy Sunday!

Come back tomorrow. I'll have something more important to say.