My aunt throws an awesome Halloween party every year, and this year the Rish clan decided to coordinate our costumes. My mom found the t-shirts, and my brother got one of those makeup kits that creates rotting skin and oozing wounds. We all met up at my sister’s house and had a blast zombie-fying ourselves.
With only a week left in September, how am I doing with my #writemotivation goals? Making progress on most, really terrible on the most important one. Here’s the rundown:
This Monday is actually more manic than usual, since there's a lot to report in this post, so pull up a Barcalounger and get comfy.
First of all, I’m honored to be interviewed today over at Nerdy Chicks Rule. I met head nerdy chick Kami Kinard a few years ago at a SCBWI writers conference, and I love that she’s celebrating the characteristics that made us nerdy gals feel different and awkward while growing up. The Nerdy Chicks are giving away a DVD copy of my short film Saying Goodbye, so click here for a chance to win.
Second, we’ve finally got the post up about the Rish sibling adventures at the DC Shorts Film Festival last weekend, so pop over to our High Heels & Hoodoo website for the scoop, including pictures of us with our bright pink high heel.
And since it’s Monday, that means it’s time for a #writemotivation update. I did manage two posts for the week *yay*, I made solid progress reviewing my critique partner’s novel *whoo hoo*, but as for my own WIP . . . *hangs head in shame*. At least I still have two more weeks to make some significant headway before September comes to an all-to-quick end.
Finally, I signed up for Alex Cavanaugh’s Genre Favorites Blogfest where we’re supposed to list of our favorite genre of Movie, Music, Books, and a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories, so here we go:
Favorite movie genre – Horror This is the easiest of the bunch. I’ve loved horror movies since I was too young to be watching horror movies. It's a total rush to feel scared - adrenaline flowing, heart pumping, stomach churning - while sitting perfectly safe and sound on the couch. I especially love the horror flicks that skillfully create tension and suspense, while also providing a few laughs. Luckily my brother has been my partner in horror – we’ve watched a (probably alarming) number of really terrible horror movies to find the hidden gems. We’re now working on several feature-length scripts so we can make our own horror movie. High Heels & Hoodoo was our attempt to explore filming at night and creating a spooky atmosphere in short form.
Favorite music genre – Varies I listen to and enjoy so many different genres of music: pop, rock, soul, country, 80s, 50s, classical, showtunes, etc. It really just depends on my mood and what I'm doing. Right now I’m listening to my Pandora station of angsty British chicks – Adele, Florence + The Machine, Duffy, etc.
Favorite book genre – YA Thriller I know YA is sometimes considered to be a genre of its own, but I think it’s more like a category that then has all the same genres as “big people books.” So I’m a fan of thrillers in general, but especially YA thrillers. Emotions are already so heightened in teens and putting them in dangerous situations sends the vicarious thrills through the roof.
Guilty pleasure genre – Urban Fantasy books Vampires, werewolves, fairies, and other supernatural creatures wielding magic in a world that appears to be like ours? Awesome! And even better if there are sexy times. Lots and lots of sexy times.
Whew, I think that’s enough random information from me for one day. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking with me. And extra special thanks to Alex for the fun blogfest!
How are you doing with your #writemotivation goals? Are you participating in Alex’s Genre Favorites Blogfest? If yes, I’ll be visiting your blog soon to see your picks; and if not, feel free to share your favorite genres in the comments.
#writemotivation photo credit to Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Because I was out of town for the DC Shorts Film Fest, I was away from my dog Freya for five days. It was rough y’all. I went into serious doggie withdrawal - so much so that I turned into a squee-ing crazy woman every time we passed a dog on the streets of DC.
On the flip side, I don’t think my girl missed me one bit. Since our parents are awesome, they drove up to my brother’s house where we siblings were meeting for our trip and collected all three of their granddogs to spoil rotten while we were gone. When I was reunited with Freya, she was all, “Now, who are you again?” So this week I’ve been especially susceptible to adorable dog videos. I thought I’d share my two favorites for a laugh heading into the weekend.
The first is a new commercial from Volkswagen. I only saw it for the first time a few days ago, but it’s been airing pretty steadily. Cracks me up every time.
The second is a video a friend of mine posted on Facebook (thanks, Dora!) and it actually makes me giggle-snort.
Freya sometimes has problems with her dew claws, and I’ve had to tape socks on her legs to keep her from chewing them, and she does this same kind of crazy walk. Now I wish I had recorded her doing her funky dance moves.
What did you think of the two videos? Have you ever put boots or socks on your dogs? How did they react? Should I feel bad for laughing at the dogs’ reactions?
This is a test. This website is conducting a test of the Emergency Spam-fighting System. This is only a test. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
In the last few weeks, the spammers have hit my site with a vengeance. My blog is self hosted, so I don't have the might of Blogger or Wordpress to swat away those annoying flies and have been getting around 500 spam comments a day. Since I don't have a penis to enlarge or need a payday loan, it's super frustrating and time consuming to delete all of them. I really don't want to add CAPTCHA because everyone thinks they are so annoying, but I have to do something.
I consulted my good friend Google and found this service called Mollum, which I've added to my site. If it does everything it promises, it will be so awesome. When a comment is submitted, it is immediately analyzed: if it's definitely identified as valid, then it is automatically posted; if it's definitely identified as spam, it is automatically deleted (or sent to a moderation queue like I'm having it do while I evaluate its accuracy); but if the system is unsure whether it's spam or not, then it displays a CAPTCHA for the user to identify.
I've had it installed for two days so far, and it's doing an excellent job isolating out the spam comments. But now I want to make sure I won't get false positives or even false unsures because that would mean my awesome commenters are getting hit with annoying CAPTCHAs. So if you've made it this far, I would really appreciate your help with testing this.
1. Write a comment like you normally would. Either pretend I just said something truly witty and inspiring or something really idiotic you disagree with.
2. Press the Save button for the comment and notice whether it posts automatically or if it asks you to identify a CAPTCHA.
3. Reply to your own comment and tell me whether it automatically posted or if it displayed a CAPTCHA.
Thank you so much for helping me! I really hope this works as promised.
This concludes this test of the Emergency Spam-fighting System. And now back to your regularly scheduled program....
For the most part, it seems my Willy-nilly Wednesdays have turned into an excuse to talk about the Rish family dogs. So why change that today? I bet you’re now thinking that P stands for pooch. Well, you’d have the first three letters right. Because today I have to confess a secret. A dark secret that brings me shame. You see, my sweet Freya, my beloved four-legged child… is a poo eater. That’s right, she eats poop. Doodoo. Kaka. Whatever you want to call it, she loves the stuff.
It’s especially distressing because in the long line of smart dogs my family has owned, she’s definitely the smartest (yes, I know all parents/dog owners think this). Besides all the standard commands, she does a bunch of fun tricks like ‘take a bow’ and ‘say your prayers’ although the truly impressive part is how fast she learns them. She also does things like breaking into locked food cupboards even though she lacks opposable thumbs. So why, oh why, can’t I stop this spectacularly disgusting habit?
It started when she was ‘a teen’, and I immediately ran to my best friend Google to find out why my precious baby would do something so nasty and how to stop it. I discovered the official term is coprophagia (OMG, there’s an actual word for it *gags a little*) and that there are a variety of reasons for it both medical and behavioral. I took her to the vet, and he ruled out any medical issues and offered a few behavioral things to try. None of them worked. So now I have to live with the fact that my dog thinks doodie is a delicacy. We actually call them her chocolate cigars because she carries them around for a while with the ends sticking out of her mouth before she chows down.
Because she is so smart and because I start screaming like a banshee every time I see her pick up a log, she knows she’s not supposed to do it. So now she’s like a junkie after her fix. She skulks around the yard, looking for a pile that didn’t get picked up; and when she finds one, she glances around to make sure no one’s watching, snags the treasured turd, and races away with an expression we call her patented poop face. My sister snapped this picture of the expression mid-snack. It would be kind of adorable if you didn’t know she was dining on dookie.
But like any mom, I love my baby no matter what . . . I just don’t let her kiss my face after she’s been outside.
Have any of your dogs ever enjoyed partaking in chocolate cigars? Did any methods work for you in breaking the foul habit? How Playful (or Poopy-faced) does Freya look with her letter P?
On this Willy-nilly Wednesday, I’m talking about jeans. And not just any ol’ jeans.... On my most recent birthday, I opened a present from my brother and sister to discover a pair of pajama jeans. I didn’t know what to think. In fact, my heart kind of sank: I’d become the type of person my siblings thought should own a pair of pajama jeans - that couldn’t be a good thing. I’d seen the infomercials, I’d heard comedians make fun of them, and they seemed like the ultimate symbol of, “Hey, I’ve given up and don’t give a crap anymore.”
After I quit work to write full time, I tried not to let myself become a pajama-wearing hermit. Even though I’d prefer to stay in my PJs all day, I change into actual clothes every morning. Now I’ll admit I put on equally comfy items like yoga pants or jogging clothes, but I do maintain the distinction between sleeping clothes and being awake clothes. And when I leave the house, even for a quick trip to pick up some milk, I fancy myself up by putting on a pair of jeans and smearing on some lipstick. So even though I’m not wearing the professional outfits and full makeup I used to wear, I’ve tried not to descend into complete lazy-slob mode. That’s why when I opened that box to find the pajama jeans, I worried I’d let myself go more than I thought.
But I’m not gonna lie – those things are awesome! They are so comfortable, and unless you’re up close, you really can’t tell they’re not real jeans. So now when I’m out in the yard and see my neighbors, I don’t feel that twinge of embarrassment I did with my other comfy pants. The best part? They make my butt look AMAZING! Seriously. My butt has always been a problem area. In my teens and twenties, it was so nonexistent it was practically concave. As I've put on extra pounds in my thirties, it skipped over juicy and went straight to flabby. However, the pajama jeans make my butt look round and firm - I guess it’s both the cut and the stretchy material. I haven’t been brave enough to wear them out and about yet, but if I can’t find a regular pair of jeans that makes my hind end look that great, then you might spot me prancing around town in a pair of pajama jeans.
And while we’re on the subject of jeans, it’s time to reveal the Rish family dog genes. Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest! It’s been fun seeing all the guesses. They were in line with the breeds we guessed before we got the results, especially so many picks of Labrador for Bailey and Freya. In fact, we figured they were both Husky/Lab mixes, so similar to other designer mutts being crossbred, we called them our Huskadors – but it turns out not a drop of Lab between them. The results show just how sneaky genes can be!
Although they use drawings rather than actual photos, I’ve pulled the official breed pictures from the American Kennel Club site.
My A-to-Z agenda shows it’s Willy-nilly Wednesday and the letter is D, so I figure everyone who’s previously visited my blog is betting I’m going to post about Dogs. Wrong! I’m posting about DNA. Well… it’s actually about doggie DNA, so I guess you were right after all. Your prize? Adorable pictures of dogs! And that’s not all… if you keep reading until the end, you have a chance to win an actual physical prize!
Earlier this week, Kathy Collier passed the Sunshine Award to me. I met Kathy through the Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, and I'm honored and thank her very much (although my family would fall off their chairs laughing thinking of me getting something called the Sunshine Award. Storm Cloud Award? Much more likely!).
Babblings of a Boob Tube Junkie
I’m a writer and filmmaker exploring the magic of stories. I’ve always loved to read and watch television and movies, and now I'm creating my own stories via YA novels, short stories, screenplays, and even short films. I’m also an animal lover with a menagerie of pets; and, yes, I’m one of those people who puts party hats on their dogs and makes them “cakes” for their birthdays.
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My Short Films
If a cat predicted your death, how would it change your life?
A greedy party girl is so determined to get what she wants that she employs the dangerous magic of a Gullah root doctor.
Blogging from A to Z Challenge