Monday, November 20, 2006

Five Little Known Facts

I always wanted to be part of the "cool kids" gang, especially in high school. It mattered less in college, but wherever large groups of people gather, I want to fit in. I want to be accepted as part of the gang.

So imagine my delight when I received a meme tag from Dawno! I grinned, I laughed, I clicked on the link. As I read the meme, I realized I had seen this before. On Kristin Nelson's blog! A literary agent! It feels like some sort of strange "six degrees" game, and I'm excited to play.

I'm supposed to write five things about myself that few people know, and then tag five others to do the same. I wonder how long it will take me to come up with these five things….

1. I attended a taping of The Price is Right in April of 2001. I think the episode aired in July of that year (I have the video tape somewhere). During the spring of '01 I attended classes in Los Angeles (filmmaking, screenwriting, interned), and one of the last things our small class did as a group was attend the taping. There is a secret to getting picked for Contestant's Row, by the way.

Audience members are interviewed by producers in groups of five. They ask you about the show, how often you watch, what you're memories are. I can a few canned responses, but one of my friends put on a show. She said she used to pretend to be sick in order to stay home from school and watch. She explained her favorite games, how much the show meant to her.
She was called down to Contestant's Row. I was sitting next to her, and for that brief three seconds it took the camera to find her in the audience, I was on TV! Woot!

2. I own seventeen foreign language phrasebooks (plus Spanish, Italian, German and French dictionaries). I bought the phrasebooks years ago while participating in a PBEM RPG game. My character was a linguist, and she spoke many languages, so I bought them for research. Most of them are Lonely Planet books, and besides the basics, I have Nepali, Hindi & Urdi, Quechua, Ethiopian Amharic, Hungarian, and Thai.

3. I collected Beanie Babies. Yes, those small, plastic-bean filled toys that TY mass-produced for years. I received my first in 1995 as a birthday present. It was a Goldie the Goldfish. I thought it was cute and immediately packed it away in a box. Fast-forward four years. Beanies are hot. My sister collects them, so I decide to collect them. We troll the Sea Shell Shop, Hallmark, Mizzen Mast, and several other small shops along Rehoboth Avenue. We check for the new releases, the rare ones, the cute ones, and especially the bears. We spend too much money and have way too many Beanies.

On the upside, my Goldie is worth about two hundred dollars. On the downside, I don't sell her, and now she's not. Most of the other Beanies have since been sold for about a dollar each at various flea markets. I hang onto a few of them.

One is a skunk. I bought her the night of a scary car accident, had her in the car at the time, and squeezed her tight for hours afterward. I kept a wolf and panther, in honor of The Sentinel (an old favorite show and TV fandom). I also still have Goldie, my birthday cat, and a few others given as gifts over the years. Haven't bought a new one in a while, though.

4. I am a Wing Nut. I adore The West Wing, and have faithfully watched all seven seasons. My roommate owns all but the last season on DVD, and we have had marathons. We even invented a drinking game. Almost everything I know about politics is from watching it (okay, so I do remember a few things from high school). That show introduced me to Bradley Whitford, for which I am forever grateful. The man has the cutest smirk in Hollywood. It also gave me an appreciation for Matthew Perry as a serious actor (something I never thought possible until his two-episode appearance that culminated in the Vice-President resigning).

I may not have always agreed with their politics, Will Bailey annoyed me in every scene he appeared, and we didn't get the series finale I was hoping for (where was the Josh/Donna wedding, folks?), but The West Wing will always be one of my top ten shows.

5. I can sing every song in the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer musical episode, "Once More With Feeling," and quote the lines verbatim. I can even do this while insanely drunk (and have done, at least once that I recall). It's quite scary. Or humorous, depending on your point of view.

Well, those are five things. Now I need to tag five other bloggers.

Sounds of Serenity in Chaos
Webb Pages
Zonked Out
Life, Writing, and Other Things

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was strange. Just an overall strange day.

Maybe strange isn't the correct word. Exhausting is good, or even emotional. I started the day super-excited, because next week's work schedule allows me time to travel home for Thanksgiving. I had feared I couldn't manage the trip, but now I can be with my sister and parents, and my sister's three dogs. We're having dinner in her apartment (with those dogs), so it's going to be an experience.

Then I got cramps. So the day turned rather sour. Got home and discovered that two items I ordered online the day before had already arrived (!!!!). Yay! for Christmas presents. I took a long, hot shower to counteract the cramps (no dice), and then channeled my energy into the nerve to post a short story to the Share Your Work section of the AW Watercooler (I've gotten some very helpful crits, so Yay! for nerve). Got sleepy, made coffee.

Started another co-writing session with Serenity, and joined the StarChat. Always fun. Then I watched Grey's Anatomy.

Normally I love this show, but tonight I was angry. They gave George's dad cancer. I love George. He's the sweetest character on TV, and TR Knight (actor) is just an adorable person. And maybe I reacted this way because in September I found out that my own father has cancer, but I was furious. I spent half the episode crying, and could barely watch the rest of the George scenes. I mean, I know he's a fictional character, but I wanted to call him and say "I know how you feel." I barely paid attention to the other storylines (something to do with a nanny, Meredith's mom, and McDreamy in a bathtub).

So fresh off that downer, I start chatting with another AW member. He really liked my short story and agreed to help me fine tune it! We're meeting in the chat room on Sunday to go over it!!! I was just on Cloud Nine. He really thinks that - after some work - it's publishable. Woo Hoo!

Then I made the calcuated error of expressing this joy to my roomie, who had already had a bad day. Oops. But we talked it over later, and all is well now.

Tired as I was, it took a while to fall asleep. And then I dreamed about...something weird. I remember tracking someone through a series of island sandbars or something. With train tracks connecting them, and an SUV with split tires so you could drive it on the railroad tracks. Very odd.

But I woke up to find my kitty purring by my side. So that made me smile.

What made you smile today?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Vibrating Moonlight" -- Available Now

I was going to blog about tonight's solicitation experience (no hookers were involved, I swear!), but have found a more worthy topic. Jason Tudor, a long-time member of the forums has published his first book of poetry through Lulu. I was head-over-heels for him just from that, because Jason is a pretty great guy. Then I went all gooey inside when I realized he had thanked me (chaostitan), along with many other members of AW, in his Author's Notes.

I tell ya, there's just no feeling like it. That all of the hours I've logged on AW learning and (hopefully) teaching have paid off in some way. That someone found a nugget of gold in all the tailies that I've tossed out into the literary community.

So to say thank you, I'm posting Jason's press release and encouraging all to please check it out. I'll be ordering my copy soon.

Georgia author releases first book of poems

ATLANTA -- Real people whose lives succumb to fear, disgrace, joy and revenge are the subjects of a new book of poetry by author Jason Tudor, available now.

“Vibrating Moonlight,” a full-color, 64-page book, was released Nov. 7. The book is published by “Vibrating Moonlight” includes 48 poems written during 2006 and while Jason was stationed in the Middle East.

The poems in “Vibrating Moonlight” include Jason’s full collection of “Blue Rock” works. These poems were included in the collection of the same name. Readers will also delve into works about faith, women, life & death and more.

Other poems include:

• Looloo Lemon -- The story of a seemingly innocent girl whose wanton self emerges.

• Only Once a God -- A work that reflects on the mortality of everything.

• Last Minutes of an LA Stripper -- The tough life of a woman who tells people she’s working her way through medical school.

• Surgery on Aisle 5 -- What it means to be caught up in the vanity of a 21st Century society.

“Almost all of these works emanated from time spent writing the ‘Blue Rock’ poetry collection, an amazing collaboration of people and work, which I am most proud of,” Jason said. “This book wouldn’t have been possible without the spurning and motivation of people all over the world who brought ‘Blue Rock’ to life.”

In a book that Jason designed and oversaw the choice of illustrations, “Vibrating Moonlight” is available from by clicking this link:

For more information, visit Jason’s Web site at

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another Nanite Joins the Fray

I am very excited about participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I attempted the exercise last year, and fell on my face. My creative energies were just not in my chosen project, so I quit after about 15,000 words written (that WIP has since passed the 55k mark, so Yay, me!).

This year, it's a different story (literally and figuratively).

Serenity and I finished the first draft of our co-written, 114k word novel, The Third Side: Trinity, just a few weeks ago. I have never had so much fun writing a story, and we spend the two weeks leading up to NaNo plotting out Book Two. The characters are exciting, the world intriguing, and the storyline engaging (okay, so maybe I can't give an unbiased opinion here). I'm so glad I can spend the month in the minds of these folks, telling another story about them.

Plus the chemistry between Jeremiah and Alannah is positively explosive.

As of right now, we are 6160 words into the novel, with twenty more minutes of writing time until Grey's Anatomy. Not bad for two days work.