Tuesday, August 31, 2010

~Weekend in Review~

My weekend began with my cousin and his girlfriend arriving and then on Saturday attending my Grandmother's surprise party for her 78th birthday. It was great being with family and catching up with Great Aunts and Uncles. I think it was something my grandma needed. Since my grandfather passed away almost two years ago she hasn't seemed happy. It's hard to look at the woman who was always so full of life sit back and keep her witty snarky comments to herself.  She's starting to come around slowly and it was nice to see her with her two sisters.

When the extended family left my grandmother opened her cards. She has trouble seeing small print and asked if I could read to her the card her sister had given her. After the third word I could feel the tears swelling and had a hard time getting the words out. It was a beautiful hand written note to my grandmother about how she always looked at her as more than a sister but as her mother and how my grandmother and my grandfather were always there for her. I told my grandma that it was a keeper and she responded with "Of course," and I know she will keep it just as she kept the macaroni necklace my oldest cousin made when he was three and the construction paper flower garden I made in an old Pepsi Bottle (The one's with the black bottoms) when I was five.

During the party I spoke with my great aunts and told them about my determination to be a writer. My one Great aunt who I guess we can say rubs elbows with some very famous and wealthy people without actually saying why told me to send her my manuscript. Now for once I'm scared about someone reading my manuscript. I've never felt that way before. There is also a part of me that wants to do this on my own, not that this is a guaranteed thing in anyway but still. I've always been very, very lucky. When I wanted to get an apartment my parents had a friend, when I needed a new car I found it through a friend's coworker like I said I've been lucky. I just want to say I did it all on my own. However, if life gives you an opportunity you really should jump on it. I queried a few agents in the past couple of weeks and I'm really hoping on one so if I don't hear anything within the next few days I'm going to send my manuscript and like always keep my fingers crossed tightly. 

Deception (Haunting Emma)On Sunday I went to the beach with my cousin and his girlfriend. The waves were awesome and I am thrilled that my cousin got me to go in. It was like we were kids all over again. Wading in the water, letting the waves crash on our heads as we dove through the rollers, it was awesome and the perfect way to end my summer. As you know I've been carless and haven't had an opportunity to spend this gorgeous summer on the beach like so many others, but this one day made up for my beachless summer. I also got to finish reading Deception by Lee Nichols while I was basking in the sun.  I'm looking forward to the next book Betrayal with that said Deception was good, but I think Betrayal will better. I had a problem with the way the story was set up. It starts with a girl whose parents go away for a business trip and never come back. After a party at her place Child Protective Services shows up at her home and takes her into custody. She is given two options: Go into foster care or go live in a halfway house, Until Bennett shows up, her older brothers ex friend, who provides documentation that he has been given guardianship of her. On looking over the documents she notices that her mothers signature is forged yet still chooses to go with him not once questioning a thing. She was too lax a dazy to me and any teenage girl would not go without putting up some sort of a fight. Hell if it was me I would be screaming and demanding answers before getting on a plane and flying to the opposite side of the country with a guy I hadn't seen in years since for some reason my brother stopped being friends with him. That would probably be my first question why did you and my brother have a falling out yet she never asks. Once I got over that the book was very enjoyable. It ends with a bit of a cliffhanger leaving you wanting more and wanting to know what actually is going on. So I would recommend it because like I said after you get over her lack of curiousity it is very interesting and enjoyable.

Lock and KeyI am now currently reading Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. As I started reading it I felt like I had read it before. However, I think it was because an excerpt was in another book of hers that I read. She is the epitome of what I want to be as an author. She writes beautifully and writes about topics that every teenager can relate to. My goal is to read all of her books and I think after I finish this one I am halfway there.

I start school on Thursday and I'm actually looking forward to it. I've been bored. I like to have a lot on my plate it makes me feel productive and lately I've just been lounging around which don't get me wrong is great but can get very boring very fast. After this semester I can finally say I have my Bachelor's Degree. How great that will be.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Am I wrong?

For those of you who don't know I work in customer service and my main job is to answer calls and book appointments. Today as I was talking to a customer I asked her what day she would like to schedule her appointment for and her response was September 11th. Now I don't know if it's because I'm human or an American or because I'm a New Yorker but just hearing the date sends a frigid chill through my spine. Then once the chill wears off I want to say to the customer are you sure you want to have your appointment that day? And why wouldn't they? It's been almost nine years, even though to me it certainly does not seem that long ago, shouldn't we take the advice of our leaders and treat it as any other day? I'm sorry but I can't. I want to. I want to move on. I don't want the terrorists to win, but by wanting to have the day as a rememberence is that really letting the terrorists win? I think by not remembering the day we let the terrorists win and we let the people who did not make it out that day down.

It's amazing to me that nine years later I can still remember the day as if it was yesterday and considering I can't remember last week it definitely holds meaning. I can remember the day, where I was when I heard, who I talked to, the teachers face when she heard the news and the desperate attempt at trying to get a hold of my father who worked in the city on occasion. I was lucky. My father wasn't in the city on the given day, however, if the attack happened less than 24 hours prior him and my brother would have been there having lunch from a cart right outside the building. It's a thought that still haunts me. Still makes my breathe catch in my throat and my eyes burn. So for the people who lost a loved one I couldn't even begin to imagine how hearing the date makes you feel.

We have holidays for I'm sorry really stupid reasons why can't September 11th be marked as a national holiday? Not that I can imagine anybody who was alive and witnessed the attack and the months of news coverage that followed can ever forget, but time goes on and the next generation may slowly forget and we shouldn't. No one should.

Another Young Writer Emilia Plater

After writing about Kody Keplinger yesterday I came across another Young Adult writer who happens to be seventeen. That's right seventeen. She already has an agent and is set to be published. That blows my mind. I always thought at 25 I was considered a young person trying to break into the literary world. Obviously I'm not and compared to these girls I'm an old timer. I recommend you check out her blog and her current giveaway at http://www.emilia-plater.com/2010/08/punkiversary-giveaway-of-life-changing.html

I look forward to seeing what is to come from her especially since her blog is entertaining as are her tweets.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Trailers for Forever Ours

I tried my hand at making my own book trailers for my book Forever Ours. I'm having too much fun with it. I want to make more but I'm going to try and restrain myself. It was funny I made them on Powerpoint and couldn't figure out how to convert them to files acceptable by Youtube so I Youtubed it and of course 100's of videos that explained the process. I love that. It was great. Tell me what you think. Just a side note the Steve and Lisa trailer is NOT 3 minutes I couldn't figure out how to stop the song. I'm still learning.

Kody Keplinger's The Duff

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)Kody Keplinger is having a contest on her blog to giveaway a copy of her book The Duff. I of course entered. I have been hearing about this book for a very long time and it has been nothing but rave reviews. As an aspiring writer Kody Keplinger has shown me that anything is possible. She wrote this book her senior year of high school and at the age of 19 has already been published. To me that is an incredible accomplishment. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and see what all of the rage is about. If you have never heard of The Duff then you must live under a rock but if you came out from that rock to read my blog, thank you and here is a quote from Kody's website about her book The Duff:

"I always felt like the 'ugly girl' in high school, so when I was introduced to the word during my senior year, I knew I was the Duff. The idea of writing a book with DUFF as the title started as a joke, but when I realized that my friends felt like Duffs, too, I knew I had to write this story!"

—Kody Keplinger on her inspiration for The DUFF, her debut novel

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Second Thought

As the stores fill up with dorm room supplies and plastic organizers and as the hot sticky Summer weather shifts to a much cooler crisp air I can't help but be reminded that I've always kind of felt like I missed out on the whole college experience. After I graduated high school I wasn't ready to jump right in to college so I opted to take a semester off before registering for community college(Eventually transferring to a 4 year school only a few towns away from where I live). I lived with my parents and I went to school full time as well as worked full time. I never took that big step most college students take, the one where they move away from home and are on their own for the first time. I never had a roommate other than my boyfriend and I never got to live in a dorm. It is something that up until recently I have never given much thought to. Did I miss out on an experience of a lifetime? Does going away to college better shape you and prepare you for the future? After all when I finally did move out of my parents house I moved across town. I still live in the same zipcode as I have for my entire life and my parents are only a ten minute (tops) car ride away. I believe the only reason I am thinking about this now is because I am twenty five and all of my friends who attended a four year school have their degree and have real jobs and I can't help but wonder if I am wasting time.

I have to admit I loved community college. I went to Suffolk Community here on Long Island and I only wished it was a four year school. It was cheap, I had great professors and I learned so much that has only contributed to the future I am trying to make for myself. So many people knock community college calling it the 13th grade and I do disagree with them. Even though I feel like I might have missed out on the whole college experience I am happy with the knowledge I have obtained in my countless years at both Suffolk and Dowling College. So I guess it's not really that big of a deal if I never pledged a sorority or slept in a dorm room. Besides I had a pretty wild time in High school which has been enough to sustain my appetite for hardcore partying thus far. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

~Another Night Another Dream~

So I heard back about the internship I had put in for and while my credentials are exceptional they decided to go with someone else. Someone who I'm sure lives in the city and who doesn't have a full time job as well as night classes. It was a nice short email and I'm happy that I allowed myself to even hit send on the email. A step I needed to take even if it didn't pan out the way I dreamed. I look at it this way, Ihave more time to read and write. My writing has been going really well and I couldn't be happier about the progress I have been making on the new book I am working on which is still untitled.

The Ghost and the GothI started reading The Ghost and The Goth yesterday and finished today. I loved it! The two main characters Alona and Will are very likeable characters who have the perfect combination of wit, vulnerability and chemistry. I am almost certain there will be a sequel and I really hope so. I want to see how the relationship will develop with the two characters even if he's alive and she's well not. It vaguely reminded me of the movie Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. She's a ghost, he's alive and the only one who can see her and she follows him around until he is willing to help her. However, the main difference is Will unlike Mark Ruffalo's character can not just see her but all ghosts a secret he has kept to himself for years just as his father who had the same gift told him to do. If you are in the bookstore and see this book on the shelf Do Not Pass it up. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Deception (Haunting Emma)I am currently readind Deception by Lee Nichols. I started reading it as soon as I finished The Ghost and The Goth and I'm currently on page 63. It has definitely captured my interest and I'm not flipping pages to see how many pages are left in the chapter. This book is also part of a series "A Haunting Emma series" and considering this book just came out in June I have no idea when the next installment, Betrayal, will come out. I love series because you can continue a book with the characters you have fallen in love with and have invested your time in but the waiting is excrutiating. I was lucky when I read the Twilight series, all four books were already out, I don't know what I would have done if I had to wait months and months for the next installment. No I do know I would have been one of those people lining up hours and hours before just to get my hands on a copy.

I also need to start keeping a list. I have read so many books that are a part of a series that it is hard to keep up with all of them. My mom actually gave me this idea because she wants to do the same thing. She, however, got the Nook as an anniversay present form my Dad so she can now keep track of them that way. I'm a little jealous but at the same time I don't now if I could hold a computer like book and enjoy it as much as having the actual book in my hand. I love turning the pages, skipping ahead when I'm dying to know something and just can't wait and I love displaying them on my bookshelf. I'm really upset that now my mom will no longer be buying actual books and I won't be able to steal them from her when she's finished. No more sharing. :(

Lastly I am recovering from my weekend in the Hamptons for my friends bachelorette party. It was so much fun and I honestly need a weekend to recover from my weekend. It's Tuesday, I've been home since Sunday afternoon and I still don't feel like I've caught up on sleep. I had such a good time and was happy to be out with friends and not having to worry about getting up for work the next morning. While it wasn't as risque as the last bachelorette party I went to it still an experience. I also have to note that there was 12 of us in the house, 2 bathrooms and only 2 mirrors and all Girls! Now imagine what that would be like when all 12 of us had to get ready to go out for the night. You would think complete and total meltdowns and battles over the mirror and bathrooms well I'm happy to say that none of that occurred and we even managed to get out on time. We improvised using the reflections from large framed pictures to put our makeup on and do our hair. I stacked three pillows on top of each other then placed my small Bobby Brown compact on top and curled my entire head with the curling iron with the little mirror the compact provided. I honestly think if we had more mirrors we would not have been out on time. We didn't have a place to go and fluff our hair thirty times or check the thickness of our eyeliner which seemed to work out perfectly for us. We had a great time in Sag Harbor. We had dinner at Blue Sky then watched a drag show of Liza Minelli, Tina Turner, Cher and Lady Gaga. Afterwards we walked to a bar a few doors down had a few drinks and danced the night away.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ready for Change?

The summer is starting to wind down and all of the events I have been planning for months have either been here and gone or are just on the horizon. My friend and co-worker got married this past weekend. I was one of her bridesmaids and after a year of talking about seating arrangement,s hair, catering hall and menu and it's over. It never stops to amaze me how long you can plan for something and how quickly that something ends.

It was a great day starting at 6am for our hair appoinment which I showed up 45 minutes late for, but luckily was for the best. After hair, was makeup then getting into our dresses, pictures, church, more pictures, cocktail hour, more pictures, reception and then at 11:30 the wedding was over. I also skipped out 20 minutes early my feet were killing me, my eyes were making it impossible to stay awake, but I did drive a friend I hadn't seen in a long time to the train station. Overall it was an awesome time and now I have one less thing to look forward to.

This weekend I will be spending in Southampton for another friends bachelorette party. It should be an absolute blast. I haven't been able to lay out in the sun all summer, sit by a pool and read a book or go to a club so I am ecstatic over this weekend. Then after that is my Grandmother's birthday party in which my dad has set up as a surprise with her sisters and brother in laws that she hasn't seen in awhile. My cousin and his girlfriend will be staying for another weekend so I obviously still have a lot going on in the few weekends left of summer. Then I will be back in school in September to finish out my Bachelor's degree.

I also bit the bullet and put in for an internship at a literary agency in the city. I highly doubt that I will get it. I'm a marketing major with a full time job, but I figured it was a step in the right direction. I have off Tuesdays and Thursdays which is their prefered time to have the intern in the office granted I have night classes both days but if by some miracle I got the internship I know I could work it out. Like I said highly unlikey but there is always wishful thinking.

I'm ready for a change. I've worked for the same company since I was 16 years old and there is no place for me to advance. It's dead end job a complete and total dead end and it is time for me to start making changes. It really puts a damper on your mood when you wake up everyday and go to a job you can't stand. I worked with a girl who was 19 and she just left the company moved to California and is going to college there. We were really close in the short time we worked together and I guess you can say she inspired me. Talking to her, being around her she reminded me of everything I used to be and everything I wanted to be. I got lost somewhere along the way and I want to discover the old me again. I want to be the girl with the big dreams and the determination to leave my current job. I got sucked up in the stability and the familiarness of it all that I forgot the #1 thing, my happiness. So here's looking forward to a new and exciting change.

On the book side of things, I left my parents house with a bag full of books and then proceeded to go to Barnes and Nobles only to leave with another bag of books. I just finished the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series and am on to the second. Will write about them when I finish the first four. So the books I have to look forward to reading are:
The Ghost and the GothThe Hunger GamesHearts at Stake (Drake Chronicles, Book 1)Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles)LovesickThe Film Club: A MemoirBlue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)Masquerade (Blue Bloods, Book 2)Revelations (Blue Blood, Book 3) (Blue Bloods Novel)Lock and KeyThe Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4)Immortal (Immortal (Qulaity))So as you can see I really need to get reading. I can't wait. I am really looking forward to The Ghost and The Goth. That's the book I went to Barnes and Nobles for originally but I can never just leave there with one book.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy Two Weeks

I've been meaning to update and I kept putting it off putting it off. It is 10:38pm and I'm off tomorrow, just finished reading a good book and figured now is a good time. So much too talk about I don't know where to start.

Let's start with my boyfriends birthday. It was on August 5th. He works for my dad so my dad and I came up with a plan. My dad set it up by telling my BF that they had a big job to do on his birthday and he would pick him up in the morning. He called him the morning of and told him to meet him outside. He went outside and after waiting a few minutes I met him at the curb with a gift bag, a Christmas gift bag I didn't have time to get to the store. Anyway he opened the bag and inside was a note that rhymed and it basically said he wasn't working on his birthday and I have planned Eric's Day of fun.

First we stopped at Panera Bread and got breakfast to take on the road and then we went to the NYC Aquarium which I'm sorry to say I was sadly disappointed by. The tanks were dirty and they really didn't have much to see. I would highly recommend the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead LI it blows the NYC Aquarium out of the water. <---Am I the only one who finds the humor in that. Probably. Okay moving on. Afterwards we walked the boardwalk through Coney Island. Walking the boardwalk is very emotional for me. Since I was a little kid my dad would tell me about how growing up they really didn't have much money, but at least once a year my grandfather would pile everyone in whatever heap of a car he was driving at the time and bring them to Coney Island. He would buy each of them a hotdog at Nathans and then one ride on the Cyclone. It's what my grandparents could afford and obviously it's something that has stuck with my dad all of these years. My grandfather passed away in 2008 and walking the boardwalk made me feel like he was walking beside me as crazy as that may sound. I even teared up when I spotted Nathan's and if my stomach wasn't feeling quesy at the time I guarantee I would have been on line waiting to buy a hotdog.

After Coney Island we drove into Manhattan. I gave him another note with a rhyme that told him I made dinner reservations at Sushi Samba a place he had been wanting to try. However, since the aquarium took less time then I expected we had so much time to kill. We walked around Chelsea, Soho, the Village we went all over the place. I talked him into stopping in at a Barnes and Noble and realized they had a better selection of YA books then the one I go to out here on Long Island. I was tempted to buy a few but I couldn't fit them in my bag and didn't want to carry around the extra weight. We went to the Limelight building which I remember as the church that was the stripclub I went to for my friends bachelorette party two years ago, but now looks completely different on the inside. It is beautiful. Shops and in the back a cute area where local bakers sell their goods. We shared an amazing peanut butter gelato. Yum. We had dessert before dinner. Oh well it was well worth it and we shared.

Now on to dinner. We were so hungry and dinner reservations weren't until 5:30 we got there at 4:30. They let us sit but the kitchen wasn't opened only sushi, salads and soups were available which we decided was fine by us. I was so happy we decided to do that. The sushi was awesome and the mojitos were even better. I forced my BF to get chocolate banana fudge cake which was oh my god so good. Then I presented him with another rhyme. It basically said because you are turning thirty I assume you are feeling blue so why not know what it is like to be blue and that's when I gave him tickets to the Blue Man Group. I've dragged him to so many Broadway shows including some of his favorites such as Avenue Q and Dirty Rotten Scoundrals and he said by far Blue Man Group was the best show he's ever seen. It was a successful day, successful night, successful birthday.

The next night we went to the Paramore concert at Jones Beach. It was awesome. New Found Glory was one of the opening acts and they were my favorite band in high school it was like being warped back in time. I felt like I was in high school again. The next morning when I woke up I felt exhausted so I obviously was not in high school again. Either way it was another great night. Oh and Paramore was amazing she has such a good voice. I've seen so many bands, singers live who don't sound like they do on the radio she sounds spot on everytime. I can't get over how energenic she is and how much she bounces around without gasping for air.

I also went to my friends bachelorette party last week which was an experience in itself and I think that is all I am going to say about that. Just know it was fun and I will probably keep the pictures hidden for eternity.

Two-way StreetI have also finished two books since the last time I posted. The first being Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt.I really, really liked it. I loved the chemistry between the two characters and I loved the alternating point of views. I couldn't imagine having to take a road trip with an ex especially an ex I wasn't over. It makes for the perfect story. My only complaint is the cover which is actually my complaint for the next book I read but I'll get to that. This cover is great don't get me wrong. It is what made me pick up the book in the first place. The only problem is the car they take the road trip in isn't red it's not even a car. It's an SUV. I know it's just a cover, but the cover to me gives you an inside look into the characters and into the story and this one while amazing kind of is all wrong. Get past the cover and go right into the story it's great. Like I said their chemistry is undeniable and makes you root for them and their two friends provide comedy relief. I would definitely recommend picking this book up.
Take Me There
The next book I actually just finished reading all of thirty minutes ago is Take Me There by Carolee Dean. First starting with the cover. The cover is hot. However, it makes the book seem like it's going to be a light romantic typical young adult romance and it is so much more than that. Again the cover made me pick up the book which is a plus, but I think it takes away from the story. The story is not light it is heavy and full of harsh realities with the romance taking a backseat to the bigger plot of the story; Dylan the main character finding himself and doing all the wrong things in order to do the right thing. I think the story is really good and while I wish there was more romance involved I think in away it would have taken away from the overall story and made it not as powerful. I'm not a fan of the ending either but to say that is to say I'm not a fan of life. Not everything works out the way you plan or the way you hope. However, it does end with a feeling of hope that in time things might actually fall together for Dylan, his family and friends. I'd also recommend picking this book up. You won't regret it.

When It HappensI actually don't think I mentioned that I also finished reading When it Happens by Susane Colasanti. I also liked this book. I liked it much better then Waiting for You. I think maybe because the characters were older I related to the relationship better. Also the writing was stronger.When I read Waiting for You I know it was in the POV of a 15 yr old girl (or is it 16) but I think the writing tried to take on the way a 15 yr old girl talks, not just in the dialogue but the whole book and it kind of made it hard for me to read. When it Happens isn't so heavy on trying to sound youthful.

When It Happens was a light story no major drama and sometimes you need something like that. Something to take you back to a time in school when you had a crush on a certain person and spent your days wondering if they felt the same. The characters Tobey and Sara were very relatable as if I could have been reading about my own high school experience. I like her style in this particular book like I said it's light and bubbly and fun. I look forward to reading more of her books.

I think I have fit two weeks into one blog post. Oh one last thing I started writing another book. I know. I know. Finish one before you start another but the idea came to me and I just went with it and I've already written 40 pages in the matter or 3 days so I think I'm going to keep going with it. On Sunday my BF and I took a drive out to the North fork of Long Island and along the way I saw something that made me say, that is great I need to use that in a story somehow and then by the end of the ride the idea came to me. It's the first story I'm not thinking past what I'm writing and it's flowing so much better. It's like when I write an outline and have an idea of where I want the story to go I lose steam and interest, but not planning and writing whatever comes to my head in the moment is making it so much more pleasurable. I love the surprises my characters keep throwing at me. Love it. Okay so now that I have babbled for way too long I'm going to say good bye for now. Pictures to be added later. I have tons.