Friday, September 21, 2012

The Perks of Being a Reader

Sometimes I think about those people that say "I don't read" and I feel very sad for them. Truth be told, when someone says that, I feel a little annoyed. It's like they've said they don't really breathe. In my world, reading is a complete necessity.

 There are some books that make this even more true for me. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was one of them. You know that feeling, when you finally read a book and are appalled with yourself that you hadn't read it right when it came out? I know there are plenty of books out there like that waiting for me to read them. The kind of book that when you close it, the world feels different. Or no, maybe the book has just reminded you of the world you knew existed but you'd forgotten it for a while. But either way, you FEEL it.

 I read Charlies letters (the book is formatted in a series of letters to "a friend", don't let this scare you. It was perfect.) at a frantic pace. I fell in love with him as a literary character. As I fell in love with him, I mourned all of the Charlie's that must have passed by me through high school, college and even elementary school. It made me feel grateful for the Charlie's I know and love. You might assume that since this is told through the letters of a freshmen in high school, it might be simple. So not true. Charlie is brilliant and insightful, although naieve and sometimes unsure of himself. Often unsure of himself, but his words are beautiful.

The book explores the idea that we are all soooo messed up in our own ways. We are all just trying to find our place in the world. All just wanting to be loved and accepted, while still finding our true self.

 I don't want to say too much about it, because I really didn't know a lot going in and I think that added to the enjoyment. I will say the ending was NOT what I expected, and I loved that about it. Loved it. It was perfect though, and I'm glad I hadn't figured it out.

 Run to your nearest bookseller, or library, and read this book. Read it before you rush out to see the movie which opens today, because as is always the case, I know this book will be better than the movie. (although the movie looks fantastic!)

Thank you again, Small Girls PR! You're the best! :) Find the trailer and spotify playlist at THIS POST from yesterday! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catching Up and The Perks!

What a busy month!

My own work load (photography) always increases this time of year with seniors and families. Then add the chaos of back to school and homework, then my writing and what not. I'm really tired right now.

I'm also contested out. I entered both Pitch Madness (Brenda Drake hosted!) and GUTGAA. (Deana Barnhart.) I don't know if I'll do a contest again. While they're fun and exciting, they are also stressful and add to the drama of the querying process which is hard enough on it's own. I did get some requests and some great feedback, so it was worth it, but I'm glad they're over. (For me anyway! :))

Tomorrow is the theatrical release of The Perks of Being a Wallflower! I can't wait to see it, and tomorrow I will be sharing my review of the book...which of course you should read! I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the lovely ladies of Small Girls PR. (They are fantastic!) They also shared this awesome Spotify playlist for the movie/book which is so fun!

Check it the playlist HERE. It's a great list the includes Fleetwood Mac, The Smashing Pumpkins, Simon and Garfunkel and lots more.

Come back tomorrow to hear my thoughts on the book (I loved it) and plan on seeing the movie soon!! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Need Some Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the activities, the holidays, and of course the clothes. But most importantly, I love the food. Chili, soup, baked goods, crock pot recipes.

One of these I even broke out this weekend. It was so good, I thought I'd share it with you.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

31/3 C flour
2 C sugar
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie spice
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
4 eggs
2 C plain pumpkin (tip, I just used one small can of pumpkin. It's close enough!)
1 C melted butter
1 Bag Mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I also think white would be delicious!!)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients (this includes the sugar) in large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs a little, then add the pumpkin and butter. Whisk together. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold together. Pour into greased baking pans.(warning, the batter is very thick. almost like cookie dough.)
Here is the best part. This makes a lot of batter so you can mix it up. You can put it in a bundt pan (bake for about an hour and 15 min), large loaves (bake for 40-45 minutes), small pans (bake for about 30 minutes), or muffins (bake for 20-25 minutes). Of course all of these times are approximate, I just did it until a knife came out clean. you would NOT want to over bake don't leave it! My favorite is small loaves and this will make about seven. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA- Meet and Greet Monday

I've just started the whole "contest" part of the agent search and it seems to be fun, but also really stressful. (I entered a contest the other night at midnight only to realize it was the next day at NOON!! Ugh.

But now I've entered the GUTGAA (Gearing Up to Get An Agent) sponsored by the lovely Deana Barnhart. She has put so much work into this it's unreal. I believe you can still sign up, so get over and do it if you're looking for an agent! :)

Mini Bio- I'm 33, married, and have 3 sons. I own my own photography business and read WAY TOO MUCH! Oh, and I write! :)

Now for the questions...
-Where do you write? At my laptop at my kitchen table, or at a desk in my bedroom. I've probably done the majority of my writing at the desk.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? If I'm at the table, it's a window outside to my backyard. In my room it's a wall with a picture my youngest son drew when he was just learning to draw people. I love that picture. 

-Favorite time to write? Morning, usually, but some of my favorite scenes been written late at night. That's rare though.
-Drink of choice while writing? Creamer with coffee.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? Iused to think i needed silence, but about a year ago I tried writing with headphones in and loved it. I wrote faster and liked what I wrote so much more on the first try. Now I always write with headphones.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?  One day my boys and I went on a drive in our small town. We passed a farm house with a big beautiful pond with a dock. By the time we got home i had a scenario with that dock in my head. Over the writing of this book the story became real around that particular event. (Which was a FOUR YEAR process. Hopefully the next one won't take so long! :))
-What's your most valuable writing tip? Get a good critique group of people that take their writing very seriously, and are very honest with you. My girls have made me SO MUCH BETTER.
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