Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Would You Rather...

This morning between snoozes, I'm pretty sure the DJ said "Would you rather win the lottery or have the perfect body?"

In my sleepy stupor, I found myself pondering this question seriously. My conclusion was, why can't I have both? If I won the lottery, one of the things I'd use the money for would be to help me attain bodily perfection. I'm not talking lypo and plastics (to me, that's not perfection, that's just... unnatural). I'd probably be able to afford a personal chef... and a personal trainer. The chef would make sure I only eat good foods, and the trainer would be there for me daily, making exercise seem FUN. Those are two of the biggest issues, for me, in getting into primo shape. Too many foods that taste good out there that hinder my progress, and going to the gym gets BORING (except Turbo Kickboxing! You don't have time to even THINK in that class, much less be bored).

I'm almost too excited for this to happen. When is the next lottery?! hahaha.

Well, I certainly can't control winning the lottery (and you can't win if you don't play!), but I can work at getting into better shape! Off to the gym!

I hope everyone had a safe and fabulous holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thanks for Playing! And Winner!

All in all, I'd say my first blogfest was a success! Almost half that signed up forgot about it, but I sort of expected that. I almost forgot myself! Scheduling something a few weeks out has its pros and cons :)

But to those of you who did participate, I loved reading your letters!! Most of them were encouraging and uplifting, which I think is a great idea. They will no doubt accurately mark this moment in your life for you to look back on one day, and hopefully we'll all be able to say, "Look how far I've come from that!"

I hosted this blogfest to celebrate YOU, my lovely 300 followers. And I've since gained 22 more! :::waves and throws confetti on all of you::: I know I shouldn't focus on my follower numbers, but I think it's a fun way to mark growth and it gives us an excuse to do fun things, right? :)

Now on to the giveaway! The winner (selected randomly) of a shiny new book is......

Congrats! I'll be emailing you shortly. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe Memorial Day weekend! I'll be mostly unplugged in effort to spend time away from the internet so I can get some serious writing done. What about you? Any extended weekend plans??  

K*Rae, OUT! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letters to the Future Blogfest!

Today is the day! To celebrate my blog reaching 300 lovely followers and lurkers, I'm hosting my first blogfest, Letters to the Future! The idea is to write a letter to our future selves to look back on one day. If I can remember, I'd like to read mine again a year from now and see how things have changed. Then perhaps a Letters to the Future Blogfest Part II??? 

Here is my entry!

Dear Kristin of the future,

As you're writing this, it's Tuesday, May 24th, 2011. There's a lot of buzz about the end of the world and how it did NOT happen May 21st, as predicted by some crazy old man who apparently hasn't read the very clear verse in the Bible that says "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."- Matthew 24:36. Why he's bent on throwing a portion of the masses into hysteria, I don't know. Sad. 
But aside from that, you've been thinking about death lately, since your HS friend Dennis' dad passed away last week. You're reminded again how important it is to let your loved ones know how you feel, to have more of a positive attitude on a daily basis, and to take control of your health once and for all. 
You're current diet scheme involves Turbo Kickboxing class several times a week, with alternating days of the EFX machine, fueled by Netflix instant for the iPhone and your newfound love for Dr. Who, which you honestly only started watching because Castle is Disc Only. You're also mildly cranky because you're avoiding dairy and bread, eating mostly meats, veggies, and fruits. You're only down five pounds from your heaviest weight ever and you have twenty-five more to go, according to what you think you should be, however unrealistic it might actually be. So, did you stick with it and reach your goal?? YOU BETTER NOT HAVE LET ME DOWN. :::raises eyebrow--the only one we can raise individually::: 
On the writing front, on April 11, 2011 you started a new book that you're very excited about. You're currently on chapter nine and have written 15,962 words. You've probably noticed that I haven't mentioned the title... and that's because there isn't one. It's that Italy story about Pippa. I suppose YOU know what it's called... could you share please? I'm also hoping that it's the story that landed you a kick-butt agent and got you a three-book deal with the raddest publisher out there. What can I say except for, you're welcome. And I'm sorry it took me so long to finish it. ;)
Your ten year high school reunion is this year, and it's your job (along with the other two girls from your class) to figure out what to do about it. This has got you thinking a lot about how quickly time passes, and you've realized that nearly all your friends have children already, and you don't. But you still feel like you're getting used to being an adult with a husband, a house, your own photography business (which is SLOW GOING), and two dogs, so you'll think about it later. 
You just joined Twitter last week. It's insane, just like you. 
Well, that's pretty much you at this exact moment in time on this Tuesday in May. Oh, and your right foot is asleep. 

Can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Kristin of the present

Please visit the other participating blogs and show them some love!

1. Spunk on a Stick
2. Abby Minard
3. Kayeleen Hamblin
4. Jamie Burch
5. KM @ One Page At A Time
7. The Las Vegas Writer
8. Kristi 
9. Jennifer shirk
10. Jen @ Unedited
11. Heather
12. Lisa's Loves Books Of Course( Int)
13. Catherine Denton
14. Nicki J Markus
15. Jen Chandler
16. Maya @ Not on Shelf
17. Lena's Blog
18. Teralyn Rose Pilgrim
19. Laura (Daily Dodo)
20. Jennifer Hoffine
21. Nia Raie
22. Deana Barnhart
23. Amy Sonnichsen
24. Lisa@ Flash Fiction
25. Loralie
26. Gina C.
27. Lena Sledge's Blog..Books, Reviews & Interviews
28. Ellen Brickley

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Captain Jack Sparrow Returns

Handy and I went to see the latest Pirates movie on Sunday, in 3D, no less. That was actually a surprise. The price was astronomical. The kid handed us two packages of glasses and I looked at him like he was crazy. "It's in 3D?"... "Um... yep." 3D is pretty neat, until you get so used to it you forget that it's supposed to be special. Not sure it was worth the extra $, but what can you do?

It may seem a little over-the-top to try and squeak out more than a trilogy from a movie franchise, but admit it. You've missed this:

Our favorite pirate is back. He's a little more beaten up and sun-bleached than before, but he's still up to no good, and we love it. (And I may or may not be a little more heavy handed with my eyeliner this week... just for funsies. I work from home, who's gonna know?? ;)

Out of the new additions to this film (mermaids, Angelica, Blackbeard, and Philip), my favorite would have to be the mermaids.

I wasn't sure what to expect with them, but I thought they were incorporated well and I especially love the new character Syrena (pictured above with Philip). 

I honestly didn't miss Will and Elizabeth at all, though I did keep expecting that pirate with the fake eye and his buddy to turn up at some point. They didn't. 

The score is similar to the last three Pirates movies, but there is quite a bit of latin flavor to the new one, which I am loving. Since I like to write to movie soundtracks to keep myself from singing along or accidentally typing out the words, I added this soundtrack to my collection this morning. And BONUS: there are even seven remixes that seriously make me want to dance (or get into a sword fight...). 

Of course, the ending was open enough for another, and apparently they are working on a script for a fifth. But Mr. Depp wants to keep these movies special, and not just keep pumping them out just to do it. I know I'd keep going to see them, so hopefully the script to the new one will be so rockin' he won't be able to say no. I just hope that if he says no, they won't try to make them without him. That has disaster written all over it.   

Have you seen it yet? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?


Monday, May 23, 2011

Alice Marvels Giveaway!

If you don't get your daily Alice Marvels emails, YOU NEED TO SIGN UP.

She has an awesome giveaway going on right now too! CHECK IT OUT!

Don't Forget!

Just a friendly reminder that my first blogfest is this Wednesday!! There are 25 bloggers signed up to participate, and I can't wait to read all of your letters to your future selves!!

Some of the comments y'all have made are fantastic. These letters really will be like time capsules for us to look back on later.

If you'd like to join in the fun, click here to sign up!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Only 54,902 words to go...

So, my goal for my WIP is 70k words, since that's a pretty standard word count for YA. This week I'm just over 15k... and I'm starting to panic. The first book I wrote (and shelved) at one point was over 90k (then I revised and brought it down to the 70's, revised again and brought it up to the 80's, revised again trying to make it YA instead of adult and then set it aside because I'm not sure it's worth all the work), so I know that it's possible to write that much... but since it's still so early on in this project, I'm very confused as to where all these words are actually going to come from.

I'm sure it will get done... it's just hard sometimes to look to the future and realize that all those words have to come from me. From my brain. They have to be GOOD words. Arranged in ways people want to read!

How do you tackle the task of meeting your word count? Do you fly through your first draft to get down the bones, then go back and add the fancy stuff later? Do it all at once the first time around? Overwrite then clean it up?  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Twitter is like a club...

At least, it seems that way.

Yep. I just got a Twitter account a couple days ago. I finally caved. 

Being a writer, I've found myself following authors, agents, editors... and while part of it I find fascinating, I also feel like the kid sister whose fake ID (manuscript) isn't quite cutting it past the bouncers (agents). So while I get to see what the big girls are doing (the authors that ALL seem to know each other and tweet to each other all day every day constantly) (when exactly do they write all those books??), I'm not quite in that circle yet. 

Of course, I need to have a completed manuscript to present in the first place, but wowza, if you've been lazy and want the fire under you to finish a project, follow authors on Twitter. You'll work your butt off to be part of that club. 

Are you on Twitter? My username is @kristincreative so let's follow each other! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Technological Age. And the Wonder that is Netflix Mobile.

A couple of days ago, I was watching an old black and white movie with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, and something Bob said made me laugh out loud. I don't remember it word for word, but it went kind of like this: "We're in the age of technology. I'm only allowed to talk to my kids during commercials."

Oh, if he only knew what was coming...

We look at the way of life fifty years ago as borderline primitive compared to the conveniences we have today.  Every third person has an iPhone, a Blue Tooth in their ear, several home computers, several televisions (now in 3-D!), wireless internet, internet in general, thousands of television channels...  I'm going to venture to say that THIS is the age of technology. We've been trained for constant stimulation. We can't sit idle for two minutes without whipping out our phones and to play Angry Birds to pass the time, or we're too lazy to cook so we buy frozen meals and heat them up with controlled waves (not gonna lie, microwaves FREAK me out. I don't use ours much). Instant gratification is the order of the day.

I guess I don't have a real point here, except that no matter how advanced we are in the present, there's always something more crazy around the corner. Bob Hope's character could only speak with his children during commercials. Well today we fast forward through them, so when do kids talk to their parents now?

Here's one technological advancement I'm in love with. Netflix for the iPhone... I completely forgot about it until today, and let me tell you how much faster three miles goes when you're watching a movie!

What technologies of today do you love?  For me this week, it's Netflix, earbuds small enough to fit in my tiny ears, and the EFX machine at the gym!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Because Lauren Oliver Told Me To...

I usually come away from an author event on a writing high, and meeting Lauren Oliver on Friday last week was no different. Here are a couple of things I accomplished this weekend, thanks in part to Ms Oliver:

I wrote around 3,000 words (which is a lot for me)! Lauren spoke quite a bit directly to writers, and she really encourages a daily word count goal. She meets hers every day, no matter what. And she travels a LOT. She said she's spent 10 days in her own bed in 2011. One point I found very interesting, is if you limit yourself to where you will write, like if you say you will only write at your desk at home and no where else, you're limiting yourself too much and leaving room for too many excuses NOT to write. She wrote parts of Before I Fall on her Blackberry! Sounds crazy, right?! But really, the more flexible we are with our writing atmosphere, the more opportunity we have to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). I've set my daily word count goal at 500. My hope is to surpass it, but the goal has to be doable and not challenging to the point of stress.    


I also got my gym membership back. Wha?? I know, random. But several times while Lauren was speaking, she mentioned running and the gym (she is in SHAPE too), and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I had a gym membership for several years and loved it, but when I lost my job, it was one of the things I cut out to save money. But I've missed my group kickboxing classes, the weight machines, the treadmills, the EFXs... the motivation I get seeing the skinny girl a few machines over that never slows down. It was time to get all of this back. I eased back into it on Saturday--some cardio, some weights. Then yesterday I jumped back into Turbo Kickboxing. A whole hour of serious moving. My face was a tomato (it's very embarassing, but it's the way I am I suppose... I also blush VERY easily.). And today, I am sore in every single muscle in my body. And it feels incredible. Got another Kick class tomorrow and I can't wait!

Lauren was super friendly and funny, and it was so sweet the way she gushed about our southern hospitality. She got a gift at each event from the hosts, and at an event at a high school here in Houston, she said the kids were all so polite with their "yes, ma'am"s. The kids where she's from in New York say, "So are you rich now? Can you give me a dollar?" Ha! Proud to be a Texan! We are a rather friendly bunch, if I may say so myself. :)

Thanks for the encouragement and motivation Lauren! You ROCK!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! CLICK HERE to sign up for my Letters to the Future Blogfest if you haven't done so yet!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My First Blogfest!! Letters to the Future!

To celebrate 300 followers, I'm hosting my very first blogfest!!

Recently, here on my blog, I apologized to my future published self for my lack of confidence and laziness in the present, seriously delaying my career as an author. Several of you thought that was a fun idea, so I decided to make it into a blogfest so we could all give it a try!   

The rules are simple: 

1) Sign up for the blogfest on the Mr. Linky widget below.

2) On Wednesday, May 25th, write a letter to your future self and post it on your blog. It doesn't have to be an apology like mine, it can be about anything! 

3) After signing up, comment on this post (leave your email address!) if you'd like to be entered in a giveaway for the book of your choice from The Book Depository (must be under $15 and TBD must ship to you for free)

4) Help me spread the word! It's a fun and easy blogfest that your followers might like to join too!

Thanks so much for following!! I can't wait to read all your letters!