Friday, December 26, 2014

Cold Medicine Has Got Me Working Overtime

I write blogs on two different sites.  This one and the Ms J.  This is my personal one.  This is the one where the truly weird will emerge at a moments notice.  And, if you're a very devoted reader, you may catch a drunk blog float by in the wee hours of the morning during a blizzard when I'm home alone and bored and have a bottle wine.  I will delete it very quickly, because we can't have things like that out there.  But if you're clever enough, you'll see it.

Tonight is a very special blog. You see, tonight is a blog derived from the the worst cold of my life and NyQuil.  I should be going to bed.  But instead I'm working.  And blogging.  They're similar but not the same.  I have no idea if this will make a lot of sense or none at all.  I promise to do my best.

But I'm working at the same time, so I keep jumping back and forth to add things here and there as I think of them.  What am I working on?  If I told you, you'd never believe me.  No, really.  It's completely unbelievable and I'm so pumped this is my life.

I sent out the ARCs for THE HOPE THAT STARTS today.  

Can we all just take a minute and think about that?  Like, this is book 5.  Of a series that I never planned on writing.  And I'm so very excited about this one because it has all the nerd references and the nerd love and I get to look at pictures of Miles as I write because he will always be Harrison to me.

In full disclosure, there was a moment in the beginning/middle that got a little sketch.  I wasn't sure if I was going to publish LEARN TO FLY.  I could only get one person to read it (sister shout out!), it was a weird idea for a romance, I had no idea if people would like it.  Come to find out, not a lot of people did.  But enough of you did that I went ahead and wrote book 2 (which still happens to be my favorite, I don't care if you hate it).  And now we're up to book 5.

This band, these characters have been so incredibly fun.  It's going to be difficult to say goodbye.  I have Sway's story left.  And maybe Carl's someday in the future.  But otherwise, that's it.  I don't know if I can actually walk away from them entirely so I've come up with an idea that will probably make me lose my mind.  

I'm going to write a collection of short stories about the band members as chosen by the fans.  I will have a form you can fill out if you want to be a part of it. (See!  Working!)  The idea is that you, the fan, will choose a song that you love, a band member, and a scenario.  Then I write a short story based on that. I will put them all together in a collection and basically give it away.

Do I have time to do this?  No.  Not at all.

I'm also working on a whole new series that I hope to have out to you sometime next summer/fall.  

Plus a super secret project (that's what everyone is doing now, right? something that no one cares about so we call it secret and hope that they start to care), involving writing and writing and tearing my hair out and twisting my brain and writing some more.

And now has come the portion of the evening where I can no longer fight the NyQuil.  I need to go to bed.  I will see most of you on the other side.

I leave you with the very wise words of Nick Hexum:
Stay positive, love your life.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Come Over So I Can Cuddle Your Brains

Jumping onto the coattails of the other blog I wrote today, I will further talk about things that have no relevance to your life.  Hurray!

If you haven't read the first one (because, why would you? unless you're stalking me) then you can get it here --> Ms J Bog and Review

Though this one will have no Spike gifs and more introspection.  Boring, I know. Before you read further please note, I'm not trying to be mean.  I've been told that I speak/write aggressively.  *shrug* In my head, I'm just being precise. 

So... here we go.

Perhaps you've noticed (I'm only addressing your notice to be polite.  because I know the likelihood of that is zip. unless, again, you're stalking me *waves*) that we (me, Laura, Kellcie, Jo, etc--basically anyone with an alter ego on Sherlock) talk about our Myers Briggs personality types like it's a real thing.  To us it is.  If you don't get into all that, that's totally fine, I don't hate.  But it's made the way my brain functions so much easier for me to cope with.  Because I'm weird, I've always been weird, and it turns out there's actually nothing wrong with me (har har, laugh it up). 

I don't want to bore you with all of the details of how I got to the conclusions that I have.  Especially if you don't find it even kind of interesting.  If you're curious about my super weird and abrasive personality type (INTJ), you can go here to get a good overview --> But it's not required reading and there will be no test at the end.

What I want to write about today is a small section of my head that most of you (stalkers included) don't know about.  The part where I notice everything.  Especially if it doesn't belong to you.

Let me explain.

I like people.  I like how everyone is different. We're a product of our personalities, our hearts, souls, experiences, geography, perceptions, etc.  No two people are exactly alike.  And they shouldn't be, for Pete's sake!  My brain picks up on the nuanced differences.  The similarities are obvious for obvious reasons, but the things that set us apart are what make us true works of art.  I've been doing it for as long as I can remember.  The way people pronounce certain words, their eyes when they talk about different subjects, their posture, the rate, frequency, and intensity of their laugh, their million different smiles, frowns and blank stares. 

I really like people.  I really like honest people.  I'm not saying that I like it when people spew about their own contrived self-importance because, to them, that's being honest.  What I'm talking about is the honesty of their living.  Their expressions are their own, not borrowed from someone else.

Because there are far too many scavengers out there.  Maybe you think you're getting away with it. Maybe you think no one notices that you pick through the flesh and muscle of real people, tear out what you wish were yours and wear it like the Reavers in Firefly.  Yo might be fooling a lot of people.  But you are not fooling me.

Going back up to what I said earlier. I notice everything.  I don't always point it out (read:never) because I've known enough people like you to know that it would be a waste of time.  You're going to get defensive and dramatic and then roll over and play victim until I "stop picking on you."  

But...  I.  Notice.

You're not fooling me.  Which is why you're boring to me.  Because you're a knock-off.  Like gears grinding in protest, I hear the painful way the bits and pieces don't fit together.  People have a flow, they have a unique energy about them.  It can be confident, cunning, dangerous, insecure even.  But it belongs to them.  You feel like someone wearing eight different Halloween costumes on Easter and still begging for candy.  You.  Don't.  Flow.

When I'm talking to someone who is honest about who they are, I feel it.  It's warm, and soothing.  It feels natural and mysterious and exciting.  They pull me into their rare and beautiful undertow and I'm... enchanted.  

About 10 years ago, Cap and I were dating.  He was out of town with a couple of friends at the Voo Doo Musical Festival in New Orleans.  I was on my own that weekend.  Working, as usual.  One of his roommates, we'll can call him John for lack of  better name, stopped by my work and asked if I wanted to hangout that night.

John was weird.  He freaked people out.  He made inappropriate jokes and deliberately started fights with people becuase he thought it was funny.

I probably didn't fit with the type of people he normally hung out with.

So obviously I said yes.

We sat in the living room of their house in candlelight and played chess for a few hours while drinking beer.  The lights weren't on because they didn't like paying the light bill.  So candles it was. 

We talked about everything.  The posters on the living room wall would probably make another girl uncomfortable.  He pointed that out.  I hadn't noticed.  We then talked about each poster and what it represented and how it made us feel.  It was strange. (If you would like to know what the posters were, private message me. this is a family blog)

It was awesome. 

It was a connection that was new and interesting and amazing.  John frightened me sometimes with his explosive anger.  He had a tendency to overreact.  He fell in love too fast and too hard.  He was a hypocrite who was fine with that trait.  He was also always, always, sweet to me.  Careful, even.  

John was honest.  Sometimes totally messed up, but honest.  And he's still one of my favorite people to this day.  Even if he has pissed off everyone else who loved him and burned those bridges.

Maybe it's just the latent punk rocker in me.  I applaud individuality.  Be yourself, no one is going to do it better.  Even if it's weird and people don't respond well.  Chances are I'm gonna love the heck out of you. 

However, if you're putting on pieces of people like it's your new cardigan, chances are you're going to piss me off.  Chances are I'm going to avoid you. 

I especially notice if you've attempted to steal bits of myself.  Because guess who knows herself pretty well? You can blame the Ni.  So when you start putting on bits of me, I see that too.  Big time.

And trust me, you are not rocking it.





Saturday, December 13, 2014

12 Days of Christmas: My favorite memory

The holidays are upon us and I have been so busy with regular life stuff that I feel completely unprepared. My plan is to get my tree up today (finally!).  That sounds like fun, right?  And next week, drum roll please, my sister is coming over to help make Christmas cookies with my little guy.

I like the cookie making part of Christmas.  It's my favorite.  I have this recipe that I totally stole from my mom, frosting included.  It's the only cookie that needs to made during the Christmas season.  It should only be made during the holidays because it's that delicious, that special, and that important.

Which is why my sister +Laura Gibson is going to participate in the traditional generational passing down of the Christmas cookie making tradition.  Because my son Bear is 3 now.

It's time.

It's important to teach him all the things we've learned over the years.  And to let him know where to start when he begins his own exploration of the boundaries of cookie making.  For instance, he should know that we've already mixed all the colors of frosting and it will always make black.  And if you make a black snowman, my mom will not be amused, but my dad will laugh every time he walks past the cookie plate.

And if you insist on making a frosting replica of Mount Doom, it is vital you fill the inside with red hots.  Anything else is bush league.

Broken cookies can be eaten immediately as long as you frost it first.

And the frosting itself needs to be used appopriatley.  None of this, so-thin-you-can-still-see-the-cookie stuff.  What even is that?  It's Christmas!  Frost your cookies.  There is no such thing as "too much frosting."  Really.

From the "Frost Off" December 2011

Yes, there were actual cookies under those beautiful piles of frosting.  And we actually ate them.

Make all the colors, use all the sprinkles.  Have fun, be crazy.  Sure, the perfect cookies look nice and are more presentable.  I totally noticed Mama arrange the the tray and hide the "artistic" cookies underneath the pretty one when company was coming over.

But the fun ones taste the best.

Because we dumped a whole lot of laughter into them when they were made.

You know who else loves cookies? Harrison O'Neil. 

Book 5, THE HOPE THAT STARTS, will release January 29.  I'm very excited about this one.  It was super fun to write, even if it made me hungry the entire time.  Here's a special UNEDITED excerpt, just for you, yes, YOU!
It was really no secret that Harrison loved food. It was the core of many a joke told in and around the band and his family. He ate round the clock and when it had been too lengthy of a time between meals, he could get particularly grumpy. But he'd never been described as being too picky when he was hungry. He appreciated good food, to be sure, but when he was hungry, anything would do.

Sandwiches had been, and probably always would be, his favorite.

They were easy to make. You could change the flavor with the simplest ingredients. The essentials for making a sandwich were usually on hand and it took less than three minutes to construct a meal that would keep him full. Well, at least until his next meal.

This sandwich though, was no ordinary sandwich.

Pastrami, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, avocado, tomatoes and sliced green peppers.

It was nothing he hadn't had a hundred times before, but there was definitely nuanced differences. The texture, the flavor, the essence of the sandwich was like nothing he'd ever experienced.

Right?” Sway asked with a knowing head nod.

Harrison set the half eaten sandwich down on his plate and looked at it cautiously. “What the hell did she do to it?”

Sway barked a short laugh and pushed his hair out his face as he leaned back against the bus wall. He tapped his index finger on the table right by the plate. “That, what you're tasting right there, is love.”

Harrison's eyes connected with the bassist's. That made sense. His mom and sisters often joked that the reason he loved their cooking so much was because they put love in it. That was it. That was the small difference. It had to be. He had no idea love had a taste until this second.

Now, he would never joke about it again.
Pre-order links:
Amazon Barnes & Noble
 iBooks Smashwords

Merry Christmas!  Now, go make some cookies.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

ARC Request for The Hope That Starts

I am almost ready to send out ARCs of THE HOPE THAT STARTS. It's the fifth book in the Double Blind Study series, but can be read all by itself. If you are a blogger or a reader who also reviews occasionally, consider filling out this form --->


You can never have too much music... or mayonnaise.
It's sort of been Harrison O'Neil's credo for the better part of his life.
At least since he first discovered his love for playing the guitar and developed a taste for gourmet sandwiches. He couldn't pinpoint which one happened first, and it didn't matter to him. Food and music have always been equally important.

If there's one thing Zelda Fitzpatrick is good at, it's fandom. She can out-nerd the nerdiest, her devotion knows no bounds. Her love is true, her motives pure. Oh, and she's also a talented freelance photographer, newly hired to go on the road with her favorite band, Double Blind Study. All she has to do is not ruin this opportunity with her plethora of Tolkien references (which are in abundance), or the fan girl inside who has a mind of her own.

And she definitely shouldn't fall madly in love with lead guitarist, Harrison O'Neil... who is taken. Unfortunately.

Zelda is more than the band's new photographer. She loves Star Trek, Doctor Who, and making gourmet sandwiches. This puts Harrison O'Neil in the very awkward position of loving Zelda's sandwiches—with their perfect ingredients, and impeccable construction, and their ability to make his heart happy without even trying—and being in a relationship with another woman... who thinks he should cut out eating sandwiches entirely.

Which one will win out, his heart or his stomach?
Is there a difference?

This story is an ode to a fan girl. Because, male or female, we all have one inside of us. And sometimes, on the rarest and most wonderful of occasions, the fan girl's dream gets displayed in all of it's beauty.

The Double Blind Study series continues. Each book in the series focuses on one band member at a time and they can all be read on their own.
If this book were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.