Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tune for Tuesday

Last week I saw one of the best live bands ever, Papa Roach, for the third time this summer! Seriously, I've seen many bands live and they are by far the best! Lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix, can get the crowd crazy! (In fact, I was bumped by moshers a few times during the concert). My mom, my hubby's aunt Beth, my friend Shanon and I Photobucketwent to the Congress Theatre in Chicago to rock it out.
Here's a super short clip of a song that may be about Paris or Lindsay...and it shows how pumped up Jacoby gets the crowd!

They started the concert with "Kick in the Teeth" from their just released album. I love it, especially when having a hard day. One time I played it 12 times in a row on our way home from Wisconsin (I wasn't having a bad day, I just love the song). Here's some lyrics to my Tune for Tuesday:

Don't fight, or it deny it, invite it cause when it ..
Feels like a kick in the teeth, I can take it.
Throw your stones and you won't see me break it.
Say what you want, take your shots.
You're setting me free with one more kick in the teeth !

So, next time you are feeling a little ticked off, put on this song and turn this mother up! Or you can check out this pick me up post from Sharon Mayhew, too!

*Don't forget: Tomorrow is the last day to enter Angela Ackerman at The Bookshelf Muse is celebrating 1000 followers (wow!) by having a fabulous contest that includes critiques and a mentorship! Check out details HERE quickly as the contest closes tomorrow!
* I was a contest winner again! Thank you to PJ Hoover for sending me Nerds by Michael Buckley. Also thanks to Candace Ganger and Elana Johnson for a beautiful homemade bookmark and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I'm a lucky girl!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Great Blogging Experiment: Quirky Characters

A few weeks ago my daughter brought home a writing exercise from school. She had drawn a picture of her little brother, JD, laughing in bed.

Underneath she wrote, "My brother is weird because he laughs in his sleep."

I giggled when I saw it, because my youngest son really does laugh in his sleep (it's adorable!). I asked Little Missy what the teacher asked the class to write about. Apparently the teacher told the students to write about a family member and what is weird about them. An interesting class discussion followed I am sure.

My daughter then piped in, "And I told the class that Dad swears in his sleep!"

Being a former teacher, students told me all kinds of things I'm sure their parents would be embarrassed about, and now it was our family's turn to be embarrassed. My husband really does occasionally swear in his sleep. Sometimes it's annoying;sometimes it's funny. My daughter witnessed it firsthand once while we were in a hotel. My husband yelled an expletive in the night, and my daughter turned to me and we both startled giggling.

Weird isn't a bad thing. My kids tell me I'm weird all the time, and I take it as a compliment. Normal is boring.

Take a look at your family, your friends. Is anybody truly normal? Aunt Betty doodles zombies and graveyards when she talks on the phone. Grandpa Teddy doesn't bother to put pants on when guests come over. Cousin Suzy hums while every time she texts. Your brother sniffs each bite of food before putting it in his mouth. What's my quirk? What makes me, me? I slouch. I sing loudly along with my rock music in my car. I look forward to tweezing my eyebrows every day. What is your quirk?

How about your characters? Is he a twitcher? Does she have a nasty ear picking habit? Does he hide Country Living magazines under his bed? Does he save tater tots in his pockets for later?

Make your characters odd, bizarre, peculiar, mysterious, outlandish, awe-inspiring. Because normal is boring and forgettable. To make your characters compelling, you need them to be multifaceted. Uniqueness is just one facet of your character that makes readers relate to her or care about him.

Now hop on over to Elana Johnson's blog to find out what over 170 others have to say about How to Write Compelling Characters in The Great Blogging Experiment!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top Ten TV Shows Blogfest!

Cassastar author Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting this fun and fabulous TV themed blogfest today! Check his blog to go see what shows others have chosen. I bet there is not one list alike on all the blogs!

I watch TV to be entertained. I don't really watch many shows. I DVR so I can save time and fast forward through commercials. But a few times a week, it is so nice to lay on the couch and veg out. I don't want to cry. Sometimes I don't even want to learn. I want to laugh. So I do.

1. True Blood - Did you expect any other show at the top of my list? I'll say it again. It's sexy, shocking, suspenseful, and funny. Click here if you missed my True Blood Survival Guide.

2. The Soup - I like funny. I like sarcasm. I like when people make fun of reality shows, soap operas, entertainment shows, basically anything on TV. I like this show. It's on the E! channel, and I hope Joel McHale never stops hosting it. He's also on a sitcom called Community which also amuses me. I LOL every single episode of The Soup. Every one.

3. Friends - I loved this show. Yes, I once got "The Rachel" haircut. I even almost broke my nose running into a closed closet door while hanging up laundry during a commercial, because I heard the show come back on and ran BAM! into the door! My favorite character was Chandler. Could he be any funnier?

4. That 70's Show -Witty Eric. Dumbbunny Kelso. Great, great characters on this show, every single one of them. "I said Good day!"

5. Saturday Night Live - This show combines two of my favorite things: comedy and music. I have to admit I don't always watch it anymore, but I've watched so many episodes since I was a fifth grader on it's not funny. But it is. There's been great years, and not so great years, but so many comedians have shined here: Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferell, Chris Farley, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, and so many more.

6. Nip/Tuck - My mother-in-law turned me on to this show. My husband and I watched this insanely wicked show each week wondering what in the world Christian and Sean would get themselves into next. This show was not afraid of any subject. Even though I closed my eyes during the surgery scenes, my mouth dropped at other scenes that made me yell at the TV, "They did not just do that!" It was a drama, but funny scenes here and there as well.

7. Cheers - I remember watching this with my family once a week. And I do believe I watched the final episode in a bar. I'm not even going to tell you if I was 21 or not!

8. How I Met Your Mother - It's legen...wait for it...dary. Barney is awesome. Ted is cute. Everyone cracks me up.

9. Seinfeld - But of course it's here. It was amusing because they made fun of things everyone else wanted to but didn't. Or made ordinary things funny. It's not in my personal top five, but it is a great one. I'm sure most of you have quoted this show before.

10. The Cosby Show - I so wanted to live with the Huxtables! But not wear the loud sweaters. I thought Claire Huxtable was so gorgeous and smart, and there was a kid for every age group to relate to.

Honorable Mentions: Everybody Loves Raymond, Modern Family (this probably would make the list next year if this season is as fab as last season), and The Young and the Restless (I've been watching it on and off since I was eleven!)

What's your all time favorite TV show?Photobucket

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

True Blood Loss

It's over. What am I going to do now? The season finale of the third season of True Blood aired Sunday night. It was fantabulous, shocking, grotesque, and off the chain as usual. But now what will I do on Sunday nights? I contemplated with my husband what to do about this last episode. We thought maybe we'd watch two minutes a week to make the last episode last, but we couldn't hold out. We had to watch it! I seriously have not ever loved a TV show like I love this one. It's bordering obsession. Why?
I'll Tell You Why
1. Eric Northman (and no this isn't the last time you'll see that pic at the left).
2. It's a show my husband and I both love to watch together.
3. It's funny. Watch this funny scene of a vampire texting an expletive. (Franklin was one hilariously insane vampire!)
4. It's suspenseful, even if you've read the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
5. Eric Northman - not just because he's gorgeous, but the character is humorous, complex and unpredictable.
6. It's shocking. Have you ever seen vampire goo being carried around in a fancy jar?
7. I love Sookie's southern accent and the way Bill says, "Sookie."
8. Handsome hardbodies. (Not only Eric, but Jason, Alcide, Bill, Sam, heck, even Hoyt's kind of cute in his own way.)
9. I love the clicking sound when the vampire teeth retract and extend.
10. This character.

Here's my Survival Guide until Season 4 premieres next summer.

1. Read the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (I just finished book four; there are currently eleven, and the books are funny and suspenseful, too).
2. Read and reread this issue of Rolling Stone magazine.Photobucket

3. Drink True Blood beverage (I seriously have two in my kitchen pantry in case Eric stops by).

4. Dress like a Merlotte's waitress for Halloween this year.

5. Read the Vampire Diaries book and finally watch the eighteen episodes I have on my DVR.

6. Watch Zoolander (I have never seen it and I love funny movies. Oh, and Alexander Skarsgard is in it!)

7. Watch and groove to Snoop Dogg's music video titled, "Oh, Sookie."

8. Visit Bon Temps, Louisiana on Spring Break.

9. Rent Eclipse when it finally comes out on DVD (I haven't seen it yet!!).

10. Give blood at church preferably in the evening so I can scan the area for thirsty yet non violent vampires (I actually already do that - well, the first part anyway).

Any other suggestions for me to get me through this difficult time? ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

With a Rebel Yell

I cried, "Mo! Mo! Mo....concerts!"
Last night I enjoyed seeing two rock icons play live right in front of me. My friend Sue and I went to the Riviera Theatre to see Billy Idol and Slash rock it out. Of course we had to make our way close to the stage for an up close and personal (and LOUD) rock show.
Slash was first. Myles Kennedy (from the band Alter Bridge) was the powerful lead singer who sang songs from Slash's solo album plus Velvet Revolver and Guns N Roses tunes. So much fun! Todd Kerns was awesome on bass, too. Photobucket
This was the third time I've seen Slash live. I saw him with GnR in the 90's and with Velvet Revolver about five years ago. He's such an amazing guitarist.
Here's one of the best guitar riffs ever!

Then came Mr. Idol. His lip was curled and his abs were six packed. This 54 year old can still rock it. He sang favorites like "Dancing with Myself," "White Wedding," "Flesh for Fantasy," and "Mony Mony" (Hey! Hey what!).
Rebel Yell!

These girls were grinning and rockin through the concert, and our ears are still ringing today!
What's your fave Billy Idol or Slash song?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear Diary 3

I'm continuing my Dear Diary series just for kicks in case anyone wants to laugh at little Kelly or to gain some insight on a certain age group for their works in progress!
So far I have shared an entry about future occupations and vomit in my this series.

As I was perusing through my diary to decide which entry I'd put next, I discovered two things. One, I jumped around in my diary and it is not in chronological order which is currently not very helpful and two, I wrote about boys. A lot. I started writing about which boys were cute in third grade! Do girls already notice boys this young? My daughter had a "boyfriend" in first grade so I guess I unfortunately know the answer to that question. And she is her mother's daughter. My oldest son rarely mentions girls, but I have a feeling he notices them by now. Most of my diary entries from fifth grade through junior high are about, you guessed it, BOYS!

This is a peek at an entry from fourth grade, age nine. (Some names may or may not have been changed to protect the hotties, I mean innocent. My present day comments are in red.)
This is me from my fourth grade class picture. This fashionable fourth grader is wearing a velour top of her favorite shades of blue with light blue cordoroys. The Coke bottle glasses finish the look. Was I a babe magnet or what? HA!

Saturday, Feb 7

Dear Diary,

In school we are doing reports. I am doing it on rabbits. I HAD A BEAUTIFUL PET RABBIT NAMED ZIGGY. Lori already finished hers. My report is better though. DID I MENTION I WAS HUMBLE? I am almost finished. I'm still hoping that Les, Jon, and Brian like me. NOTICE I PUT AND - NOT OR. I SHOULD ALSO MENTION THAT LES WAS A 17 YEAR OLD BASKETBALL PLAYER ON MY DAD'S TEAM THAT I NEVER SPOKE TO ONCE. DID I REALLY THINK I HAD A CHANCE WITH HIM?! I want be a veterinarian, a teacher or something to do with animals when I grow up. GLAD I ENDED ON AN ASPIRATIONAL NOTE.

And what can we learn from this?

One, you are never too young to appreciate the opposite sex.

Two, sometimes a grade schooler's view can be totally out of whack (a high schooler?!).

Three, you can dream big and many do come true! (I did become a teacher and had a date with the Jon mentioned four years later.)
What childhood dreams of yours came true?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Things for Thursday

1. Guess what my very thoughtful best friend gave me? A subscription to Writer's Digest! My friend, Becky, who is also a writer subscribes to it and thought I'd benefit from it, too. In the first issue that I received, I read a fabulous interview with Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, and read great articles on how to raise the stakes in your story. Thanks, Becky!
Do you subscribe to any writing magazines? Which ones do you find helpful?

2. Attention Teachers and Parents! SuperTeacherWorksheets.com offers a wonderful variety of supplemental educational worksheets including math facts, social studies, and reading comprehension. They even have fun puzzlers. Check it out! I recently sold a few to them. You can see one of mine about states here.

3. The kids are back to school. My baby is now in afternoon kindergarten, and I am facing long afternoons without him. For some reason, it's a difficult transition for me (luckily he is loving school), but I know I will be thankful for this extra time to concentrate on my writing without interruption once I stop moping. I am composing a daily schedule to help me not waste time and use the time productively. Any tips for me?