Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Which My Kid's Stage a Murder Scene

Otherwise known as "I don't make the news, I just report it."

I can't really explain this picture to you. I don't know why the toy car is turned over, I suppose it was involved in a wreck. I don't know why Barbie is a) naked and b) lying there at Maddie's feet. Speaking of Maddie's feet, I don't know why she is lying under the tree house climber. I also don't know why James is looming above them - but I do know his shadow looks so menacing because the sun was really, really bright that day.

All I do know is that I had to take a picture. And that the picture is best presented in black and white.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's in a Name?

I am chugging away on the rough draft of my novel (which you can read about here and here). In spite of having had Easter and a birthday this week, and a party coming up this weekend, I still managed to sneak away for an hour and half to Starbucks and add about 1,800 words to my manuscript.

Even more exciting, last week I had an awesome Yahoo chat with my great friend Tori, who always functions as my story sounding board. She can take all the vague statements I make about what I "see" and "feel," ask just the right questions to get me thinking, and offer just the right suggestions to flesh things out. It is truly amazing. Thanks to our chat I have solved all of my major plot issues and have a lovely road map for the rest of my story.

I am feeling really good about the direction that my novel is heading, and I have some really exciting news about it to share soon!

Illustration by William A. Breakspeare

The only thing I am not happy with currently is my sad, tragic, depressing lack of a title. Sleeping Beauty 2.0 (working title) is just not cutting it anymore. I've taken to calling it The Sleeping Beauty Project which kinda, sorta works. But I am in search of a really kick-butt title.

I'd really love a strong, one word title like "Enchanted." Unfortunately, Disney already beat me to that one. Of late, Disney has had some pretty cool titles. "Tangled," for example, is quite literally a perfect title.

Robin McKinley also has an amazing way with fairy tale titles. Her Sleeping Beauty story is called Spindle's End. And it rocks, by the way.

There's a balance, I think, in novel naming. You want to entice the reader without giving away too much of your plot.

So, my poor little baby, for the moment, remains un-named.

What are your favorite book titles? Have any suggestions for mine?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

1-2-3 Ready, Set, Go!

Happy Birthday (a day late! We were having too much fun yesterday and I forgot to post) to my sweet, crazy, adventurous, loving, tough, silly, stubborn, perfect three year old girl.

We love you Maddie-Pants!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deeper Magic

“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward."

- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

"Oh how can they?" said Lucy, tears streaming down her cheeks. "The brutes, the brutes!" for now that the first shock was over the shorn face of Aslan looked to her braver, and more beautiful, and more patient than ever.

- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Saturday, April 16, 2011

25K, Otherwise Known as Writing My Booty Off

I have been unusually industrious this past week. I went out and wrote Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights! I am happy to report that not only was I able to rewrite the 3,000 words I lost, I added a ton as well. I averaged about 2k a night and was able to add almost 12k to my manuscript this week!

I start my writing week on Fridays because that is Ed's day off and I'm glad to report that I was abel to write both yesterday and today, and I have reached a huge milestone! I've cruised passed 25,000 total words in my novel! Woot!

Serendipitously, I picked my phone up to text home to check on the babies, just as I hit 25k, so I took a screen shot, tee hee!

What, you may ask, is behind this amazing productivity?

Ladies and germs, I have discovered I can self-medicate my ADD with Starbucks.

White Chocolate Mocha. It's a beautiful thing.

I am even considering buying a coffee pot. My Mom is may actually pass out when she reads that, I have been decidedly anti-coffee for my entire life (I am a Coca-Cola girl). But guys, guess what, there is so much more caffeine in espresso! The focus is amazing!

Here's to hoping I can hit 30k this week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anybody Wanna Buy a House?

My parents are selling their house in Peabody, MA. The best part is that they will be closer to us once they move (still a really long drive, but you can drive it if you want, it's not a mandatory flight like the Boston area.)

Know anyone who lives in the North Shore that is in the market for a house? Or know anyone who might know someone? I'd love if you could pass the link along! The short link is:

It's a really cute house!

It is bright, sunny, and cheerful.

The lot is really large, and is set back from the street, with lots of trees - an a really awesome front deck to enjoy it all from. (And did I mention it has a multiple car garage? Almost unheard of in the North Shore area)

Even my teenage brother's room is pretty nice ;)

I would love, love, love if you could share the link to their listing! I really want my family to move closer to us! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Disneyland Jar

We are putting all of our change in a special jar (actually it's my Coca-Cola straw holder with the straw holding part removed) to save up for next year's Disneyland trip.

We love Disneyland. Really, really love it. And we are kind of looking forward to being out of state tourists, maybe we will even stay at a hotel!

Right now I calculate our Disneyland savings at almost enough to buy churros for the entire family. Mmmmm . . . churros . . .

Hopefully we will see it grow over the next several months!

Friday, April 8, 2011

3,000 Words

I was so proud of myself last week. I took myself out to Starbucks and Ed's office and I added 3,000 words to my Sleeping Beauty manuscript. Not bad for a night's work, even if it was the only night last week I got to write. The two week's prior to that I only managed a measly 1000 or so a week, it was like hitting my head against a wall. Last week though I felt like I finally broke through the setup scenes that were driving me nuts, and got into some action and character development that felt like it was just flowing out of me.

I was so proud.

As they say, pride cometh before the user error that deletes all of your hard-written work.

Oh wait, that isn't what they say? And yet, it is true. Popped open the laptop yesterday ready to add onto the brilliance of the previous week.

And it wasn't there.



My file (multiple copies of it apparently) remained just as it did before last week's 3,000 word extravaganza. I did not save the file. True story. Which is funny, because I am usually a frenetic saver. Life is full of little tragedies, isn't it?

But, I suppose, we must pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, squirt some non-sting anti-bacterial on those skinned knees and slap a bandaid on that sucker! Therefore, last night and today I rewrote it. I am about 5 or 6 paragraphs from regaining most of what I lost.

Onward and upward.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Read a Free Chapter of Caroline Bingley!

As much as I love Austen, I only started reading Austen sequels and adaptations recently. I think I was scared of them! I was incredibly lucky that the first one I read was Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton. It was ah-mazing! If you haven't read it, go buy it now . . . no really . . . I'll wait . . .

The problem with reading Charlotte Collins as my first Austen sequel, however, is that not all of them live up to it. There are some good, some not so good, but I can honestly say, thus far Charlotte Collins is by far my favorite. So imagine my excitement over Becton's new novel Caroline Bingley, which is coming out this summer! I love that she's chosen to write about such a universally despised character! I, for one, have some sympathy with Caroline and cannot wait for her to get her own story!

Now for the best part! You can read the first chapter of Caroline Bingley free online right now! But only until the middle of the week! So hurry! Go! Read it! I promise you'll love it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Spring, Spring, Spring" Sang the Frog and a Winner!

I think we can officially say that it is spring!

So maybe we had some snow last Friday - but since then only lovely, gorgeous spring weather! Even when it rains it seems like you can always see at least a little bit of sun and blue sky . . . and when there is sun and rain you get insane rainbows like this:

Can you believe this sucker? And I am telling you the photo does not do it justice at all! We could see both ends where they touched the ground and it seemed like if we just walked up into the hills we would definitely find a pot of gold or two . . . it was so close!

Another sure sign that it is spring is that baseball season has started! Yippee!!!! And of course we had to have our famous opening day nachos! Yum!

Here is Maddie doing her best Vanna White with the official Melendez Family Opening Day Nachos Angels Plate (we got it at the kid's first ever game at the Big A, pretty sure James was about two months old):

And here are the nachos, yes, we make our own chips!

And because it is spring it is time to pick the winner of the spring fabric giveaway!

And the winner is the lovely Stephanie of Sand and Starfish! You lucky girl you!

I've sent you an email! Congrats!