Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time Suckage

One of the biggest obstacles for my writing. It's not writer's block, it's not a lack of creativity or ideas. It's time suckage (I have to give my mom credit for this word). You know, you have free time and you think, rather ambitiously, "I'm going to write for hours!" So you sit down in front of your computer and before you can even open your document you think, oh, I'll just do a few other things first...Next thing you know it's been three hours and you haven't written a word. (Oh, and by "you" I mean "me." Unless you do this too, in which case, I do mean you.) Here's a play-by-play of how my time gets sucked away:

I sit, well, lie down, on my unmade bed, determined to work on Banished.

But first I have to check facebook. Read status updates, look at new pictures, like a few posts. Maybe write on a few friends walls. Update my own status.

Well, now I should just check my e-mail, real quick. Might as well check my other account, see if I got any blog comments.

Check Twitter. Only to see my favorite author's updates. Think about updating my own and then remember that no one cares. My best friend is pretty much the only person who reads it because it goes to her phone. She already knows what I'm doing anyway.

Hmm, do I have enough to pay the electric bill? Better check my bank account. Wait, how much was that electric bill? Better check. Ooh, and the credit card bill is due soon. Check that too. Add electric bill and credit card bill. Add rent. Add water bill. Cry.

I'm not a big fan of myspace, but I should probably make sure I don't have any friend requests or something. Check myspace.

Turn on t.v. Spend ten minutes trying to find something suitable to watch.

Dog is whining at the foot at the bed. Must take dog out. Feed dog.

Okay, am going to write now.

Cat is meowing, she's freaked out by the reflections of light on the ceiling coming through the blinds. Make cat go in the living room.

Show is on commercial. Flip channels some more.

Cat is meowing again, wants to go out on the porch. Get up, let cat out.

Get back in bed. Now dog is whining and wants to be picked up and put on bed.

Hmm, should check the Query Tracker forum. And read some blogs. Okay, now I'm ready to write.

But...I'm pretty tired. I have been up and working since 7 this morning. Maybe I'll just take a little nap....ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Given that this is my typical routine, it's kind of amazing that I've managed to write an entire book at all. Plus I left out the many, many games of Bejeweled I've gotten sucked into playing. Not to mention the time I was on a huge Farm Town kick. Add the fact that I'm not the fastest writer to begin with.It seems like I get sucked into the time trap every time. Is it a lack of self-control on my part? Can I blame technology which has given me so many other things to pay attention to and participate in?

Bejeweled is perfection for avoiding thinking, although I wouldn't suggest playing. You will end up a crazy, sleep-deprived writer who isn't writing.

I think you have to approach time suckage just as you would any addiction. You have to admit that you are a time sucker. You have to realize that certain things, like Bejeweled, are nothing but time suckers, and will never be anything else. Playing a hundred games of Bejeweled will never accomplish anything, even if you get the high score.

So, I've taken the first step. I admit that I have a problem. I know that I'm never going to be able to not check my facebook or my e-mail, but my new resolution is to spend only half an hour on-line before I write, visiting websites in order of priority. Naps, well, they might still have to happen. But. I'm setting an alarm.

And, sorry, Bejeweled, but we're done. I just don't think we're good for each other.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I haven't written a blog, in, uh, forever....hope I remember how. Being sick + working overtime = 0 time to write. Anything.

So, I've spent the last several days blowing my nose and making smoothies. NOT at the same time. That would be gross. Although I did have to the insanely intense urge to cough as I was making a wrap in front of a customer. I've never made a wrap that fast, I basically threw it at her so I could run to the back room and let loose. But I'm getting off track.

I'm relatively new to the blogging, creating an on-line presence thing. And so far, I haven't had any trouble. Well, with the technical side of it. I'm young, and I'm pretty sure understanding technology is a requirement for my generation. But with the whole social side? The entire point of having a blog and twitter and facebook and commenting on writing forums? Yeah, I'm struggling. Because, for some weird reason, when I get on-line, I'm SHY!

There. I said it. I'm shy. Whew, it's a relief to finally admit it!

I'm shy to write comments on people's blogs, or comment on forums, or send friend requests. I hope this doesn't sound crazy. Being on-line and therefore basically anonymous should make it easier to talk to strangers, right? Not for me. They can't see me, can't hear me, don't know where I am or what I'm doing. I could be writing this in my underwear eating cheetos dipped in chocolate syrup (I'm not, btw. Or maybe I am?) But that's the problem. I'm a total stranger. I'm so afraid to leave a comment and have the other person go "Who is the hell is this? And why are they writing this?"

I hate updating my Twitter. How full of myself does it make me to think that someone actually cares what I'm doing? I update my facebook status, but that's because, well, facebook is the one place I actually feel secure in my on-line persona. I'm not DaniSue, the YA writer/blogger. I'm Danielle, the struggling college grad. All my friends on facebook know me as that. And they are my close friends (for the most part) and I know they like reading my status updates and looking at my pictures and duh, they are in a lot of them.

Oh jeez, this does make me sound crazy. Because the rational part of my brain knows that everyone else who is blogging is doing so because they want people to read their thoughts and comment on them. They want to make connections and network and gain knowledge from each other. If they didn't, they wouldn't be writing a blog. And I want people to read my blog and enjoy it and leave me comments too. But the self-conscious, self-esteem gnawing monster in my brain says "No one cares what you have to say. What do you know?" and then it laughs maniacally. So when I want to leave a comment on a blog I have to yell "Shut up!" before I press the "post a comment" button. Then I have to repeat that the person who wrote the blog wants to know what I thought about it. And then after I fill out that goofy letter security thing, I say "ha!". Beat you this time you shy- awkward-left-over-from-my-teens insecurity monster.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog Award ::blushes:::

Thanks to Deb for the Sugar Doll Award!

I'm pretty new to the award thing, but I'm supposed to pass it on to five other bloggers and write 10 things. I'm gonna have to think about who to give it to, since Deb already gave it to some of the blogs I would've given it to!

I've been sick (again!?) this week but still had to go to work. Don't worry, I tried not to cough in anyone's smoothie.
I helped my mom work on her query letter. It felt good to be able to return the favor, she's helped me on my writing so many times
No one ever believes that I have as many tattoos as I do (or any at all)
People still think I'm in high school, and I like it. Guess they don't notice the gray hair.
I'm watching Hot Fuzz on Comedy Central. I freaking love this movie. "You're a doctor, deal with it." Classic.
If I could go back to when I first started college, I probably would've majored in accounting. Or interior design. But oddly enough, still wouldn't get a degree in English.
Some movies I could recite line for line: Home Alone, Clueless, Bridget Jones's Diary, While you were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally...I could keep going. But I won't. Superbad.
I like Twilight, I'm not obsessed, but the fact that Bella doesn't pick Jacob PISSES ME OFF!!
Ahem. Sorry, it upsets me every time I think about it.
I don't have a favorite color. I love every color. Except for orange. Orange is just ok.
I'm going to get sappy here--but my boyfriend Cody is pretty much the coolest person ever. He makes me do this :) all the time.

Ooh, one thing I've been wanting to talk about, smoothie-related. Why do people insist on coming in and asking "Which one is low-carb?" or "Which one has the least sugar?"
Now, to someone not familiar to the particular smoothies we sell, I'll explain. Our smoothies are made with whole, frozen fruit and 100% juice. So.
It is impossible to have a low-carb fruit smoothie. Because fruit? Basically all carbs. But what people fail to understand, even as I explain it slowly in two-year-old type language, is that while yes, high in carbs, it's all natural sugar from the fruit. It's not the same as shoving a Snickers in your mouth. Our fruit isn't in syrup, and we don't add any extra sugar. Our smoothies are even pretty low-cal, the lowest is only 170 calories for a small. So please people, stop worrying about carbs and sugar and calories! Sometimes they're not as important as you think.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scandal by Kate Brian

Just finished reading it, the 11th (I guess technically 12th if you count the prequel Last Christmas) book in the Private series. Loved it, as usual!

I started reading this series when the very first book, Private, came out, and I've been hooked ever since. Kate Brian is probably my favorite YA author, and definitely in my Top Ten Favorite Authors Ever.

I don't know how she does it. I've read a lot of YA series, and sooner or later they all lose me. Some of them start out great but a few books in the story lines seem to dry up and start going nowhere. The characters don't grow, and I end up not caring about them at all. One series, which I continued reading long after I should have stopped, was so poorly written/edited the story lines contradicted themselves from one book to the next, and one character's last name even changed! Another series, a spin off from another great series became completely boring and beyond pointless. In the last book I read NOTHING happened.

Not Kate Brian and the Private series. Every book is so action packed and exciting, plus she kills me with cliffhanger endings that leave me salivating for the next book (which doesn't take a year to come out, love that!!) . I absolutely love the main character, Reed. She does things that I would never, ever be brave enough to do. She makes mistakes but she learns from them and she usually tries to do the right thing. Plus she has oodles of hot guys lusting after her, which, you know, can't hurt. There are a ton of supporting characters but I never feel confused about who is who.

I hope one day my series can be as well written and successful as hers!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What today is not

Today is NOT my birthday. Ok well, technically, according to my driver's license, it is. But. I have decided to postpone. I'm not trying to avoid being older, although 23 doesn't sound quite as young or as attractive as 22, if you ask me. But today has been pretty sucktacular therefore, postponed.

My parents drove almost four hours to see me, which was very sweet and the thing I was most excited about, more so than it being my birthday at all. But they couldn't stay very long and it reminded me that I'm not sure when the next time I will be able to see them for an extended period of time is. Sadness.

Second, I miss Cody. So. Freaking. Much. It doesn't feel like my birthday without him here to celebrate it with me. Last year we had so much fun, he took me to Discovery Cove to swim with the dolphins and out to my favorite restaurant, so I can't help but compare today with that day a year ago.

Third, my bestie is sick and in A LOT of pain and therefore also can't celebrate with me. I'm worried about her and hoping they find out what is wrong with her soon. And when they do and she's feeling better, then it can be my birthday.

Fourth, phone call from former boyfriend/best friend who decided to completely cut me out of his life (for the second time, and without so much as a goodbye) a month or so ago. And yet he thinks he can call me up and leave me this casual voice mail about how even though I'm mad at him he can still say happy birthday to me? Mad at him?? Is he serious? I'm not mad at him. Not anymore. I'm so over that. And over our relationship and everything we used to have together (well...I'm getting there. Maybe not completely over it, yet.). So it is not my birthday because he doesn't get to wish me happy birthday anymore.

Maybe I'll have more than one birthday this year. Maybe Saturday when Cody is home and we can go out. Maybe when bestie is feeling better and we can go out. Maybe when I can actually take a few days off and visit my parents. Yeah, I'm liking this plan.

But, I have to add that two of my friends are trying to help me salvage the day and taking me to dinner :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hey, whatcha reading?

Does this bother anyone else? When someone sees you reading and they decide that the most appropriate question is "What are you reading?" I cannot describe how much it bugs me! I hate it when people ask me that.

There is an exception, which is when my mom asks because I know she genuinely wants to know and might possibly want to read the same book.

As for the rest of the people who ask (my boss, my co-workers, my boyfriend) my response is to hold up the cover or, if it's on my Kindle reply with a sassy "A book." Because seriously, none of them are big readers. So if I tell them the name of the book and the author, it's not like they're going to respond "Oh, isn't her way with description fantastic! I haven't read her new release yet but the last one was great."

No, that never happens. If I do give the name of the book and/or author, it is inevitably followed up with another even more annoying question:
"What's it about?"

A couple of issues with this question. First, it's very difficult to explain a book in one sentence, especially when the book is complex. Could I say "Oh, the Hunger Games is about teenagers who have to fight to the death because of the government"? Umm, no. That's sounds ridiculous and does the book no justice at all. Second, why should I bother explaining it when the majority of people a) don't really care and b) have no interest in ever reading the book anyway?

Therefore, I usually revert to a sullen teenager and answer "Stuff."

Now I'm thinking I sound kind of bitchy. Maybe if I got into an animated conversation about the book and how great it is and what it's about I could inspire the people around me to actually read a book. But...then again, maybe people should just not bother me when I'm reading. Problem solved.