Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

So as some of you may or may not have noticed I was gone for a brief while, taking a mini SM reprieve.  And while on my reprieve was also lucky enough to have the chance to spend an eventful and jammed packed LONG weekend with the parentals.  So at this stage, I’m still somewhat in recovery mode from said extended weekend.  But am feeling pretty great and will be fully back into the swing of things by no later than tomorrow morning.  So don’t worry, there will be a new post coming soon (that is for those of you who were in fact curious about my brief drop off & who enjoy reading the gibberish I tend to write).

But yes, a it was great weekend, where not only was I allowed to be a spoiled child again, but was also off cooking duty, and was able to enjoy lots and lots of really good food that I didn't cook.  ALL fried of course (this is the South & it is my family), and so I’m sure I gained at least 10 pounds over the weekend.  But on top of the great food and entertainment, a good friend also celebrated a birthday, which is always kind of amazing and fun.  And to cap it all off I got to watch my baby brother play in the Texas HS All Star football game at the glitzy Cowboy Stadium and THEY WON! Which totally rocked my face off and made for a VERY suitable end to a fantastic weekend.

So, in celebration of my return and to give myself a much needed boost to go into August with the OOMPH that I so desperately need.  I dedicate this song to all my fellow writer peeps & hope this gets your blood pumping and fingers flying across the keyboard and/or that pen whisking across that paper!

Okay, so this may not be the most writing inspiring material & I may be SEVERELY aging myself here, BUT I still LOVE THIS SONG!!! :D

Bananarama - “Cruel Summer”

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Top 10 Ways To Survive During a Heat Wave

This has definitely been a summer for the records.  Well, not literal records (thank goodness), we’ve actually had worse.  Now you would think since I’ve lived my whole life with these kinds of conditions that I would be used to breathing air that feels like inhaling fire.  But you would be WRONG! And what’s worse is that this weather tends to lead to a serious case of the crabbies, and boy let me tell ya, my husband just LOOOOOVES those days.   

And I’m not even talking about the massive explosion that's occurred in my sweat glands with these hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun temperatures.  Ugh! Its absolutely disgusting…cold showers have become a definite MUST these days.  But seriously, when I say "crabbies" I’m talking MOOD SWINGS that surpass anything my typical PMS day could throw at me.  I'm talking about irritability, headaches, fatigue, nausea, bi-polar ups-and-downs…it’s like my husband has to live with a walking PMS nightmare for an entire season.

So I present to you BLAIRE’S…

Top 10 Ways To Survive During a Heat Wave

#10 – Christmas Music (Yes. Christmas music…it’s like December in July! :D)

 #9 – Breyer’s All Natural Pure Fruit Popsicles

 #8 – Fully functioning A/C unit (CANNOT live without my A/C.)

 #7 – My Kindle (fully loaded with all my favorite titles)

 #6 – My favorite Summer Wear: Summer Dresses (Love SOMA!!!)

 #5 – Take in a GREAT summer movie! :D


 #3 – A cool hangout place AWAY from the casa. Mine: B&N

 #2 – Game nights with friends!

And finally….

 #1 – Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. Get the heck out of Dodge! Take a vacation, go some place nice and cool. Preferably where temperatures aren’t fry-you-alive hot, maybe a mountain resort, or a beach where you have large quantities and bodies of refreshingly cool water! 

Just try and avoid, if you can, becoming some BIG irritable sweat gland. (Hint: No one likes those.)  Okay, so I know this isn’t exactly a profound list, but alas, neither is my life. 

So how do you find & keep your HAPPY PLACE during a heat wave?

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Monday, July 18, 2011

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

In a recent article published in The New Yorker titled “A Woman’s Place” a question was posed that completely stopped me in my tracks and had me searching for answers. 

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Now for the rare few in life, this is a question that they embrace as a daily call to action.  But so often for the rest of us, when we wake each morning and make plans, set goals or take on the really important decisions such as should I attend college, what college should I attend, what career path should I take? It’s often with these sorts of premeditated questions that some of us also set limits for our lives.  Limits that tell us that there is only so far we can go and only so much success we can achieve in our lives.  And so we give ourselves permission to set “standard” expectations, which later soothes our conscience when we meet these expectations and then allows us to reasonably argue the case that “Hey, at least I’m doing something.” 

And I will readily admit that I have been guilty of hiding behind this frame of thought, often approaching a new idea with the pre-determined mindset that I would rather set my standards low, than push myself and risk having the burden of a failure on my conscience.

But if you were to completely remove the “fear factor” out of the equation, where would you be?  How far could you go if you approached each day ready to take on the world with a mindset absent of fear?  What would your future, what would your world look like with that frame of possibility?

In her commencement address to the 2011 graduating class of Barnard College, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg offered these words for thought.  

Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO

“We try at Facebook to keep all of our employees thinking big all day.  We have these posters in red we put around the walls.  One says, “Fortune favors the bold.”  Another says, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”  That question echoes Barnard alum Anna Quindlen, who said that she majored in unafraid.  Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire.  Let the barriers you face—and there will be barriers—be external, not internal.  Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try.”

So…what would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?

Happy Writing & Happy Reading! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My FIRST Blog Interview!!!

I've FINALLY done it peeps! I'm now almost-kinda-maybe-sorta official. Squeeeeee! The talented and delightful Chelsea Fine, author of the amazing debut novel SOPHIE & CARTER, asked me if I'd be interested in doing a blog interview. And me being...well ME, my first instinctive reaction was to race to my bed and hide beneath the covers until the world forgot I was sucking back more than the average size bear worth of oxygen.

Is she crazy? Me? Interview? WTH do I have to say?!!

But then it hit me...I have plenty to say and then some. I don't just write for my own personal amusement (though some of the things I have written could be a definite top runner in the pee-yew awards & give some critic a good laugh during their lavotory reads).  I write because I'm a tad narcissistic and want the world to love the stories and characters I create in a crazed obsessively unnatural way, the way I do. Please love me?! Is that too much too ask? (I'm kidding, of course.)

I write because...WHY NOT?! I love what I do & I love to write. 

And you can learn more about what I do and my writing by checking out my interview now up on Chelsea Fine's blog! :) YAY! And if you can, please let me know what you think? I'll love you always. :D

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

AUTHOR ALERT: Chelsea Fine

So I love to share. Why? Because I'm a caring sharing fool that's why!  And with that being said, I couldn’t resist doing another AUTHOR ALERT post in order to introduce you all to a new “stalker” buddy of mine.  EVERYONE, I’d like you to meet Chelsea Fine.  

YAY! Isn't she just gorgeous?! And that hair...I mean, really? So unfair. *Sigh* So not only does she have fabulous hair, she's also sweet and an awesome up-and-coming YA romance & paranormal fiction writer.

Chelsea’s debut novel “Sophie & Carter” is already out & available on Amazon. (And I just love this cover!)

Here’s a back cover caption of SOPHIE & CARTER…

“Next-door neighbors Sophie Hartman and Carter Jax grow up witnessing the shameful secrets of each of their families and, amidst the heartache, form an unspoken bond of friendship.  But events during their senior year of high school will change both of them forever.  As their lives unravel, Sophie and Carter rely on one another for strength, encouragement and hope…and begin to realize their feelings for each other might just be deeper than friendship….”

Want more? Here’s a two chapter teaser to really wet your appetite...CLICK HERE!

I found SOPHIE & CARTER to be a sweet and touching bit of literary delight that I literally couldn't put down! GO GET IT! I'm really looking forward to reading more of this chica's future work.  (YOU ROCK MY FACE OFF CHELSEA!!!) If you want to know more go check out her site

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

I'm No Stalker Snob

After some extensively deep thought, and serious contemplation over the last five minutes I’ve come to the conclusion that stalkers, or rather the term stalker, has seriously gotten a bum rep.

And I’m not referring to those dinky-Rodeo-Drive-weirdo Bradgelina stalker's; I’m referring to all my SM/Writer/Aspiring Writer/Uber Reader stalker compadres. YES, YOU!

Personally, I think it takes real gumption and guts to put yourself out there as a writer.  Especially with so many vultures out there looking for the next thing to sink their poisonous/non-constructive opinions into, making it a pretty scary venture at times.  Which is why it seems only natural that there be the opposite force of that.   People who can and are willing to encourage and praise you for being the brave person you are, and do something that most people lack the courage to do.  To take on the risk of rejection, to lay it all on the line, all while hoping and wondering whether you’ll be accepted for who you are and the work you produce. Totally not an easy thing to do.  But the fact is, rejection and criticism are both as much a part of this process as the happier side of it, which is usually what the masses get to see.   

But the risks don't simply lay with just the writer, it can also lay with those who simply show their admiration for others, often without knowing whether that admiration will be returned in kind.  In most cases a pretty thankless position.  “Stalking” is often not a 50/50 give and take situation, more often than not it's just one sided.  And so to those of you who support & encourage with no guarantee of a returned gesture...I salute you & thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

As writers it is such a MAJOR thing (especially for me) to receive those encouraging words or that boost of support from someone who simply cares and wants to share in your experience (I really love that).  And I love meeting and learning about new authors & aspiring writers, because not only are so many of you just FREAKING AWESOME but for me there’s usually a special kind of connection that is somehow made, a bond, that I believe can often translate into possible friendship.  And I love making new friends!   

And so I'll confess...I'm being partly selfish when I take an interest when someone I’m stalking or a friend of mine realizes their dream of being published, or finding an agent or signing that first book deal, because it gives me that much more hope to follow through and pursue my own. 

So, I will gladly stalk and welcome fellow stalkers, with the hopes of offering (directly or indirectly) as much encouragement to others as most of you have so generously offered to me. 

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Little Bit Of My Life Philosophy

I wouldn’t call myself a hard-line sort of person. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my convictions like most people.  Things that I believe in, things and/or people in my life that I could go as far as to say I’d be willing to give up my life for.  But I’m also a person who is open to listening, hearing and getting to the truth of the matter.

I think the fact that we’re here…sleeping, eating, walking around, screaming, laughing, scratching, and yapping about who knows what, and expelling random bodily sounds and smells at will, is thoroughly amazing.  I love life and I store great value in all living things.  

But before I can get to the meat of the matter and let you into my little world; I first need to introduce you to one of my ALL TIME favorite artists.  Now I may or may not have mentioned this in the past but I am a HUGE Seal fan. Why? You may ask...because he's BRILLIANT!! That's why.  And he expresses my views so well on writing, life, love and other shenanigans on this crazy planet of ours, in this song.  Love it. SO ENJOY! 

Seal "Get It Together" 
 (Sorry, video wouldn't post in the blog, but the link works!)

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Kurt Vonnegut Challenge - Part 2

So after taking in suggestions (thanks to everyone who participated) for my Vonnegut challenge, I will be reading “Mother Night”. 

Here’s a brief summary.

Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.

Now I will say that I am a little apprehensive, just because this is one of my husband’s favorites and if I don’t finish the last page feeling “enlightened” I have a feeling he’s going to be sorely disappointed by the results of this little project.  So for his sake lets just hope all goes well.  Wish my luck!

"Mother Night" was also made into a movie back in 1996, so I couldn’t resist posting the trailer.

Happy Reading!