Lucky 7 & An Unlucky Fairy Godmother

One of my very favorite indie authors, Kait Nolan, tagged me for the Lucky 7 challenge. The rules?

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current WIP.

  • Go to line 7
  • Post on your blog the next 7 sentence or 7 lines — as they are!
  • Tag 7 people and do the same

A Little Fairy Dust coverSo here’s my entry from page 7 of A Little Fairy Dust, the next short story coming out (hopefully) in August! Faye is a fairy godmother in training, Jet is her ex, and she gets caught working a little magic.

“What is it, Faye?”

“Why should I tell you?” I dropped my caught-off-guard tone and moved to my he’s-still-a-liar tone. He’d hid plenty from me, so whatever I was up to was none of his business.

“Because you might be doing something else to sabotage the team.”

“Something else? What did I do before?”

Jet tilted his head and held up his casted hand, like it was a smoking gun.

“I didn’t do that,” I answered. “You punched the wall.”

[Now imagine a serious, booming voice.] “Why did Jet punch the wall? Why is he blaming Faye? Is Faye sabotaging the football team? Why is this guy named after a plane?

“Find out when you read A Little Fairy Dust — coming soon!” 🙂

ROW80 Goals

It’s time again to announce my goals for the next round of A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Last round, I set only five goals and did reasonably well reaching them. I’m going to keep it streamlined once again.

1. Finish editing Sharing Hunter, young adult contemporary novel. I’m already making better progress on this, by the way.

2. Edit, polish, and release two more short stories in my Paranormal Playground series. Release dates will probably be mid-August and late September.

3. Read 12 books. This remains a good number for me, and my reading will include both fiction and nonfiction.

4. Attend RWA Conference and Day of YA in San Antonio and follow-up as needed. The conference is July 23-26.

That’s it! A few specific goals that are do-able, yet stretch me all the same.

I am forgoing sponsor duty this time around, since summers are kind of crazy for me, but I’m glad to stay involved. ROW80 has been a boost to my work productivity and a great chance to support other authors. If you’re a writer looking for some inspiration, motivation, and/or accountability, check it out here.

How’s your writing or your week gone? What goals have you set for yourself? And, just for fun, who’s your favorite fairy in fiction?

My Name is Julie, and I’m a Binge-TV Addict

Binge-watch is in the dictionary now. Check out the Dictionary.com definition (based on Random House):

binge-watch definition

I still remember the days before Netflix and Hulu, before DVD players, before VCRs . . . the long-past days when you had to plant yourself before the TV right as your favorite show aired or you flat-out missed it. There was no catching up online, recording the show for later, or view on demand anywhere. You were either there at Monday 8:00 p.m., or the show went ahead without you.

Thank goodness that’s changed.

But I’ve gone farther lately than catching up on a show here and there I missed. Instead, I catch up on the whole TV series I missed. My name is Julie, and I’m a binge-TV addict.

White Collar Logo
My current binge-watch show

Here are some reasons why:

I’m extremely impatient. (Really! Just ask my husband.) Don’t you hate that cliffhanger at the end of a season, and then you have to wait months and months to see that plot line resolved? Wait no longer! If you’re impatient like me, you just watch the whole series as you want. Too eager to wait for the season 3? Simply cue it up at the end of season 2. Binge-watching was made with the impatient in mind.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Logo
Didn’t catch it? Binge-watch it!

I can get cool really quick. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I missed quite a few good shows. I was a little busy parenting young children and thus watching series like Blue’s Clues, Maisy, and Bear in the Big Blue House. So when people talked about how cool Buffy the Vampire Slayer was, I had no idea what they were talking about. I vaguely recalled seeing a commercial with a blond chick and fanged people, right before I turned to the channel back to Disney. Now with binge-watching, I’m back at the cool table. Yep, binge-watching got me caught up on shows like ScrubsCharmedBuffy, Arrested Development, and Leverage.

I feel a little queen-like when the series is at my beck-and-call. When other little girls were oohing and aahing over Barbie and her fashion accessories, I was enamored with a Miss America doll we owned — because she had a crown and scepter and was clearly in charge of something. I’ve been knocked down enough in life by now that I’ve learned a sufficient amount of humility; however, that desire to rule can peek through at times and get sated just enough by binge-watching a whole series. As if I’m Queen of the TV World, I simply summon the next show when I’m ready — like royalty would summon their entertainment in the form of a minstrel or court jester.

I more easily grasp the big picture. When you watch a series in a compressed period of time, you get a better sense of the series as a whole. Which means you can spot references to previous plot lines, recurring characters, the broader character arc, and — yes, indeed — mistakes and contradictions with previous shows in the series. I can see the big picture because there isn’t so much time between the first episode and the middle episode and the finale.

Jericho TV series logo
Just one of my many casualties. Sorry!

If I watch shows as they air, I kill them. I’m convinced that merely by my watching a show, its chances of survival decrease by 63%. Don’t try to tell me otherwise. It’s simply safer for me to wait until the show has had its full run — whether that’s one season or eight — and then watch the whole series. That way, my choice to partake in a series doesn’t impact its renewal outcome.

Now if only I could binge-write and binge-edit . . . successfully. Instead, here’s my step-by-step progress in A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

1. Read 12 books. I’m in the middle of three different books right now! I’m reading Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum.; Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain; and while sitting in an ER lobby without nothing to do while I waited, I downloaded The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and started reading. I didn’t finish any of these this week, however. So I’m still at 10 of 12 completed.

2. Finish editing SHARING HUNTER, a young adult contemporary novel. Didn’t happen.

3. Edit one short story to publication quality. I received comments back from one teenage beta reader on the next short and agreed with her summary. When I receive the other beta reader’s comments, I’ll finish editing and polishing that story.

In the meantime, I did work on some editing for a third story. Some progress.

4. Publish and promote two short storiesMy Sister’s Demon is available on Amazon. I’ve been troubleshooting some issues with the Barnes & Noble account and think I have it worked out finally to upload the story there this week. Half done!

5. Stay on top of ROW80 sponsor duties. I did not get to check in this week, since my internet time was very limited.

Why was your internet time limited, and why were you sitting in an ER this past week? you ask. Well, I was at church camp with no WiFi and on the last day a kid got a concussion, but he’s fine now. Thanks for asking! 🙂

Do you binge-watch any TV series? Why or why not? And how was your week?

Are You Snarky? Synonyms for Sarcastic

Sarcasm often gets a bad wrap. Look up the word sarcasm on Google, and this is the first definition you’ll see: “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.”

Indeed, one can be sarcastic with a mean motive. But what many people tend to call sarcasm today is really comic irony. Perhaps a better definition for modern usage is the first one given by Merriam-Webster: “the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny.”

Yeah, those last two are what I do. Not really the first.

In case you need some alternatives for the word sarcastic, here I come to the rescue!

Super Sarcastic Girl

Snarky. This has become my favorite. Although around since 1906, it’s been used more often in recent years. It derives from a word meaning “snort,” which is about the way a good snarky comment can come across.

Sarky. In case that word above just has too many letters, you can go with the British (or more specifically, Cockney) slang version of sarcastic — sarky. Which really just sounds like you’re too lazy to use three syllables and shortened it to two.

Quippish. You know what a quip is — “a clever usually taunting remark.” But did you know there’s an adjective version? Yep, it’s quippish. It’s not often used or even included in some dictionaries, but we can bring it back into fashion.

Witty. Let’s face it. If you’re good at sarcasm, you’re witty, which is defined as “showing or characterized by quick and inventive verbal humor.” You can be witty-mean or witty-funny, and that part is your choice.

Use your snarky, sarky, quippish wit with care. While studies have shown that “exposure to sarcasm enhances creative problem solving, the effects aren’t all positive; some people take sarcasm as truly insulting.

But if you’re looking for someplace to celebrate your sarcastic wit, you can share your sarcasm with me or you can check out the Sarcasm Society (also on Facebook).

And now here’s my un-sarcastic report on my progress for A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

ROW80 Update

1. Read 12 books. I read No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice–Instead of Good–Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. PhD Degler (nonfiction obviously). And I’m two-thirds through Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. 9 2/3 of 12 finished!

2. Finish editing SHARING HUNTER, a young adult contemporary novel. Yay, I got quite a bit of plotting done this week! I’m working on summarizing scenes and seeing where I need to beef up and where I need to press delete. Call this week a win! (Finally.)

3. Edit one short story to publication quality. I found two teenage girls to read the short story and give their feedback. Once I get their comments, I’ll finish editing and polishing. On hold.

4. Publish and promote two short storiesMy Sister’s Demon is available on Amazon and coming soon to Barnes & Noble. Half done!

5. Stay on top of ROW80 sponsor duties. Visited 7 blogs this week. Lots of great progress and exciting news out there! Done.

So are you a sarcastic person? What word do you use to refer to yourself or others who use comic, or abrasive, irony? And how was your week?

P.S. I wasted a ton of time enjoyed spending time creating a superhero, which you can do as well at Marvel.com.