Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That Thing Called Love

I’m currently revising two YA novels with male protagonists, so when, Agent Jill Corcoran asked her friends and followers on facebook to name romantic YA novels written from a male point of view, I copied down some titles. From reading them, I learned much about the details that make the voice and passion realistic. Below are three novels listed in order of increasing edginess.
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto
By Eric Luper
HarperCollins, 2010
When Seth (17) loses his girlfriend, his faith in his parents’ marriage and his job, he creates a supposedly anonymous podcast to figure out love.

The Secret Year
By Jennifer R. Hubbard
Viking, 2010
Colt (16) has been having a year-long clandestine love affair with a rich girl. When she is killed in an accident, he is left alone with his secret and his grief.

I Am the Messenger
Nineteen-year-old Ed meanders through life, stuck in a dead-end job and in a hopeless relationship with the girl he loves. When he inadvertently stops a bank robbery, he starts receiving mysterious messages that direct him on missions to help others, sometimes at great personal risk.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Ants love peonies. The sweet stuff must ooze out along the seam.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Overheard #147

"At what point do you walk away from the monster and say let’s create another one?"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Back

For some reason, Blogger wouldn't let me log on to Words and Pixels from my old computer. My new laptop went to college with Sam (because his laptop crashed). Thanks to Blogger Help, I'm back. It was kind of locking the keys in the car ...

Overheard will be up tomorrow.
I'm not sure if I'll have a picture on Sunday - unless I go out and photograph raindrops.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


It's hard to photograph bees, but I have all summer to work on it.


 perhaps a faster shutter speed

bee's eye view 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Teen Driving Update

Many years ago, I plated deep purple irises by the edge of the driveway. They've survived an onslaught of rebounding basketballs, but now they have a new peril.

Me: It looks like one of the boys backed the car over the irises.
Husband: It won’t help. They’ll just grow back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Overheard #146

"His confusion is your confusion."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Quickly We Forget

The revisions on my WIP stalled out big time because I couldn’t figure out how to fix the character arc for my protagonist. In desperation, I looked back over the character sketches I’d made when I first started writing the novel and the notes I’d made back in November when I started the last big revision.

The answer was right there.

I’d forgotten about it.

Now all I have to do is rewrite the durn thing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


 I was surprised to find dew droplets at 4:00 PM on a sunny day.

 I was trying to get sunlight through tulip petals, and it almost worked. In case you have seen enough orange today ...

Ah, magnolias.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Overheard #145

"It was like fighting Gumby."

Blogger Issues

Blogger is doing something to their system, and most of my posts from this week disappeared. Blogger said they'd try to put them back, but it's starting to look like that won't happen. I'll re-post my Overheard today and my book review tomorrow.

Happy Friday the 13th.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another Spy Book Recommendation

Original Sin: a Sally Sin adventure

by Beth McMullen

Hyperion, to be released July 12, 2011

Shelf Awareness is a daily electronic newsletter about the book trade that features terrific advertisements for new books. A few months back, I saw an ad for Original Sin: a Sally Sin Adventure. I noticed with glee it was a spy book featuring a female operative. Then I saw, “Click here to win a free ARE.” I followed the instructions, thinking I’d never win. A few weeks later, a package came in the mail.

The book is a totally enjoyable read especially for readers who enjoy spy novels and are parents. My two sentence summary:

Raising a toddler is a tough job; so is being a spy. Sally Sin is forced to multi-task.

It’s due out in July.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I was cleaning out my spam folder, and I noticed the gmail advertisement was for spicy spam kabobs to serve with rice. That got me thinking about spam.

When I was a kid, my dad would tell dog stories about Spam, a German Shepherd-Collie mix, he owned during WWII. When I asked what the meat spam was, he suggested my mom cook some for dinner. Once was enough. SPAM is an acronym for “Shoulder Pork and Ham,” and it tastes about how you’d expect – and sort of slimy.

Then I wondered why electronic garbage was called spam. According to Wikipedia, the term originated with the Monty Python Spam sketch. Go ahead, click the link, and sing the spam song along with the Vikings.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Overheard #143

"You can live in the Midwest and not know how to polka, but you can’t live well."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two Great Spy Books

Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre are published by Random House.

Ben Macintyre is a meticulous historian and a fine storyteller. In Agent Zigzag, he relates the story of Eddie Chapman, a double agent and colorful character who schemed against the Nazis in WWII and yet was awarded the Iron Cross.

Operation Mincemeat tells how the Allies deceived German forces before the invasion of Sicily by creating a fictional man who washed up dead on the shores of Spain with a briefcase full of erroneous documents.

When I studied history in school, it was mostly facts and propaganda. The story and its characters were missing entirely. After reading these books, The Code Book and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and watching Foyle’s War, I’m finally learning something about WWII.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011


 I had to get pretty muddy to take this one.

I hope someone tells me what kind of wildflower this is.