Thursday, December 23, 2010
And I hit 100 followers! You guys are so great! I was really nervous about closing down my last blog because I'd gotten up to 180+ followers and I'd worked very hard for each and every one of them, but you guys have made it SO worth it!
That being said, I'm taking my Christmas break right now and won't be back until the new year. 2010 has been a great year and I'm hoping for an even better one in 2011 (maybe an agent? Please!). I hope to continue with Goober Writers Anonymous with the same fervor of the last few months, and maybe even start a book club with some of my greatest blogging buddies.
Essentially, I'm really looking forward to all the possibilities of 2011 and am glad all of you will be there with me along the way.
So Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Vic and Lindsey have hosted a fun little contest and blogfest where we take something that happened in real life and turn it into a story! How fun! Your very own Emily's Playhouse blogger won second place! *passes round celebratory drinks*
Today is the blogfest part where all the participants share their stories with all you lovely readers. The story I wrote is based on something that happened to my grandfather LONG before I was born.
I hope you enjoy!
“Heave ho, lads! Heave ho!” Salvadore Bumble wiped his brow with a big sweep of his hand for the umpteenth time. Hard work it was getting men to do their fair share. Especially in a god-awful heat wave that made the steel girders bake your feet right through your shoes.
“Perhaps a break might be nice,” Bumble’s number two man said just a quarter inch behind him and an octave too high. Not much was ever said of young Capp. If something was said, it was none-too-kind and never spoken to his face. “Soft” and “dainty” is what a person might hear coming from the workers’ mouths if he were to pass by.
Not that Bumble cared. The boy had a head on him and that’s all that mattered. Let the Builders do the heavy stuff while the Suits used their brains.
“A break sounds lovely, my lad.” With a big whoosh of breath and the readjustment of his ample waist, Bumble plopped himself down on the open ledge, just ten stories up from the ground.
Capp cleared his throat and tapped his foot. “No, Mr. Bumble. I meant for the workers.” His voice quieted. “It is awfully hot today.”
And how. Bumble took another swipe at his brow, flinging the sweat off to splatter and steam against the girder upon which he sat. “No time for breaks, Capp. You know that. Mayor Parson wants his new capital building done by the end of summer.”
“Even so, I’m sure the Mayor would not be pleased if some of the workers started falling to their deaths from heat exhaustion.”
Bumble cocked his head up at the boy and narrowed his eyes. Cocky little punk, wasn’t he? Must have grown a set overnight. Bumble certainly couldn’t remember him talking back like that before.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it. They got a lunch break comin’ in just a few hours.”
Capp shook his head and side-stepped his way off Bumble’s section without another word.
“Touchy,” Bumble mumbled. With his eyes still on him, he watched the boy make his way across the narrow girders to a group of three or four workers hauling up a box of tools and supplies. Not once did Capp’s stiff neck relent, or his eyes roam to the ground as he skirted the building’s exposed skeleton.
“Some lads just ain’t made for this kinda work,” Bumble said to himself with a shake of his head. An iron will as strong as the metal they laid was what was required, if anyone bothered to ask Bumble’s opinion. Give the workers a break. Bah! Might as well give ‘em a raise while you were at it. And those things just weren’t done.
Bumble wiped off the bead of sweat that tickled the end of his nose and pulled out half a sandwich he kept hidden in his breast pocket. If anyone deserved a break it was him! He peered at Capp out of the corner of his eye again. Why, the foolish lad was actually hauling that box of supplies! The poor dimwit could barely see over the top. Well, if he wanted to break his neck from a fall, that was—
“Not that way, you idiot!” Bumble called out as he pulled himself up. It was too late. Capp’s foot came down six inches away from the end of the steel girder, right over open air.
Bumble looked away. The men may have said some harsh things about him over the years, but he just couldn’t stand to watch a man die.
The sickening thud Bumble fully expected to hear never came. With eyes as timid as a school girl’s, he looked over to see the damage. No crumpled body lay on the ground. He raised his eyes up to the last place he saw the poor chap and nearly toppled off the girder himself at the sight before him. Capp, completely oblivious, was walking ten stories above the ground with nothing under his feet but air.
Bumble wiped his hand across his eyes and looked back at the floating boy, certain he’d completely lost his mind. But no. Capp still walked high above the ground to the left wing of the building’s skeleton, seemingly unaware. When he got to the other end, his feet finally resting on solid steel, he put his box down and turned around. The look of pure horror on Capp’s face as he stared at the drop to the ground not four inches in front of him surely matched Bumble’s. Their eyes met and everything that had just happened was communicated between that one shared look.
A miracle had occurred, and Bumble needed to change his pants.
I know! Hard to believe, but my grandfather was "young Capp." I don't know if anyone actually saw it happen, but all he knows is he was carrying something high up on a work site just like this one and after setting down the package, turned around, and realized he'd just walked over the width of about a hundred feet of open air.
To read all the other wonderful stories, check out the linky-do on Vic's blog!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
First of all, welcome to all my new followers! Yesterday was SO much fun! I'm still replying to comments, so if you haven't heard from me yet, either you have the no-reply option for your email address or you will hear from me later today. In the meantime, enjoy some treats!
Now, I'll be honest here and say that my Christmas wishlist isn't as long as it COULD have been. Ever since Fluffy (for all my new readers, this would be my Kindle) entered into my life, I've simply purchased a book the moment I wanted it. However, I've been trying to be good and not get anything for myself for the past few weeks.
Book #1 on my list. This is the third installment of Carrie Jones' NEED series. Blood-thirsty pixies and noble Weres face off in an epic battle of epicness! So. Want. This.
Book #2! I haven't read much MG, but this cover is so intriguing, I can't resist.
Book #3. Aka my book on a bookshelf. That would be wonderful!
How about you, dear readers? Have anything you have on your Christmas wishlist?
Monday, December 20, 2010
Christmas is almost here and Jen at unedited, along with her friend Melissa, has organized a little blog party. So sit back and relax as I share my decorations, favorite Christmas snack, and drink.
My Christmas tree in all its lighted and decorated glory:
No, it's not real. :( But it is beautiful!
A little Christmas tree tidbit for you--It's always been a tradition of mine to hang up the same ornament first every year. It's a little baby Jesus I made when I was three that's simply a walnut shell (for the manger), an orange bead (for his head), and a patch of red cloth (for his blanket).
The Christmas stockings:
The snowman is mine, the santa is my husband's, the little itty snowman to the right is my eldest son's, and the blue stocking belongs to my youngest. Little known fact: we NEVER fill them. I just think they're pretty to hang up.
This is always the second thing to go up (yes, I'm a tad obsessive compulsive) and my children insist it's their toy.
So there's my house! I hope you enjoyed the little tour. Stay for a drink and a snack. I'm sure you'll love them!
Favorite snack for your pleasure:
Ginger Cream Cookies. Yummmm...
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Actually, with this recipe, you can make it any flavor you like. I usually start making this around halloween and right up until Christmas. It is yummy!
(makes 1 serving)
1 cup of milk
A splash of vanilla
Sugar to taste
Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan. Heat to simmer while whisking. Once heated through, add with a bit of already prepared coffee.
Want a mint latte?? Replace the vanilla with mint extract and leave out the pumpkin pie spice. You can make any flavor you want! Enjoy!
And thanks so much for stopping by. Don't forget to check out the other jolly blogs today!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Think Thomas Edison is the father of electricity? Hmm...not so much. Today's Weird Science Wednesday post is about Nikola Tesla!
The True Father of Electricity
An absolute genius, the Serb-American inventor died alone and with all the recognition he deserved given to others. Alternating current, wireless energy, fluorescent lighting. All of this and much more was invented by Tesla.
Watch this AMAZING video to learn more. It will blow your mind! Yes. I did just say that. ;)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Christmas song of the day: Little Drummer Boy
Most of you know I started querying in September, but what only two of you (hey, lovely betas!) know is that I got nothing but form rejections. It was frustrating and extremely disheartening. I had a good query, thanks to Matt Rush and his readers. And I thought I had some pretty decent sample pages. I'd gone through extensive revisions already and vamped up my first chapter to address issues my beta had. I even won a critique from Shannon Whitney Messenger and applied the changes she suggested. I was sure I had a perfectly polished novel.
But alas, my query and pages didn't pique anyone's interest. About a month and a half in, I happened to win another first chapter critique, this time from Elana Johnson. I'll be honest here, I hoped (and kinda expected) to receive praise. After all, I'd already gone through revisions and had a polished chapter to give to her. I was querying this for crying out loud! Unfortunately, Elana pointed out issues Shannon had pointed out and my beta had pointed out before her. I thought I'd already addressed and fixed those issues! Apparently not.
I completely rewrote the first three chapters of my novel. I sent the first chapter to my beta and she basically said it didn't work in any way. Sigh. So I rewrote the first chapter again. Better, she said. Phew!
Then I acquired a few more critique partners and I decided to really look at ELEMENTAL again. I mean REALLY look at it. It was darker than I remembered it being. After not reading most of it for a couple months, I was able to see it through the eyes of a fresh reader. So I took a look at my query and saw a glaring problem. The query was good, but it wasn't for my book. It was far too peppy and didn't match the tone of my first pages (original or new) at all.
No wonder I got nothing but form rejections.
I rewrote my query in the tone of the book and sent it to one of my betas for approval. After some suggestions on her part, I think I finally have a query that works for my book. Plus, I'm pretty pleased with my new chapters. No, I'm not querying anyone this month because I really need a break. After rewriting so much of ELEMENTAL (not to mention all the other edits I did throughout), plus writing and editing MORCAH all throughout November, I'm a tad tired. And of course, getting rejections in your inbox can be a little draining.
Facing rejections can be tough, but I'm glad I had a chance to learn from what I did wrong. As some of you are preparing to start querying or finishing up edits in your novels, I hope you take the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. I'm sad I wasted months in ignorance. Don't rush into it like I did (and believe me, at the time, I didn't think I was rushing into it). And if the rejections DO start piling up, remember that they're not always a bad thing. Sometimes they can be the best lesson you can receive.
Happy querying, everyone!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Christmas song of the day: Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
I don't think it's much of a secret that a lot of agents take December off from the deluge of queries they usually receive. A lot of them say it's to get caught up with what they've already received and to spend more time with their clients' projects, but I suspect it's probably so they actually get to spend time with family. And honestly, who can blame them?
I know, I know. It's frustrating to be in the middle of sending out queries and to hit December where it's almost total blackout. But it can also be a little refreshing. Wouldn't you like one month where you aren't a slave to your inbox? Or a month to take a break from your novel and come back with totally fresh eyes?
So take some totally guilt-free time off!
And come back to your novel in January with refreshed and ready eyes. :)
I'm taking December off. How about you?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas song of the day: Carol of the Bells (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)
Today's Weird Science Wednesday is about the Anti-Gravity Machine!
Or better known as electrogravitics.
"Electrogravitics might be described as a synthesis of electrostatic energy use for propulsion--either vertical propulsion or horizontal or both--and gravitics, or dynamic counterbary in which (electrostatic) energy is also used to set up a local gravitational force independent of the earth's." Valone, p. 14 (parenthesis added)
A possible relationship between gravity and electricity was discovered in 1923 by Paul A. Biefield, who then assigned T.Townsend Brown with the job of studying the effects in a research project. In simple terms, what he came up with was that with enough voltage (in the millions range), positively charged ions would work together with negatively charged ions to create an independently functioning gravity field.
Not only has this theory been tested and proven, it's in use today!
Most people know this particular craft as the B-2 (a stealth jet capable of avoiding radar). What you MAY not know is that radar picks up the vapor trails created by the combustion of jet fuels. The water vapor in vapor trails is under a high state of turbulence and easily detected by radar devices (it's also a way we pick up weather patterns). In order to be a stealth vehicle, the B-2 cannot run on combustible material such as jet fuel.
"On March 9, 1992, Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine made the surprising disclosure that the B-2 electrostatically charges its exhaust stream and the leading edges of its wing-like body. Those familiar with the elctrogravitics research of American physicist T. Townsend Brown will quickly realize that this is tantamount to stating the B-2 is able to function as an antigravity aircraft." Thomas Valone, Electrogravitics Systems: Reports on a New Propulsion Methodology, Integrity Research Institute, Washington D.C., 2004, p. 79.
There's also a lot of speculation surrounding Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida in regards to electrogravitics. For those unfamiliar with this structure, it was single-handedly constructed by Ed Leedskalnin, an immigrant to the U.S. from Latvia. Some of the blocks used to construct the Coral Castle weigh up to 30 tons. No one knows for sure how Ed built the castle all by himself (without the use of modern machinery), but it is known that he was extremely interested in the research surrounding electrogravitics and even submitted his theories on how it worked in the Miami Daily News in 1946.
This particular tech is very important in ELEMENTAL and is the primary feat of the Soltakians (a nation of people who help the MC).
So, isn't this fascinating? There's a LOT more surrounding this theory, as well as the Coral Castle (like Ed saying he knew the secret of how the Egyptians built the pyramids). If you have the chance, you should check it all out!
Monday, December 6, 2010
That's what I felt like this weekend. Actually, it's kind of what I looked like, too. Slippers (check!), crazy hair (check!), hot beverage (check!), looked like death beat me with a stick (check!).
Yup, so my brain is still recovering from the cold-induced, cell-dissolving, intellect-killing lethargy that I suffer from every time I get sick. If you came here to be wowed, you might be disappointed.
However, I do hope all you lovely readers are feeling well this Monday morning. If not, here's some chicken soup.
Have a great day, everyone!