New Year's Resolution

Do you make new year's resolutions?  I do... I can't help it.

For 2011, my resolution is to live a fuller life and be a better person to the people who love me.  As much as I love writing, it's had a starring role in my life for the past few years and I need to put the people I love back to front and center.  Which doesn't mean I won't be writing (hell yeah, I'll be writing! I have a whole new book to revise!), but it does mean that I'll be trying to enrich the parts of my life that don't involve writing, as well. 

Pretty simple resolution, yes?  But oh so complicated.

And to demonstrate just how committed I am to doing this, I'm off to Toronto for the holidays (for the first time in three years).  Words can't express how much I've missed spending Christmas with my family and my bestest friends, and I can't imagine I'll ever allow another Christmas to go by without them just because plane tickets are expensive and life is crazy busy.  We can always make more money... but after losing three people I loved in the last eighteen months, I've learned that what we can't get back is TIME.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I'll see you back here in the new year!  I'll only be blogging part-time in 2011, but I promise I'll do my best to make it count.

In the meantime, what's YOUR New Year's Resolution?

Happy New Year, everyone!

Highs and lows

I'm discussing writerly highs and lows today at Killer Chicks, so be sure to stop by and share your best and worst experiences!

Holiday remakes, Killer Chicks style

Today at Killer Chicks we're turning holiday movies into thrillers.  It's sick, twisted, and totally fun!  Come on over (but don't say I didn't warn you).

A bright conversation in an otherwise dull day...

Mom:  So I read your blog yesterday.  I liked your top ten list.  You used 'bum-fuck' in your book?

Me:  Uh, yeah.

Mom:  You know, I had coffee with your uncle before we left for Florida.  He wanted to know what your book was about.  I told him.  He wants to know why you write stuff like this.

Me:  I... well, what did you tell him?

Mom:  I told him I don't know.

Me:  That's probably a good answer.

Mom:  So listen, what is cameltoe?

Me:  (momentary silence)  You don't know what cameltoe is?

Mom:  No.  But thanks to your blog, I do know it's one word.

Me:  It's when... it's when a woman is wearing a pair of really tight jeans, and you can see... you know, you can see... she has... you can see the outline of her... of her labia.

Mom:  The outline of her what?

Me:  Her labia.  Her... you know, crotch.

Mom:  Oh.  (another momentary silence)  That's really in your book?

Me:  Yeah.

Mom:  Oh.  (silence number three)  Why do you write stuff like this?

Me:  I don't know.

Mom:  That's probably a good answer.

Nothing is more awesome than having to explain to your mother what cameltoe is.  Really.  Nothing.

Gooey old love

I am discussing LOVE at Killer Chicks today. Don't roll your eyes... you know you're curious.

Copy edits done! And, a top ten list.

Every inch between my neck and my tailbone is mad at me.  Four 14-hour days. 

It was SO MUCH WORK.

And of course it didn't help that I had all kinds of annoying little timeline/chronology issues that had to be addressed.  I thought I'd addressed them all in THE PREVIOUS TEN DRAFTS... but I guess not.  Thank God for copy editors.  This process has totally been a crash course in writing. 

And so now, without further ado, here are the top ten things I learned this past weekend:

10.  The difference between further and farther.  (Gee, I suspected there was a difference, but since nobody's ever called me on it, I never bothered to learn what that difference was... till now.)

9.  Cameltoe is one word. (And should you decide to click on this link to Urban Dictionary because you don't know what cameltoe is, just know that this Jenny does NOT have cameltoe with her new leather pants!)

8.  Jello should be written as Jell-O.  (And I have to say, I was alarmed to see that I had used this word three times... in a story that has nothing whatsoever to do with gelatin-based food products.)

7.  Italics are not the enemy.

6.  "Excess dialogue tags are," he said.

5.  You cannot partially make up a college football Bowl game that took place in 1980.  You either make it up all the way, or you stay true to what really happened.  Because your copy editor will LOOK IT UP and NAIL YOU ON IT, including notes on the actual players' names and the final score.

4.  There is no Nike Cup at USC Irvine.  It's at UC Irvine.

3.  Bum-fuck has a hyphen.

2.  Batshit does not.

1.  The same character cannot wake up in a bed AND a leather chair at the same time.

Like I said, copy editors rule.

I'm baaaaack!

Ah, there's nothing quite like leaving the cloudless skies of Cabo and 80-degree temperatures (that's mid-20's in Celsius for my non-American friends) to come home to rain.  And cold.  And Christmas music.

But I came back relaxed!  And refreshed!  And ready to tackle my copy edits, which fell right into my inbox early Friday afternoon as I was sifting through my 268 emails (that's 9 days' worth... and so wrong).  I was given until Tuesday to get the copy edits back.  Yes, this Tuesday.  According to the memo attached with the manuscript, it seems as if I was supposed to have been sent the copy edits at the end of November, though I'm not sure.  (But it's totally okay.  I wouldn't have needed three weeks to do the edits, and I wouldn't have been home, anyway.)

So that's what I've been working on all weekend.  I'm not quite done, but I'm close, and I anticipate having everything back to my editor by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.  I'm really enjoying this part of process.  I have no idea who my copy editor is (I need to find out), but he/she is one savvy cookie.  For the past three days, I feel like I've been taking a crash course in grammar (which is really good thing).

As for my vacation, I had a wonderful time. I saw friends I hadn't seen in months, I ate really well (maybe a little too well), drank way too many blueberry mojitos, got a great tan (which is already fading), and laughed a lot.  Vacations are good for the soul.

Oh, and I have no idea when exactly this happened, but CREEP is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters Indigo (Canada).  How unbelievably cool is that?  Not that I expect anyone to order it seven months in advance, but it's there!  Woo hoo!

How's everybody been?  I'm going to do my best to catch up on everyone's blogs this week once my copy edits are returned.  Hope you've all been doing well!

I'm still not here.

But once again, through the technological wonder of early scheduling, you can find me at Killer Chicks, where I'm discussing the awfulness otherwise known as Writer's Brain.

If you have a cure for this, I would surely be grateful. Please stop by and commiserate with me.

I'm not here.

I'm lying by the pool in Cabo sipping margaritas and reading my Kindle.

BUT! Thanks to the magic of pre-scheduled posts, I am at Killer Chicks today, discussing the Six-Week Marinate.

So stop by and tell me if you think the King and I are full of crap.