Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow? Really?

So I was driving to the Oldest Urchin's school Halloween party. Okay, Fall Festival. Damn PC bastards. But at least she gets to dress up and have a costume parade.

Anywho, as I'm humming along to Englebert Humperdink, that nerve grating sound interrupts my smooth, easy listening station. Yes, it's a severe weather alert. And what does it tell me? More rain? (as if we didn't suffer enough in Central PA during hurricane season.)

But no, it's not more rain. It's snow. They're predicting anywhere from six to ten inches.

Yes. Six. To. Ten.

It's not even November yet!

So I'm really thinking Apocalypse. Good thing I stored up on all that good stuff and built a bunker when I thought I was turning into a chrysalis.

What have you stored for this early winter Armeggedon?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NJRW Conference Recap

So I went to the NJRW annual conference. It was a nice time. Got to be a grown up for almost two days. That was a tough facade to keep up, let me tell you.

Heard some pretty good workshops, talked with some writers, but my heart wasn't really into it. Which annoyed me. Yes, I annoy myself quite often, thankyouverymuch. I was sick and strung out on cold medicine the whole time. I drove three hours to get there, ate lunch, then sat in several hours of workshops. Not a great combination.

Then there was dinner, which was interrupted by the fire alarm - which at least didn't happen at four in the morning like last time. The fire fighters arrived and gave an all clear. (It was just poor planning in the set up of the buffet by the hotel.)

Next, I sat in an awards ceremony where I didn't know any of the authors in the competition. After that, the bar, with slow service, but good friends.

Up the next morning to do breakfast, workshops, lunch, workshops and a three hour drive home.

Pretty exhausting for how I was feeling, but worth it. I learned a few new tricks, found out that I'm already doing certain things right, and spoke with some different writers. Which is nice to get to do. As writers, we're definitely a different breed.

So how was your weekend?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 3 Rs: Writing, Rummaging & Ridiculousness

So, okay, those are the 3 Rs here at Tongue In Cheek. They may not necessarily be your three.

Anywho, here we go.

Yeah, pretty much nonexistent right now. The oldest Urchin has started up again with what brought her down last fall. And of course, every crazy test the doctors could think of was done to her. So they're at a loss as to what else to try. They just say inane things like, "Stay the course" and "A thousand points of light" and get me so irritated that I switch around all the things in their exam room while we're left alone waiting. Yeah, that's right, search for those tongue depressors. Search for them!

Ahem. Sorry.

I've also been sick for the past week, so my drive is not what it should be. Getting out of bed takes so much effort that opening and editing a wip is more than I can stand right now.

But, I'm leaving on Friday morning for the New Jersey Romance Writer's conference. If I ever look up the directions on how to get there, that is. I attended two years ago, and found it worthwhile. Even though the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night at the hotel. So hopefully going to the conference will get some of my writing mojo to return.

I am a rummage sale junkie. I love a good rummage sale like stink bugs love Victoria Smith.

Whilst arriving early to a particularly good one late in the summer, I eyed the crowd. They were a feisty looking bunch. Frazzled moms with fidgety children, little blue-haired ladies with huge shopping bags made of recycled plastic (you know, the ones with the sharp, pointy corners), unkempt, overweight, sweat pant wearing men with stringy comb overs.

Yes they were a well seasoned, yet motley crew of hard core rummage maniacs. This is the kind of crowd where the little old ladies will run you over with their wire baskets-on-wheels as soon as look at you. The unkempt men will use every body odor available to them to clear a section they want. And the mommies will sic their little mucus encrusted darlings on your ass before you can say viscous liquids.

Hard. Core.

All they needed were some eye patches, peg legs and a touch of scurvy, and they'd be the masters of the Seven Seas.

So as I walked down the sidewalk, eyeing the line of competition, and receiving the hairy eyeball in return, I busted out my best professional wrestling announcer voice and yelled, "Let's get ready to RUUUUUMMMAAAAAAAGGE!!!!"

Everyone gave me a lot of room after that. I owe all my psychological warfare tactics to the sea monkeys.

No, that last section wasn't the ridiculousness. Sheesh. This will be some random ridiculousness.

I found a dead, dried out, cracking apart stink bug.
In my underwear drawer. EEEEEEEEWWWWW! Alright, that was more like the "What's Grosser Than Gross" jokes that permeated the early eighties. (You all remember those, right? What's grosser than gross? Finding out your brother's scab collection is missing after eating a bowl of Cornflakes.)

My Reign as the county 'Possum Queen is soon coming to an end, and I'll need to attend the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival in the first weekend of November to hand over my crown of taxidermied 'possums with rhinestone accents to the next queen. Ahh, the memories I'll be taking with me after this year of excitement. If you haven't accompanied me on the journey and missed it, check out the 'Possum Queen category to the right and catch up on all the 'possumy goodness this year has wrought.

So I'm off to get my annual haircut today for the writer's conference. My hair is ridiculously long. It reaches my waist in the back. Time to get a few inches off.

So tell me. How are your writing, rummaging and ridiculousness going?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sue Gourley Book Give Away

The talented Susan Gourley is giving away a copy of her book The Keepers of Sulbreth at The Romance Studio. Though it's at The Romance Studio, I'd consider this more of a straight fantasy. Either way, the book was fantastic. The unique way she incorporated the magic used in her world was awesome.

You can read an interview with her from my Author Interview segments where she discusses the second book in the Futhark Chronicles. Not only that, but she aced the sea monkey S.A.T. portion of the interview to boot!

So go check her out and consider buying her books. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Was I The Only Person

Who watched this show? I'm pretty sure it came on after Land of the Lost in my area.

Even creepier than Mr. Pufnstuf. Amirite?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Adventures With Alice Cooper

I always know I've crossed some line of propriety when I get no comments. Apparently taxidermied squirrels bizarrely frolicking for eternity (or until the moths and dust mites decimate them) crosses that line. Who knew?

Anywho, to my new readers, let it be said that I blend pretty well into my suburbia, doing the stay-at-home mom thing, even though I'm a gnome (see picture to right). I don't walk around wearing Metallica concert tee shirts and ripped up jeans, smoking and drinking a 40 on my front stoop.

Yes, I ride a motorcycle, which I haven't been out on in forever, but other than you, gentle readers, and a few others in my inner circle, no one knows that I do. I was a teacher for a decade before I stayed home, and I teach Sunday and vacation bible school. (It's all in an attempt to lull the defenseless masses into a false sense of security.)

So when I tell you this story, you'll know how crazy it really is.

Two weeks ago the Youngest Urchin was driving me out of my gourd with some revoltingly innocent video that I've completely repressed so that I can go on living a fruitful life. But at the time, it was boring into my brain and laying eggs. Suffice it to say, I made the move to have her choose some different viewing fare. We went to the video cabinet (yes, we still do videos), and she decided to choose a Muppet Show tape I had in the way back.

Now let it be known to one and all, I adore the original Muppets I grew up with. They are truly awesome and I revere Jim Henson as a creative genius. The only reason this one was shoved to the back is because it was the Vincent Price/Alice Cooper tape. The Oldest Urchin is a sensitive little soul who gets frightened easily, the Youngest Urchin? Not so much (read down towards the end and you'll see what I mean). But she was a little too young for it when I relegated the video to the back. Well, the Youngest Urchin starts pleading her case in her four year old terms.

"I love it, Mommy. I'm not afraid. I'm big. I like it now."

To which I replied, "You've never seen it."

The debate went back and forth, and in a fit of self preservation so that I didn't have to endure one more hearing of the other offensive video, I caved. It's the Muppets, for crying out loud. How harmful can it be?

So I put it in and the Youngest Urchin settles down to watch. Well, Vincent Price she could take or leave.

But Alice Cooper? He made a huge impression.

Urgent calls from the living room begin.

"Mommy! Where do we keep our capes?!?!" (A big scarf tied at two corners)

"In the dress-up bin."

"Mommy, Mommy go back! Alice Cooper is talking to me!"

Never before did it cross my mind that my four year old would ever utter those words.

So now Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show is her favorite. She pretends to be him. I hear her warbling Welcome to My Nightmare from the back seat. Her Barbies are now the ghost and monster band from the first skit. She wears her cape wherever we go. And when a well meaning adult smiles and comments how she's such a great super hero, she turns and replies, "I'm not a super hero. I'm Alice Cooper."

I just smile and nod as I lead her away from some stunned little old lady who looks at me askance.

Ahh, such is the life here at Chez Quinn.

So tell me, what's going on in your neck of the woods?

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