Lists! Kissing Edition!

*If you missed my Villains list, check it out here

emo love by Jett Meredith (age 4)

When I was in college, I had some friends (actually, it was more like I knew some girls who were way cool and I admired them from afar and called them my "friends" in my journal.)  (Kind of the way I make "friends" with other bloggers today.  *cough*) who made a kissing movie.  This was back in the VHS days, so they had recorded the kissing part of a bunch of different movies and dubbed music over the top of it.

It was so awesome.

Imagine, ten minutes of Hollywood's finest, going at it.  My friends had watched it so many times that they offered commentary, too.  The one I remember best was "Ever After":  "She tastes it, she likes it, she goes back in for more."

Making a kissing movie has been on my to-do list since that fateful day.  In that vein, here is my top ten kisses list!

  1. Percy and Annabeth (in The Last Olympian) This kiss is long awaited.  And underwater in a giant bubble, which sounds ridiculously fun to me.
  2. Harry and Ginny (in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows) I have to give full credit to Ginny for both kisses.  She is a go-get-em type of girl.  I love the fact that she rushes Harry at the Quidditch celebratory party AND that she ambushes him on his birthday.
  3. Ron and Hermione (in Deathly Hallows) This was also a long awaited kiss and I had to read it a few times to make sure it really happened.  Really?  Hermione just jumped Ron??  Awesome. I love Harry's annoyed reaction, too.
  4. Max and Fang (in Max: The Protectors) Flying bird kids in love=kissing whilst flying.  That puts it in the same category as kissing underwater in a giant bubble.  In other words, it's on my bucket list of impossibility.
  5. Ronnie and Will (in The Last Song) Admittedly, I'm not a huge Miley Cyrus fan.  Maybe that's part of the appeal of this kiss to me.  They're arguing, he's annoyed, so he shuts her up with a kiss.  Good call, Will.  Good. call.  (Here's a link if you want to check it out yourself.)
  6. Anne and Gilbert (in Anne of Green Gables) Uh, do I really need to explain this one?  "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls.  I just want you!"  Ahhhhh.  Totally worth the six hour wait.
  7. Frederic and Mabel (in Pirates of Penzance) He has to leave his beloved for 63 years, so what's a man to do?  Sing to her, waltz with her, dip her and plant a nice one full on her lips.  That'll hold her for half a dozen decades.
  8. Squints Palledorous and Wendy Peffercorn (in The Sandlot) Not a particularly romantic kiss, but surrounded by so many good lines that I couldn't resist.  "She doesn't know what she's doing."  "Yeah, she does.  She knows exactly what she's doing."  "Oiling. Lotioning.  Lotioning. Oiling.  I can't take it no more! Move!" "He had kissed a woman.  And he had kissed her long and good."  I could go on and on.  Plus, he gets the girl in the end, so it all works out.
  9. Lend and Evie (in Paranormalcy) I love the idea portrayed in this one; she can see him, literally, in a way no one else can.  That makes for a super sweet kiss.
  10. Catcher and Gabry (in Dead-Tossed Waves) The intensity of the feelings surrounding this moment, the exhilaration of summer romance juxtaposed with a fear of zombie attack, made my tummy whirl.  Quite pleasantly.  
So there you have it.  Apparently, I like ambushes, unusual locales, and sweetness.

What kisses do you love?


I'm curious...

There are a few ways to answer comments on your blog.  Some answer in the comments, like, "@Christine, I totally do that, too!"  Some answer through email.  Some install comment systems like Intensedebate so they can reply directly to each comment.

Which is your favorite way?

On one hand, I like to see replies to other comments, so that I can add to the conversation.  On the other hand, I can't go back to each blog I comment on, just to see how things are going.  On the first hand again, I could subcribe to replies for each of those blogs, if I wanted to, although that might clog up my inbox.  On the second hand once more, I feel like a petted puppy when I get a reply straight to my email.  (These cool people!  They're talking to me!)

How about you?  What do you prefer?


Plotting J.K. Rowling style

When it comes to writing a first draft, I am an all-out pantser.  (Heh.  This word never fails to remind me of the good ol' days in junior high when it was super funny to yank your friends PE shorts down to their ankles. So popular, in fact, that I wore spandex shorts under everything, PE class or not, just in case.)

For those of you wondering what writing has to do with humiliation I'd rather forget (*cough*, I mean, that never happened to me), there are two types of first draft writers: plotters and pantsers.

Plotters have an outline, know where their story is going, what will happen, how it will end, how many chapters it will take, and probably have their bank account number memorized. 

Pantsers fly by the seat of their...pants.  Their first draft is a journey into the dark, wild unknown.  Who knows where this is going?  Let's watch and see!

As proven by the files on my computer named "The Songwriter Outline", "The Songwriter New Outline" and "The Songwriter New Outline (Revised)", all of which are miles from where my story actually ended up, I'm not a plotter.  (Although, I do have my bank account number memorized.)

When my crit partner first suggested that we exchange first chapters, I was like, "Oh, yeah!  Let me just...*scroll scroll scroll* find a good place to...*scrooool* end 'Chapter One'."  *furiously typing "Chapter One" at the beginnning*

Revising, for me, has been a different story.  I had to have some kind of plan.  I've found one I love, and it's only half because it's J.K. Rowling's personal method.  Check this out:

Neato, huh?

Wait, what?  You don't see how this tiny copy of a sheet of looseleaf is the key to your revising woes?  Oh.  Go here for the full explanation.  I'll sum up.

J.K. Rowling breaks down her novel by chapters.  She lists the number and title of the chapter, when (in her case, during the schoolyear) the chapter takes place and then what is happening in the chapter.  She breaks this down even further, listing the main plot and each subplot and how they weave into each chapter.  So, so nifty.

So, I did the same to mine.  I was excited, first of all, to discover that I did, indeed, have subplots!  And places to break into chapters!  That's a good start.  But breaking down my story like this is really helping me to keep things on track, to find ways to plant little crumbs in my reader's way so that when something is revealed they'll flip back a couple chapters and see how that little tiny bit of info was actually put there to BLOW THEIR MIND.  Good stuff.

For a hardcore pantser like me (don't even get me started on the war my brother and I had that ended in near tears after an incident when I was chasing him up the stairs, after which my mom put an abrupt stop to our shenanigans), this method is super helpful.  So, give it a look.  I mean, it was good enough for J.K. Rowling, right?

What methods do you use when you revise?


Write Hope

I've met a lot of awesome bloggers in my orbits around the internet, but one of my personal writerly heroes is Rachael Harrie, for the simple fact that she is out to help others.  And she's helping a lot.

Along with some friends (Marieke, Luna [Project Fraeya], Tessa Quin, and Amanda Milner), Rachael is organizing Write Hope, an auction of ARCs, critiques, books, and other swag, with proceeds benefiting those affected by the tragedy in Japan. 

So check it out and help if you can.  Like Rachael said, "Together we can move mountains."


Why Villains Always Spill The Beans

Have you ever wondered why, when given the chance, the bad guy always lays out his whole evil scheme?

You sly dog! You got me monologuing!

 I mean, I think the first thing they would point out in the bad-guy handbook is the simple fact that as soon as you let the hero know your plans, they'll escape with that very valuable information and ultimately defeat you.

So, why do they do it? I was contemplating it the other day and I think I understand.

Haven't you ever had an idea that was so flipping brilliant that you wanted to share it with everyone around you, including random passers-by?  I have. It's why I blog, in fact, so I can share my brilliance.  (Feel free to take a moment to look around, soak it all in...not feeling it?  Really?  *deflating like a noisy, slobber-filled balloon*)

Especially when their villainous plans are so well thought out, take years to perfect, require loving care to execute--heck yeah, they'd want to tell someone all about it!  What good is an evil plot without a healthy dose of bragging?

We all want to be heard.  Even when we're misguided, jaded villains.  So let's give bad guys their moment in the sun.  Let's applaud their hard work, their brilliance, their moxie!

And then, let's BEAT THEM at their own evil game!


I like free stuff. Do you like free stuff? I do.

I've noticed my titles have been getting away from me a bit lately...BUT!

Free stuff.  That's why we're all here today, right?  Yes.

First of all, check out my crit buddy Christine's blog. She's giving away a brand new copy of Stephen King's "On Writing".  I haven't read it, but I've heard good things.

Next, head on over to Beth Revis' blog to win these five AUTOGRAPHED books from the Breathless Reads tour:

click on the picture to go to Beth's blog

I've read "Matched" by Ally Condie and "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis and really liked them both.

So go forth!  Tally ho!  Good luck!


Can we in fact pretend that she is anything other than a woman scorned, like which fury Hell hath no? We cannot.

This song makes me quiver like a puppy because it's so awesome.  It also gives me the irrational urge to fill a large room with hundreds of glasses of water, hire a dancing ninja, buy up Goodwill's entire stock of china, and build a city out of paper.

It makes me imagine caves and all the evil mischief that goes on in them...oooh, I need to go write some stuff!


Tip Tuesday at Literary Rambles

Hey, all! 

Head on over to Literary Rambles to check out the awesome tip my crit buddy Christine contributed. 

*note: This is not the tip.
 While you're there, you might even notice that she included a poem written by me!  I think it's safe to say that poetry is my true calling.  OB-viously.

Casey's blog is a goldmine of information for anyone hoping to learn more about writing and publishing, so check it out!


Lists! Villain Edition!

Who likes to make lists?

I do.

I came across this post yesterday, courtesy of Sierra Godfrey, who I like for her ultra-mad list-making skills.  In the post, Ms. Sokoloff talks about using lists to help unclog your writer's block.  She suggests, for example, making a list of your top ten favorite opening paragraphs, if you're struggling with your beginning.  Or listing your top ten heroes.  You get the idea.

When you have your list, you can analyze the patterns that emerge to see what things you are drawn to and use them to shape your own perfect...whatever.

So here is my top ten villains:

  • Professor Umbridge (from HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX).  Although this list is in random order, she is by and far my favorite, most hated villain.  The first time I read that book, I was sick to my stomach with frustration and helplessness.  She is so vile and manipulative, and she likes to make people BLEED.  I hate her.
  • Michael "Goob" Yagoobian (from MEET THE ROBINSONS).  Ah, Goob.  Classic bowler hat/cape/mustache combo, dumb as a box of rocks.  But I can't help but feel for him, because all he wants is a little love.
  • Septimus (from STARDUST).  He's cold, calculating, and heartless, killing off his brothers to try and become the next heir to the throne.  But he's so dang cool while he does it.  Plus, he can sword fight while he's dead, with two broken legs no less, which was so grossly hilarious to me.
  • Severus Snape (from HARRY POTTER).  Maybe not a villain so much, but I added him because, ooh, I just loved to hate him.  And, he made things rough for Harry despite trying to keep him alive, which is villain-y.
  • Prince Charming (from SHREK).  Prince Charming cracks me up.  He is so vain and spoiled, so bumbling, but still able to incite some real trouble.  And when he puts on his play, I almost die laughing every time.  What a jerk.
  • Captain Hook (from HOOK). His mind games with Jack make me want to put my fist through the TV.  Run home, Jack! 
  • Vector (from DESPICABLE ME).  He's obnoxious and spoiled and has financial backing.  AND, he wears jumpsuits.
  • Ari (from MAXIMUM RIDE). Another one of my very favorites.  Max and the other kids have been grafted with bird DNA, which gives them wings.  One of the scientists, Ari's father, finally decides to help them escape from the testing center where they're being tortured, and he leaves Ari behind.  Ari decides that the only way he can get his father's attention is to be turned into an Eraser; he is an eight-year-old boy in a twenty-two-year-old body, with werewolf-like capabilities.  All he wants is his father's approval.  And he hates Max, not just because he's programmed to kill her, but because she never noticed him at the testing center.  He wanted her friendship and didn't get it.  So now, he wants to kill her, and also keep her all for himself.  He's a messy bundle of emotion.  My favorite part, though, is when he follows Max to a store to attack her and sees a woman shopping for a bra.  He's totally grossed out, because he's still an eight-year-old boy on the inside.  So funny.
  • The Baroness Rodmilla (from EVER AFTER).  Classic evil-stepmother, but I like that her hatred is fueled by jealousy that her husband loved his daughter more than he loved her.  I like the scene when Danielle is brushing her hair and she shows some of her pain and vulnerability, but I also love that she's ready and willing to throw her own rotten daughter under the bus at the end.
  • Modin (from DRAGON'S MILK).  He posed as a trustworthy helper and betrayed in the end.  This man ruined it all for me.  I have a hard time trusting anyone who comes along and offers help in a story and it's ALL HIS FAULT.  My little third grade heart almost couldn't handle treachery of this magnitude.
Looking at my list, I've learned some things:  1) I like my villains to be human, to be motivated by emotions like past heartache or longing for acceptance.  2) I don't watch scary movies with really scary villains because I'm a scaredy-cat.  3) My taste in books and movies is running at an alarmingly kid centric pace these days.  4) I rely on my villains for some comic relief.

So there you go.  Look for my amalgamation of these guys in a bookstore near you sometime in the future.

Who would be on your list, and why?