Monday, August 29, 2011

A Sim Drama - Storytelling at its Finest

Last night I was avoiding revisions playing the Sims as I like to do, and some pretty hilarious drama unfolded ALMOST without my doing. (I mean, they have free will people!) It was so random I decided I needed to share. 

My female Sim had just gotten engaged, to a celebrity nonetheless. She was over the moon excited and couldn't wait to start their perfect life together. I figured she should celebrate so I go ahead and throw her a bachelorette party at the local dance club. Everything's going great, her friends are having a fabulous time, and then the male "dancers" show up (Seriously, so funny that they put that in. They're wearing cop uniforms and everything). Well my sim has had a little too much "Fizzy Nectar" thrown on her and toasted to her, so she ends up getting VERY close with one of these dancers. She did not realize the paparazzi was there photographing her every move. So they catch her cheating on her fiance. Suddenly she has a cheater reputation, and this is where everything starts to go downhill. 

I tried to have her invite her fiance over the next morning and apologize so we could get this wedding back on (I created a gorgeous venue with a waterfall as the background and everything. I wasn't about to let it go to waste). Well he won't hear of it, and flat out denies to see me. So I try to invite him out. No go. Finally I figure she's just got to stake out his house. Luckily she's friends with his parents too. So she convinces them to let her stay the night, in order to be there when he got home. He didn't get home until midnight, which I thought was a little suspicious, but was too concerned with getting their relationship patched up. She tries to apologize and he won't hear it. She tries to calm him down and he only gets angrier. Their relationship is getting worse and worse. I feel TERRIBLE. Finally I have her give up, since she's about to pass out from exhaustion. She goes upstairs to the guest room to fall asleep around 1am. 

Then the craziest thing happened. At 4am I hear an eerie music and see the grim reaper in the room next to my sim. That's right, his dad DIES IN THE VERY NEXT ROOM! And even better, he's a vampire so instead of dropping dead, he turned to ashes right there on the carpet. My sim wakes up and runs next door to witness his death and mourn him, but the grim reaper is not moved by her display and quickly claims his quarry. Not five minutes after he's moved to his grave, the eerie music starts up again. Right down the hall her future-mother-in-law starves to death and disintegrates right in front of her son! What the? So the grim reaper literally walks down the hall and starts his ritual over again.

At this point, I'm staring open-mouthed at the screen. First of all, I didn't know I was about to marry her into a family of VAMPIRES, but I've rarely witnessed death on the Sims (that wasn't intentionally brought to pass...ahem). So after the shock wears off, I figure this could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe now he'll need a shoulder to cry on and will let her back in to his life. No such luck. He's madder than ever, and now he's crying on top of it. 

I've had enough. Thank goodness for the save button I think to myself. I quickly return to the main menu without saving and hope everything will go back to normal. 

When I log back on, sure enough, their relationship is wonderful, his parents are alive and all is well. I figure I'll have her invite him over for a nice dinner and get them married before anything else happened. Surely nothing else could go wrong, Right? Right?


He shows up and my sim marches directly over to him, and without me being able to stop her, she accuses him of cheating on her. AND HE ADMITS IT! THE JERK HAD BEEN CHEATING ON ME THE WHOLE TIME! Our relationship went into the red instantly, he tells me I have "issues" and leaves. 

And the next want that pops up on her screen is to break up with him.

I don't think that will be a problem. 

Man I love this game. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Have A Feeling I Don't Know What I'm Getting Myself Into

So I've seen this all over the web and seems like a really cool thing to get into, so I'm signing up people. That's right, I'm making a commitment! Oh boy, we'll see how this goes. I'm a little scared as I'm still a newbie at all of this; blogging, writing, internet-trolling...(okay, I'm a vet at that...). But how else do you get out there?

Anyway, if you're interested in joining too head on over to Rach's blog here and sign up! There's still time!

And let me take this opportunity to pretend that I haven't been virtually absent from my blog for two weeks. I don't know what happened. :) Let's all pretend that didn't happen together. Deal?


Alright, that's all for today folks! Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Write On Wednesday: How Soon is Too Soon?

Remember how I mentioned that I cleaned up my first draft (AGAIN) and finally felt good about it and sent it back out again? I only sent it to two agents, and I got a response from one yesterday that said “Truth be told,though, I'm afraid these pages just didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped.”


So my question is, do I give up on this one? A lot of people say you probably won’t publish your first-ever completed MS. And maybe I’m just too in love with the idea, so I can’t let it go. But maybe it’s time. When they don’t even see a spark of potential in five pages, that’s not a good sign.

It makes me sad. But then I think about that article from Kathryn Stockett about how she just kept revising and editing and changing and writing to tell THIS story and after THREE years and SIXTY rejections she finally got an offer and now has a bestselling book. So then I think that maybe I should stick to it, write the beginning over again, and tell the story I want to tell.

I don’t know if I have that much energy. Plus I have my second MS, and last night I started a new book. A YA Paranormal that I’m SO excited about. So how soon do I give up on MS 1? And how soon do I query MS 2?  They’re completely different genres, so I’m not sure I’d even be querying the same agents. But I don’t know if I’m ready for the gauntlet again.

Any advice?

Meanwhile, I’m loving Mumford & Sons lately. Anyone else?

And P.S. I’m thinking of changing my blogging schedule. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Interview and Some Inspiration

Hey everyone! Today I'm being interviewed at the wonderful blog of Chantele Sedgwick! Go check it out HERE! And don't judge me for my favorite book answer. I have good reason! Anyway, I wanted to thank Chantele for having me, it was a lot of fun!

Also, I found this fabulous article yesterday about Kathryn Stockett, you know the author of that bestselling book The Help. She was turned down SIXTY times before she got that ever-elusive "yes" from an agent. Three weeks later her book sold. And we all know how successful it is now (aka I'm dying to go see the movie!) Anyway, head over here to read the full article. I have to say it really inspired me and lit a fire under me after I read it last night. In fact I spent all last night editing and finished the edits on my first MS. This would be draft...5 I believe. So anyway, I feel WAY better about it and even sent it out to two more agents last night, just to get used to the idea again.

So here we go. 15 rejections down, 45 to go? I hope not.

Happy Thursday all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Write On Wednesday: Fear

I’ve been slacking on my writing posts, and it’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve been slacking on my writing. I have a great list of edits to go through for my first MS and Miss Ruth is doing a bang-up job on giving me feedback for my second MS, but I just can’t bring myself to get to them. I’m not sure why.

Work has been REALLY busy lately, so by the end of the day when I usually write, I just want to chill out and watch the newest disc of Modern Family that has been delivered to me via Netflix. I don’t want to THINK. But that’s not really the reason.

The reason is that I’m afraid.

I have completely stopped querying because now I know what I need to do to fix my book, so I don’t want to send it out anywhere. But that was such a hard couple months of rejection, I’m afraid to finish my edits and get it back out there. Once I put it back out there, I’m opening myself up to hearing more of the word “no”. That is not my favorite word.

Then there’s my second MS. Which I feel really good about, but I’ve given it to a couple people and only the ones who knew the real inspiration behind the story have completely finished it and given me feedback. The two ladies (you know who you are) who are unfamiliar with the story have yet to tell me anything. I feel like I lost them this time. I hope not. I hope they’re just busy. And I hate to give a MS to friends, because then every time you talk to them they feel like they have to defend why they’re not done yet, so then I  just don’t hear from them. Awkward.

But I digress. I guess I’m just trying to be smarter this time and have my MS more polished before I send it out again, but there’s still a twinge at the back of my mind saying “if you never send it out, you’ll never hear no again!” But I won’t ever hear a “yes” either.

Then part of me thinks I’m afraid of what I’d do if I ever heard “yes.” That’s a whole new set of worries. But that’s a post for a different day.

Are any of you afraid to get rejected? Or worse, afraid to succeed?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interior Tuesday: How to Paint Stripes

I’ve had a couple requests to share how I painted the horizontal stripes in my daughter’s nursery, so I thought I’d share my tips and tricks today! (Say that five times fast). I’m so sorry that I didn’t take pictures throughout the process, that was before my blogging days and I just wanted to get it done! So don’t hesitate to ask a question if anything confuses you!

First of all, I had a very clear vision of what colors I wanted and what width I wanted. We had to buy a couple of paint testers though, to make sure I got the colors exactly right. These testers are great!

STRIPES 1stripes 1a

I bought several of them and finally settled on the two colors I wanted (FYI the light pink is Glidden Pink Ballet Slipper and the darker pink is Glidden Pink Flamingo). After the wall was stripped of wallpaper…and stripped of more wallpaper…and finally primed over the last layer of wallpaper that had become part of the drywall  (that’s a whole different story), I painted the entire wall with the light pink. Then I had to be patient and wait for it to dry all the way. That was the hardest part…

Here’s the wallpaper that was impossible to remove:


Isn’t it gorgeous? Don’t get me started on the blue carpet either.

Once that dried I measured up from the base of the floor and put a mark every 12”, since this was how wide I wanted my stripes. After I made those marks I used the most incredible tool $15 can buy you; a laser level. THIS laser level to be exact:


It uses a command strip to adhere to the wall so it doesn’t leave any marks. So you stick this baby next to your mark, turn on the laser, make sure it’s level and apply your tape. This part can be tricky because you have to make sure you put the tape on the OUTER edges of the stripe you want to paint. So you can’t just put it above the line or below the line every time. you have to outline the stripe.

Another thing that saved my life was using the right tape. I HIGHLY recommend Frog Tape:

stripes 3

The edges lock so well on this stuff, it’s like magic. I had absolutely NO bleeding under my tape so my lines turned out crisp and clean. There’s also Scotch Blue Tape, but I found this worked a lot better for this particular application.

Once my stripes were taped off, I started painting. And here’s my favorite tool that $3 can buy you, a paint edger:


These are meant for edges of walls and corners, which is why they have wheels, but I found that they just hold on to the paint SO well that I could dip it once and run it along the entire length of the wall, and not have any loss of color. These things are amazing. I used them to paint my dressers, and even my doors. They just give such a nice distribution of paint, and they’re easier to control than a roller when you’re going horizontally.

Once I painted the darker pink using my fabulous edger, I waited for about a half hour before peeling off the tape. I didn’t want to wait for the paint to dry all the way, because then the tape can get stuck to the wall, and it’s REALLY hard to pull off in a nice long strip. So when the paint was a little tacky still, I pulled off my frog tape. THEN I let it dry all the way before moving furniture in or hanging pictures.

And just in case you haven’t seen it enough, here’s the finished product:

The whole thing took less than a couple hours. What took the longest was waiting for the paint to dry. But other than that, it was actually WAY easier than I thought it would be. So there you have it; stripes done right.

Now go stripe your walls! Or ceiling! Or whatever you want! And good luck!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 8, 2011

What’s in a Game?

It occurs to me I’ve spent an enormous amount of time on two of my three creative endeavors on this blog, and almost completely swept the whole “gamer” side of me under the rug.

Shame on me.

Here’s the problem; even though I’ve got it listed as one of the things I love, I’m still afraid to show my true gamer self. Mostly because she looks like this:


Right? Pretty Bad-A.

So I’ve been thinking about why I play computer games, WoW specifically, and I thought I would share my reasons with you.

1) The most important reason is because it’s quality time with my hubby. For reals. A lot of people think games are a waste of time, and I’m sure for some people they are. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s a waste of time. But when I get to play with my husband, and we get to spend time solving problems, fighting a common enemy, and laughing together that is never time wasted in my book. It helps that the enemy is pixelated so there’s no real fear there…

2) It’s a lot of fun. Like I’ve said before, I was raised a computer geek (thanks Nate). I played DOS games back in the day and LOVED them. (Discworld, SerfCity, Relentless, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis just to name a few). I just love the problem solving, the story development, and the ability to travel to new places. It’s like a book you can SEE and navigate through. What’s better than that?

3) It gives me something I can control. Sometimes my two-year old is completely unmanageable. Sometimes work gets overwhelming or I get assigned a project out of the blue that I have very little interest in doing (Bri, you know what I’m talking about). And sometimes I feel sick. Like really sick. In August. Which makes me cranky. But when I log on to WoW, I know what I have to do and I can hop on my trusty dragon and go do it. I have money too, which I don’t in real life, so that helps. A new pair of shoes every now and then (even if they’re virtual) is good for a girl’s soul.

4) I’ve met some amazing people. Who I NEVER would’ve met otherwise. As in, why would I ever hang out with a comic-book-store-owner and his wife from Pennsylvania? I probably wouldn’t. But I met them online and it’s amazing how similar we are and how much fun we have together. Ned and Jodie have become some of our closest friends over the years, and we’ve never seen them in real life. But I don’t have to know what they look like to know they’re amazing people. Not to mention a certain priestess who doesn’t play anymore (CANDIS) and her amazingly talented warrior husband who unfortunately passed away in 2009. Which brings me to my next reason:

5) It inspires me. Mostly the people I’ve met inspire me. The afore-mentioned warrior was a great friend of ours and it was really hard when he passed away, even though we never met him face-to-face. And from these experiences, I’ve been able to draw enough inspiration for my recently completed second book. It’s about a teenage girl who tentatively starts playing an online game to be close to her brother who moved away for school, yet she ends up having several life-changing experiences due to the people she meets. Just like I did.

So those are the most important ones I guess. I could do an entirely different post on why I play the Sims…in fact, I probably will later. But I’m trying to not hide my inner geek anymore. Take it or leave it people, this girl plays WoW. And my warrior up there? Level 85. She’s pretty much a big deal.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Faves: Ruth + Writing

This week I couldn’t be more excited to share some thoughts from  Ruth; aka my new best friend (whether she knows it or not!) Ruth and I were each other’s 45th followers on our blogs. I think it was fate. We have since become critique partners, and let me just tell you this girl has a voice! Not to mention she give excellent feedback! I’m so glad I met her!

Now you get to meet her too! Let’s get to it:


I'm kind of a no fuss kind of gal so I love this room because it's calm and simple. I need calm and simple in my life. Keep in mind that this is in no way what my house looks like. Right now my style is Thrifty and Trashed. Someday. Some. Day.


This changes a lot. I love many, many books. The type of book I read also changes and I go through periods where I read a lot of one thing. Right now, that would be Contemporary YA. One of my recent favorites was The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. Loved them!

ruth 2


Now this took some thinking. I asked myself, "Do I even play games?" And I said, "Yes. Yes I do". When I have time or can get someone to play with me, I love me some Scrabble. Exciting, I know. I play with my sisters on Facebook and it gets competitive. Also, there was a period in my life when I was addicted to Bejeweled. In college, my roommates and I stayed up all night long playing a game called Scum. Crazy fun.

ruth 3

Thanks Kadie!

Okay I had many a night in college where we were up too late playing Scum. I LOVE that game! I forgot all about it! Now I need to go look up the rules. And I’ve never read that book, so it’s now on my list.

Thanks Ruth! I love learning more about my fellow bloggers.

Happy Friday everyone!

Want to tell everyone YOUR faves? I’d LOVE to have you! E-mail me at

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interior Tuesday: A Room for a Big Girl

I finally got my computer to work with me and luckily salvaged my design board for Eisley’s new room. I’m so excited! You might recognize the rug from the board I did for my book’s MC, but I can’t help that I love it and it’s the perfect starting point for all the color I want to bring into this room.

I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Eisley's Room

The bedding won’t be that yellow, it’ll be plain white, and the walls I’m still deciding on, but I’m thinking vertical stripes…

And the lattice stencil will be used inside her new toy closet / book nook that I’m working on. I think it’s going to be amazing.

Stay tuned!

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