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Good news! I've made it possible for you to download my chapters onto your iPod or other mp3 player. That way, you can take it with you whevever you go! Just go to the chapter, right click, and hit download. I hope you enjoy!
Krista has been in Florida for 2 years, and is growing weary of her mundane existence. She craves excitement. An opportunity arrives for her to go to North Platte. The catch: her daily life will be threatened by zombies. What will she decide? Check out Chapter 5 in the audio tab to find out!

This has been an extremely busy week. I've been trying to catch up after being gone for the weekend, which, for the most part, I have. I had to rewrite an ag article because the editor didn't like one. No biggie. It happens. Then, I've been trying to finish my editing so I can get that story off my plate. I'm almost done; 4 more pages and I'm sending it off! Yeah! I got edits done on chapter 2 of my nonfiction, so my plans for this weekend are to reread it. Plugging right along!

I am planning on taking some leisure time this weekend, too. I have some movies to watch and TV to catch up on. Plus, my mother-in-law are taking the boys to "Safe Treat" tonight. It's put on by the University so the kids don't have to be out on the street going to stranger's houses. It's really nice. That will be fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!
Day 2, last panel. The very last panel I went to on Saturday was about Zombie-lit. The panelists were Mario Acevedo, M.H. Bohnam, Stephen Graham Jones, Rebecca Lyons, and Sara Megibow. Basically, they were postulating if zombies would ever be as popular as werewolves and vampires. They never really came to a conclusion, but things do go in cycles, so it's hard to say. Sara mentioned that a lot of her queries are for zombie books, and one of her clients actually wrote a zombie romance. I don't remember what it's called (not my cup of tea), although I think it was a YA novel. Either way. Stephen Graham Jones had just come out with his book (literally, it came out on Friday), "It Came from Del Rio," which sounded just fabulous, so I bought a copy. I'm trying to finish another book before delving into that one, but I'll let you know how it goes.

I didn't really learn anything from the panel because it was just a discussion, peoples/authors opinions. It was entertaining and funny. It was the perfect end to a very long day! I did get to spend a little more time talking to Sara, too. Jones's publisher was at the back of the room (who I bought the book from), and she wanted to talk to him about options for her clients. She was wondering why authors went to indie publishers and what was in it for them. Since I was standing there, I offered my two cents. I told her that for some of us, there are only so many agents who handle our particular genre, and once all of them have said no, we don't have any other options. She was looking at it from a business perspective, and since most indie publishers are a little more up on the technological side of publishing, she wanted to know how it could benefit her authors. I have no idea if they talked more after I left.

Later that night, we went to the costume contest, but I was pretty much done. My brain was chocked full of information and I didn't sleep well the night before, so I was in bed at 9:00. On Sunday, I really only had one panel I wanted to go to: Self-promotion for Artists. This actually turned out to be for artist artists, people who paint, draw, etc., so it didn't really apply to me. The one bit of information I could use was that you had to invest in yourself if anyone else is going to invest in you. When starting out, it doesn't have to be a ton of money, you have to live within your means, but a little can go a very long way. That, and make sure you have a presence on the web.

Upon leaving the panel, I ran into Nathan Lowell again and we had a much more in depth discussion on podcasting. He is really big in podiobooks, which I would like to get into, but it seems a little daunting. I have to get approved (which probably isn't a big deal), but then my files have to have special tags and conform to their standards. I'm not really into the technical side of that, so I would have to do a little research/training before I can submit. Either that or I'll just talk to Tamara. She has a knack for those kinds of things!

After that, we checked out of the hotel and headed home. I was very tired and excited to see my boys. All in all, I learned a lot at the conference and made some great contacts. I have a few friends who get really jazzed after being at a conference and can't wait to get home and start writing, but me, I just want to read. There were so many books and authors that I was interested in. I will have to find that balance between reading and writing. I'm sure I can handle that!
Day 2 continued. After I got out of my workshop, I went to meet my mom at a discussion of her choice. This one was about stars dying/blowing up. Bor-ring! I'm not a fan of real astronomy. I kind of felt like I was back in a college class. My butt was falling asleep and I was struggling to stay awake. Plus, I kept glancing at my watch. Even my mom, who does like real astronomy, thought the talk was a little boring, too. Oh, well. Can't enjoy them all!

We headed to lunch after that, then Mom went up to the room and I went to Adapting Prose to Scripts and Comics. The panelists were: Mario Acevedo, Frank Fiore, Melinda Snodgrass, and Gary Jonas. The most important thing they stressed on this panel was that books and movies are completely different media, so, no, they are not going to be the same. (Melinda even said that those movies that do try to stick to the book are usually very boring for her to watch. In fact, she said she absolutely hated Watchmen. I thought that was going a little far, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.) When converting a novel into a screenplay or comic, the most important aspect is finding exactly what the story is about. Since movies and comics have time and page constraints, you can't have all the different side stories and multitude of characters like you have in a novel. Sometimes, the main story isn't very interesting, so the screenwriter will chose another path to take. This is why some movies seem to be completely different from their book counterparts. They also said that detailed descriptions of the setting have to be tossed. This is because it's up to the director to envision the setting of your story.

They talked about how each screenplay is only about 120 pages long and mostly dialogue. If you can't tell your story in just conversation, it probably won't translate well onto the screen. It was so fascinating to hear these people talk because they were all authors before they wrote screenplays or comics. They weren't bothered that the movie would be different from the book, they actually encouraged it. They said that most authors they worked with were very receptive to how their books were translated onto the screen, and, of course, annoyed by those who didn't like it.

They talked about films that were better than the book (I don't remember what each one said, all I remember was Melinda liked the Gone with the Wind film better than the book), and they talked about books that were better than the movie. They talked about what books they would like to make into a film, and pretty much all of them wanted to do a Heinlein book. Stranger in a Strange Land was one, and one of them wanted to remake Starship Troopers (which, for the record, is a fabulous B film. The bugs are awesome, but the human actors have a bit to be desired. And, by the way, the film is absolutely nothing like the book, with the exception that soldiers are fighting bugs). Melinda wanted to redo A Princess of Mars (by Edgar Rice Burroughs), but she would never do it because it has been done horribly too many times.

There was one point in time that I thought I wanted to translate one of my books into a movie or a comic, but I'm not sure anymore. I don't know that I could pare the story down to the basic elements. I don't know that I'd want to. I was one of those people who would get upset when the movie didn't stick to the book, but after listening to the panel, I think I can get over that. Now when I watch a movie made from a book, I'll think about the poor screenwriter and the challenges they faced getting that story onto the screen. Plus, when you look at the process of making a film, the story isn't yours anymore. Yeah, the basic elements are there, but they aren't your words or your vision, they are the vision of the writer and the director. Even with a comic, the artists have a say in what they think your world should look like. More than likely you have input, but they are the artist and know what can and can't be done. A book will always be yours.

Tomorrow: panel on Zombie-lit.
Before I get to day 2, I forgot to tell you about a panel I went to on Friday night. It was the Coolest Gizmos for the Professional Fan/Geek. It was nothing like what I expected it to be. I was hoping they would have gadgets to show us, even if they were fake gizmos, but they didn't. It was basically just a bunch of guys talking about what they do for a living. There was one panelist who was helpful, Nathan Lowell. He started his career by making his books available as podcasts. He got a huge following, and people wanted to see his books in print, so he was contacted by a publisher. He says he was going to self publish, but these people got a hold of him first. I didn't have a lot of time to talk to him right after the panel, but I found him on Sunday. He gave me some great advice. I tell you what, this whole podcasting thing is a lot more involved than I expected. I will tell you more about it later.

Day 2. The panels started at 10:00, and I found myself laughing because everyone kept referring to it as early in the morning. 10:00 is not early in the morning. 6:30 or 7:00, when I usually get up, that's early in the morning. I've usually accomplished quite a bit by 10:00. Anyway, the first panel I went to was Scoring in the Elevator: Writing a Good Two-Sentence Pitch, which turned out to be a workshop. It was pretty obvious that all of us writers weren't expecting that because we were unprepared. We were actually going to perfect our sentences, which no one had, so when the moderator told us this, you could see everyone furiously writing something down. The panelists were Hilari Bell, Frank Fiore, Rebecca Bates, Rob S. Rice, and Mario Acevedo.

I was a little nervous about workshopping my sentences, not because I thought someone would steal my idea, but because I thought there might be too many people. You all know what happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. There were maybe 30? people, but it turned out fine. The audience didn't help out too much on the first couple of authors, we mainly sat back and left it to the experts, but by the fourth/fifth, we were all involved. It was a wonderful process. I got my sentence written. You ready? Here it is: "In a devastated America, Krista must overcome tyranny in the east to defeat the zombie menace in the west." What do you think? The pitch is supposed to convey the main idea of the story, yet still be able to spur conversation. If the agent was interested enough in those few words, they would ask questions about the rest of your work. The other pitches sounded great too, and there are a lot of wonderful and different stories out there.

I was a little surprised at how helpful everyone was. I didn't really have any expectations, but there was a part of me that thought everyone would be competitive and try to get the edge over other authors. I also thought the panelists might lose patience with us newbies, but it wasn't like that at all. It was a very relaxed and supportive environment.

I went to several more panels on Saturday, but I think I will talk about them tomorrow and the day after. I want to give you my insight into each one without feeling like I'm taking up a bunch of space. So, tomorrow I will talk about Adapting Prose to Scripts and Comics.

Movie Review Monday

Will be postponed until next week since I was gone all weekend and didn't watch any movies! Before I get started on the conference, I need to inform you of a couple things: 1) If you were having trouble downloading my audio chapters, that has now been fixed. 2) If you get the chance, check out my guest blog.

OK, Mile Hi Con. We got there and into our rooms about 4:00. Panels started at 3:00, but I didn't go to my first one until 5:00. I had to get settled in. The first one wasn't actually a panel, but an agent talking about How and Why to get a Literary Agent. The speaker was Sara Megibow from Nelson Literary Agency. I've queried their agency 3 times in the past, and they were always very prompt and very professional in sending a rejection. I didn't think she was going to talk about anything I didn't already know, but I wanted to meet her. The Nelson Agency is my dream agency because they are close and deal with books that are close to what I write. Sadly, that dream has been burst many, many times.

Enough feeling sorry for myself, moving on. Sara talked about how important it is to have presence on the web. She says that she will Google a potential client, and when she sends anything to an editor, she automatically sends a web address with the submission. So, it is very important to be present on the web. She talked about the business side of publishing and then took questions. I got a free book out of the thing. It is "Boys that Bite" by Mari Mancusi. It is a YA vampire novel. Normally, I don't like vampire books (I never got into them), but this is all right so far. I'm only about 4 chapters in, so we shall see how it goes.

After this discussion, we went to have dinner, and while we were finishing, Sara and her son walked by our table. I thanked her for the book and mentioned that the rewrite of my zombie novel was very much like the book she gave me. It is told in first person from the female teens perspective. She mentioned I should send her a query, and I told I've already sent two and they rejected both. She said to send it again anyway. In part, I think she was just being nice, which I appreciate, but I did resend the query. I have nothing to lose, but I don't have very high hopes. I will let you know what I hear.

I have to say, I really, really like Sara. She was very nice and very personable. I had another discussion with her after another panel, but I will get into that tomorrow. It was very nice to meet her.

After dinner, we went to the opening ceremonies. All this really entailed was Pablo Bacigalupi introducing himself and the other guests of honor. It was fun. My mom headed up to the room after that, and I went to the bar for the Writer's Networking in the Bar, but I couldn't find anyone, so I went upstairs for a little while. At 10:00 I went back down for Zombie Defense Tactics. This was a hoot! The guy demonstrated hand-to-hand techniques to use on a zombie if you lose your weapons. Basically, it was ju jitsu stuff, but it was still entertaining. And that ended my first day of the sci fi conference.
Chapter 4 has been uploaded. It's in 2 parts because of the stinking file size limits. If you would like to let me know what you think of the story, love it or hate it, please feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

Update on my week: I did fairly well at the beginning of the week getting chapter 2 edited and started putting the edits into the computer. By the middle of the week until now, I haven't been working. I've been trying to get packed for this weekend. I'm pretty sure I won't be doing any work at the conference. Well, not on my nonfiction. I'm hoping to do a lot of schmoozing and networking! I'm so excited to go! I just have to struggle through 4 hours of work. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

I'm also excited to maybe get some sleep. The 3 year old has been absolutely terrible this week. I haven't even let him watch anymore South Park. I think this weekend will be fabulous all the way around. I'll let you know on Monday!
I just realized that I haven't posted yet today. This morning was a crazy mess because I had an emergency at work. I meant to post at lunch, but I got busy doing other things. I am such a scatter brain!

First bit of news, I signed a contract yesterday for a short story to appear in an anthology. It should be coming out sometime next year, so I will keep you posted. I have been gearing up and getting things together for the sci fi literary convention I'm going to tomorrow. I'm very excited! I've been waiting for years to go to this thing. I don't really have any expectations, so I'm positive I won't be disappointed. I will inform you next week of how things go!

I will still post my newest chapter tomorrow and update you on the progress I've made this week. Until then, have a fabulous afternoon!
My family came over for dinner last night, and while I was talking to my brother-in-law, he made an interesting statement. We were talking about my hobby of writing, and he said something like, "I can tell a story all day. I'm good at making stuff up, but if you ask me to write something down, I can't do it. I suck at writing." It got me wondering: when does someone learn to write?

On the most basic level, we all learn to write when we get to school. It's one of the most basic forms of communication. As we progress through our school career, we write more and more and have to write longer and longer pieces. We actually get graded on our assignments. I was one of those people who never had any problems with writing. I enjoyed doing it, but I knew several people who struggled with it. This was always baffling to me. How could writing be hard? All it entailed was putting your thoughts on paper. The first draft didn't have to be perfect, that's what revision was for! In college, the papers got longer, and I would find myself struggling slightly there. I always hated to have to write a 12-page paper, but I found that as I got into it, it usually wound up being longer. (Not always, sometimes I was too busy worrying about when/where I was going with my friends so I just slopped something on the paper, but that's a different story!) I enjoy writing so much that I got a Master's in English and continue to write to this day. I enjoy writing both fiction and nonfiction and the different challenges of each. And, trust me, a 12-page paper is easy at this point in time.

I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a fantastic writer (but I keep practicing and trying!), but I'm much better at putting my thoughts on paper than I am speaking them. My brain always seems to go faster than my mouth, and I have a tendency to stumble or have to back track to fill the listener in with important information I forgot. Even trying to explain a story I've written has its issues. I know everybody has their own talents, and different people excel at different things, but story telling is story telling whether it's on paper or from the mouth. Isn't? What do you think makes someone good at writing but not speaking or vice versa?
I have reached the low point of this month. I received word from the editor yesterday that he will not be able to publish my religious zombie novella, "Finding Eden." Understandably, real life has gotten in the way. I am disappointed, but I'm not really surprised. He kept pushing the publication date back and never sent a contract like he was supposed to. Then, there were some issues with the cover. Now, I have to find another publisher. I'm really not looking forward to that. I don't normally write religious stuff, so I'm not sure what kind of market is out there for it. I've tried Duotropes, but the only publisher that pops up is the one who isn't doing it. Good thing I have other sources to check out.

The 3 year old hasn't been sleeping again. Truthfully, the kid has never slept. He's always fought going to bed and then staying in bed. Everyone always tells me it will get better as he gets older, but it's only getting worse. Now, he gets scared when he sees things on TV. This weekend, while catching up on TV, we watched the South Park episode where they are making fun of Jersey Shore. They have a creature on there that is kind of a combination of a rat and Golum that is supposed to be Snooki. It was really funny, but the 3 year old thought it was scary. He's been freaking out ever since. It's really difficult trying to explain the difference between real and pretend when his imagination goes wild. The lack of sleep is not helping my mood.

The one good thing I have to look forward to is the sci fi literary convention this weekend. I am soooo excited! It will be so nice to get away and hang with other nerds. I have been waiting for this for years!

Movie Review Monday

Shrek (2001)

This weekend was another chance for me to get caught up on my TV and work on my nonfiction. I did take some time to watch this movie with my child, though. Ah, Shrek, how I love thee. This movie came out waaay before I had kids. I really enjoy the premise of taking fairy tales and turning them on their heads. Although, there is still a formula it follows. I mean, the princess still gets married, true love still prevails, and the bad guy still gets beat. The contemporary humor in the movie just cracks me up, but there is also humor that my 3 year old gets. I really enjoy movies that are made for both adults and children, makes it worthwhile to actually watch them. There are so many fantastic lines in the movie, too. Some of my favorites include:

When Gingy is being tortured by Duloc, he spits in his eye and says, "Eat me!" Now, this can be taken either way, and I, of course, use it in the other sense, but if you do it in the high-pitched cookie voice, priceless!

"Ah, hell, no I don't like no parfaits," says Donkey. I use this one randomly, and some people don't know what I'm talking about. If you don't, I suggest you rewatch the movie.

"My mouth was open and everything," again Donkey. Perfect line to use after someone lets one rip.

I really enjoy the other films, too, and, with the exception of the 4th, have seen them multiple times. I think my favorite one is the 2nd film. Puss in Boots is my favorite character. I remember the first time I watched it, the scene where Puss in coughing up a hairball, I laughed so hard I was crying! The films are just a lot of fun. They don't take themselves seriously, and they make fun of fairy tale conventions. Yet, they still have a moral and kids can enjoy them. I want to watch the other ones!
Chapter 3 has been uploaded. I hope you enjoy.

My 3 year old redeemed himself last night. He decided that he really did want his toys back. He had to earn them back, though. I told him if he picked up the living room and put all his toys away, he could have one bag. If he put that bag away, he could have another. He thought it was a game, but I don't care. At least the majority of the toys got put away.

As for my progress this week, I finished both my ag articles and will turn them in on Monday. I also set up an interview for an article next month. Don't get excited, I'll still procrastinate! I finished the editing job and sent it off to the author, who sent it back, and now I have to read through it again. I'm not sure when I'll get to that, but I'm hoping maybe next week. I also finished chapter 1 of my nonfiction and sent it off to Tamara so she can give it a read (and edits. Probably lots of edits).

I think since I got so much done this week, I get to be lazy tonight. Sounds like a fabulous night to catch up on all the TV I missed!
Oh, man, it is amazing what a little sleep can do! I feel so much better today, but I still need a few more days of rest. I hope the kids cooperate tonight.

I have no idea who/what thought I would make a good parent, but I've decided it must be some kind of sick, twisted joke. I'm not a very patient person, and I have tendencies to fly off the handle for really no reason. I usually do it when I'm tired and the kids have be chewing on my last nerve, like tooth beavers (remember Ren and Stimpy?). This weekend, the boys decided to empty the entire toy box, which they do every so often. I let it go for a few days, but after stepping on toys and kicking them while putting the 3 year old to bed, I decided it was time to pick up. I told them last night they needed to clean, then sat on the bed to make sure they did it. Did they? No. I told them repeatedly, but they wanted to play. I told them if they didn't pick the toys up, I was going to throw them away. The 3 year old then proceeded to tell me he didn't want his toys anymore anyway.

I, not being one who gives idle threats, grabbed the garbage bags and started stuffing away. I thought the reality would set in, but it didn't. He just told me not to take his Spongebob because he wanted to play with it. Then, he asked just to make sure I was throwing them away. I told them I would donate them to daycare so kids could play with them, and he told me which rooms to put them in so he could still play with them! At one point, he even helped me put them in the garbage bag! The kid is 3 and he already knows how to play the game. Talk about all-time back fires!

The toys are in the garage in the trash bags, and I think he might finally realize that he wants them back. I told him he has to earn them back by picking up the living room and he can have one bag. If he picks that up, he can have another until he gets them all back. I'll be surprised if he actually wants them back. He's a stubborn one. He's learned well from both of his parents. The thing that really burns me up about the whole thing: I still had to pick up all his toys!
Oh. Dear. God. I feel like hell that's been in the microwave too long and now I'm a little rubbery and my edges are burnt. I hate being sick. Even worse, I hate being sick and not being able to sleep. The 3 year old got up at midnight last night, then the 20 month old was hacking up a lung at 3:30. I gave him some medicine, then had to go back in half an hour later and give him a drink of water. He sounded miserable.

My creativity has been put on hold. My brain doesn't work during the day because I'm blowing my nose 80,000 times, then at night, I take medicine. I'm one of those people who doesn't handle medicine very well. Everything knocks me on my ass. I could attempt to write, but I'm pretty sure what came out would be nonsensical. Although, it could be interesting. Too bad I don't have the energy to sit in front of the computer. I hope this doesn't last much longer.
My youngest decided he would be nice and share his cold. I am congested, have a slight cough, and my throat is sore from drainage. But I can't let it slow me down! I have too much to do!

Last week I talked about how I felt disconnected from my writing because I wasn't reading. I told my problem to Tamara, and she said when she gets like that, she'll grab a book from her childhood and read it. I took her advice last night. I grabbed a YA book off my shelf that was written by Christopher Pike. He used to be my favorite when I was a teen. He writes kind of horror mystery stuff. The nice thing about this book is that the print is large and it's fairly short, just over 200 pages. It was so nice to relax last night with a good book. I think Tamara is on to something...

Movie Review Monday

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season 1, disc 2

My mother-in-law bought this DVD for my 3 year old. He's totally into Batman right now. She actually bought it so she had something for him to watch at her house, but he had to watch it immediately, so we brought one disc home. According to the back, this is a series on the Cartoon Network. I really like it. It takes the comic book hero and mixes him with the campy, funny Batman. The cartoons have their dark side, but they also have a lot of humor in them. I really like how Batman has internal monologue, so we know what he's thinking. He's pretty cynical and sarcastic. The other characters are great, too. Aquaman and the Green Lantern are there, along with a bunch of heroes I've never heard of such as Cyclone, Plastic Man, Atom, Blue Beetle, and others. Each one brings their own humor and lessons to the episode, and the way Batman interacts with each one is great.

I also really like the series because there is a lot of magical realism to it. Batman isn't just in Gotham fighting The Joker and The Penguin, he actually travels to other planets and different dimensions. Batman has to rely on his technology and brute strength to save him. He overcomes all odds with a little brains and brawn.

The 3 year old loves it because it's all Batman. There is no Bruce Wayne story to complicate matters. There are hints at his background, but they are pretty ancillary. Each episode has lessons that need to be learned, such as believing in yourself, the underdog gets his day, getting help from friends, etc., so it's not all action and beating up bad guys. Although, that is the majority of it!

The only issue I have with the series is the animation. I HATE dark black outlines on the characters. I'm sure there is a reason they drew them like that, but it bothers me. In the scheme of things, it's a pretty minor problem. The animation is top notch otherwise. I mean, it's not as bad as trying to watch an old Scooby Doo or the original Super Friends. *shudder* I need to get disc 1 from the mother-in-law, though. I've watched this disc about as many times as I can stomach...
Chapter 2 has been posted. This one fit into one file. I was pretty excited about that. You can access it (as always) through the Audio tab. I hope you enjoy.

Today is also the day I update you on my progress for the week. I finished a draft of chapter 1 for the nonfiction. All movies have been watched and written about. I am letting the pages ruminate for a bit before I read through them. My goal is to finish my editing (I have 15 pages left) and get my last ag article written (I finished one yesterday) before delving into those edits. I hoping to get to chapter 1 by Sunday.

I had book club last night. As always, it was fabulous to get together with the group and eat wonderful food and have a tantalizing conversation. My goal for next month is to actually finish the book!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
Reading and writing are integral parts of one another. Any publisher, editor, agent, author, etc., will tell you that to become a good writer, you have to read. They suggest that whatever genre you write in, you need to read anything and everything you can get your hands on. For example, if you write sci fi, read all the sci fi you can. If you write literary, all the literary you can. (I think you get the idea.) When you are first starting out, they suggest you mimic the authors you like best. Eventually, you will find your own voice and writing style.

I remember when I first started writing, I never wanted to read because I didn't want it to influence my writing. Now that I'm a "seasoned" writer, I realize that the influence is actually a good thing, so I try to read whenever I get the chance. I've been feeling disconnected to my writing lately because I haven't had a chance to read. Don't get me wrong, as a tech editor, I read daily, but there is a difference in reading to correct someone's writing and reading for enjoyment. It is the enjoyment reading that pushes/influences me to want to be a better writer. I have been trying to finish up projects and get writing done that I haven't had a chance to sit down with a good book. It makes me a little sad. I always try to find some time, but it hasn't happened lately.

By the way, the DF Underground has posted my book trailer on their site. You can check it out here. I also read a very disturbing story on there yesterday. You can read it here. Check out some of their other stuff, if you have the chance.
Well, I'm already back from jury duty. I actually made it to the box this time, but then they cut me. I didn't run down the aisle screaming, but I did do a little fist pump. Oh, well. The odds are pretty good I will get called back.

I've been thinking a lot about deadlines lately, mainly because my friend brought up how she is going to miss one. I used to think I worked better with a deadline, but I'm not so sure anymore. A schedule definitely works better for me. Since I work 2 jobs and have kids, it's very important that I set aside time to do my stuff. Deadlines help keep me focused, but I have a tendency to procrastinate until the last minute and then freak out. Not always, but usually with the ag articles. If a deadline is too far away, say for an antho, I usually loose interest. I was going to write a story about Greek myths revisited, which is due at the end of this month, and I've known about it since May (I think), but the idea doesn't work for me anymore. Maybe it's just laziness. I don't know. I do know that I have to find a balance between the two, which I'm having a hard time doing right now.

What about you? Do you like/prefer deadlines? How do you find that balance?
I'm a little late on my post today because I am fed up with dealing with slow computers. I have no idea what my computer at home is doing, but it's totally freaking out. I don't like that computer. I haven't liked that computer since we got it. It was supposed to be so fast, but it hasn't done sh*t. The spouse says it isn't the computer but the antivirus software that we have. Whatever it is, it's done pissed me off. It keeps freezing. The only thing it's good for is word processing. Thankfully, that's what I mostly use it for. My work computer is just as slow. It has issues because of the firewall and the program that blocks us from going to certain sites. We're not allowed to go to forums or chat sites or other email sites. It's such a treat!

Other than being highly annoyed with technology, I have nothing to discuss today. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with these 3 days in the middle of the week. I haven't even had a chance to read any blogs yet! My god, what am I doing with my day?

Movie Review Monday

An oldie but goodie - Psycho

As many of you know, I watched Psycho this weekend to finish off the movies I discuss in my nonfiction book. I believe this is the first time I've seen the original the whole way through. It was pretty good. It wasn't as scary now as it probably was back in the day, but it's also been mimicked and quoted and parodied for years. If you don't know how it ends, you've definitely been living under a rock! The "R" rating it received back in the day would probably be a PG-13 today since you don't really see a lot of blood or nudity, just half nudity.

I fell in love with Anthony Perkins while watching this film. His demeanor was so innocent, yet he did a wonderful job of portraying the psychosis. I kept thinking through the whole film, "Yep, that's where Ted Bundy got it." The way he talked out of the corner of his mouth and his smile, he reminded me of Erik from That 70s Show. They did a great job of casting him as Norman because you feel sorry for him, which, of course, you shouldn't because he's a cold-blooded killer!

The tension in the film was great. Just little stuff like Marion seeing her boss on the crosswalk while she is trying to flee town and how she keeps looking in the rear view to make sure the cop isn't following her. Then, of course, when Lila is searching the house looking for Mrs. Bates. It was just a well-crafted film, but that's what Hitchcock was known for!
It's Friday, and, as promised, I have uploaded Chapter 1 of the YA zombie novel, Life After the Undead. You can access it through my Audio tab. I had to split it into two parts because the storage place I use has file size limits. It's still the same story, though. I would love if you listened to it and gave feedback. Enjoy!