Friday, September 30, 2011

Doubting Yourself? Read This

I mean it.  Go read this and then come back and tell me you're still letting that bitch get to you.  (Yeah, my self doubt is female.  And she really is a bitch.) 

Or better yet, read that up there and go kick her narrow ass.  If you don't come back, I'll assume you're opening a whole case of bitch-slapping on that French chick.

Happy writing.  =o)

(BTW, this link came to me through Elizabeth Craig via Twitter.  If you're not following her tweets, you're really missing out on some awesomeness.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Picture Pause

Look into my eyes... You are getting very sleepy... You want to give me tuuuunaaa...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lyric Tuesday

Today's lyrics are brought to you by One Republic - a band I discovered from their seeing their video of All the Right Moves on VH1.  (It's very steampunk-ish.)  So, when I was waiting around for Daughter to get done with her ACT exam last year, I nabbed the CD at Walmart and drove around listening.  I loved the CD all the way through, but this song immediately drew me in.  (and yes, their incorrect use of 'hopelessly' bugged me for a while.  I got over it.  The song's worth letting it slide.)

Good Life

Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don't really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone

New names and numbers that I don't know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We're young enough to say


Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

[Verse 2]

To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don't know
Where I've been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Sometimes there's airplanes I can' t jump out
Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now
We are god of stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

[Bridge 1]

When you're happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in


Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
A good good life Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

[Bridge 2]

I feel like there might be something that I'll miss
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
I'm taking a mental picture of you now
'Cuz hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about


Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh

To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don't know
Where I've been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Sometimes there's airplanes I can' t jump out
Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now
We are god of stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Wee Break

I'm currently experiencing some stuff that's preventing me from spending as much time on the computer, so what little time I do have is being devoted to writing and beta reading.  I don't expect this to last too awfully long.  It's just one of those unavoidable and thankfully occasional chunks life throws at you.  Nothing to worry about - which is why I felt the need to write this, so none of you would worry if I wasn't posting or commenting on your blogs.

I'm not dead or dying or even sick.  I'm not having relationship problems - Hubs and I are lovely.  Everyone in the family is hunky dory.  The Kid is doing well at school.  And I didn't drop off the face of the earth.  It's just a thing - one I'd rather not go into on the world wide web.

I'll still be reading and posting any comments that come through here.  I may even comment here and there on your blogs - just not so much.  I'll also be responding to email when I can.  I might also be posting things that don't require too much thought - like pics, lyrics, etc.  So I might be here, even though I'm not here.  (If that makes any sense.)

Until I get back, talk amongst yourselves. 

Peace out.

PS. Taking a wee break is harder than it looks...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Mental Argument

Ever have one of those mental arguments that you know you can't win - no matter which way you go - but you have them anyway?  Well, here's a little taste of tonight's...

I should probably work tonight.

But you're in the middle of Hammered, and it's starting to get really good.  Just a few more pages...

Too bad.  I didn't work last night because you talked me into watching Biggest Loser and I was already tired from doing yard work.

Come on.  Two days off in a row won't kill you.

It'll put me off my schedule.

Make a new schedule.

I can't.  This one was working out really good for me.  Plus, you know I already revised the schedule because of last night.

So revise it again.  It's not like anyone's paying you.  Besides, Storage Wars is on and you haven't seen this one.

Stop it.  If I take tonight off for some lame ass reason, it'll make it that much easier to take tomorrow night off and do you know where that leads?

Rest?  Relaxation?  Fun?

No.  It leads to several months of sitting on your ass, hating yourself for not accomplishing anything.


Got nothing to say to that, huh?

:smirk:  Sure, I do.  You're right.  I give in.

That was too easy.  What are you up to?

Nothing.  Let's go work.  But first...  Let's write a fun little blogpost...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lyric Tuesday

Hello, Everyone!  It's that time again - albeit a little late in the day.  And here are this week's lyrics from an oldie and a goodie.  It's definitely a song that'll light a fire under you when you need it.  I know it's lit my fire more than once. 


Don't Rain on My Parade
from the Funny Girl soundtrack

Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade

Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade

I'll march my band out, I'll beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn't fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn't make it

But whether I'm the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life's complexion
The Cinderella or the shine apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.

Get ready for me love, 'cause I'm a "comer"
I simply gotta march, my heart's a drummer
Don't bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I'm gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am ...

I'll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn't fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn't make it

Get ready for me love, 'cause I'm a "comer"
I simply gotta march, my heart's a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

Today I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing a blogfest - because this one was just too good to pass up.  The inestimable Alex J. Cavanaugh (why have I not been following this blog all along?) has come up with the idea to do a Worst Movies Ever Blogfest .  Sounds like fun, don't it?

Of course, since I was stupid and not following Alex, I didn't hear about it there.  I heard about it from blogpal and awesome suspense writer, Jennifer Hillier

So here goes nothing...

10.  Leaving Las Vegas - I wish Nicholas Cage's character had died way earlier and just gotten it over with.  In fact, I would've cheered if Elizabeth Shue's character had held a pillow over his face.  But no, it just got more and more depressing with every passing second.  Sigh meaningfully one more time for me Nick and I'll kill you myself.

9. Pay It Forward - I started out really interested in this movie.  I thought it was going to be a happy movie about people doing kind things for other people.  And then they killed off the kid.  Ruined the whole movie for me.

8.  Old Yeller - nothing like scarring a child for life by making him fall in love with a big loveable dopey dog and then shooting it at the end.

7. Blacula - back when I was a kid and this came on the campy movie marathons around Halloween, I thought this was hilarious.  Now?  Not so much.

6. King Kong vs Godzilla - I'm a huge fan of the old Godzilla movies, but even I couldn't get past how bad this one was.  Could they have made King Kong look any more hokey?

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka is just creepy.  Was it just me or did his protrayal have pedophile written all over it?  :shudder:

4. Thir13en Ghosts - psycho uncle leaves his warped house to his nephew who just says 'hey, I need to get away from it all, so I'll move my whole family - including a nanny I can't afford, since I'm like broke and stuff - into this house built by an uncle I never liked'.  And then gross stuff happens.  (Although, I admit it's one of those movies that - like a horrible train wreck - I can't look away from.)

3. Night of the Living Dead - I know I'll take some heat for saying this, but this movie was so bad it went straight past 'so bad it's good' to 'so bad I want to poke my own eyes out rather than watch it again'.  Seriously people, when you see a zombie shambling across the countryside toward you?  Run.  And if you're the last survivor facing down a squad of trigger happy humans bent on killing you because they think you're a zombie, TALK TO THEM.  Don't just stand there and get gunned down.  Sheesh.  Talk about too stupid to live.

2. The Bride - Sting as Doctor Frankenstein?  Really?  Come on, people.  He did an awesome job as Fayd in the original Dune, but he failed here.  This movie was so bad even Sting's fame couldn't prop it up.

And tied for number one...

1. The Abyss and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - They both have the same problem, in my opinion.  They started out great as a kind of action/adventure/suspense things.  But aliens?  Really? It was like the writers couldn't think of anything else to do, so they threw in aliens. Bleh.

Please remember, folks, that these are my opinions only.  Don't hate me because I think these movies stink.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Snag and a Gross Analogy

Disgusted Kitty is Disgusted
So, I finally sat down to write yesterday... okay I was already sitting down watching football*, so let's just say I reached over to the table and picked up my writing materials... and for once the words just flowed.  For about three paragraphs.  And then I hit a snag.

A snag.  From a book I had thought was finished.  From a book I was certain just needed some minor tweaking and rearranging.  Ya right.

I set the pile of stuff down again and mumbled to myself.  At which point, the Hubs asked what I said because he thought I was talking to him.  (It's okay, we do that to each other all the time.)  I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of 'hit a snag that's okay fix it later'.

I meant it when I said it, but this morning it's still sitting over there all snaggy and gross, practically shouting how lame that particular passage is and shrieking 'how could you have tried to send this out on query?'

And now I'm avoiding it like a case of explosive diarrhea.

Unfortunately, we all know that the best way to feel better is to just let it happen, get it all out and things will start flowing normally again.  (Ummm, yeah, that was kinda disgusting of me, but it works as an analogy, so just go with it.)  Still, knowing this on a logical level and actually wanting to go through the pain and torture of dealing with it are two different things. 


And this scene - that I once thought was pretty good - it's the lamest interaction between MC and Protag that I've ever read, let alone ever written.  (and I've written some pretty lame stuff in my early drafts - trust me)

So, once I hit the nicotine and the caffeine again, I'm going to slip on my headphones, crank up my Pandora and get this damn thing whipped into shape.  Wish me luck.

*M go BLUE!  And btw, thank you Miami!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Neglect and Productivity

Okay, I've been neglecting Facebook and Twitter and the blogosphere.  Sorry about that, but I've kinda been busy doing other things.  Like writing again!

And y'all know that has to come first.

The schedule has been three days on one project, three days on the other and Fridays off.  I did good this week, so tomorrow is my day off.  (From writerly things.  I still have life and housework and cats and errands...)

I hope you are all having a productive week and that your Friday is awesome.

And I'm out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lyric Tuesday

I'm trying to make this a weekly feature - too bad I was out of town last Tuesday and forgot.  Anyway, here's a song that's particularly poignant.  When things are bothering me too much - like the neighbor's music, or the idiot drivers, or the moron at the grocery store who can't control her kids...  I just try to remember their ability to bother me all hinges on my own mindset.  Things can only bug you as long as you let them.

"Change Your Mind"
by Sister Hazel

Hey, Hey
Did you ever think
There might be another way
To just feel better,
Just feel better about today

Oh no-
If you never want to have
To turn and go away
You might feel better,
Might feel better if you stay

Yeah yeah
I bet you haven't heard
A word I've said
Yeah yeah
If you've had enough
Of all your tryin'
Just give up
The state of mind you're in:

If you want to be somebody else,
If you're tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind...

Hey hey-
Have you ever danced in the rain
Or thanked the sun
Just for shining- just for shining
Over the sea?
Oh no- take it all in
The world's a show
And yeah, you look much better,
Look much better when you glow


Hey hey-
what ya say
We both go and seize the day
'cause what's your hurry
what's your hurry anyway


Sunday, September 11, 2011

That's How I Roll, Baby

This weekend, Allison Brennan was at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Conference.  And I missed it - again.  One of these days, I'll see her give her ever-changing No Plotters Allowed speech - wherein she gives the very important message "There is no one right way to write, but there is a right way for you."

I'd even go one further - at least for my process - and add 'there's a right way for you and each of your books'.  Because for me, every book's journey from start to finish is different.  Hell, sometimes every draft takes a different journey because what worked for me on one draft doesn't necessarily work on the next.

Like Allison, I'm not a plotter.  I've tried that and it sucks the voice right out of my work.  I'm also not really a pantser, per se.  Most of the time, I do know where I'm headed - even if the end destination can change.  I call myself a plansterer.  (i.e. plot a little, plan a little, pants a lot)  It works for me.

Sometimes I wish it worked a little more uniformly, but hey, that's how I roll, baby.  I'm all over the place - that is as much so as one who writes linearly can be.  Linear is about the only rule I stick to.  My brain doesn't work when the string is jumbled. 

Anyway, like I was saying, my process is different for every book and sometimes for every draft.  It's not necessarily the most efficient way to work, but it does work.  Take the WIP Djinnocide.  She's an ugly beast.  She's also the product of my 2009 NaNo - I think... wait let me check...  Yup.  Started in September of '09, but didn't really get rolling until November. 

Draft 1 - wrote straight through, no stopping.
Draft 2 - tweaked here and there
Draft 3 -  tweaked here and there - began to hate it a little
Draft 4 - sent to CP and betas - they liked it a little, and I hated it more
Draft 5 - added words and tried a different tack - still hated it
Draft 6 - total rewrite, changing POV from third limited to 1st
Draft 7 - tiny tweaking until around chapter 4 and then started over
Draft 8 - Major tweaking and reader input
Draft 9 - Polishing
Draft 10 - Final Draft - totally polished - love it love it.  Ready to query.

I finished the tenth draft a year ago.  We won't go into how it fared during the query phase.  Suffice it to say, if it had done well, I wouldn't still be kvetching about it.

So now, last night, I started the 11th draft - which would, in reality, be Do-Over #3.  I found my groove, I think, with the way this draft wants to be approached.  Too bad for me, the groove is hand-written in a notebook.  I only got one page of printed manuscript rewritten yesterday.  At this rate, it could be next year before I'm done.  Ugh.  Dirty bastard manuscript.

But if that what it takes to get this damn book done, I'll do it.  'Cuz that's how I roll, Baby.  ;o)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breaking Out the Resolve

I've never been a champion housekeeper.  At any given time, you'll find a layer of dust on damn near everything and clumps of kitty hair sprinkled across my almost-white carpet.  (It'd be lighter if I cleaned more - trust me.)  Still, I'm a lot better at this than I used to be. 

Back when I lived in Michigan, it was so much worse (as evidenced by the above pic).  Then, you'd find a pile of dishes in the sink, laundry - both clean and dirty - in mountains around the place, and clutter everywhere.  Of course then I was a single mom working all day as an outside sales rep and at night as a computer consultant/web designer.  During the times I wasn't working or momming, I didn't have the energy to clean.  And on the weekends, the mounds of filth were just overwhelming. 

You see, when you have such a big project, it's hard to know where to start and you get tired just thinking about all the tasks you have to do before you can call it done.

Or I do, anyway.

Which is why sitting here this morning with the full intent of tackling Djinnocide, I'm stalled.  The manuscript is so damn messy that I don't know where to start.  I know... Begin at the beginning and go all the way through to the end.  But there are so many things from the middle that need to be addressed closer to the beginning.  My CP is still sending me comments from the middle chapters that need to be weaved in earlier... 

And I'm tired just thinking about it.

Yesterday I hand-washed the carpet here.  I started out just doing a spot cleaning, but every spot I cleaned just made me realize how dirty the rest of the carpet was.  Nothing like a spot of nearly white to show how gray the rest of it is.  So, rather than go through the expense of renting a machine, I got out the Resolve and took on the living room.  Two cans of Resolve and a boatload of sore muscles later, half the room looks almost presentable.

It's the same with this manuscript.  Last year, I started out spot cleaning and ended up rewriting the whole damn thing.  This year?  I thought I had a relatively clean manuscript, but now every spot my CP points out makes me realize just how dingy this sucker is. 

It can be beautiful.  There is a wonderful clean book under all that mess.  I just need to push up my sleeves, break out the Resolve, and start scrubbing.  I need to not think about the spots in the hall, or the path of gray in the high traffic areas.  I need to start at one corner and work my way across - hoping nobody tracks anything through the clean parts when I'm done.

And that no unsightly tufts of cat hair find their way into the story in the middle of the night.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why, Eh?

I don't write YA.  I don't know why.  I just can't seem to get my head into that mindset.  Oh, I've tried.  Originally, the MC in Blink was in her thirties - but no one seems to be buying adult dystopian right now.  (Or if they are, I've totally missed the titles.)  The best I could do was to drop her into her early twenties and claim that her futuristic society stunted her maturity.  But she still came off as older instead of younger. 

I think the reason is that I've forgotten most of my YA years.  In part because of my accident - which blew out most of my childhood - and in part because I'm repressing those harsh times.  I didn't have a happy run from 14-18 and if I have to forget something, I'd rather forget that.  Also, I don't think I was the typical YA.  I didn't think like a YA when I was a YA.

I tried borrowing from my teenage daughter.  But that's a whole other bag of different.  Like me, she's not typical.  She was homeschooled through her YA years, which meant she didn't have much interaction with kids her own age.  Instead, she was interacting with adults.  She thought like an adult, talked like an adult and acted like an adult way before she could claim her voter registration card (which came in the mail last week). 

Sure, I act like a kid a lot.  I'm in my seventeenth childhood, after all.  But that doesn't cut the mustard for writing YA either.  I'm so out of touch with the teens, even when I'm acting like a kid, I'm not acting like them.  And so, my attempts at YA fall flat.  I can't get the voice.


I guess I'll just have to live with the fact that the genre of my heart is currently a YA fortress I don't have the keys for, and hope that someday adults will once again be open to the 'what ifs' of speculative fiction.  Until then, I'll keep writing and trying to sell my urban fantasy or my suspense to people who appreciate it.

Or maybe I'll tackle that MG fantasy I've been playing with.  If I can't go YA, maybe dropping down to a younger age - one more in keeping with my mental maturity some days - will be a good fit. 

I know a lot of my followers and visitors write YA or MG.  Why do you?  Have you tried to write adult or are you strictly in the minds of the younger readers?  If you don't write YA or MG, have you ever thought about it?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Okay, I do care.  Let's just say I spent the day cleaning my daughter's bathroom and it sucked anything resembling motivation right the hell out of me.

And you pretty much know how unmotivated you are about working when you're cleaning.  Or at least, that's how I know.

On the upside, I may be unmotivated, but I don't look like these people...

**Image Deleted was an old photo of two unhappy people**

Could they possibly GET any unhappier?

How are you?  Motivated?  Unmotivated?  Wishing you were as happy as those two up there? 

(And for the record, I'm only unmotivated about social media today.  I did get a thousand words typed.  Now I must go watch the Packers beat the Saints.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Randomosity - Labor Day Edition

Happy Labor Day, Everyone.  Go work.  Or go don't work - however you want to celebrate.

My cat is suffering from a lack of litter.  Yesterday I cleaned her box before I realized I didn't have enough litter to give her the proper thickness for her liking.  Now it sounds like she's digging to China in there.  It kinda reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine's in the public restroom and the gal in the next stall can't spare a square.  Poor Kira would use the whole roll if she was human.

Last week I was in the Dollar General and they had the neatest pens by the cash register.  They're breast cancer awareness pens - so they're like pink and junk.  The clippy part says "Fight Like A Girl!" and every time you click the pen, the message in this little window changes.  Right now, mine says "Fight with Love and Courage!"  I bought a matching pen for a good friend of mine who's Mom is a breast cancer survivor.  Now we're like pen sisters.

Ever since Twitter came out I've been fighting against joining because I know me and I get addicted to stuff like that.  And then Roxanne St. Claire asked me to join a hashtag thingie over there.  I almost didn't, but then I was all like "When a best selling author asks you to do something, you don't say 'sorry I can't' - you just do it."  (Unless it's like immoral or criminal, then I wouldn't - but this was just Twitter.)  So, of course, I joined and now I'm addicted. 

I've been thinking about printing some of my photos and trying to sell them at the local craft fair.  Or maybe I could use Etsy.  Some of them are pretty good and I think people might like to hang them on their walls.  Problem is, if I start devoting time to crafting photos into something saleable, it'll be another reason to neglect my writing.  I don't need another reason.  I have enough of those to fill the Titanic.

Today's philosophical message comes from Dilbert's boss who screams... "STOP MAKING MEDIOCRITY SOUND BAD!!"

What random things do you have to discuss today?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Whatcha doin' this weekend?

It's awfully quiet around the interwebz.  I mean, quieter than usual for a weekend.  Must be that everyone's out enjoying the long weekend.  Me?  I'm still here.  The long weekend is just another weekend with an extra day added on.

People keep asking me - whatcha doin' this weekend?  Got anything special planned?

Uhh, no.  The only thing out of the ordinary is that I have to gather up Daughter's winter stuff because I'm headed her way later this week and dropping it off on my way through.  We're doing lunch - if there's time.

The rest of the weekend will be spent reading and watching TV.  Oh and editing.  Must edit.  Didn't edit yesterday, but I seriously need to light a fire under my buns or I'll never feel like doing NaNo in a couple months.  Must work.  After all it's Labor Day Weekend.

Does anyone else think it's funny that we celebrate Labor by taking an extra day off and relaxing?

Oh, and since everyone has asked me... Whatcha doin' this weekend?  Got anything special planned?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh, The Excitement

My life is kinda boring.  I mean, I live in a small town, I pretty much keep to myself, and the highlight of most days is a trip to the grocery store (a place I visit so frequently, it's like I'm Norm from Cheers).  Excitement here takes the smallest shapes sometimes.  I mean, seriously, I squee when someone gets pulled over for speeding - especially in front of my house.  (Because, ya know, they drive too damn fast most days and some little kid is going to get killed.  I've already buried three cats and three squirrels from this stretch of paved hell.)

So, anyway, here's the latest excitement from my bass-ackwards corner of the world...

Yesterday, I saved a lost kitten* from certain doom.  I stepped outside for a smoke and this tiny black bundle was running along the gutter on the other side of the street.  Some woman was kinda chasing it. It didn't belong to her, but she didn't want to see it get hit.  Too bad for her, the kitten ran every time she got close.  Being the cat whisperer, I stepped in.  I caught it when it stopped to wade through a sizable puddle.  You should've seen the spunky little bugger get his fur all up and hiss at me.  I just talked to it and then snatched it by the scruff of its neck.  Last seen, stuffed into a shoebox the other woman was holding.  She'll take care of it - after all, she was the one who stopped to rescue it.  I just assisted.  (And yes, I would've kept him, but I can't have any more cats.)

Last week, there was a train accident.  The morning passenger train out of Nebraska derailed just this side of the border.  Nine people were injured - no fatalities.  Considering what could've happened, I'm happy to know that last part.

The biggest news around here this time of year is which steer took the blue ribbon at the fair, whether it was the biggest money earner at the auction, and who'll be making burgers out of it come fall.

Is it any wonder I spend most of my time inside my head, making up exciting things for other people to experience?

Seriously, though, living out in the backside of BFE isn't all bad.  Sure, it's boring, but it does give me a mostly distraction-free life.  And after spending most of my life near one major city or another, it's nice to not have to worry about traffic, the murder rate, long lines...  There are certainly worse places to live.

What about you?  What excitement is going on where you live right now?  Do you live for excitement or could you exist happily in Boredom, USA?  And lastly - perhaps most importantly - do you think a writer has to live in the center of excitement to write about it, or can a gal fake her way through?

*the above pic is not the kitten I saved, but it looked exactly like that - just dirtier and hissing. *IMAGE DELETED*