Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Confessions of a Storm Chaser

When I'm not feeling well, the first thing my husband says to me isn't "Oh, honey, I'm sorry. Can I get you anything?" It's "DO NOT GET ON WEB MD." This is usually immediately followed by me hastily clicking the home button on my phone and pretending I was only scrolling through Facebook. 

I've gotten very good at covert Googling while "going to the bathroom."

For the last week and a half I've been battling the crud which has overtaken our house. At one point I was convinced my lung was collapsing under the weight of the mucus filling my bronchi. Kudos to my husband for not laughing out loud when I told him I SWEAR IT SOUNDED SO WEIRD WHEN I INHALED. 

I'll forgive him for laughing on the inside. 

My propensity for anxiety isn't limited to hypochondria. Confession: I will pretty much worry about anything. And everything. This is not the part of my personality that I'm most proud of. While I was coughing and sniffling and freaking out over the possibility that I might have to go to the ER doctor, I started reading Kate DiCamillo's latest novel, Flora & Ulysses, in which Flora is a self-professed natural-born cynic with a love for comic books (Ulysses is a squirrel, in case you were wondering). After my husband's very sweet reassurances that I was not, in fact, dying, but simply had a nasty cold, I couldn't help but laugh and read him a section of the book:

        "At the back of each issue of The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto! there was a series of bonus comics. One of Flora's very favorite bonus comics was entitled TERRIBLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! As a cynic, Flora found it wise to be prepared. Who knew what horrible, unpredictable thing would happen next?"

I'm rather uncomfortable with how much Flora and I have in common.

Which is why I need reminders like these:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Word Crimes

I suggest TV stations across the country start airing this as a PSA. The More You Know...

Thank you, Mr. Yankovic. Thank you. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

And...We're Back

Ah, almost midnight and here I am, desperately typing out a blog post that is long overdue. Feels just like old times. Old times being like two months ago when I clearly remember warning you of my impending silence. Not only did I make it to summer vacation with all most of my sanity intact, but we managed to survive The Great Move of 2014 with limited casualties. We did lose a lego man who succumbed to a suspicious looking skin condition after being trapped under the fridge for an indeterminate amount of time. (I kid you not, I felt horrible about throwing him in the trash. I blame the Lego Movie.) Now we're all settled into the new house and taking quite nicely to life in good old-fashioned suburbia. Seriously, our next door neighbors have already brought cake and offered up the babysitting services of their teenage granddaughter. We now have a garage and underground sprinklers and a sunken living room where I anxiously watch out the window as my children walk two houses down, BY THEMSELVES, to play with their friends. I feel like I've finally been admitted to the sacred and hallowed halls of adulthood. And I am okay with this.

Before I dropped off the face of the blogosphere I did manage to read a phenomenal book. A book so good that I read it in one day. Want to know what it is? I'll be posting the review on Friday. (Yes, yes, I disappear for over a month and then I make you wait some more. For shame, I know.)

So. Recap: Life happened. Busy. No posts. Back. More posts soon.

Until then, enjoy this badly photoshopped, yet epically hilarious thing I found on Pinterest. Because it made me giggle. Also, because it really is midnight now and I'm too tired to come up with a more clever sign off.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means...

Normally being a night owl doesn't bother me. I can slave over my manuscript until midnight and still get at least seven hours of sleep. It's all good. But then again, most nights I don't usually get pulled from sleep and given a near heart attack.

Allow me to explain.

We're moving. Our house is sold (yay!) and we're closing on the new house in less than three weeks (also yay!). The packing has commenced. Yesterday afternoon, the hubby and I cleaned out our under-the-stairs storage space in the basement. This kicked up quite a bit of dust.

In case you didn't know, smoke alarms possess a deep hatred for dust.

Of course, it waited until the smoke-alarm-secret-oath time of 4am to give a "nuisance alarm."

Whoever decided the word "nuisance" was appropriate, should be locked in a room and subjected to 85 decibels of ear-piercing screeching x6. Because as it turns out, if your house has an interconnected system of wired-in smoke alarms, when one goes off, they ALL GO OFF.

More like a WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON alarm.

The upstairs alarms are in three locations: the master bedroom, the kids' bedroom, and the hall. Which means they're all approximately three feet away from each other. I've been to rock concerts that were quieter. I'm freaking out, the kids are freaking out. My poor husband, who is transitioning from days off to graveyard shift has only been asleep for an hour and is scrambling to get a chair and hit the silence button. Finally we get it shut off.

The silence lasted for a whole 45 seconds before they all started screeching again, only to shut off on their own a couple seconds later. There's no smoke. No signs of any sort of emergency. After another round of on-and-off, my husband unplugs the hall detector. IT KEEPS BUZZING. I'm yelling over the noise to take the back-up battery out, he does and, finally, they all shut off and stay off. It looked like we found the culprit, so we calmed down the kids, I stayed in their room and my husband went back to bed.

About a minute later they all go off AGAIN.

At this point, no detector is safe. They all get unplugged and their batteries ripped out (serves them right). This is when my husband notices the basement alarm in front of the storage space has a red light instead of a green light. I Google the manual and it turns out the red light signals the trip alarm. Thankfully, this confirms the dust theory and I can stop envisioning our attic smoldering silently above our heads.

I don't care if automated houses are going to take over the world someday. I'm saving up for a smoke detector that talks to me when it goes off and tells me where the alarm is coming from. Preferably in a soothing British accent.

Now. Where's the coffee?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

National Grammar Day, Or: Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?

It's National Grammar Day! The one day you're allowed to be the grammar police without fear of backlash. We've all been deputized, right? For today's Grammar Day PSA, I'd like to share some of my biggest grammar and spelling pet peeves and faux pas. I promise, I speak in love. We'll start with the grammatical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard:

1. Your/You're
Do I really need to say more? Winner of the "Most likely to annoy you on Facebook" award.

2. Alot
This one is for my husband. He's a very laid back guy, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard him say, "A LOT IS TWO WORDS!" One of the many reasons I love him. (Side note: He read this over my shoulder, saw the word "alot" and was this close to yelling at me when he read the rest of the paragraph and started laughing.)

3. Thru
Should only be used when accompanied by a side of fries. The fact that the dictionary actually allows this as an "informal spelling of through" makes me want to cry. NO. Just NO.

4. Lack of Punctuation
If reading your words aloud causes you to pass out due to lack of oxygen, you might want to consider some periods. Or at least a comma or two.

5. Autocorrect's Obsession with Contractions
I love my iPhone, but can someone please explain to me why autocorrect always insists on changing "were" to "we're" and "well" to "we'll"?

Of course, it wouldn't be fair of me to pick on everyone else without admitting to my own shortcomings. So here are some confessions of my own:

1. It's/Its
Yes, I passed the second grade. My only excuse for this one is that my pinky finger has a mind of its own. One of my very first assignments for the Institute of Children's Literature came back from my instructor with a whole lot of red-inked edits because I had misspelled every single its. How's that for embarrassing?

2. Lead/Led
Halfway through editing my last novel, it was brought to my attention that I have some sort of heavy metals obsession. I ended up having to do a search of my entire manuscript for the word "lead" so I could change them all to the proper word. Apparently, if I'm going to misspell something I go all in. At least I'm consistent, right?

3. Alright
Did you know this word isn't technically even a word? Because I didn't, until about nine months ago. Turns out it should be written as two words: all right. Except maybe when quoting Matthew McConaughey.

4. Necessary 
This word is my nemesis. Does the c or the s come first? Should there be one? Two? Forget it, I'll just right click and let spell check fix it!

5. Lay/Laid/Lie
If you automatically know which one to use without having to look it up, you're my hero.

On today of all days, I would be remiss if I didn't give a shoutout and a giant THANK YOU to my amazing friend Laurie, who is the most grammatically correct person I know. My book would be a hot mess if it wasn't for her eagle-eye error detection and correction skills. I owe her BIG TIME.

So what did I miss? What are the errors that annoy you most? Any confessions of your own? Share in the comments!

Now to cross my fingers and hope this post is error free...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Patience is Better (Unless You're a Zombie)

I follow a lot of book agents and writers on Twitter and it seems like lately my feed has been filled with a whole lot of  "I have an agent!" announcements and book cover reveals and publishing day congratulations. All of this has been equal parts inspiring, motivating, and painful. Seeing someone else reach their goal can make yours seem so very, VERY far away. And let's just say that patience is not my strongest quality. So for today's Picture Quote Monday I set out to find an inspiring quote about being patient and all its benefits, because I know for a fact I'm not the only person who struggles with this. I found plenty, such as this one: "Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait." -Longfellow. And this one: "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." -Rousseau. But sometimes, when you're in the midst of a difficult lesson, you just need a giggle.

Which is why I picked this one.

Unless, of course, you're a zombie.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Picture Quote Monday {It Couldn't Be Done}

I missed putting up a picture quote last week because the entire family decided to come down with a nasty head cold ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It's bad enough when the kids are sick, but when both parents are feeling miserable on top of it...double the not so fun. But thankfully, after much pitiful lounging about on the couch and the disinfecting of all surfaces, we are on the mend and here I am, up way too late on a Sunday night to bring you your picture quote.

Recently I was having an email conversation with someone, discussing the difficulty in selling pirate-themed picture books and picture books in rhyme. Then she said it didn't surprise her that I was attempting to write the impossible - a trio of rhyming pirate picture books. To which she said: BRING THEM ON! And she wrote it just like that, in all caps. It made me exceedingly happy.

I'd like to think that there's a little of the White Queen in all of us, if only we, too, would dare to believe in six impossible things before breakfast. When I came across this jaunty poem, I knew I had to share it. It can't be done? Psh. Do it anyway. Because the only thing that's sure to fail is the thing that's left undone.

Did that make any sense? I think I need to go to bed.

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Apology to My Bookshelf

Here's what my current to-read list looks like (in no particular order). And these are just the ones that currently live on my bookshelf. After reading this Buzzfeed post on 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters I think my list just got longer. Unfortunately it seems like my reading list is a lot longer than my reading time. I've been working on the same novel for about 5 weeks now...pretty sure my Bookworm card is going to get revoked now that I admitted that. *Hangs head in shame* It's a fantastic book, but I've had such a hard time allowing myself the down time to read. Right now I have six graphic design jobs going (good for the bank account, questionable for my sanity), and children and a husband who expect to be fed, and a state who expects me to educate my children, not to mention the laundry and house cleaning, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... Every spare second I have left over is being focused on writing and editing, which I've somehow been managing to squeeze in daily (even if it's just 30 minutes) and that's a great thing--especially since I eventually want it to turn into a full time career. So of course what gets sacrificed? Reading. Which I know is horribly backwards, I mean, you can't write great books if you don't read great books. I've been seriously considering making myself a daily schedule and penciling in reading time. Yes, the situation has become that dire.

To all the books (and authors) I've been neglecting: It's not you, it's me. I'm sorry. I love you. I promise I'll be back

What about you? Do you read when you have a spare moment, or are you more intentional about picking up whatever book you're currently reading? What's on your 2014 to-read list? (I'll probably regret asking that last question.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Long, Dark Night of the Squirrel

Today your Saturday morning funny is brought to you by the amazing Becca Rose of @bookwormbeaut Twitter fame. And squirrels. Seriously, read ALL THE PAGES. This is why Twitter is my absolute favorite form of social media.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sparkles and Butterflies and Unicorns, Oh My!

There's a joke in my writers group surrounding unhappy endings in books or films. Several of our members can't stand it if a story ends without resolution, or in a sad and/or depressing way. As we like to say, their stories have to have "Rainbows and Unicorns". I am one of the few who actually enjoys melancholy storylines (as long as they're done well) and thereby, I often have to give a "no rainbows and unicorns" disclaimer when recommending books or films.

You can understand why this made me giggle.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Small Things {July Edition}

Sometimes it's the little things. Here's the stuff I'm loving this month...

Little Red Chair

You may remember I mentioned my friend Chelsea and her blog, Little Red Chair, in the very first Picture Quote Monday post. Well, Chelsea recently re-vamped her blog and started a "Lessons From" series. Her first two greats: Julia Child, and Emily Dickinson. Have I mentioned I adore this girl? Check out all her beautiful (and delicious) posts, including the orange zest bundt cake recipe, which immediately went on my must-bake list. And while you're at it, like her Facebook page to see all the incredible skills this girl has when it comes to renovating and decorating.

Housewife Gadgetry

This is probably the peak of housewifely nerdiness, but I'm in love with my new in-sink dishrack. Gone are the days of having a dish towel covered in a precarious stack of dripping, non-dishwasher-safe dinner and drinkware taking up counter space. Think me lame if you will, but I'm the type of person who has a hard time relaxing if my house is messy, and dishes are at the top of my super-annoying-must-clean-up-now list. The fact that this allows me to dry the hand-wash only items without cluttering up my kitchen makes me ridiculously happy.

Quitting Stuff

A week ago, myself and about 2000 other people embarked on an adventure in the form of an online social experiment by none other than Jon Acuff, author of START. The Start Experiment is all about taking risks and pursuing individual goals in an encouraging and supportive group environment. I'll be posting more about the experiment and my goal later in the week, but I wanted to share one of the recent daily challenges. Jon asked us to make a "quit list" of 3-5 things we could each quit doing that would open up more time, energy, or hope for our dreams. My list? Quit worrying. Quit exhausting myself. Quit being insecure. Since taking steps toward implementing these three things, my happiness level has definitely gone up. Even my husband commented on how much less stressed I've been. Who knew quitting could be such a good thing?

What about you? In the midst of a busy summer, what helps you slow down and just enjoy life?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Typically I write my own little synopsis for my book reviews, but this time, the back-of-the-book blurb is just too good not to share:

Mo's summer is looking good.
But that's before the murder, 
the kidnapping, the car crash, 
and the hurricane.
Now she and her best friend 
are setting out to solve 
the mystery of their lives.

Good thing Mo's always been lucky.

Moses LoBeau is a rising sixth grader with a very interesting past and an even more interesting present. As a baby, she washed ashore in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, during a hurricane. Now she spends her time working at the cafe owned by her self-appointed adoptive parents, hanging out with her best friend Dave, and plotting against her sworn enemy, Anna Celeste--all while continuing her message-in-a-bottle search for her Upstream Mother. When the cafe's crankiest customer turns up dead and a city detective rolls into town, Mo's summer takes a turn for the exciting. Soon she and Dave are out to solve a mystery of epic proportions as the case suddenly puts everyone they love in danger.

A short and sweet summary of this book: Utterly delightful. I loved all of it...the colorful setting, the humorous dialogue, the intriguing murder-mystery...everything about it was just SO good. I positively gushed over it at my last writers group meeting--and I was only a few pages in. Eclectic and charming, devious and dastardly, the characters in this book are a cast like no other. This type of writing is exactly what I aspire to as an author. I giggled my way through the first chapter and continued to laugh out loud until the very last, heartwarming page. Cover to cover, Three Times Lucky is an incredibly fun read which has landed high on my list of favorite middle-grade novels.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Is The Ink Always Gone?

This is why I don't complain when magazines and publishers only accept email submissions.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Calvin On The Creative Process

With the things I sometimes end up researching for a story, I'm almost positive the FBI has pinged on my Google searches.

Friday, May 17, 2013

START by Jon Acuff

I've been following Jon Acuff's blog Stuff Christians Like for a while now, and if there's one person I can count on to bring humor to my Twitter and Instagram feed, it's him. In his NYT Bestseller START Jon brings his wit and wisdom together to create a phenomenal book about leaving average behind and traversing the path to awesome. 

One look at the cover, and you know this book is going to be great. Punch fear in the face? Do work that matters? Flip the awesome switch? Let's do this.

Jon begins with his signature humor before launching into a detailed road map of the 5 stages every successful life goes through: Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding. He tells us what to expect in each stage, how to find victory and avoid pitfalls, and gives light bulb worthy advice on determining what finish line we hope to reach. He encourages and instructs, all while constantly nailing home the truth that age/experience level/money doesn't matter--you just have to start.

What Love Does did for my heart, START did for my dream. I closed this book inspired to continue to chase my dream and empowered with the tools I needed to do just that. Jon's writing has a way of drawing you in, making you feel like you're having a one-on-one conversation in his living room. He holds nothing back, opening himself up and sharing his great--and not so great--moments, all of which he uses to illustrate what he's learned in his own journey toward awesome. And there's a whole lot of awesome in these pages. Want to know how to silence the schizophrenic voices of fear? How to make time for your passions, ignore the critics, master your craft, and live life with an exclamation point instead of a question mark? Want to learn all that without being bored to death by a dry self-help manual? Read this book.

Whether your dreams seem too far gone to be realized, or you've already started down the road to awesome and are actively pursuing your passion, there's a vast amount of wisdom, motivation, and encouragement to be found here. Pick up this book and give yourself the chance you deserve. START will not only light a fire under your dream, it will give you the fuel to keep it burning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Critics}

I love this quote because it really puts into perspective something that writers (and anyone else who has a dream and a passion) have to deal with: criticism. And not the constructive kind. In Jon Acuff's book START, he has a great section titled "Critic's Math". In it he says, "1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult." It can be so hard to look past that one negative. So the next time someone hates on your dream, think of this, have a little giggle, and as Jon says: "Leave the haters behind you."

 P.S. Look for my full review of START on Friday! You won't want to miss this one.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Literary Confessions

I've heard quite a few people talking recently about how it's really easy to put your best self out there when it comes to social media. Posting only the stuff that reveals our awesomeness has become the internet version of showing your mom your clean room, when really everything is just shoved under the bed. So being a writer, avid reader, and now blogger, I decided I should come clean about a few things in my literary life. (After all, I wouldn't want you thinking I'm perfect or anything.) So here goes...

I cannot get through a Jane Austen novel.

I've tried. Both as a teenager and an adult. I even went so far as to buy the fancy, gold-edged, embossed cover, hardback, 4-in-1 Austen collection at Costco a few months ago. And now it just sits on my bookshelf mocking me, the little blue ribbon marking the point of my failure on page 30 of Sense and Sensibility. I would love to cross this off my bucket list, but for now it looks like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is as close as I'm gonna get.

I've read more Young Adult novels as an adult, than I ever did as a teenager.

When I was a teen, they all seemed whiny and angsty and cheesy and dramatic (the one exception being the ever wonderful Anne of Green Gables)--and I was soooo not into that. So, aside from a brief love affair with Cedar River Daydreams (the Christian equivalent of Sweet Valley High--don't ask) I went straight to adult fiction. Thankfully, I'm a writer of middle grade and young adult fiction, so when I'm thirty-something and still picking up books in the teen section of the library, I can call it "research" and not "denial." Let's just hope by then I actually look like an adult and stop being mistaken for a high-schooler by the librarians.

I don't always like the book better than the movie.

Case in point: see my review of  The Silver Linings Playbook. Although, I have been trying much more intentionally to judge books and their accompanying films on their own individual merit. Case in point: Blue Like Jazz. Both different. Both equally amazing. (As in top 5 of my book and movie lists). I do prefer to read the book first. Because I really must be able to compare everything that was or was not in the book while I'm watching the movie. At least until my husband tells me to stop talking and just watch.

I have never read the Harry Potter books.

I can see you seriously considering clicking unfriend--unfollow--unsubscribe, so I won't mention the other series that I've also not read. *cough*--vampires--*cough*

What about you? Any confessions to make? Unread books that make fellow readers gasp in horror? Films you loved based on books you were less amorous over? Novels you're slightly embarrassed to admit to reading? Go ahead and share. It's good for the soul.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Calvin On Storytelling

The blog has been quiet this week because I've been hard at work on the final draft of my novel! The end is near! I'll be back next week with more posts, including my review of  The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart. But for now, enjoy a little Calvin and Hobbes...

Bonus Challenge: What do you think Calvin's explanation of "The Noodle Incident" was? Leave your story in the comments. Extra points if you can Twitter size your reply at 140 characters or less. :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Off Switch? Ha!

This is a fairly extremely accurate representation of how my brain works.