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Eleven Questions

Eleven answers:Eleven questionsRachel Morgan, a new blogger friend from the Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, has tagged me in the 11 random questions game.  The rules are that I answer Rachel’s 11 questions, and then I tag 11 people and ask them my own 11 questions.  Rachel had some toughies, but it was fun figuring out my answers.  Here they are:

1. Describe yourself in one word.
Procrastinator (even with this - Rachel tagged me six days ago!) 
 
2. What was your favourite book as a child?
Hmm… depends on what age you mean when you say child.  As a small child, probably Green Eggs and Ham.  But the one book I read over and over as a tween/teen was Dean Koontz’s Watchers, showing I liked the dark and twisty stuff from an early age.  But it also had a super smart dog, so that was a big part of the appeal.
 
3. eBooks or paper books?
I love everything about the weight and smell and feel of paper books.  But having said that, I’m seriously thinking about breaking down and getting an ipad 3 when they come out to see what all the fuss is about.
 
4. If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Figure out I wanted to be a writer sooner in order to get an earlier start.
 
5. What song is currently stuck in your head?
Not just currently, but seemingly all the time – the Glee mash-up of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You.”  I love both songs, so smooshing them together in one song of awesomeness has put it on a permanent loop in my head. 
 
6. What fictional character do you most resemble?
Velma from Scooby-Doo.  I’m kind of a nerdy know-it-all, I love a good mystery, and I bribe my dog to do what I say with tasty snacks.
 
7. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
The ability to teleport, so I could easily travel the world (and also pop into a room to eavesdrop).
 
8. What is your favourite quote?
“It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  Why, yes, I’m a perfectionist – why do you ask?
 
9. Are you a full-time writer or do you have some other day job?
I’m a full time web surfer TV watcher reader writer. 
 
10. Which book would you pick up first: awesome cover or super cool title?
I’m a sucker for a good title (especially the punny ones), but I’m also attracted to bright, shiny objects.  But in the end, a great title with a bland cover will get me to commit more than a fancy cover with a blah title.
 
11. Cream or ice-cream?
Ice cream – Always. And almost every night.
 
Here are my 11 questions:
 
1. First draft: do you type it or write it by hand?
 
2. Which television show (current or sadly canceled) best depicts your life?
 
3. Which television show (current or sadly canceled) do you WISH depicted your life?
 
4. What types of pets do you currently share your house with and what are their names?
 
5. Because I will shamelessly take any opportunity to plug my first short film Saying Goodbye: If a cat predicted your death, how would it change your life?
 
6. Because I will shamelessly take any opportunity to plug my second short film High Heels and Hoodoo: Do you believe it’s possible to communicate with spirits?
 
7. What book are you currently reading and why did you decide to read it?
 
8. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?  Worth it or did you wish for a refund?
 
9. Which actress/actor would be perfect to play you in the movie about your life?
 
10. When it comes to the craft of writing, what is your biggest weakness?
 
11. Writer’s block has set in with a vengeance – what food do you reach for first?
 
So the big question… who am I going to tag?  Well, as I’ve been making my rounds through my ginormous YA Campaign group, it seems like pretty much everyone has already been tagged.  And since I like to break the rules when it comes to these things, I’m going to tag… YOU!  That’s right, you there reading this post.  But that’s only if you want to play along.  If you’re weary of the random questions, then please ignore my cheeky tag.  But if you haven’t been tagged yet and wanted to answer some questions, then consider yourself tagged.  Or if you’ve been tagged before, but just can’t get enough of these random questions, then you’ve been tagged again.  And you can either answer these on your own blog or just leave a comment with your answers if you prefer.  I can't wait to read your responses!
 
Are you enjoying reading/answering these 11 questions?  Any questions you wished someone would have asked but hasn’t?  If you answer my questions on your blog, please leave a link in the comments because I’d love to read the answers.

Stabbed with a Birthday Hat

My baby is seven years old today.  I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  It seems like just yesterday she was learning not to pee on the floor.  Although to be honest, I’m not really sure today is her birthday – it’s just a rough estimate and an easy day to remember to celebrate.  My pride and joy was found on the side of the road, so her history is a mystery.  I adopted Freya in March of ‘05, and the vet guessed she was about three months old, so December 1st became her special day.  My sister’s dog Molly and my parent’s dog Chloe also share the December 1st birthday.  Chloe was adopted the same day from the same shelter, while Molly was adopted 4 years earlier.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Rish family enjoys celebrating canine birthdays, so it was time to party!  And since that post has brought in a surprising amount of traffic with variations of the google search ‘dogs in hats’ (seriously, who knew so many people were looking for pictures of hat-wearing dogs?!?), I’m happy to share the pictures from the parties to help satiate those looking for adorable doggies.
 
First up, my sister sent me pictures from Molly’s celebration at her house.  Here Molly waits ever so patiently (and oh so cutely) to open her present.
Molly waits for her present
 
And now she’s howling with joy at her delicious haul.
Molly howls in excitement over her birthday goodies
 
Next up is my parents’ house, where Freya and Chloe celebrated together along with their best bud Lily.  As soon as I put the party hats on Freya and Chloe, they went a little crazy.  It could be because they thought the hats were evil entities clinging to their heads in order to suck out their brains.  Or maybe it’s just because they itched.  Whatever the reason, they were not happy to be wearing them.  I hustled back and forth between them, but as soon as I got a hat placed on one dog, the other had pawed, rubbed, or tossed her hat off.  
 
It was still laughter and cajoling and sweet talking as I tried to get them to wear their hats, when WHAM!  Chloe tossed her head and the point of her hat slammed into my bottom lip.  I staggered to my feet blinking back tears.  Oh my god, I’d just been stabbed in the face with a birthday hat!  I was going to have a hideous scar for the rest of my life.  And even worse, I was going to have to tell everyone I met the ridiculous story of how I’d gotten it.  I ran to the bathroom and almost wept in relief when there was no blood.  Even though it hurt, birthday hats are designed for fun, not maiming, so thank goodness no trip to the emergency room was necessary.  
 
Now, a sane person probably would have taken this as a sign to quit.  But since this entire post is about celebrating doggie birthdays, I’d guess most people have already made up their minds about my sanity.  My battle wound just made me more determined - I was going to get a cute picture of both dogs in their hats, even if I ended up in the hospital.     
 
When all was said and done, this was the result:  
Freya and Chloe feel deep shame about wearing birthday hats
Freya’s eyes squeezed shut in shame and Chloe looking so, so, so sad.  But don’t worry, no furry animals were harmed in the making of this picture (although in addition to my fat lip, I also ended up with a bloody scratch on my hand when I intercepted as Freya was swatting off her headwear).  So in the end, I don’t think this counts as a victory.  While I did get a picture of both of them in their hats, I’m not sure if it falls in the ‘cute’ category, more like the ‘please make it stop’ category.
 
But I did manage to get one of each of them individually looking sorta cute (or at least looking like a whip wasn’t hovering over them out of camera range).
Freya waits for her birthday cake
Chloe got tired of waiting for her birthday cake
 
 
And through the entire hat kerfuffle, sweet Lily stood by watching with her hat perched on her head, never once trying to take it off.  And that’s why she got an extra bone with her slice of ‘birthday cake’ when it wasn’t even her birthday!
Lily's a patient dog
 
After it was all over, I apologized to Freya and Chloe for yelling at them on their birthday, and they forgave me with plenty of slobbery kisses.  Although I have to say, neither one of them apologized for maiming me.  But I think it was a small price to pay, since they really are adorable in their birthday hats.  Happy Birthday Freya, Chloe, and Molly! 
 
Do you do anything special for your pet’s birthday?  Or do you think the Rish clan needs to be carted off to the loony bin?  And what about Chloe – was the hat incident an accident or was she trying to murder me via party hat in retaliation for her humiliation?
 

Coach K and Duke Reach Magical 903

I’m such a proud Duke fan right now - huge congratulations to Coach Mike Krzyzewski!  My beloved Blue Devils beat the Michigan State Spartans 74-69, giving Coach K his 903rd victory and making him the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.   He passed the record of his mentor Bobby Knight, and I’m not gonna lie, I got a little teary when they embraced at the end of the game.

Duke Blue Devil logo

The game was part of the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, and the first half was a tight back-and-forth as both teams seemed to feel the pressure and play a bit sloppy.  Then Duke returned from halftime and surged ahead.  They were up by 20 points with nine minutes left to play, and I was finally able to stop watching the game through my fingers.  But just as I relaxed back into the couch, Michigan decided they were back in it and made me very nervous in those last few minutes.  I can’t even imagine the turmoil happening in Coach K’s head (and stomach).  But luckily his boys were able to hold on to the win.   

People talk a lot of crap about Duke and especially Coach K, but I think the man is a class act.  I know I’m biased because I’m an alum, but I think he’s always humble and respectful, and tonight was no different.  Maybe it’s all just an act, but I think even the die-hard UNC fans would have to begrudgingly admit that he’s an excellent basketball coach.  I just wish I could have been back in Durham tonight inside Cameron with the rest of the Crazies watching the victory on the big screen.  I bet it was AMAZING!

I do think it’s funny that an unathletic, nerdy bookworm like myself ended up graduating from two schools where the athletic reputation often overshadows the academic one.  Although both Summerville and Duke are highly respected for their academics, they are probably more famous for their record breaking coaches.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my alma mater Summerville is home of the winningest high school football coach – John Mckissick.  And now here's Coach K breaking the winning record on the college basketball side, with many more coaching years left in his career (I hope!).  So even though I’m practically allergic to exercise, I’m glad I’ve been part of and had a chance to cheer for these two sports dynasties . . . and at least getting excited about the games keeps my blood pumping and prevents it from turning to sludge!

Congratulations again to Coach K for reaching such a momentous milestone! Fight, Blue Devils, Fight!

Happy Halloween!

I’m guessing since I mostly write thriller/suspense/horror, it’s no surprise my favorite holiday is Halloween.  I love dressing up in costumes – my ‘usual’ is a fairy gothmother.  Unfortunately, with all the craziness of filming the movie this month, I didn’t have much time or energy to get into the Halloween spirit this year.  Although I think filming a hoodoo ghost story . . . in a cemetery . . . at night . . . the week before Halloween . . . has to earn me some bonus ‘spirit’ points, even if I didn’t actually have a chance to dress up this year, right?  But to maintain the spooky spirit, I’ve included a picture of me and my reluctant witch-y sidekick from last year.

October 31st also means it’s the last day of Rachael Harrie’s Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign.  What an amazing event Rach has put together!!  I'm new to blogging, but because of her campaign, I’ve met so many wonderful people and discovered so many fantastic blogs.  Heaps of extra special thanks to Rach for coming up with such a great idea and having the energy and enthusiasm to keep it going.  I’m sad to see it come to a close, and I'm bummed I wasn’t able to fully participate during October, but I’m eagerly anticipating the next one.

One of the awesome people I’ve met during the Campaign is Jessica Therrien.  A few weeks ago she passed several blog awards to me: the Liebster, the One to Follow, and the One Lovely Blog.  I’ve been such a slacker, I never publically thanked her, so here I am doing it embarrassingly late - thank you, Jessica!  She’s a generous blogger, a great writer, and her YA paranormal OPPRESSION is coming out in February - I can’t wait to read it!

I hope everyone has had a productive October, and that you have a magical Halloween!

What is your costume for this year’s Halloween?  How are you coping with the end of the Writer’s Campaign?  Are you like me in using candy to fill the void?

A Week Full of Happy Dances

Over the past week and a half, I’ve been lucky to receive several pieces of good news.  Not three-book-six-figure-publishing-deal good news or even landing-my-dream-agent good news, but still things that made me feel like this:


 
 

Seriously, y’all, my appallingly out-of-shape self is starting to feel a little winded from all the happy dancing.  Despite being excited, I wasn’t sure if I should share all this in a post.  For one thing, it feels a bit too much like braggity brag brag, me ME ME!  And second, I’m also worried that Karma might read this and think, “Hmm… that’s an awful lot of good news for one person in one week - I best get around to balancing that out with some giant zits and food poisoning.”

However, good news feels even better when shared with friends (especially writer friends who understand how these small victories help us keep going when the process gets rough), and I’ve made so many new friends on the Campaign that I’ve decided to tempt fate and share my news. 

It all started with the Versatile blogger awards which I talked about in my previous post.  So thank you again to Stevie, Jessica, and K. T. for getting the good news ball rolling! 

Then I was awarded two Liebster blogger awards: one from Wendy Terrien and one from Bethany Lopez.  They are two more awesome ladies I’ve met on the Campaign, and I’m honored to get the Liebster from them.  The Liebster is intended to highlight deserving blogs with less than 200 followers, and since I am significantly under 200, I really appreciate the Liebster Blog Awardshout out from Wendy and Bethany - thank you!  Technically I’m supposed to pass it on to five more people, but as I mentioned here, I’m a crazy rule breaker.  And since all the blogs I was going to award it to already have it, I’m just going to end my acceptance speech here before the orchestra plays me off the stage. 

Next up I found out my short film Saying Goodbye was accepted into the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival where it will have its West Coast premiere.  Whoo hoo!

Then I was contacted out of the blue by the programmer at another film festival who saw our website and trailer and asked to see the film for possible inclusion in her festival.  It doesn’t mean it’ll get in, but it’s a welcome change from filling out applications and sending in hefty submission fees. 

Then my casting director told me that two of the actresses we really want for our new movie both really, really, really want to be in the film (that’s a sentence with a lot of ‘really’s).

So I was already feeling pretty high on life when I found out my first campaign challenge story won fifth place!   I had so much fun writing it, and I’m so thrilled people enjoyed it.  Thank you to Rach and the judges!  Also big thanks to the folks helping Rach organize things, as well as to all the people who donated prizes.  And thank you to everyone who stopped by to read my story.

There is one more piece of exciting news, but it’s not absolutely final yet, so I don’t want to talk about it and possibly jinx it.  I know I said I was tempting fate in this post, but I see no need to wave the red cape in front of the surly bull.

Thank you for indulging me while I got my brag on.  There is a lot of rejection in both the publishing world and the movie-making biz, so it’s nice to have a week where the stars seem to align in my favor.  Now if I could just figure out a way to freeze the stars in that particular configuration, I’d be good to go!

Do you have any exciting news to share?  Do you use your blog as a place to share good news with the world?  Do you worry that too many good things happening at one time means a really bad thing is lurking around the corner? 


 

Feeling Very Versatile

On Friday, I was honored to receive the Versatile Blogger award from Stevie McCoy (aka the Glitterlady).  But because I’ve been out of town the past several days, I wasn’t able to post about it.  Then today Jessica Therrien and K. T. Hanna also passed the Versatile Blogger award to me.  I’m doing the happy dance around the room that three awesome ladies thought enough of my blog to give me this award.  Fortunately, none of you can actually see me doing said The Versatile Blogger awardhappy dance, since it’s a mortifying sight that would leave all of us feeling a bit awkward.  So a million thanks to Stevie, Jessica, and K. T.!

Here are the official guidelines:

  • Post a link to the person who gave you the award.
  • Tell your readers seven random things about yourself.
  • Award 15 newly discovered blogs.
  • Send them a note letting them know you nominated them.
Since I’m new to this whole blogging thing, I decided to consult my good friend Google about blogger awards.  In his haughty know-it-all way, Googs told me many positive things about them, but he also passed along the info that some people in the blogging community see these awards as a nuisance rather than an honor and consider them chain letters, which made me sad.  
 
I read Christopher Pike’s creepy Chain Letter in high school, so I know that chain letters are EVIL.  I never even forward those chain emails, which means I’ve racked up several lifetimes worth of bad karma/terrible luck/money troubles/romance woes/etc.  In fact, if one of those chain emails has an adorable picture of a monkey hugging a baby tiger, or inspirational poem, or hilarious joke that just has to be shared with my friends, then I delete the chain instructions from the email before passing along the entertaining part.  That probably doubles the bad juju I accumulate from ignoring the instructions.   
 
So even though I am personally very excited to receive these awards, and I think it’s a great way to help spread the word about fun blogs, I don’t want the people who receive it from me to feel obligated in any way.  So I am borrowing a page from Annalise Green and Gene Lempp: I'm passing the compliment on to bloggers I enjoy while dismissing the rules - just like I do with the chain emails.  Hopefully this won’t make my blog crash or become infected with malware.  
 
Below I’ve listed some of the bloggers who have entertained me over the first few weeks of the campaign.  Turns out most of these blogs are so awesome that others have already beaten me to the punch and given them this award, so even more reason I don’t expect the recipients to link back to me or post another seven random things.  All I ask is that you enjoy knowing you made me laugh, which is my favorite part of reading other people’s blogs.  
 
F. E. Sewell – F.E. has posts from Old Time music to thinking about character growth in terms of colors to being a zombie fighting warrior.  It was the zombie post that made me a huge fan of F.E., since I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining scenarios to help me survive the coming zombie apocalypse.
 
Sam de la Peña – Sam freely admits that his dog is the Ruling Empress of All, which automatically makes him good people in my book.  On top of that, he has hilarious posts on a wide variety of topics, including one on his hatred of the mall, which as a fellow mall hater left me in stitches.  The post also includes references to zombie cows – awesome!
 
Jani Grey - Jani also has a funny voice, and she wants to find a rich husband who’ll buy her a private island where she can read all day.  Me too!!  And she has a post where she mentions zombie clowns.  Hmmm, I’m sensing a theme to my amusement.
 
Fairview – Fairview just recently returned from a trip and has been posting pictures and anecdotes from her travels.  She has an entertaining dry wit that make these stories fun – I especially like the one about visiting the Donner memorial.  So no zombies, but cannibalism – yay!
 
Annalise Green - I laugh a lot when reading Annalise's posts, and she posts about all kinds of things including Doctor Who (love!) and scary monsters.  Humor and horror combined are pretty much my favoritest thing ever. 
 
Jill Campbell - Jill’s very funny, but her posts have lots of heart too.  I think that must come from being the mother of seven (!!) kids.  Past posts have included her love/hate relationship with Costco and using the ‘snap and point’ to get people to do what you want.  I haven’t found any evidence of zombies or monsters on her blog yet, but I give her a pass because . . .  seven kids!!
 
Now on to the seven things about me bit:
 
1.  I spent a semester abroad at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.  It was awesome.  But I was very disappointed that I lived there for three months before I saw my first kangaroo and that was at a zoo.  Although it was really cute!
 
2.  I was horrified to discover Aussies actually serve kangaroo in restaurants (as dinner, not as diners).  But that didn’t stop me from trying a bite just to say I did.  I thought it was tough and gamey, so thank goodness I wasn’t tempted to eat any more of the adorable critters.
 
3.  I have an open bite, which means my teeth don’t touch in the front.  It makes eating a sandwich difficult.  And messy.
 
4.  I also have TMJ, which means my jaw clicks when I eat.
 
5.  Despite #3 and #4, I’m a lovely dinner companion.  Mostly because I’m paranoid about having food on my face and constantly wipe my mouth so I don’t end up putting anyone in the uncomfortable position of having to tell me I’ve got salad dressing dribbling down my I'm super excited in front of Stonehengechin.
 
6.  I visited Stonehenge several years ago - one of the items on my bucket list.  I got as close as I could get, reached in as far as I could, and plucked a flower from the ground.  Okay, it was probably a weed.  But I dried it and am certain it will one day imbue me with mystical powers.
 
7.  Even though I graduated from high school *cough* years ago, where we never once broke into song and dance, I still believe high school is exactly like Grease
 
Holy moly, this has turned into a long post.  Most of my short stories are shorter than this post.  If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking with me to the end.  I shall reward you with an inspirational quote from William Feather: "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." 
 
What are your thoughts about blogger awards?  Have you ever come face-to-face with a kangaroo?  If the person you’re dining with has spinach in their teeth, do you tell them? 
 

Dogs Wearing Hats

Whoo hoo, I’ve now finished my first round of the writers' campaign blog trail - I’ve visited/commented/followed/friended/circled/linked everyone in my horror, suspense/thriller, and YA groups.  I’ve seen so many funny/insightful/informative/enjoyable blogs the last few days and met some really great people.  It’s been fun, but it has turned my brain into a whirling, seething mass of goo.  And now I really need to post something new to entertain my new visitors, but of course I’m drawing a blank.  It’s probably stage fright knowing all these new friends are watching.

While reading though all the lovely comments, I saw several people were supportive of my weakness for putting party hats on dogs.  Either that or they were just being kind to avoid chasing the weird girl back into her corner.  So I decided to do what any proud parent does when someone shows the slightest interest in their ‘children’… pull out pictures!

For the record, all five of these dogs are not mine.  Freya is my girl, Lily and Chloe belong to my parents, Bailey is my brother’s handful, and Molly owns my sister.  So the hat obsession is not a Jocelyn thing, but a Rish thing.  Enjoy!

Lily looks so sweet in her party hat that Freya and Chloe are giving her kisses.  It has nothing at all to do with the fact that Lily is a messy eater and the other two are keeping her clean.

Freya and Chloe giving Lily birthday kisses

 

Bailey does not like to share.

Step away from the birthday cake and no one gets hurt!

 

Chloe has always been a rebel, so she wears her hat with style.

Chloe always does her own thing

 

I can read doggie minds.  Molly is clearly thinking about how much fun she’s having.  The phrase “I keel you!” never once passed through her brain.

I keel you!

 

The reward for all this adorable humiliation?  Delicious cakes made from canned dog food and doggie treats.

See what we'll put up with for some extra delicious food

 

And it’s not just birthdays….

 Santa's little helpers    Here comes Peter Cotton Tail...

 

But I promise, putting hats on the dogs is as far as we go . . . or is it?!?

Do you dress up your pets in any way?  Do they like it or do they give you sad face?  Or did you quit reading halfway through to run find the number of the Humane Society to report the crazy hat lady?  

A Place of Honor

I bought my domain name two years ago, but I didn’t know anything about building a website.  So I created this little animated clip with the help of a fun website called xtranormal to be the placeholder on the site until I had the time and knowhow to make the real one.  To my embarrassed dismay, that took much longer than I anticipated; however, with a lot of help and patience from my brother Brian, I now have an honest-to-goodness working website.  Although this little movie has a special place in my heart, since it was long the lone emissary for jocelynrish.com, so I’m keeping it here for sentimental reasons.

 

Why Babblings of a Boob Tube Junkie?

When I first dipped my toes into the scary waters of interacting with people on the internet, it was in forums that talked about television shows.  I needed a screen name that properly displayed my intense devotion to watching TV, so BoobTubeJunkie was born.  I liked the way it sounded, and it certainly described me.  Seriously, no sane person should watch as much television as I do.  Hmmm, I guess that gives you a sneak peek into the state of my mental stability. 

Anyway, I began frequenting other forums, and I used the same screen name since it seemed to fit me so well.  I’ve now made a lot of great friends in cyberspace using that name, so I wanted to carry a part of it with me as I embarked on this new blogging adventure.  And since I will be talking about all kinds of things, I think that definitely qualifies as babbling.  Besides, I love me some alliteration.  So there you have it: Babblings of a Boob Tube Junkie.

And Away We Go!

For a writer, I’m getting a really late start with this whole personal blog thing.  I didn’t think I had enough clout to blog about the craft of writing, and there were already so many people out there blogging about writing in funny and creative ways; but I kept hearing platform, platform, platform, so I decided it was time to put on my big girl panties and take the plunge. 

It’s not my first blogging experience, since I’ve been writing the blog posts for the movie I made with my brother called Saying Goodbye.  But making a movie is interesting and exciting, so that’s easy to blog about.  I fear my own life is far less fascinating . . . some might even call it snooze worthy. 

Since my boring life is not enough to interest any readers other than my immediate family, the focus of “Babblings of a Boob Tube Junkie” will be on exploring the magic of stories.  The stories we read.  The stories we watch on the big and small screens.  The stories we write, and the ways that we write them.  And if something interesting does happen in my life, then I’ll share that story as well.  Thank you for stopping by!