Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lightening Strikes

This past weekend one person was killed and seven people were injured after being struck by lightening while trying to flee New Jersey beaches. Last week, I caught a glimpse of the news and a teen was talking about being struck by lightening at a Philadelphia pool. What's the deal with lightening lately? 

I grew up believing that lightening strikes were uncommon. But six in three days? And I'm only counting lightening strikes in New Jersey and Philly.  Is being struck by lightening really that uncommon? A close family friend of ours was struck during World War 2. While discussing lightening strikes in class, each student knew someone who was struck by lightening. So how uncommon are lightening strikes? 

According to this website, the odds of being struck by lightening in a given year are one in 400,000. And each person has a one in 5,000 chance of being struck by lightening in a lifetime. 

Do you know anyone or have you been struck by lightening? Are lightening strikes common in your hometown?  

Okay, thinking about lightening strikes is freaking me out. Check out this cute, calm, adorable puppy video. 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: The Summer Olympics begin in ten days. Yay!  Check out the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Softball schedule here

Have an amazing day everyone! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Magic Eight Ball Makes a Comeback

Did you ever wonder, what if? Then, check out this Magic Eight Ball site. You can ask the Magic Eight Ball anything and it will answer. I miss my Magic Eight Ball. I wonder if it's still in my parent's attic somewhere. Did anyone else own one? 

Lately, I've been bombarding that black ball with tons of personal questions since my life has become a bit stormier than usual. Hug someone you love today. Cancer sucks. 

What would you ask the Magic Eight Ball?  

SCREWBALL NEWS: :) SCREWBALL was chosen as the National Writing for Children Center's 2008 YA Summer Book Pick!!!! Check out the review here

PRETTY TOUGH TUESDAY: I'm over at Pretty Tough today blogging about the Bound 4 Beijing tour. Tincher Verses Team USA: Part 2 is tonight. Will Tincher no hit Team USA again? 
Have a great day everyone! 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Best Book Ever

Last night at the Teen Writer's Workshop, we discussed our favorite books and why they are our faves. The choices were a potpourri of different tastes. TTYL, AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, THE HOST, SUITE SCARLET, a ton of literary classics, and many other great books filled the table. 

What's your all time favorite book(s) and/or author(s)? And why? 

Although I love a bunch of YA authors, my absolute fave is Megan McCafferty. My absolute favorite adult book is Alice Hoffman's HERE ON EARTH. McCafferty's books resonate with me because I'm a Jersey girl and I absolutely love Jessica Darling's sarcastic voice. HERE ON EARTH is amazing and the best book ever. Okay, I'm not really sure why I love this book so much, but I do know that I enjoy the story, Hofffman's writing, and it's the only book I've read five times. :)

Have a great day everyone! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm addicted. Bad. Like almost late for work addiction. Like missed lunch yesterday addiction. What am I addicted to? Facebook.

I was hesitant to join Facebook at first, but then my friend joined and raved about it, so I had to check it out. Facebook is amazing. Not only can you find friends pretty easily, but you can take meaningless quizzes, poke people, and give gifts. I love quizzes. In fact, I miss quizzes from my teen mag days. Okay, I still buy teen mags for research. But, I don't need to spend money for a magazine anymore when I can just complete all the quizzes I want on Facebook. 

Here are some quizzes I completed so far: 

1. Are you intelligent? I deleted the findings. :) 
2. Are you a tomboy? Yes. 
3. Who were you in a past life? Marilyn Monroe. What???
4. Have you ever? Fun! And you can compare your answers to your friends. 
5. New York Yankees Player Quiz. I'm ranked 745th so far. 

Do you have a Facebook page? If not, check it out. :) What's your summer addiction? 

Today, I'm over at Pretty Tough blogging about the NPF and USA softball player blogs. 

Did anyone see the Home Run Derby last night? Wow. Josh Hamilton put on quite the show and his story is even more spectacular. 

Have a great day everyone! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rock and Read

Are you going to be in Hollywood on Sunday? If so, check out Rock n' Read. Rock n' Read is a celebration of reading and rock music that includes a ton of amazing authors signing and reading their books along with live recording artist performances. Also, you can enter to win some fabulous prizes to help support the charity, Virgin Unite. Check it out. 

Speaking of contests,  don't miss this Happy 16th Birthday 'your choice' contest.  It's a good one. 

Last night was the first night of the Wednesday Teen's Writers Workshop I'm facilitating at the Cape May County Library. I met a great group of writers and we had a blast chatting about books, writing, Writer's Notebook, and Chase Crawford. :) Check out their fun blog here

Yay! My book streak continues. Alexa Young's book FRENEMIES is a blast. I always can tell when I'm going to enjoy a book because I make an instant connection and FRENEMIES immediately reminded me of a quirky, fun friend from middle school. Then, if it's really, really good, I usually dream about that particular time period in my life. How do you know when you're falling in like or love with a book? Does anyone else dream about books or characters?  

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Characters Come Alive

I've been reading bunches of stuff about characters lately...

1. Melissa Walker blogged about a song that reminds her of Violet. 
2. Word for Teens is hosting a character contest. To enter, you have to name a character from a book that you would like to be. I'm still brainstorming because I seriously can't decide on one character. 
3. Stephanie Kuehnert blogged for Young Adult Enchanting Reviews about her character's birthdays, astrological signs, and how she uses note cards to keep her characters straight - brilliant idea. Happy Release Day, Stephanie! 

After reading these fantastic posts and continuing to bang out SCREWBALL 2 (untitled), I began obsessing about characters and character development. How do you create memorable characters? Do you research? Do you use real people as models? And what do you think makes a character memorable? 
I have to admit, when I'm in the midst of writing, my characters are real. Like walking around real. Like in my head all the time, real. Hence, the conversation I just had with my sister in law on the boardwalk. 

"Hey, that guy looks like Andrew," I say and nod towards a cute guy walking with his girlfriend. 
"Andrew who?" 
"Andrew Sinclair."
"Who's that?" 
"Ashley's first boyfriend. You know, from my book." I roll my eyes.  
Sister in law pauses, looks at me, then changes the subject. 

Does anyone else do this? Or do you read a book and then spot someone that looks like the character from the book? 

Happy News - The 2008 Summer Olympics begin one month from today - 8/8/08. I can't wait! 

I'm also over at Pretty Tough today blogging about Team USA's Pink Out auction. Did you know that one out of eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime? Yikes. Cancer sucks. :(

Have a great day everyone! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Thanks everyone for sharing your fave vacation spots. Kaci and I are having a blast picking the winner. BTW, my daughter's bucket is wet from the beach, so we swapped the bucket with a basket to pick the winner. :)

Speaking of having a blast, I adore July. Why? Because July is filled with fun in the sun. In fact, the fun possibilities are endless - beach, boardwalk, bay, biking, barbeques, fireworks.. The list goes on and on. :) 

This month, I'm celebrating July by giving away two fantastic fun summer reads: Bev Katz Rosembaum's I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do Over Novel.

I Was a Teenage Popsicle follows Floe Ryan, a girl who is frozen at sixteen because of a disease outbreak. Now, it's ten years later and Floe is thawed. IWATP is an adorable, fun book.  

Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do Over Novel is a unique one. Remember choose your own adventure stories? Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do Over Novel is the adult version. At the end of each chapter, you make a decision and choose what you are going to do, then the book directs you to the correct page. Tons of fun. 

Since this month's theme is fun, what do you do for fun? It doesn't necessarily have to do with summer, but if you had all the time in the world, what would you do? If I had an entire day devoted to fun, I would golf or play some sort of sport in the morning, hang out at the beach with my family and friends during the day, find time to read and write, eat a nice dinner at my favorite restaurant, then hit the boardwalk at night with my daughter, hubby, nieces, and entire extended family. 

Here are the contest rules:
1. To enter to win, leave a comment about what you like to do for fun. 
2. The contest ends at midnight on July 31, 2008 and the winner will be posted on August 1, 2008. My two year old daughter will pick the winner out of a basket. :)
3. The contest is open to everyone. Don't be shy, my writer friends. :)
4. If you post the contest on your blog or on MySpace, you automatically receive two entries. 

Good luck! ;)




Congratulations, Cheryl! Please send me an email with your address.  Don't forget to check out the Yay for YA July Giveaway posted today. Have a great week! :)